Delawareans protest proposed U.S. military action in Syria

 (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

(Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

As one Delaware Senator voices his support of U.S. military action in Syria, residents in the First State are urging others to vote against a resolution passing through Capitol Hill this week.

Pacem in Terris, an anti-war group that promotes peace, hosted a vigil protest outside U.S. Representative John Carney’s (D-Delaware) Wilmington office this afternoon, urging the state’s only member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against a resolution that would give the U.S. military authorization to intervene in Syria.

“We’re opposed to using violence to resolve a conflict or to use violence to stop violence. It’s kind of senseless to try and murder somebody to try and stop them from being violent,” explained Medard Gabel, executive director of Pacem in Terris. “That’s not the way that the world ought to be run.”

The Progressive Democrats for Delaware echoed that sentiment in a similar statement.

“No matter how good or justified our intentions may be, and no matter how limited and narrowly tailored our intervention is supposed to be, we believe any military action by the United States will only destabilize the entire region and damage the national security of the United States and our allies in the region, namely Turkey and Israel.”  

The threat of U.S. military action comes after years of a violent civil war between the Syrian government and rebels in the embattled country.

Last month, a chemical attack allegedly carried out by Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime killed more than 1,500 Syrians, including many children.

The use of chemical weapons is a “clear violation of a long-standing global ‘red line,” according to U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

During committee meetings last week, Coons voted in favor of the resolution which would permit military intervention for up to 90 days with no American soldiers involved in on the ground combat.

“Having been briefed a number of times by senior Administration officials representing the State Department, Pentagon, White House, and intelligence community, and having personally reviewed classified and unclassified intelligence, I am convinced that the Assad regime is responsible for the August 21st chemical weapons attack that killed nearly 1,500 Syrians,” said Coons in a statement. “The evidence is solid and the intelligence is clear that the Assad regime perpetrated this heinous war crime. It was not the first time Assad has used chemical weapons, nor, without our action, do I think it will it be the last.”

Despite the evidence Coons cites that blames the attack on Assad, the majority of Americans do not support U.S. action according to national polls such as Gallup.

“Our country unfortunately does not have a stellar track record when it comes to responding with any moral authority to the indiscriminate bombings by weapons of mass destruction, whether atomic bombs during WWII or other atrocities that unfortunately we’ve unleashed on the world,” added Gabel.

Carney said in a statement last week that he is continuing to collect input from his colleagues and constituents.

“My ultimate decision will reflect a desire to balance America’s role as a global leader with protecting our national interests and the security of the American people.” 

Albania, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Qatar, Romania and the United Arab Emirates have jointed the United States in calling for an international response against the use of chemical weapons.

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