Methodist Church: Oppose US Military Action in Syria

General Board of Church & Society


Peace with Justice
Oppose U.S. military action against Syria
Urge Congress to support vigorous peace negotiations
We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ.
We therefore reject war as an instrument of national foreign policy. — 
United Methodist Social Principle on War & Peace

The U.S. Congress is expected to vote early next week on authorization of military force against Syria, whose use of chemical weapons against its own citizens is abhorrent. A U.S. military strike on Syria, however, is a false choice between bombing and impunity. Only a political solution to the conflict in Syria will end the suffering of its people.

As Christians we are called to be disciples of peace.

Contact Congress now!
September 4, 2013

Tell your members of Congress you oppose attacking Syria

The U.S. needs to support vigorous peace negotiations

As Christians we are called to be disciples of peace. Contact your Senators and Representative today to oppose U.S. military action against Syria. Tell them to:

  1. Vote against an authorization of military force against Syria. U.S. military action would mean the U.S. government is taking sides in a civil war, would cause further destruction, and would push the Syrian people further into relentless civil war.
  2. Support an alternative response to the conflict through vigorous peace negotiations among the Syrian government, rebel groups and civil society; provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria fleeing the conflict; and work through the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to bring those responsible for use of chemical weapons to justice.

Contact your members of Congress now.

On July 13, 2013, Christian leaders sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to pursue military force against Syria. The letter stated:

“Military involvement will only further escalate an already brutal war and will, in fact, undermine the prospect of negotiations to ensure a just and sustainable future for all Syrians. Rather, the U.S. should call for all parties to cease all military activities in Syria and work urgently to de-escalate the crisis, together with other actors in the region and beyond.”

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Ecumenical Officer of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, was among 24 Christian faith leaders who signed the letter. Read a copy of the letter.

Please share this action alert with other United Methodists.

If you have any questions, contact Mark Harrison, Director of the Peace with Justice Program at the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, or (202) 488-5645.

Rep. Rothfus: Military Action not Appropriate

Rothfus: U.S. shouldn’t rush into Syrian fight

Keith Rothfus

Keith Rothfus

Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013 7:05 pm | Updated: 8:08 pm, Sat Aug 31, 2013.

By BRUCE SIWY Daily American Sunday Editor | 1 comment

Posted on August 31, 2013

Keith Rothfus said he believes the response to war crimes in Syria shouldn’t necessarily include cruise missiles.

The U.S. congressman, R-Sewickley, was in Somerset on Friday, where he discussed conflict in the Middle East and a variety of other topics.

Like millions of others in America and across the world, Rothfus said he’s simply waiting for more information and details from President Barack Obama.

“U.S. military action I don’t think is appropriate at this time,” the first-term representative said. “You need to ask, What is the objective of military action, and you need to ask, What is the likely outcome of military action?

“We’re waiting to hear what further thoughts (Obama is) giving to the situation over there.”

Syria is in the midst of a civil war that has endured for more than 30 months and, according to United Nations estimates, has claimed the lives of more than 100,000. Obama and U.S. Defense Secretary John Kerry said Friday that they have evidence that the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad is responsible for using chemical weapons on civilians in spite of international warnings.

Continue reading Rep. Rothfus: Military Action not Appropriate

‘Evidence’ of Syrian Gas Attack Fraudulent

How Intelligence Was Twisted to Support an Attack on Syria

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 09:05 By Gareth Porter, Truthout |

In a White House handout photo, President Barack Obama meets with his national security staff to discuss the situation in Syria, in the Situation Room of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 31, 2013. (Photo: Pete Souza / The White House via The New York Times)In a White House handout photo, President Barack Obama meets with his national security staff to discuss the situation in Syria, in the Situation Room of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 31, 2013. (Photo: Pete Souza / The White House via The New York Times)

Secretary of State John Kerry assured the public that the Obama administration’s summary of the intelligence on which it is basing the case for military action to punish the Assad regime for an alleged use of chemical weapons was put together with an acute awareness of the fiasco of the 2002 Iraq WMD intelligence estimate.

Nevertheless, the unclassified summary of the intelligence assessment made public August 30, 2013, utilizes misleading language evocative of the infamous Iraq estimate’s deceptive phrasing. The summary cites signals, geospatial and human source intelligence that purportedly show that the Syrian government prepared, carried out and “confirmed” a chemical weapons attack on August 21. And it claims visual evidence “consistent with” a nerve gas attack.

But a careful examination of those claims reveals a series of convolutedly worded characterizations of the intelligence that don’t really mean what they appear to say at first glance.

The document displays multiple indications that the integrity of the assessment process was seriously compromised by using language that distorted the intelligence in ways that would justify an attack on Syria.

Spinning the Secret Intelligence

That pattern was particularly clear in the case of the intelligence gathered by covert means. The summary claims, “We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence.”

That seems to indicate that U.S. intelligence intercepted such communiations. But former British Ambassador Craig Murray has pointed out on his blog August 31 that the Mount Troodos listening post in Cyprus is used by British and U.S. intelligence to monitor “all radio, satellite and microwave traffic across the Middle East … ” and that “almost all landline telephone communications in this region is routed through microwave links at some stage [and] picked up on Troodos.”

All intelligence picked by the Troodos listening post is shared between the U.S. and British intelligence, Murray wrote, but no commmunictions such as the ones described in the U.S. intelligence summary were shared with the British Joint Intelligence Organisation.  Murray said a personal contact in U.S. intelligence had told him the reason was that the purported intercept came from the Israelis. The Israeli origin of the intelligence was reported in the U.S. press as well, because an Israeli source apparently leaked it to a German magazine.

The clumsy attempt to pass off intelligence claimed dubiously by the Israelis as a U.S. intercept raises a major question about the integrity of the entire document. The Israelis have an interest in promoting a U.S. attack on Syria, and the authenticity of the alleged intercept cannot be assumed. Murray believes that it is fraudulent.

Continue reading ‘Evidence’ of Syrian Gas Attack Fraudulent