By Dennis Kucinich
The following letter was sent by former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich on the day of publication to about 200,000 recipients.
Eleven years ago I warned America we were about to get into a war based on lies. I led 125 members of Congress to oppose the Iraq War resolution. When I raised questions then, some of our leading Senators, such as John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards voted yes. The media was squarely behind the war. I was attacked for questioning the cause of war. Everything I said in October of 2002 as to why we should not go to war turned out to be 100 percent true. Many of those who were 100 percent wrong have continued in Congress or gone on to greater influence in government. And America? America lost 4,488 sons and daughters, with 32,021 wounded, at a cost which is approaching $6 trillion dollars.
Today we are poised to engage in war against Syria with such a flimsy case being made to attempt to justify an attack, it could only be the product of cynicism and willful misrepresentation in the cause of war and a callous disregard for our true national interest.
FACT: There is no definitive proof that Syria’s Assad knew of and directed the chemical weapons attack on August 21st.
FACT: Intelligence which overheard Syrian military officials discussing the attack–far from implicating them–finds them denying they initiated an attack.
FACT: There are at least two instances where the opposition is said to have used chemical weapons. One incident, which occurred in March, was referred to the Security Council by Russia. Another, which occurred in April, was cited by special U.N. investigator Carla Del Ponte.
FACT: Some rockets identified near attack sites were described as “homemade.”
FACT: A coordinated effort was made by U.S. officials to discourage a full U.N. investigation.
FACT: The biggest beneficiary of the attack on the Syrian government is al-Qaida, which leads the opposition.
FACT: Syria is not an imminent threat to the United States.
FACT: Absent an imminent or actual threat to the United States, only Congress has the authority, under the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, to declare war.
Whatever we believe about Syria, as Americans, let us all believe in our Constitution, in the rule of law, and in the bedrock of principles which inform our rights and responsibilities as a nation. We have a right to defend ourselves, but no right to wage aggressive war. Our obligation as citizens is not to be a member of the Democratic, Republican or an independent party, but to be a party to the truth.
I am concerned that once again, in the name of humanity, an inhumane act of war is about to be committed against the people of a distant land, compounding their tragedy; in the name of security, an attack will be launched which will make us all less secure; and in the name of the United States, in our name, the destructive power of war will be unleashed based on the hubris of exceptionalism which, left untamed, will destroy our own nation.
I will discuss what must be done in our next communication.
Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich.