Contributor KrisAnne Hall wrote the following open-letter to lawmakers regarding the United States' role in Syrian affairs -- add your name to the form below to sign and send a personalized copy to your Representative and Senators.
Dear [Senator, Representative],
As you are pressed to consider launching an attack on the Syrian people and their government I would hope you would consider the following facts.
Our Constitution was created to limit the federal government in its power and authority. The mission statement of the Constitution is contained in the preamble:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.(emphasis mine)
The purpose of our Constitution is to “secure the Blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” With that prime directive in mind, it is incumbent upon the federal government to “provide for the common defense.” I would like to draw your attention the word “defense”. This does not authorize the federal government to engage in offensive actions. It is a requirement to defend the Blessings of liberty. This essential principle is further illustrated in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry Philadelphia, Jan. 26, 1799:
“I am for relying, for internal defence (sic), on our militia solely, till actual invasion, and for such a naval force only as may protect our coasts and harbors from such depredations as we have experienced; and not for a standing army in time of peace, which may overawe the public sentiment; nor for a navy, which, by it's own expenses and the eternal wars in which it will implicate us, will grind us with public burthens, & sink us under them. And I am not for linking ourselves by new treaties with the quarrels of Europe; entering that field of slaughter to preserve their balance….”
What the president is asking you to do is not only contrary to Constitutional principles, it is in violation of federal law. Section 7008 of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act, 2012 (division I of Public Law 112–74; 125 Stat. 1195), declares the United States is legally prohibited from providing foreign assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup d’´etat, or removed in such a way that the military plays a decisive role. What is going on in Syria is a coup in progress. We have no authority provide aid in the overthrow of Syria’s government.
Finally, the assertion made by the president that the use of chemical weapons precipitates a necessity for us to become involved in this is “quarrel”. This issue is not settled however. Although we are being told that chemical weapons where the cause of death of 1,400, the parties responsible for that action cannot be so clearly defined. Several international news sources are now reporting that the “rebels” too have chemical weapons supplied to them by the Saudi Prince Bandar. These reports even indicate that this particular incident was a result of an accidental mishandling of these chemical weapons by the “rebels”. Additionally, many sources are exposing the fact that the “rebels” are not Syrians at all, but Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood forces attempting to overthrow the Syrian government to establish themselves as that governmental power.
Congressman, there are some very serious unanswered questions that MUST be answered before we engage in an action that could have global military implications. (Russia has made their stance very clear.) Please consider the following:
These are very serious concerns that are not answered and may I submit, cannot be answered with the information being provided by the president. The first object of my heart is my own country. In that is embarked my family, my fortune, & my own existence. I have neither one minute of interest, nor one fiber of attachment out of it, nor a single motive of preference of any one nation to another, but in proportion as they are more or less friendly to us. All I ask for my representative to have this same dedication to our country first, to our citizens first, to Liberty First!
The honest truth and unavoidable reality is this; you bear a great responsibility in this decision, perhaps one greater than you have considered. You must recognize that generations will be the sharers of this one decision. You cannot make the wrong decision if you remain loyal to the foundations that made this nation great. Do not make this decision out of fear, or a preference for national security. Do not make this decision out of political avarice. Do not make this decision based upon less than complete evidence. You must make this decision with clarity of mind and with evidence beyond every doubt. To do otherwise will be a negligent act perpetrated upon future generations.
Thank you for your time and consideration of these concerns. May God be with you as you do the right thing.
[Your Name Here]