Democratic Socialists of America Condemns the U.S. Bombing of Syria

A Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

April 8, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has consistently opposed U.S. military intervention in the civil war in Syria and condemns the Tomahawk cruise missile attack by the Trump administration. DSA has also supported from spring 2011 onwards the massive and democratic Syrian uprising against the brutal Assad regime, a regime that has shown no hesitation to use massive force, including chemical weapons, to suppress its people.

The Trump administration has committed an act of war that both violates domestic law (having not been authorized by Congress) and international law (having not been authorized by the United Nations). Foreign power intervention, however, whether by Russia, the United States, Iran or the Gulf States, has only served to militarize the conflict and severely weaken the democratic forces within Syria. As illustrated by the futile U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, United States imperialist and unilateral military power cannot liberate the Syrian people. U.S. air power cannot surgically take out those individuals who develop and deploy chemical weapons; what it has done and will do is kill scores of innocent civilians.

Therefore, we urge our members and friends to protest the Trump administration’s military action and to lobby Congress to halt any further U.S. military intervention. We urge our members and friends to protest all bombings of Syrians and the war waged by the Assad regime through foreign forces against the people of Syria. The U.S. coalition and Russia have been actively bombing Syria for years, as documented by Airwars.org, in effect both siding with the regime, allegedly to fight ISIS (while the context of massive pro-regime violence is the fertile soil on which ISIS has grown). The Trump Tomahawk cruise missile strike continues a long-standing U.S. policy of bombing Syria, which is why Secretary of State Tillerson can state that these attacks are in accord with ongoing U.S. policy.

In opposing all foreign military intervention in Syria we act to end the mass slaughter of civilians and to honor the memory of those civilians who fought for freedom, a fight that might have been won if not for the militarization of the conflict by the Assad regime and by U.S. and other foreign powers. As abhorrent as the use of chemical weapons may be, DSA opposes all forms of mass violence against civilians, including the U.S. bombing of mosques.

The United States should join the international community in condemning the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and press for a return of United Nations inspectors to monitor the regime’s chemical weapons capacity. The United States must also immediately reverse its policy opposing the intake of Syrian refugees and grant refugee status to at least one hundred thousand Syrian asylum seekers (of all faiths) and challenge the European Union nations to take in proportionate numbers. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to bomb a country while refusing to give shelter to refugees from a carnage to which many foreign powers, including the United States, have contributed.

Furthermore, the United States should join the international community in providing massive humanitarian aid to the millions of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and elsewhere. The United States and all other countries should engage in the necessary diplomacy to press Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to cease their military aid to the Assad dictatorship, as well as end United States and Gulf State funding of internal Syrian combatants. The Syrian people alone can liberate themselves; the task cannot be accomplished by external powers.

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

May 25, 2017
· 34 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 43 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 93 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 26 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as ‚ÄúThe Free State of Jones.‚ÄĚ Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 9 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.