In 2013, the Obama administration was gearing up to launch an air war on the government of Syria. Antiwar.com and other outlets responded by leading a campaign of Americans contacting Congress to say, “Hell no!”
By: Dan Sanchez
This article first appeared at ANTIMEDIA
The campaign’s overwhelming impact was reported by WND.com: “Americans are slamming at least 24 members of Congress with thousands of phone calls and emails, urging lawmakers not to approve a military strike on Syria — by a margin of as much as 499 to 1.
A national debate is raging on Twitter. Tweets and statements from members of Congress — both Democrat and Republican — show tremendously strong opposition to President Obama’s call for an air strike on Syria:
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., tweeted, ‘Calls and emails from my constituents is 100 to 1 AGAINST getting involved in Syria. The American people are speaking.’
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said 99 percent of the calls his office oppose an attack.
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., said, ‘Constituents who have contacted my office by phone or mail oppose action in Syria 523–4 so far.’
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted, ‘My phones are blowing up, and an overwhelming amount of constituents oppose U.S. military intervention in Syria.’
Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., tweeted, ‘Syria constituent calls 489–2 against.’
Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.V., said of ‘about 1,000 calls to my office, maybe 5 are for.’
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said calls and emails to his offices are 600 to 9 against striking Syria.
Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., tweeted, ‘I received 225 emails via www.griffin.house.gov website over the weekend regarding Syria, and out of the 225 only 3 support U.S. military action against Syria.’
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, said he is getting swamped with phone calls and on-the-street comments from constituents telling him to oppose a strike on Syria.
Rep. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, ‘I’m told the phone calls are 9 out of 10 against a strike in Syria, from my constituents in Kentucky.’
Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas: ‘I have received hundreds of calls and letters from constituents expressing strong opposition.’
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., tweeted, ‘My office has been inundated with constituent phone calls and emails about Syria. Virtually unanimous opposition to military intervention.’
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, tweeted, ‘So far about 500 emails regarding Syria. 499 say NO and 1 say YES go to war” and “Hundreds of calls to our Provo and Washington, D.C., office. So far not a single call in favor of bombing Syria.’
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., tweeted, ‘The phones in my office are ringing off the hook and mail is flowing in. Almost all of the people are opposed to intervention in Syria.’
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tells WND his office is hearing the same overwhelming opposition to intervention.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said, ‘I don’t know a member of Congress whose e-mails and phone calls are in favor of [bombing Syria.]’
Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., said 96 percent of his emails and phone calls are from constituents who want to express their opposition to military action. He said, ‘Overwhelmingly, we are hearing pushback from our citizens against military intervention in Syria.’
Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said he’s heard no support from his constituents for striking Syria: ‘I have not had a single person, not a single person, in over 92 Facebook posts just a little while ago in a question we posed, having a single constituent or a South Carolinian saying let’s go to war in Syria.’
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said ‘a very high percentage’ of the constituents contacting his office have been against U.S. involvement in Syria. He estimated that 90 percent of more than 1,000 calls and emails from Americans have been urging him not to support intervention.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said, ‘I can tell you that in my office, the phones are bopping off the hook there. And almost unanimously people are opposed to what the president is talking about.’
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., told the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing he and his constituents say ‘not just no, but heck no!’ to Syria intervention.
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., has received more than 653 e-mails, phone calls and social-media. Only 11 of the comments favored strikes.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., admitted her constituents’ calls were ‘overwhelmingly negative’ over a possible Syria intervention, but she added, ‘They don’t know what I know.’
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted, ‘I’ve been hearing a lot from members of our armed forces. The message I consistently hear: Please vote no on military action against Syria.’”
And it worked! Congress demurred and Obama backed down. While the administration did start an air war against ISIS in Syria, and while it has continued to pursue regime change in the country by sponsoring the extremist-led insurgency, it has not launched an air war on the Assad regime.
Just as in Libya, such an air war would have overthrown the government. And just as in Libya and Iraq, such an overthrow would have sent the country plummeting even deeper into chaos. Much of the country was already overrun with groups like Syrian al-Qaeda and ISIS. Had the secular Syrian regime been overthrown, black flags would have flown over the rest of the country, too.
Now the administration has responded to Russia’s entry into the Syrian war in support of Assad by announcing the deployment of special forces soldiers into the war to “advise and assist” anti-Assad rebels. Such a move would precipitously increase the chance of an unplanned direct clash between American and Russian forces. Imagine the fallout if some of these American commandos found their way into the blast radius of a Russian bomb. Indeed, “fallout” may not be a merely figurative description of the ultimate consequences. Such an incident could escalate into a nuclear world war.
Such a deployment would also be the foot in the door for future troop increases justified on the basis of “force protection.”
So Antiwar.com is sounding the call to action again. And it is up to us to respond. Tell Washington they must not and cannot send American sons into the Syrian cauldron. And while you’re at it, tell them to stop feeding that cauldron’s flames with money and guns for Islamist insurgents.
This is another pivotal moment. A time to join together and speak out against war. A chance to stop a catastrophic policy before it gets off the ground. We did it before. We can do it again. Call or email your Congressional “representative” as soon as possible and demand: “No U.S. troops in Syria!”
This article (SLAM Congress’ Phone Lines: Support the Troops by Keeping Them OUT of Syria) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dan Sanchez and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Sanchez began contributing to Anti-Media as an independent journalist in August of 2015. His topics of interest include anti-imperialism, economic education, libertarian philosophy, peaceful parenting, and police accountability. He currently resides in Auburn, Alabama. You can find his work on DanSanchez.me