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Former Damascus residents call for peace in Syria

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This is a letter that Gabe and Theresa Huck sent to friends and supporters this week regarding the proposed bombing of Syria. The Hucks moved to Damascus in 2007 and established there the Iraqi Student Project. It has since enabled approximately 50 Iraqi refugee students in Syria to attend colleges and universities in the United States.

Gabe and Theresa are longtime Catholic peace activists, and he was for many years the director of liturgy training for the Chicago archdiocese. They returned to this country last year as hostilities mounted in Syria, but they have many close, informed contacts in Syria. I think their opinion deserves serious consideration:

President Obama has gone to Congress for authorization to bomb Syria. We have called our senators and representative in the House to tell them NO. 

CALL NOW to your two senators and your representative in the House. Their phone numbers are readily available online. For members of the House of Representatives try:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

And for members of the Senate:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm 

We suggest calling rather than email. Ask where your representatives stand on the vote which may happen as soon as next Monday. Give a strong message about where you stand. For many of us that is: No US intervention of any kind. 

As we listen this morning to the news of the administration's presentation yesterday in the Senate, we can hardly believe that their case is so weak, the evidence so unsupported, and so many questions unasked by our senators. It is Iraq all over again. And not only Iraq but so many other interventions. Even the opposition in Syria seems not to want this type of action. Ban Ki-moon has clearly said this would be illegal. 

A telephone call is not enough, but it could be a start toward the one thing the US can do to help the Syrian people. 

What should the US do? We could make a great effort to have our "friends" (Saudi, Qatar, Turkey) stop sending in arms, money and military materials. No arms to anybody on any side. And with that in hand, we could try at last, two years late, to bring Russia aboard with its friends, Iran and Hezbollah, on the same pledge. No arms and no money for arms to anyone, including the regime, in Syria. 

Then the US and Russia can together support a UN-called peace conference for all the elements inside the Syria tragedy. None of this "we won't come unless first ..."

That's it. Many good pieces being written in these last days. Attached is an interview on Democracy Now with Tariq Ali. Or google for Democracy Now Tariq Ali Syria Debate. That way you can listen or read.

We hear from friends in Syria. This threat by the US is supported by no one there. If you want to know what terrorism is, that's what the US is doing now. It's absurd. 

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Thank you!

Gabe and Theresa

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April 11-24, 2014

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