Dear Member of Congress from Queens,
The Defense Authorization Bill is up for renewal in a few days. It will have provision for the funding of the new war in Iraq and the ongoing war in Syria. The Administration continues to push for U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria.
We residents of Queens believe that bombing will not solve the short or long-term crises in these countries or help the victims of the Islamic State. The U.S. should stop bombing in Iraq.
A decade of U.S. occupation did not lead to peace in Iraq. The U.S. war in Iraq helped create the conditions that led to the current crisis. The government installed with the 2003 U.S. invasion disenfranchised the Sunni minority, many of whom now tacitly support the Islamic State. Bombing will cause more bloodshed and instability and enable violent, anti-government groups to recruit more supporters.
Instead we could pursue alternative strategies for long-term peace. We should support an inclusive government in Iraq. We should increase humanitarian assistance. We should work regionally to impose an arms embargo against all armed actors in Iraq and Syria. We should engage with the U.N. to reinvigorate efforts for a lasting political solution in Iraq and Syria
We appeal to you to reject any new war authorization. The US Constitution gives Congress responsibility to review any use of military force. Expanding the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force would be a mistake. This perpetual, broad authorization bypasses regular order, and leaves decisions of war solely in the Executive Branch.
Let there be no more endless war in Iraq.
The Queens Peace Council
December 10, 2014