March 9, 2021
Dear President Biden,
We vigorously oppose your February 25 bombing of Syria. Syria is a sovereign nation, as your own Press Secretary noted in 2017. The militia you targeted poses absolutely no threat to the U.S. homeland and is widely reported to be involved in fighting ISIS, making the strikes counterproductive your own stated policy of combating ISIS. Your actions simply escalate existing conflicts in the Middle East. This is not what you promised during your presidential campaign and it is certainly not what the people of the United States want.
The Pentagon has made the claim that the bombing “aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both Eastern Syria and Iraq.” But this was immediately countered by the governments of Syria, China and Russia, who called the attack illegal. A member of Russia’s Federation Council warned that such escalations could lead to “a massive conflict.” President Biden, your administration is playing with fire.
Bombing Syria will not strengthen the U.S. hand in its negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal, as some have claimed. Instead, it will make it more difficult for the U.S. to resume negotiations with Iran as it will give even more power to the Iranian factions who oppose diplomatic relations with the U.S. and reviving the JCPOA.
Given that the militia that was targeted poses absolutely no threat to the United States, bombing Syria also clearly violates the United Nations Charter, which states that "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
Lastly, without an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), you have no congressional authorization to go to attack a sovereign country. You must respect congressional war powers and cease military actions in the Middle East. As Representative Ro Khanna said, “We cannot stand up for congressional authorization before military strikes only when there is a Republican president. The Administration should have sought congressional authorization here. We need to work to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.”
It is urgent that you cease military actions in the Middle East and immediately get the U.S. back into the Iran nuclear deal. We want diplomacy, not more war.
Alliance for Immigrant & Refugee Empowerment
Alliance for Global Justice
Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter, Veterans For Peace
Center for International Policy
Environmentalists Against War
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Historians for Peace and Democracy
Ibero-American Alliance for Peace
U.S. Labor Against Racism and War
Massachusetts Peace Action
New Hampshire Peace Action
New Jersey Peace Action
Pax Christi USA
Peace Action Baltimore
Peace Action Maine
Progressive Democrats of America
Space for Peace
STEM Strikes 4 Peace
Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign
Success Capital Organization
Traprock Center for Peace and Justice
United for Peace and Justice
Vancouver Peace Council
Veterans for Peace
Women Against Nuclear Power
Women Against War
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF)
Women for Weapons Trade Transparency
World Beyond War
Yemeni Alliance Committee