As President Obama departed Russia on Friday with a mixed showing of international support at the G20 and with Congress scrambling to find consensus on its ultimate decision on whether or not to authorize a U.S. military attack on Syria, rapidly moving events over the past two weeks have culminated in a situation in which those advocating for military action have now firmly squared off against those arguing that only diplomatic solutions can prevent further suffering and bloodshed in the war-torn country.
The key question remains: Which side will win out?
Though the overall situation is fluid, an outline of the key issues and dynamics has begun to emerge with statements by President Obama, developments in Congress, and the chorus of voices both for and against new military engagement in the Middle East.
A sketch of the unfolding situation shows that a showdown between the White House and Congress will largely depend on whether or not elected lawmakers in Washington will choose to follow overwhelming American public opinion against military intervention or succumb to the full-court press for military strikes coming from the Obama administration.
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What follows is a rundown of the latest developments and some key dynamics to be aware of in the important days and weeks ahead as this fight plays out.
Anti-war groups and coalitions continued their efforts to lobby members of Congress to oppose Obama’s request for military authorization.
Groups urging their members to sign petitions, call their representatives or take direct action against the war include:
- Win Without War
- Credo Action
- United for Peace and Justice
- Progressive Democrats for America
- War Times
- Iraq Veterans Against the War
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
- Just Foreign Policy
- Grassroots Global Justice
- Arab Resource and Organizing Center
- Veterans for Peace
- US Labor Against the War
- Middle East Children’s Alliance
Anti-war coalitions have also announced next Monday, September 9 as a national day of action against military intervention in Syria with United for Peace and Justice hosting this directory of local actions taking place nationwide.
In addition, for any “progressives” still on the fence about U.S. intervention, Peter Certo, editor at Foreign Policy in Focus, thinks those unsure—whether inside or outside of Congress—should read this, his primer against a military attack which also includes alternatives approaches the Obama administration, Congress, and in the international community would be wise to pursue.
- At G20, Push For War Isolates Obama From World Leaders
- As Obama Plans for Expanded War, Options for Peace Ignored
- Kerry’s Claims on Syrian Opposition Don’t Hold Up: Experts
- Dennis Kucinich: Top 10 Unproven Claims for War Against Syria
- Peter Certo: On the Fence About Syria? Read This!
- Senators Voting for Strikes on Syria Got More Defense Money
- Obama Cites Intl Law to Justify War, Disregards When It Serves Peace
- Sarah van Gelder: Syria: Six Alternatives to Military Strikes
- Are Democrat Lawmakers Immune to Public’s Growing Anti-War Outcry?
- Americans Don’t Want War as Obama, Congress Push for War
- Robert C. Koehler: Stopping a War Before It Starts
- Phyllis Bennis: Striking Syria: Illegal, Immoral, and Dangerous
- Kerry Admits Possibility of ‘Boots on the Ground’ in Syria
- ‘We Have a Broader Strategy’: New White House Syria Plan to Go Beyond ‘Punitive Strike’
- Joseph Camilleri: US Risks Making Syria Another Iraq
- John Nichols: Attack Syria? ‘Nobody Wants This Except the Military-Industrial Complex’
- Adil E. Shamoo: Forget Red Lines: Obama Should Eat His Words on Syria
- Medea Benjamin: John Kerry Sells a War That Americans Aren’t Buying