Where: House Triangle Area (grass between Rayburn House Building and Capitol building)
When: Wednesday, September 17 at 11:30am
Washington, DC -- Representatives from several organizations will gather at 11:30 am on Wednesday, September 17 at the House Triangle to respond to the President's plan to bomb Iraq and Syria. Speakers include Andrea Miller of Progressive Democrats of America, Stephen Miles of the coalition Win Without War, Ret. Colonel Ann Wright of Veterans for Peace, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, and Alli McCracken of the youth group No Future in War.
In the past six weeks, President Obama has dragged the US into deeper into war by launching more than 150 airstrikes in Iraq and threatening to bomb ISIL in Syria. Congress will vote on Wednesday to send weapons to Syrian rebels, which will stoke the internal conflict in Syria even more. Press conference speakers are staunchly opposed to renewed US military intervention in the region. They maintain that ISIS gained strength because the American-backed sectarian Iraqi government alienated the Sunni population of Iraq. Further US involvement would be counterproductive, as it would act as a recruiting tool for ISIL.
"We can be a part of the solution this time, not the problem, but that won't happen with bombs. We've been there, done that, and it didn't work," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. "This is a problem that requires a political solution."
"The US is not the target of ISIS, but if we become more involved, we could be," said Ret. Colonel Ann Wright of Veterans for Peace. "We are deeply worried for the safety of the people in Iraq and Syria, but this is a crisis that needs a political solution, not a military one. Until social, economic and religious issues are addressed by governments in the region, not only in Iraq and Syria, but also in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen and Qatar, conflict will continue.
Andrea Miller, Progressive Democrats of America
Andrea is the co-chair of Progressive Democrats of America. Andrea co-hosts, organizes and programs PDA's Blog Talk Radio show. She is also the lead designer and production team leader for PDA's websites and co-directs PDA's Capitol Hill letter drops and Hill meetings.
Stephen Miles, Win Without War
Stephen Miles is the advocacy director for Win Without War, a diverse coalition of 40 member organizations formed in opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the underlying national security strategy that created them. Stephen is a veteran of campaign politics with a strong background in grassroots advocacy.
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights group Global Exchange. She is the author of Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control.
Ret. Colonel Ann Wright, Veterans for Peace
Ann Wright is a former United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War and President Obama's drone program.
Alli McCracken, No Future in War
Alli McCracken is the National Coordinator of a new youth group No Future in War and one of the authors of There is No Future in War: You Rise Up, a Manifesto
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