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Green Party LogoGreen Party urges no U.S. interference in Syria, calls on Obama to press Israel to end air strikes

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, May 9, 2013

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on foreign policy: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-foreign-policy.php


WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders today called on President Obama and Congress to cancel proposed military aid to Syrian rebels and press Israel to cease its attacks on Syria immediately, or risk an escalated conflict in the Middle East.

Greens urged the Obama Administration to pursue diplomacy and promote a political settlement instead of a deepening and bloody civil and proxy war.

On May 5, Leah Bolger, Secretary of Defense, and David Swanson, Secretary of Peace, of the Foreign Affairs Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet published a statement opposing U.S. involvement in Syria and a condemnation of Israel's air strikes ("Stay out of Syria," http://greenshadowcabinet.us/statements/bolger-swanson-stay-out-syria).

Greens noted that the claims about President Assad's government using sarin gas against Syrian rebels are still unverified and inconclusive; allegations have surfaced that some of the rebels may have used the banned chemical.

"Cheerleaders for U.S. military involvement and a U.S. enforced no-fly zone in Syria, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain, show that they learned nothing from the 2003 Iraq invasion about the danger of decisions based on flimsy and fabricated evidence," said Darryl! LC Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

"U.S. warhawks see the Syrian rebellion as an opportunity for regime change -- which violates international laws that prohibit one nation's government from deposing another nation's government when the latter nation has not attacked the former. The resolution to the crisis in Syria must be resolved by Syrians without outside interference," said Mr. Moch.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's airstrikes on Damascus and Syrian weapons facilities, which were launched with Washington's acquiescence and possible behind-the-scenes approval, have drawn a sharp rebuke from Russian President Putin, who has threatened to increase military assistance to the Assad government. Greens called this development evidence that Israel's illegal "preemptive" attacks (meant to stop advanced missiles being shipped to Hezbollah) could ignite a larger war, as Russia, Iran, and the U.S. get pulled deeper into the conflict.

Greens said that Mr. Kerry's visit to Moscow should be an opportunity to assure President Putin that the U.S. will not arm Syrian rebels and will demand that Israel halt its air strikes, and to urge him reciprocally to call off Russian military aid for the Assad regime. The U.S. should also put pressure on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop arming their favored sectarian rebel factions in Syria. Greens recognize that this is unlikely but hoped for a nonviolent, negotiated resolution.

Green Party leaders also expressed support for the popular, nonsectarian movement that, inspired by the pan-Arab uprisings of 2011, initiated the Syrian uprising. Activists in the movement for Syrian democracy have suffered suppression, imprisonment, and assassination by both the brutal Assad regime and fundamentalist rebel militias.

"One of the dangers of preemption as a justification for military attack is that it can be used by all sides in a conflict. Israel, with tacit U.S. support, is in effect daring President Assad to retaliate and daring other nations to come to Assad's side. The strikes on Damascus are thus both a test run for a strike on Iran and an attempt to provoke Iran, which has supported President Assad, into escalating military engagement in Syria," said Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party's International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).

"Unless we see a reversal of policy, it's clear that President Obama has adopted the aggressive doctrine and illegal agenda of the Bush Administration's neocon ideologues, as well as carte-blanche approval for every criminal action by Israel regardless of consequences, under the influence of AIPAC," said Ms. Hakeem.

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