The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
N.W. Washington, DC 20500
Thank you very kindly for your thoughtful consideration of these urgent matters.
On October 26, 2016, while campaigning against Hillary Clinton in the general election, you discussed the importance of not intervening in Syria. “What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria. You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton. You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk.”
Why, therefore, have you maintained a military presence in Syria and launched attacks against her? Why are you now making more threats to attack Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad, while to do so would be illegal?
As you are aware, sir, a Joint Resolution passed by congress on September 18, 2001 states, “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
This law does not permit Assad to be attacked since both he and his government have no ties with those who perpetrated 911. For, to be sure, Assad and his government are fighting ISIS. Neither does the War Powers Act justify waging war on Assad and his government for this law prohibits the president from committing the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of the U.S. Congress, which has not been given.
Furthermore, the War Powers Act requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a Congressional authorization or a declaration of war by the United States. So, because our military has been in Syria since 2017 without a declaration of war, this law has been egregiously violated.
By sharp contrast, Russian troops are in Syria under the auspices of a legal agreement clearly defining the parameters of their actions, which should come as no surprise since Russia and Syria are close allies.
And so, the US Secretary of Defense makes a moot point by saying, “The United States has a right to carry out preemptive strikes against Assad’s forces to defend its own troops.” For, US troops are there illegally as invaders and, if they are in danger, they should simply be withdrawn rather than expanding the international crimes that our military and political leaders have forced upon them.
Indeed, the United States invasion of Syria is an egregious violation of international law, violating the Charter of the United Nations, which vouchsafes “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction.”
Yet, Niki Halley, your appointed ambassador the United Nations said, “The security council has proved itself to be useless.” Sir, is it appropriate to have an ambassador who represents our country to the United Nations and yet publicly states that she thinks the UN Security Council is “useless?” How could her work on behalf of over 327 million American Citizens be effective or even taken seriously?
I am thankful that Bolivia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, the Honorable Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz, feels differently and, consequently, called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in response to the United States’ threats to use force against Syria.
Ambassador Llorenty said, “We believe the United Nations Charter and its principles should guide the resolution of any conflict or problem. The problem we are facing is that the United States is wiling to go against the Charter. If the United States takes unilateral action, it will be a violation of international law. And the United Nations system should not accept that. And, as I’ve said, it will not be an attack against Syria but also an attack against the whole United Nations system.”
Therefore, sir, according to domestic and international law, I ask you to end this illegal military occupation and these attacks by implementing an orderly yet expeditious withdrawal from Syria without delay.
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