Activists Oppose Authorization for Military Force (AUMF), Say Rise of ISIS Rooted in Crimes of Iraq War

In Anti-War, Drones, Exclusive on March 19, 2015 at 7:32 pm



SYRACUSE, NY – To mark the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, peace activists in Syracuse joined a rally hosted by the Syracuse Peace Council. The rally called on Congressional representatives to stand up for peace and diplomacy rather than a continued policy of military force.

On February 11, President Obama sent Congress a proposed joint resolution for Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which would authorize and extend military action against ISIS for the next three years in Iraq, Syria and beyond. The Syracuse Peace Council calls on citizens to urge to Congress to reject this new AUMF, to repeal the 2001 AUMF which has been the justification for military intervention thus far and to stop the endless war on the people of the Middle East.

“The last 12 years have shown unquestionably that military force does not solve problems. US involvement in Iraq and Syria is one factor supporting the existence and strength of ISIS as we know it today, said Amelia Lefevre, Organizer with the Syracuse Peace Council. Lefevre continued, “Our involvement in Iraq did not achieve any of the stated goals of the invasion. It is undeniable that the formation of ISIS is a direct result of U.S. policies that destroyed Iraq – every civilian casualty and tortured detainee in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo fuels the recruitment efforts of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The crisis today teaches us that military intervention is harmful, not helpful.”

“I am here today because I have seen the mistakes of U.S. foreign policy for too many years. Most heart wrenching is to hear about the staggering number of veteran suicides – 22 everyday, almost one per hour,” said Dave Kashmer, a retired Navy veteran who served off the coast of Yemen and Iran. Kashmer is actively forming a Central New York Chapter of Veterans for Peace. “I am out here today because of my sons. I do not want them or anyone’s children put in harms way.”

“Students need to be part of anti-war efforts. We need to be aware of U.S. military intervention and its consequences. We must question the motivations and the reasons for military intervention and seek out the truth. It’s critical that students participate in the anti-war movement so we can expose the violent policies U.S. government implements in our name,” said Henry Nelson, a Syracuse University student activist.

Syracuse peace activist Ed Kinane also spoke at the rally. Kinane was present in Bagdad during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

From Kinane’s statement: “On February 15, 2003, millions of people around the world took to the streets to protest the U.S.’ threatened invasion of Iraq. In Bagdad, thousands of us hit the streets, too. I was there with a group of peace activists, Voices in the Wilderness, a group that for years had been practicing protracted civil disobedience by bringing medical supplies to Bagdad, supplies which were banned by the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. I say “genocidal” because the U.N. estimated that several hundred thousand Iraqi children died prematurely for lack of such supplies. It was illegal for U.S. citizens to visit Iraq. Apparently the U.S. government didn’t want U.S. citizens to see and report on the murderous havoc the sanctions were inflicting no the Iraqi people.”

Ursula Rozum, (315) 414-7720
Amelia Lefevre,, (315) 472-5478


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