Anti-war protests mount in U.S. as Obama prepares for war
Saeed Shabazz | 9/5/2013, 11:53 a.m. | Updated on 9/5/2013, 11:53 a.m.
Lawrence Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based Peoples Organization for Progress (POP), told the AmNews that he was “extremely disappointed in President Barack Obama for suggesting yet another war. Public opinion polls show a majority of Americans don’t support an attack against Syria,” Hamm argues.
“The trillions spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could [have] put the 29 million Americans [who are] out of work back to work; and the president wants to fire off cruise missiles [each missile costs $1.41 million]. How many hospitals can we keep open with that money?” Hamm asks. “It is the war budget that is causing the economic crisis in our communities.”
POP took to the streets of Newark on Aug. 30. Meanwhile, the Manhattan-based anti-war organization the International Action Center (IAC) descended on Times Square on Aug. 29 chanting: “Money for Jobs, Not War.”
“[It’s a] war based on nothing—more lies—remember WMDs in Iraq? And Libya [was] bombed because Gaddafi was a tyrant and Yugoslavia [was bombed] to stop ethnic cleansing!” stated Sara Flounders, co-founder of the IAC.
On Aug. 21, reports surfaced that some 3,000 Syrians were allegedly bombarded with a chemical weapon, and 355 people died, according to Doctors Without Borders. The corporate media immediately displayed headlines that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his people.
On Sept. 1, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry publicly stated that the administration had in its possession hair and blood samples from the Syrian city of Ghouta showing that the chemical sarin was used. He said the tests were conducted by independent U.S. labs. Meanwhile, Obama has proclaimed that he was comfortable proceeding without the final report from the United Nations Chemical Weapons Investigation Team. The U.N. said on Sept. 1 during a press briefing in New York City that the team has no timeline to finish its testing.
“The Chemical Investigation Team will proceed within the constraints of scientific standards, which must be adhered to,” stated U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman.
So the big issue facing Ki-moon as of Sept. 3 was who decided that the investigators would only seek facts concerning if gas was used and not who used it.
This has angered the Syrian delegation, who immediately said, “We sent a letter to Ban back in March asking him to find out who used chemical weapons.” As the AmNews goes to press, that is the talk at the U.N. concerning Syria, along with whether Obama was going to share his evidence with the 15-member Security Council.
The Black Left Unity Network, in an email to the AmNews, argues that Obama will be twisting the arms of the Congressional Black Caucus to garner their support for a yes vote.
“There’s no evidence that what’s happening in Syria is a threat to our national security,” stated Harlem Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel during a weekend appearance on MSNBC. Even though he felt international laws had been broken, Rangel said that if a vote were taken today, he would vote against authorizing military action. Moreover, Rangel, the dean of the New York State Congressional Delegation, again called for Congress to pass a national draft act before deciding on Syria.
“We must do whatever we can to resist allowing this man [Obama] to take our people further to the right,” wrote Saladin Muhammad for the Black Left Unity Network. “We must engage our people around the issues of, one, our historic positions on the issues of U.S. War; two, the costs of imperialism; three, the connection between white supremacist policing and war-making function of the U.S. repressive apparatus globally and its function domestically in the form of the ongoing ‘war on Black people.’”
There are protests planned for Sept. 7 in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Kansas City, Mo. On Sept. 8, there will be a protest in New Haven, Conn. Protests on Sept. 9 will take place in Washington, D.C., Flagstaff, Ariz., and Jacksonville and Gainesville, Fla.