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Below is a letter to Congress asking for them to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force which led to the "war on terror" and the war on Iraq, and to refrain from authorizing further force against Syria or Iraq under the guise of a "war against ISIS."

You can cut this letter on the dotted line and mail it in, or use your own words to say the same thing. (You may want to print a pdf version of the letter).

BACKGROUND: On February 11, President Obama forwarded a proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force to Congress, despite claiming he already has legal authority to carry out the bombings (and military "training") in Iraq and Syria. In May 2014, Rep. Adam Schiff introduced an amendment which would have repealed the 2001 AUMF but failed 191-233. Representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici and Defazio voted for it, while Representatives Schrader and Walden voted against it. A vote on September 17, 2014 to arm "moderate" Syrian rebels was opposed in Oregon only by DeFazio.

In 2013, Americans pressured Congress against voting for a war against Syria. A vote was never taken, but it was clear a majority would have rejected the plan. The current attack on the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) are nothing more than a back-door plan for war on Syria to remove Bashar Al-Assad from power. The vote to arm the "moderate rebels" in Syria is evidence that the US is not interested in helping Syria end the violence perpetrated by ISIS, only in changing the political landscape to one more favorable to American interests.

While rhetoric has been amped up after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the killing of a Jordanian pilot by ISIS, and the death of an American aid worker in Syria, the past 13-plus years has shown that war is not the answer.

ACTION: Please tell your congress person "No more war! End the Authorizations for Use of Military Force." Congress could vote on a new AUMF at any time.

CONTACT INFORMATION for Portland's Senators and Representatives:

* Senator Ron Wyden 221 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (503) 326- 7525
* Senator Jeff Merkley 313 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (503) 326-3386
* Representative Suzanne Bonamici (District 1) 439 Cannon HOB Washington DC 20515 (503) 469-6010
* Representative Earl Blumenauer (District 3) 1111 Longworth HOB Washington DC 20515 (503) 231-2300

              Alert originally created by Peace and Justice Works, September 23, 2014, updated February 12, 2015
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------

Date: ___________, 2015


I am writing to urge you to put an end to over 13 years of perpetual war we've been engaged in since September 2001. Please repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from September, 2001 and the AUMF about Iraq from October, 2002, and resist efforts to pass any new AUMF regarding the Islamic State, Iraq or Syria, especially one that enables warfare in a country which has not attacked the US or which does not say how a conflict will end.

By May 2014, the 2001 AUMF had, been "used by Presidents Bush and Obama at least 30 times to justify their activities, from overseas wars, to detentions without due process, to warrantless wiretapping at home [including] military operations in at least ten countries."*

The Iraq AUMF and UN Resolutions it refers to address Saddam Hussein's government, Kuwait, and non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. That AUMF is no longer valid and must be repealed.

President Obama asked for these AUMFs to be repealed, and a vote in May 2014 to sunset the 2001 Authorization at the end of the year failed by just 42 votes.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have generally been considered failures, leaving both countries in shambles and leading to more violent attacks on civilians. Warfare is not the answer. US drone strikes only lead to the recruitment of more anti-US militants.

Ending the flow of arms, stepping up diplomatic efforts, and bringing perpetrators to justice in a courtroom sets a tone showing ours is a country of laws, not assassinations and warfare. It's not a choice between dropping bombs and "doing nothing."

Therefore, any efforts to create a new AUMF authorizing the President's ongoing airstrikes in Iraq (which went past the 60 days provided in the War Powers Resolution on October 7**) should not be approved, especially one that approves of the airstrikes in Syria, allows use of ground troops, and has no geographical boundaries. Congress must not give up its Constitutional authority to declare war.

Thank you,

____________________________________ (signature)

____________________________________ (printed name)

______________________ (address)

______________________ (city, state, zip)

*"The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force: Background in Brief," Congressional Research Service. via Friends Committee on National Legislation
**Ironically, October 7 also marked 13 years since the US invasion of Afghanistan

  Resources for Action Alert:  

AUMF action letter-pdf  

Peace and Justice Works
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065

Page posted October 3, 2014, updated February 12, 2015


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