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Candlelight Vigil: War is Not the Answer
December 10, 2015 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Thurs, Dec 10, 5:30 pm, Boston Common – Human Rights Day
War is not the answer. We should:
- Welcome and fund refugees forced to flee their countries to avoid war and death inflicted by others.
- Isolate ISIS by beginning to demilitarize the region. Immediately end all arms shipments to the Middle East. Weapons shipped to U.S. allies and “opposition forces” have fueled the Syrian War and often fall into ISIS’ hands. Suspend US bombing and military actions and withdraw US/NATO troops now.
- End material and financial support to ISIS and Al Qaeda and their clones. End the U.S. -Saudi Alliance, that has been so critical to the emergence and funding of these forces.
- Support self-determination for Syria. Only Syrians can decide the fate of their country.
- Negotiate an agreement in which Russia, the U.S., Iran and European countries stop fighting to achieve their own strategic goals under the guise of “fighting ISIS” and instead together put their full weight behind diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed in Syria and Iraq.
Candlelight Vigil Thu, Dec. 10, 5:30 pm – Boston Common – Human Rights Day
Middle East Working Group meeting – Thu, Dec. 17, 7pm – Mass. Peace Action office, First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St, basement
United for Justice with Peace • justicewithpeace.org • 617-383-4857
The massive attacks in Paris on November 13 and the campaign to prevent desperate refugees from seeking sanctuary on our shores have shocked people around the world.
So have the ISIS bombing in Beirut two days before; the bombing of a Russian jetliner killing hundreds; the Saudi bombing of a wedding party in Yemen killing over 150 people; the recent U.S. bombing of a Doctors without Borders hospital in Afghanistan killing scores of patients and doctors; the drumbeat for us expanding our present war in Syria and Iraq, and the calls to close our borders to the desperate refugees fleeing the Middle East cauldron,
With echoes of sending Jews back to their deaths in the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese-American citizens, in a gift to ISIS, Congress is raising still higher barriers against Syrian refugees.
We are forced not just to mourn those murdered and unable to reach sanctuary, but to reflect on the root causes of all this bloodshed. Before our government escalates yet another futile war and sacrifices the innocent we should consider the bigger the causes of this expanding crisis.
- The most immediate cause of the rise of ISIS was the 2003 – 2011 war against Iraq. Not only were over 4,500 U.S. soldiers killed and many thousands more physically or psychologically incapacitated for life; not only were hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and Iraq destroyed as a country. But that war destroyed Iraq, opening the gates of hell. ISIS emerged through those open gates.
- The Soviet war in Afghanistan and the U.S. and Saudi creation of the Mujahedeen in the 1980’s opened the door to extremist forces.
- Jihadist extremism has been nourished for decades by Washington’s assaults on secular Arab nationalism and by our close ally Saudi Arabia, often with the full support of the United States. It is no accident that most of those who attacked the U.S. on 9/11/01 were Saudis, or that Saudis are the lead funders of Jihadist extremists.
- France, England, other European countries, Iran and especially the brutal Assad regime in Syria have all played roles in promoting war, instability, sectarian violence and death across the Middle East.