Credo Action

The brutal truth about ISIS, Syria and U.S. intervention

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Tell President Obama:

"As horrifying as the terrible savagery of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants is, it does not change the fact that the U.S. government’s history of military intervention in the region has been an unmitigated disaster -- including its role in providing many of the arms now in the hands of ISIS.

For this reason, the United States cannot lead a military response to ISIS -- doing so would only make the situation worse. Don’t bomb Syria or escalate the conflict on the ground by providing arms and training that may later be put to use advancing the repulsive agenda of ISIS."

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    The brutal truth about ISIS, Syria and U.S. intervention

    In the wake of the terrible and sadistic beheadings of journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, war hawks have ramped up pressure to commit to a long-term campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- no matter how dim the prospects for long-term success.

    After President Obama’s address to the nation, it’s clear that he’s caving to pressure to abandon caution and resort to military intervention no matter the cost or outcome. President Obama announced recently that the U.S. intends to lead what recent history has shown will be a costly and doomed effort to destroy ISIS by launching even more airstrikes in Iraq, putting more U.S. boots on the ground, and expanding U.S. intervention across the Iraq border into Syria.

    When it comes to the current brutal conflict, rooted in centuries of religious hostilities in Iraq and Syria, there is no solution that American leadership can offer. It’s a total mess, and anyone who says otherwise is simply wrong.

    The sad and simple truth is that the United States cannot lead any intervention without making a terrible situation even worse. And at this point in the conflict there is no viable campaign for peace and stability initiated by any other international or regional actor that the U.S. can join in support.

    Tell President Obama: Don’t bomb Syria, or provide arms and training that may later be put to use advancing the repulsive agenda of ISIS.

    At the heart of his proposal, the president proposed to take on ISIS with a U.S.-led mission to strike at Sunni extremists via an air war in Iraq and Syria, and by arming and training competing Syrian rebels who will simultaneously wage an insurgency against both ISIS and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

    CREDO firmly believes that much of what the President has proposed requires Congressional review and approval. Having said that, Congressional approval, while procedurally appropriate, cannot transform bad policies into a good ones, and CREDO would urge a no vote on military intervention in Iraq and Syria as currently understood.

    This announcement marks a dramatic shift for President Obama, who campaigned for president on winding down George Bush’s disastrous wars of choice overseas.

    We don’t believe that President Obama is eager for a broader war, or believes the hawkish pundits and lawmakers who claim there is a simple solution to this messy conflict. Instead he’s been worn down by Congressional leaders in both parties, the military establishment and key members of the Obama administration including John Kerry and Joe Biden who are beating the drums for war.

    But in actuality, there is no urgency driving an American response at this moment in history.

    There is no immediate crisis as there was in August when CREDO supported the emergency U.S. air strikes that blocked the genocidal ISIS and helped protect minorities by holding the Kurdish defense line in Northern Iraq. Since then, the situation in Iraq has stabilized, and Iraq has formed a new government, replacing the corrupt and divisive former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The civil war in Syria is stuck in a bloody stalemate. The current media frenzy that has been ginned up largely by chickenhawks from the Bush administration and parroted by politicians from both parties is not an adequate justification for the United States to continue its intervention in either conflict.

    Tell President Obama: Don’t bomb Syria, or provide arms and training that may later be put to use advancing the repulsive agenda of ISIS.

    The president is pushing not only to bomb Syria but also to send arms to rebel factions in the civil war, even though doing so won’t fundamentally tip the balance in that religious sectarian conflict. Worse, any weapons we send to rebels in Syria could fall into the hands of ISIS, and any rebels trained by U.S. military forces, could take up arms with in the future as has happened in the past.

    That ISIS is waging war with American military hardware that it captured from the Iraqi military neatly illustrates the iron law of unintended consequences that governs every American intervention in the region -- and is a stark warning against sending arms to any faction in the Syrian civil war.

    Given America’s history of waging wars of aggression and covert operations in the region, we are in no position to lead the way in resolving the current conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Regional players have the power to make a difference -- especially Turkey, Iran,, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq’s own government. But at this juncture a U.S.-led military intervention would harm, not help, their ability to broker a solution.

    Tell President Obama: Don’t bomb Syria, send arms to Syria, or launch any additional airstrikes in Iraq.

    It was just a year ago that the American people resoundingly rejected war with Syria. The only way to stop the march to war is to raise our voices again and make it clear to President Obama that his progressive base will not support war in Syria, or expanded conflict in Iraq.

    We have to speak out now to prevent the United States from being dragged down the slippery slope to another unwinnable war in the Middle East.