Update: Syria

CREDO action
Thanks to you, we've stopped a war with Syria -- for now.

Dear 5849376,

Tell Congress: Don't Bomb Syria — click here to take action.

Last night, President Obama announced to the nation he was delaying a vote on the use of American military force in Syria to pursue diplomacy.

This was a stunning turn of events and a big victory for those of us pushing to bring the U.S. back from the brink of war with Syria. Just two weeks ago, an American attack on Syria looked all but inevitable.

But despite the media, despite the conventional wisdom in Washington DC, despite a full court press from our president who was pushing for authorization to attack Syria, we stood up and said "No." And for the moment, we're winning.

Members of Congress who were expected to rubber stamp the president's resolution authorizing military force in Syria received an unprecedented number of phone calls opposing strikes against Syria. And one-by-one they started to come out against the attack.

There are still those in Congress who are seeking to pass what amounts to a backdoor authorization for war, even while it's clear that the American people want all diplomatic efforts exhausted before war is considered. All of our representatives in Congress -- whether they oppose, support or are undecided on the use of military force -- need to hear from us that we still oppose war.

Pick up the phone today to tell Representative Tom Latham and Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin: Don't bomb Syria.

CREDO members have been a big part of stopping the rush to war. We were the first large progressive group to come out against bombing Syria. Since we started our campaign, over 225,000 members have signed our petition opposing the war, and our members have reported a staggering number of calls to Congress (over 18,000 by the time President Obama began his speech last night).

First it became clear that the president didn't have the necessary votes for war in the House. Progressive champions like Reps. Alan Grayson, Rick Nolan and Barbara Lee strongly opposed the attacks and were soon joined by others on the left and right whose constituents were calling every day saying no to war.

Then the Senate started to turn. Democratic Senators Tom Udall and Chris Murphy voted no on the president's resolution in committee, but it was widely believed that the president and Majority Leader Harry Reid had the necessary votes in that chamber.

Thanks to your calls, Bloomberg News now estimates that the firm "no" votes outnumber "yes" votes in the Senate by a nearly 2-1 margin.1

And the Washington Post has declared opposition v. declared support in the House at 10-1.2

But our work is not done and war remains a very real possibility.

Call Congress and tell Representative Tom Latham and Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin: Don't bomb Syria. Click here for the numbers to call and a sample script.

With the president's call to pause a vote on unilateral American bombing while diplomacy is pursued, the White House is starting to move back from the brink of war. But because this is a direct result of activism by CREDO members and our allies, we must keep the pressure on.

Momentum could quickly swing back to military strikes if we do not continue to make it clear that we want our government to pursue accountability for the Assad regime's war crimes through diplomacy, the UN and the International Criminal Court, and not unilateral military strikes.

We need to keep up the pressure in order to stay on the diplomatic path. If you don't want us to bomb Syria, you need to pick up the phone, call Congress, and speak out against another unnecessary war.

Pick up the phone today to tell Representative Tom Latham and Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin: Don't bomb Syria. Click here for the numbers to call and a sample script.

Americans share President Obama's horror and outrage at the use of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons is morally reprehensible, and it should be punished. But we reject his framing of the choice we face as though the only way to take action in response to the war crimes of the Assad regime is a unilateral cruise missile strike.

In his speech last night, the president suggested Americans who reject his call to military action "choose to look the other way" when faced with the slaughter of civilians in Syria. This is simply not true.

The president spent little time in his speech explaining that Syria is now willing to sign the Chemical Weapons Treaty and turn over its chemical stockpiles to the international community. He didn't use his speech as an opportunity to make a strong case for the International Criminal Court to immediately start war crime tribunals and proceedings against those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria as several members of Congress are now calling for. And he didn't detail how the U.S. can now work with allies like France and the U.K. to negotiate with Russia and China to seek a UN Security Council resolution as a result of this new diplomatic opening. Each of these efforts are opening doors for international action to broker a ceasefire -- the only way we will stop the massacre of civilians.

What's more, the White House hasn't even begun to address in a serious way the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria and surrounding countries as millions of refugees flee the violent civil war.

The newly emerging potential for a Russian-brokered diplomatic breakthrough with Syria has shown that we have not exhausted all diplomatic options.

Rather than bombing Syria -- which is more likely to make things worse for civilians and has the potential to drag us into another war -- we must go all-in on diplomacy to hold the Assad regime accountable for war crimes, provide aid to refugees and find a negotiated end to the brutal, sectarian civil war that's currently gripping Syria.

There is much work yet to be done to stop the bombs from raining down on Syria and prevent the U.S. from moving forward with a war that will be much harder to exit than it will be to get into. But for now, we are winning because of activism from people like you.

Please help us keep up the pressure by calling Congress now.

Pick up the phone today to tell Representative Tom Latham and Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin: Don't bomb Syria.

We'll continue to keep you informed of opportunities to take action. Thanks for everything you are doing to stop this war. It's working.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1 "Obama Far from Approval on Syria Vote (Infographic)," Bloomberg.com, Sept. 10. 2013
2 " Where the votes stand on Syria," Washington Post The Fix, Sept. 10, 2013

Click below for a sample script and the number to call:

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