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Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) just sent out the following email:

I've written to you quite a few times about Syria over the past few months, and with President Obama's decision to bring American intervention to a vote in Congress, I wanted to update you once more.

First and foremost, the decision to come to Congress is the right one.

It allows more time for deliberation and to answer the questions: is military action going to make the situation better for the Syrian people, and how can we make sure our involvement doesn't escalate and make things worse?

The question isn't whether or not chemical weapons use is unacceptable - of course it is - it's whether or not we can make the situation in Syria better. And that is going to be my guiding principle during this conversation.

I enter this debate extremely skeptical that military intervention can improve the situation in Syria, a position I've held since the beginning of this conversation, and believe that any action we take should start with increased humanitarian aid both inside and outside the country. As I've written before, we should start by improving conditions in refugee camps and help other nations bear the burden of displaced persons.

But I'll allow the administration to present its evidence and make its case. And I'll let you know which way I intend to vote as soon as I make a final decision.

All the best,

Chris Murphy

Although many Senators and Representatives have been beating the drums for war, very few have been emphasizing the need for humanitarian assistance, especially for the more than two million refugees (half of which are children). Money spent on tomahawk missiles could be, instead, spent on providing the necessary relief for refugees and assistance to the countries taking them in.

Angelina Jolie, who is a UN special envoy on refugees, remarked,

“There should be no disagreement over the need to alleviate human suffering, and no doubt of the world's responsibility to do more,” she said. “We have to support the millions of innocent people ripped from their homes, and increase the ability of neighboring countries to cope with the influx."
If only our elected officials listened.

I'd recommend donating to one of the organizations providing humanitarian aid:

UNHCR: http://donate.unhcr.org/...

Syrian Arab Red Crescent: http://www.redcross.org.uk/...

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders): http://www.msf.org/...

Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  American creditibility on the line as McCain says (2+ / 0-)
    Is that a reason to go to war?
    As Pelosi and Debbie W/S who are both so saddened by the bodies of the Syrian children (as we all are)
    Is that a reason to go to war?
    They both will be forced to deal with the same sadness with the bodies of the children that US missiles will kill.

    The President has drawn a red line.

    Is that a reason to go to war?
    Is it to destroy all chemical weapons in Syria?

    We have no assurance that bombing Syria will rid that country of chemical weapons.

    Engel spoke today of the need to remove Assad.

    If that the true intent of going to war?
    And if that cannot be done in a limited bombing "action" -
    where will the troops come from, with our weary over-stretched military?

    Many have been doing mutiple reployments to Afghanistan.

    I think the American people deserve more information than we are thus far being given as to the true goals, and how we are going to accomplish them.

    The entry is easy, the getting bogged down comes too easily, the exit is always the problem, as we know too well, as we struggle to end our longest war.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:24:02 AM PDT

  •  Good on Chris Murphy. (1+ / 0-)

    For once, CT elected a Senator we can be proud of.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:24:37 PM PDT

  •  One of the problems requiring consideration in (0+ / 0-)

    some depth here is what here is simply referred to as humanitarian aid, as if that status cleared all problems.

    We already have one sixty year old humanitarian aid issue in the general area of Syria, and creating and maintaining another which is of similar size, two million refugees to date or more, and a lot of those in the same places where the first batch of refugees are, creates its own problems, in addition to the cost of tents, hospitals and food.
    Some of those prior refugees are in Syria as it is. Lebanon, which already had its own problems balancing a group of mutually exclusive religious and ethnic groups, is another. Jordan is a third. And in none of these is there any third country who will agree to permanently resettle any of either batch.

    What happens to the rights of country X to its own life and culture  and resources, starting with water, when the number of refugees entering it and not sharing that history and culture exceeds the actual resident population? Jordan has that problem now, with Palestinian refugees. At what point do they become involuntarily acquired permanent local residents, able to outvote the original local residents who didn't want to have to take them in in the first place?

    Do we believe there is any nation that has the right to force out permanently populations of their own people across  their borders which they don't want to keep, and make them permanently the problem of someone else?  Gypsies in eastern Europe, and the group of Muslim in Myanmar who are being attacked by Buddhists  and non Kurds moved in Iraq  by that new government to the Kurdish areas to dilute Kurdish power, occur to me.

    And what happens when the country the refugees came from won't take them back, or they are afraid to go back there. One of the problems is that many a group would love to have refugee status institutionalized for the people they drive out, since that means they are not at home anymore to constitute opposition and they can't go home again.

    And who gets to pay for those refugee camps and doctors and supplies on an indefinite basis? Sequester won't let us do that, even if our own Know Nothing's would accept two million Muslim refugees here, as if their refugeehood as a status would overcome their Islamic status given what our know nothings think of Muslims generally,  and you can bet any who flee because of this military sally under discussion are going to be raised with us by the 'host' countries. There is a limit to the number the UN can pay for, when it is acquiring additional refugees in two million person lots. And everyone here knows what to House Rs the status of giving money to the UN is.

    And is it really a humanitarian act to sentence generations of any group to a more or less permanent impermanent status living in refugee camps, with no way out?

    This humanitarian notion needs a serious think through before we libs leap on it as a way out of other problems without thinking, because it sounds decent.

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