Posted 10 months ago on Sept. 7, 2013, 12:27 p.m. EST by superomenna
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AIPAC will be lobbying in favor of Congress authorizing the President to use military force in Syria. We need your help to persuade members of the Senate and House to join Speaker Boehner, House Majority Leader Cantor, House Democratic Leader Pelosi, House Democratic Whip Hoyer, and many others in both chambers, in support of this bipartisan resolution.
AIPAC has been closely monitoring the war in Syria for the past two years. We have been deeply concerned about the impact the war has had on American national security interests, the danger it has posed to Israel and regional stability, and the growing influence of Iran. Moreover, we have been appalled by the inhumane actions of the Assad regime.
The chemical weapons attack by Assad’s forces on August 21 escalated the dangers posed by this conflict to new heights. Secretary Kerry on August 30 announced that Syrian forces poisoned more than 1,400 individuals, including at least 400 children. The use of these weapons poses an extremely serious risk of further mass atrocities.
Like all Americans, our preference is that the U.S. would never have to commit military power to a conflict. However, President Obama and Congressional leadership have decided that military action in Syria is in America’s national security interests.
We believe that Congress’ failure to grant the President this authority would be interpreted as a sign of American weakness, and cast doubt about whether America will act to carry out its commitments in the Middle East – including the President’s and Congress’ pledge to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
For decades, AIPAC has worked to prevent the spread of these dangerous weapons. Most of these efforts have been focused on pressuring Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program, but we have also consistently warned about the dangers to the United States, Israel and our other allies of the potential employment of all forms of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by hostile countries, including Syria and its proxies. We were instrumental in supporting the Syrian Accountability Act and the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Act – both of which targeted Syria’s WMD programs.
AIPAC continues to believe the world must make every effort to prevent and deter the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction that can threaten us, our values and the safety of our ally Israel.
Therefore, we strongly believe that Congress should grant the President the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests, dissuade Damascus’ further use of these weapons and send a message to Iran about our commitment to preventing the proliferation of WMDs.
The debate over this decision is one that is worthy of our great democracy, and we understand the reluctance of some members of Congress to take a step that they fear could embroil America in another war. But as the president said on Saturday, “We cannot raise our children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, [and] the values that define us.” Not passing this resolution would be a security risk to America and our allies that we cannot afford to take.
The stakes here are high. We believe that the world should not tolerate the use of unconventional weapons. We must do everything in our power to prevent any state—be it Assad’s Syria or Khamenei’s Iran—from employing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
Join me and the AIPAC Board of Directors, and urge your members of Congress to vote in favor of the bipartisan use of force resolution.
Michael Kassen AIPAC President