Groups representing millions of Americans urge Congress to vote against the McKeon Amendment in the House
Washington, DC – As the House nears a vote on the McKeon amendment that would provide funding to arm Syrian rebels, progressive groups CREDO, Win Without War, VoteVets, Progressive Democrats of America, Women’s Action for New Directions and Democracy for America are urging Congress to vote against the amendment. This vote is the first test for Congress on whether it will rubber-stamp the president’s proposal for a rush to war in Iraq and Syria.
Thousands of activists concerned about America launching air strikes, putting additional military personnel on the ground, and arming Syrian rebels are pouring in calls today to Congress urging their representatives to oppose the McKeon amendment.
“We can’t let the politicians in Washington DC rush us into another disastrous war of choice in the Middle East. Right now, ISIS is waging war with American military hardware that it captured from the Iraqi military — a stark warning against sending arms to any faction in the Syrian civil war,” said Becky Bond, CREDO’s Political Director. “That’s why we’re standing with groups like Vote Vets, and urging Congress to vote no on this dangerous and rushed plan to arm the Syrian rebels.”
“Unfortunately, President Obama has bought into Senator John McCain’s idea of sending arms, and tomorrow, Congress begins the process of approving (or denying) funds to arm so-called Syrian moderates,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org. “As much as Senator McCain says he’s vetted these groups, we simply do not have guarantees that they won’t work with ISIS, when it serves their purpose, as they were doing a year ago. In fact, various reports continue to pour out of the region, about moderate factions striking deals with ISIS. The potential for these weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS is high. If our weapons end up being used by ISIS, in their brutal campaign of terror, it would squarely be the fault of those Congressmembers who vote yes on the McKeon amendment, tomorrow. They should deeply consider that, before casting their votes.”
“We need to learn from the mistakes of the past and stop trying to solve problems that have no military solution by dropping bombs,” said Stephen Miles, Advocacy Director of Win Without War. “It’s time to pursue alternatives to American military force that will ultimately be more successful at degrading ISIS and keeping America safe while not dragging us back to yet another open-ended war in the Middle East.”
“While the beheadings of journalists and aid workers have created shock and horror; we must not allow ourselves, our Congress, and our nation to be drawn into a war,” said Andrea Miller Co-Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America. “Violence begets violence, and the continued escalation of violence will only lead to greater loss of life. We must stand strongly and firmly, and find a solution that will lead to peace in the region. Voting against the McKeon amendment is the first step if we are to find a path towards peace in the Middle East. Tell your congressional member you are against the easy, mindless, rubber stamping of violence, and to vote NO on the McKeon amendment.”
Susan Shaer, executive director of WAND, Women’s Action for New Directions: “WAND, deplores the McKeon amendment. This excuse to arm Syrian rebels will pour more gasoline on a raging fire of terrorism and war. The possibility for political solutions will shrink as war expands and the hope of building a sustainable peace becomes more remote. Meanwhile the United States will become more embroiled in a costly, bloody war. We cannot afford this war. Not again.”