Category: World Peace Council
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Stop Arming Terrorists

 

For Immediate Release

December 8, 2016

 

Media Contact:

Emily Latimer, (202) 604-2330

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Stop Arming Terrorists

Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today. The legislation would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.

 

The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48), and Thomas Massie (R-KT-04), and supported by the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the U.S. Peace Council.

 

Video of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s speech on the House floor is available here

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i]

“The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.

“A recent New York Times article confirmed that ‘rebel groups’ supported by the U.S. ‘have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as al Nusra.’ This alliance has rendered the phrase ‘moderate rebels’ meaningless. Reports confirm that ‘every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by [al-Qaeda’s] Nusra militants.’

“A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that many rebel groups are ‘doubling down on their alliance’ with al Nusra. Some rebel groups are renewing their alliance, while others, like Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former CIA-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo are joining for the first time. “The Syria Conquest Front—formerly known as the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front—is deeply intermingled with armed opposition groups of all stripes across Syria’s battlefields.”

“The CIA has long been supporting a group called Fursan al Haqq, providing them with salaries, weapons and support, including surface to air missiles.  This group is cooperating with and fighting alongside an al-Qaeda affiliated group trying to overthrow the Syrian government. The Levant Front is another so-called moderate umbrella group of Syrian opposition fighters. Over the past year, the United States has been working with Turkey to give this group intelligence support and other forms of military assistance. This group has joined forces with al-Qaeda’s offshoot group in Syria.

“This madness must end. We must stop arming terrorists. The Government must end this hypocrisy and abide by the same laws that apply to its’ citizens.

“That is why I’ve introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists bill—legislation based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA’s illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua. It will prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists,” concluded Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Stephen Kinzer, a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and award-winning author and journalist said, “The proposal to stop sending weapons to insurgents in Syria is based on the principle that pouring arms into a war zone only intensifies suffering and makes peace more difficult to achieve. Congress made a decision like this about the Nicaraguan contras during the 1980s. Aid to the contras was cut off by the Boland Amendment. The result was a peace process that finally brought an end to wars not only in Nicaragua, but also in El Salvador and Guatemala. This is the example we should be following. Cutting off arms shipments forces belligerents to negotiate. That is what we achieved in Nicaragua. It should be our goal in Syria as well.”

Donna Smith, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America said, “Progressive Democrats of America believes that it is fundamentally wrong for the United States to fund those groups or individuals aligned with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist/extremist organizations.  The ‘Stop Arming Terrorists’ bill authored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, would help bring an end to the human tragedy unfolding in Syria where the haunting eyes of the innocent children of Aleppo call on us all to stop supporting those who threaten and kill them with ferocious intention. War is war, and terrorism is terrorism whether waged by the state or from external forces. PDA supports this measure.”

 

Alfred Marder, President of the U.S. Peace Council said, “The U.S. Peace Council is honored to endorse and support the ‘Stop Arming Terrorists Bill’ as a major contribution to peace. This legislation will serve to galvanize the anti-war movement and the opposition to regime change policies that characterize our present foreign policy.”

Background: The Stop Arming Terrorists bill prohibits U.S. government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. In the same way that Congress passed the Boland Amendment to prohibit the funding and support to CIA backed-Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980’s, this bill would stop CIA or other Federal government activities in places like Syria by ensuring U.S. funds are not used to support al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist groups working with them. It would also prohibit the Federal government from funding assistance to countries that are directly or indirectly supporting those terrorist groups. The bill achieves this by:

  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Making it illegal for any U.S. Federal government funds to be used to provide assistance covered in this bill to terrorists. The assistance covered includes weapons, munitions, weapons platforms, intelligence, logistics, training, and cash.
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Making it illegal for the U.S. government to provide assistance covered in the bill to any nation that has given or continues to give such assistance to terrorists.
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine the individual and groups that should be considered terrorists, for the purposes of this bill, by determining: (a) the individuals and groups that are associated with, affiliated with, adherents to or cooperating with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or ISIS; (b) the countries that are providing assistance covered in this bill to those individuals or groups.
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Requiring the DNI to review and update the list of countries and groups to which assistance is prohibited every six months, in consultation with the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Requiring the DNI to brief Congress on the determinations.
Erdogan shuts down the Peace Association of Turkey- Solidarity with the Turkish people and Barış Derneği!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Erdogan shuts down the Peace Association of Turkey- Solidarity with the Turkish people and Barış Derneği!

Police raid to the Peace Association of Turkey.

 
As the AKP government urges to take the advantage of the state of emergency that was declared following the coup attempt on 15th July, statutory decrees are being put into action in order to impose anti-democratic decisions to increase the political oppression.
 
A new statutory decree that has been approved by the parliament requires 370 associations and non-governmental organisations in 40 cities to be unlawfully shut down under the pretext of “relations with terrorist groups that are harmful to the national security”, including leftist organisations such as the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD).
The Peace Association of Turkey (Barış Derneği) is one of the organisations that are affected by the decision.
 
Last night, the police raided the association headquarters in Istanbul and threatened to forcibly enter by “breaking the door down unless the association administration opens”. It was revealed that the official notice on the Peace Association instructs the officers to seize the associations’s legal books, records, computers, and memory sticks.
 
The police then locked up and sealed the association headquarters since they failed to open the door.
As a member of the World Peace Council, the Peace Association of Turkey struggles for a world where everyone can live in peace on the basis of equality and freedom. The association works in coordination with other peace associations of the world against fascist, war-monger, chauvinist, militarist and imperialist propaganda.
 
* * * 
Statement of the President of the Peace Association of Turkey
12 November 2016
Struggle for peace is not subject to a government decision
The activities of the Peace Association of Turkey were suspended for 3 months. The decision taken by the Turkish Ministry of Interior for suspending the activities of many organisations is another example of lawlessness of the government. The ministry does not have such a right. This decision is not even based on a State of Emergency decree. This shows that the arbitrary steps taken by the government are not even tried to be disguised by law. The Peace Association of Turkey will escalate its struggle through political and legal ways against this attack.
 
Peace Association of Turkey being besmirched by being linked with any other organisation does not have any plausibility. The only “connection” of the Peace Association of Turkey is the World Peace Council, which is accredited by the United Nations. The Peace Association is a member of the WPC Executive Committee.
The Peace Association of Turkey is the political successor of the Turkish Peace-lovers Organisation founded in 1950 and the Turkish Peace Association founded in 1972. This tradition started its journey by opposing Turkish troops to be sent to the Korean War and recently opposed the war policies in Syria. It is not possible to stop this struggle with such a lawless decision or in any other way.

We are warning the government. The struggle for peace is not subject to your decisions. We acquire our legitimacy from the longing for peace; we will continue to do so.

We are calling on all peace forces to show their solidarity with the peace-loving people of Turkey and their struggle.
Zuhal Okuyan, President of the Peace Association of Turkey
Aydemir Güler, Secretary of the Peace Association of Turkey.
 
* * * 
THE WORLD PEACE COUNCIL (WPC) CONDEMNS THE DECISION OF THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES.
 
The World Peace Council (WPC) expresses its condemnation to the decision of the Turkish authorities to suspend some hundreds of Social Organisations and Movements for three months under the pretext of investigating them for alleged relations with “terrorist actions”. Amongst them is the Peace Association (Baris Dernegi), which is the historical member of the WPC and of its Exceutive Committee. We denounce the action to shut down the offices of the Peace Associaiton in Istanbul by the police forces yesterday and express our serious concern about the real motives and goals behind this authoritarian and antidemocratic act.
The WPC expresses its solidarity with the people of Turkey, with the peace loving forces and our friends from the Peace Association (Baris Dernegi) with who we share the common struggle for peace in the region. We demand the lifting of the suspension of the Peace Associaition and of the other social organisations.
12th November 2016
WPC Secretariat
* * * 
In a statement issued today, the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE) condemns the decision of the Turkish government to shut down the Peace Association of Turkey and expresses its full solidarity with the people of Turkey and the Peace Association of the country.
Terrorism in Syria

Call to Action by USPC President Alfred Marder

US PEACE COUNCIL

  1. P.O. Box 3105, New Haven, Connecticut 06515

Telephone: 203-387-0370; Fax: 203-397-2539; Email: amistadmarder@gmail.com

 

October 9, 2016

To The US Peace Movement

Dear Fellow Peace Activists:

We must come together at once to halt the spiraling danger of a US-Russia war in Syria.

The issue is World War 3. The crisis is between US and Russia. Syria, Assad are not the issue.

We must not, we cannot, let any differences prevent us from coming together to prevent any provocation that can lead to a catastrophe.

The press, the White House, the military, the candidates for office are fueling the fire for a leap in military action  by the US in Syria. The  “regime-change” campaign is focused on securing support for intervention based upon “humanitarian” grounds. There is no longer any talk about the jihadists, the terrorists. Russia and Syria have become the targets.

We call upon the peace movement, “the other superpower”, to flood the White House and Congress with “HANDS OFF SYRIA” CALLS.

We call upon the Peace movement to organize local demonstrations and vigils demanding HANDS OFF SYRIA.

We call upon the peace movement to come together in national mobilization demanding HANDS OFF SYRIA!

We must come together, in a united voice, HANDS OFF SYRIA!

We ask that you respond urgently.

Yours in peace,

Alfred L. Marder

President

 

 

 

Member of the World Peace Council

Bashar Ja’afari (Syria) and US Peace Council Representatives on Syria – Press Conference

Joe Jamison, a member of the US Peace Council, reports on their July delegation of US antiwar organizations to Syria. 

At the request of the U.S. Peace Council, the Syrian government approved a 7-member delegation composed of representatives of U.S. anti-war organizations for a 6-day intensive fact-finding visit to Syria. It included organizational leaders, labor activists, lawyers, educators, and independent journalists. The visit was completed on July 30, 2016.

The delegation met with civil society organizations, non-violent opposition political parties and parliamentarians, Muslim and Christian religious leaders, students, business leaders, victims of war and violence, aide workers, members of the Syrian Bar Association, women’s rights activists, and high-level government officials. The delegation was also granted a nearly two-hour meeting with President Bashar Al-Assad.

The goal of the trip was to see first-hand the actual conditions on the ground in Syria; hear directly from the Syrian people about their situation and their views about the solution to the war and violence; and discuss with Syrian government officials the possible ways in which a speedy end to the war and destruction can be brought about.

“What we saw and heard goes against everything we read in the mainstream media in the United States.” Joe Jameson expressed fear that matters will get worse soon: “Whether Clinton or Trump wins the White House, there is every likelihood of a more warlike policy in Syria.”
A short video of the UN press conference is at 

http://webtv.un.org/watch/bashar-ja’afari-syria-and-us-peace-council-representatives-on-syria-press-conference/5077088426001 

Loyola University Department of Sociology, Chicago ALBA Solidarity, Anti-War Committee- Chicago, Vets for Peace- Chicago
Stan Smith at 773-322-3168

To invite or interview another member of the delegation, contact Judy Bello of United Anti-War Coalition
(585) 733-4058
judith@papillonweb.net

Letter to the Peace Movement
| September 13, 2016 | 8:10 pm | Anarchism, Syria, World Peace Council | No comments

By: Alfred Marder, President of the U.S. Peace Council

The U.S. Peace Council, recognizing the dangers of World War 3, organized a DELEGATION OF PEACE LEADERS to Syria. We reached out far and wide, inviting participation. The only stipulation was the desire to bring peace to that area, to see for themselves the situation, and to determine for themselves how to bring the facts back to the US peace movement. The participants had to pay their own way. We invited participation from peace organizations, faith-based groups, and outstanding peace activists. We realized from the start that there would be hesitation to go to a war zone, but we hoped that an understanding for the need to break the silence on the issue of Syria would motivate delegates.

Upon return, even prior to any of the participants reporting on their findings, the attack campaign began. Articles impugning the integrity and role of the U.S. Peace Council and the delegation appeared. They dredged up essays in the progressive press, maligning the U.S. Peace Council and accusing the delegation of serving as spokespersons for the Assad regime.

To this date, to the best of my understanding, not one of these outlets has requested an article or statement from a member of the delegation nor from the U.S. Peace Council. Shades of McCarthy in the progressive media. No requests for interviews despite the historic nature of the delegation!

Instead of welcoming the delegates and sharing their insights as a contribution to the struggle for peace, the so-called self-appointed leaders of some of the peace organizations continue the campaign against the delegation, trying to isolate it and the U.S. Peace Council.

In a moment of history, when it is vital that the U.S. peace movement come together in one voice, to mobilize our neighbors against the dangers of World War 3, these attacks are playing into the hands of the Obama / State Department / CIA policies of aggression.

We earnestly hope that all sincere advocates for peace will reject this McCarthy tactic and come together, in our tradition, for peace.

Yours in Peace,

Alfred L Marder
President,
U.S. Peace Council

P.O. Box 3105

New Haven, CT 06515-0205

USA