On Aug. 28, 2013, AFSC and 24 other diverse groups sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to reject military action in Syria and instead intensify diplomacy to stop the bloodshed.
Dear President Obama,
We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to express our grave concerns with your reported plans to intervene militarily in Syria. While we unequivocally condemn any use of chemical weapons along with continued indiscriminate killing of civilians and other violations of international humanitarian law, military strikes are not the answer. Rather than bringing an end to the violence that has already cost more than 100,000 lives, they threaten to widen the vicious civil war in Syria and undermine prospects to de-escalate the conflict and eventually reach a negotiated settlement.
In the course of more than 2 years of war, much of Syria has been destroyed and nearly 2 million people—half of them children—have been forced to flee to neighboring countries. We thank you for the generous humanitarian assistance the U.S. has provided to support the nearly 1 in 3 Syrians—8 million people—in need of aid. But such assistance is not enough.
As the U.S. government itself has recognized, there is no solution to the crisis other than a political one. Instead of pursuing military strikes and arming parties to the conflict, we urge your administration to intensify diplomatic efforts to stop the bloodshed, before Syria is destroyed and the region further destabilized.
American Friends Service Committee
Church of the Brethren
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Historians Against the War
Just Foreign Policy
New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies
Peace Education Fund
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Presbyterian Church, USA
Progressive Democrats of America
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Veterans for Peace
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Women’s Action for New Directions
Atlanta Economic Justice Program/AFSC