9/15: Arlington Young Democrats’
Meet-and-Greet with Dorothy McAuliffe
RSVP & LEARN MORE: https://www.facebook.com/events/226255360859966
9/16: Affordable Care Act Forum with Rep. Jim Moran (Alexandria)
RSVP & LEARN MORE:
9/17: Montgomery County Young Democrats’ Membership Meeting
“Why The Virginia Elections Matter”
RSVP & LEARN MORE: https://www.facebook.com/events/158410987690000/
9/18: “Men For Choice (and the women who love them)”
hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America
RSVP & LEARN MORE:
9/18: “Cards Against Humanity FOR Habitat For Humanity” @ Board Room
RSVP & LEARN MORE:
with Planning Meeting & Resume Swap
1pm-9pm Monday, September 16th
(5pm Resume Swap, 7pm N4P Planning Meeting)
MLK Library’s Dream Lab
Digital Commons (Conference Room 5)
901 G Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
@ Metro Center or Gallery Place
Job Seekers, Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Organizers and Volunteers are all welcome to get out of their pajamas at home or take a break from their latte addiction at Starbucks to join us….just RSVP in advance if possible.
If you want to get involved in the political/civic grassroots or professional scene OR connect with others who do, then stop by and we will plug you into various opportunities you can work on immediately….and crowdsource new ones.
As you may know, the new “Digital Commons” (http://www.dclibrary.org/digitalcommons) will soon become home to a Dream Lab coworking community and is a great space for using free computers and wifi-enabled meeting rooms. So, feel free to come by with a charged laptop or smart phone…and even if you don’t!
At 5pm, we will do a Resume Swap and Career Discussion with anyone interested in improving their job search.
At 7pm, we will break for a Planning Meeting to discuss our ideas for Network For Progress (Generation Obama 2.0) and Progress Office now that Jim’s summer hiatus is over, including advocacy for the Affordable Care Act launch (10/1) and Virginia Gubernatorial Election (11/5) as well events such as meetups and fundraisers like our annual date auction in October! Movement-building categories include Community(Events, Outreach), Engagement (Communications, Technology), Development (Careers, Organizing, Leadership), Action (Campaign, Advocacy, Service) & Operations (finance, management).
There is plenty of space in the Digital Commons so these sessions will be separate from anyone co-working or co-organizing on their own.
At 9pm, anyone interested in continuing the coworking party is welcome to join us as we walk over to 1776, the amazing entrepreneurial/startup campaign and event space in McPherson Square, for the DC Night Owls Meetup – an after hours coworking community of self-starters turning big ideas into exciting projects! RSVP (space is limited): http://www.meetup.com/dcnightowls/events/135398802/
PARTNERS WANTED: Do you have an organization that could use a place to meet OR would want to collaborate with other groups OR that would be willing to sponsor us with resources ranging from laptops to snacks? Email Jim @ email@example.com.
Contact: Jim McBride
(please do NOT ask library staff questions about our event…they are not the hosts)
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UPDATE: Watch President Obama speak to the nation as well as more detailed remarks from Ambassadors Power and Rice on Syria
(69% of Americans view speech positively: http://www.mediaite.com/online/poll-69-of-americans-viewed-obamas-syria-speech-positively-61-favor-his-approach)
The bottom line is the military threat as well as mounting evidence from Human Rights Watch and others seems to have worked (good article by Nicholas Kristof about it) as Russia and Syria are now offering a deal to sign the UN treaty on chemical weapons and give them up even though they didn’t admit having them days ago: http://nbcnews.to/13GPD6Q
Granted, the tactic of a public ultimatum calling for Assad to give up his WMDs should have been part of Obama’s pitch the same way Bill Clinton and of course George Bush called for Iraq to give up their WMDs with the verification of UN inspectors but apparently it had been discussed previously. Ironically, maybe it wasn’t tried because it sounded too much like the Iraq scenario.
But to review the debate so far…the “experts” on both sides have truly trivialized the debate on Syria argument with posts like about how Obama said he was against “dumb wars” , so here’s a quick reminder of what a “Red Line” looks like….because its definitely not some arbitrary thing Obama dreamed up:
Only Nasser in Egypt and Hussein in Iraq crossed it since WWII and both were dangerous aggressors who invaded our allies like the Axis Powers did.
The fact is the U.S. is the only country on Earth truly willing and able to ensure #neveragain. It is the price of leadership….if we don’t want to lead then we can sit back and let countries like Russia help spread genocide and anti-gay sentiment around the world instead.
To clarify, the President is NOT proposing that we intervene in a very complicated civil war…even if our missions might overlap. That’s because this kind of destruction is not the result of weapons of WAR…it is a result of weapons of GENOCIDE.
Hence, everyone can be “anti-war” but are they also “anti-genocide?” And if so, does that mean doing nothing about an active campaign of murder or can it also mean a “pro-peacemaking” position to stop it by any means necessary after all other alternatives have been exausted.
So, with relatively low cost to U.S. blood and treasure via air strikes that are separate from the civil war, we can probably deter further acts of genocide already banned by international law….regardless of what the UN votes on in 2013.
It might take more than a few days to stop it, but to say that this deterrent won’t affect anything or save lives is ignoring how it ended the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo (total of 0 allied casualties)…remember that bullies don’t handle getting punched back very well.
This is the exact OPPOSITE of the Iraq War. Instead of using a fake reason to wage a real war, this is a real reason to wage a military action to deter weapons of genocide.
If every military action was a WAR then Israel would be at “war” with Syria based on their own strike recently….but Syria and Russia didn’t lift a finger in response because they know it isn’t worth it.
Unfortunately, our politics are not grown up enough to realize the world is not black-and-white so we compare everything to other things we heard of without discussing the details of a policy instead.
For example, it is easy to criticize the fact that the Obama administration rejected supplying the opposition with gas masks because they thought they might actually somehow be used by either side against the other, but apparently sarin gas only needs to touch the human body to kill so they wouldn’t have helped anyway.
But regardless, Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad killed 1,400+ civilians (including 400+ children) on 8/21/13 via a sarin gas-launched missle attack…that is about 3000% more deadly than the typical daily civilian casualty rate and an unacceptable genocidal tactic.
Yes, 100,000 people have already died during the Syrian civil war since March 2011, but if you consider that approximately 36,000 were civilians that breaks down to about 40+ per day for even the most recent violent months of the war. So, if the chemical attacks continue, Assad could double the total of civilian casualties in less than a month.
I agree with John Kerry’s powerful case (Video & Transcript) and the President’s statement (Video & Transcript) for taking action on Syria now regardless of the split in a mostly uninformed public on what the war is all about. Here’s a primer and some additional bullet points so you have some background.
The good news is Obama is asking for congressional authorization for a limited military response to degrade Assad’s ability to massacre his people. Yet that’s also the bad news as many politicians, like the experts, are playing armchair general during a complicated military effort or are parroting their ideological bases right now who have collectively decided against intervention “Because Bush” or “Because Obama.”
Of course, any Republican who voted for the Iraq War who doesn’t support this resolution is a total hypocrite, especially because these are the same geniuses who claimed Clinton’s strikes on Kosovo and Afghanistan to punish Bin Laden for the embassy bombings before 9/11 were part of some “Wag The Dog” diversion from the Lewinsky scandal.
But progressives who supported intervention in Darfur and even Rwanda should be thinking twice too. Aside from the usual suspects regurgitating their typical “anti-war” talking points, even the more sober critiques of The Daily Show have become surprisingly flippant with segments that even compare American involvement in the Middle East to British imperialism despite the fact that I see faint economic advantage in getting involved.
And hence, Democratic elected officials or former elected officials who understand our responsibility in the world are lining up behind the President in the House (Nancy Pelosi), Senate (Elizabeth Warren), Policy (Tom Perriello), Grassroots (Howard Dean) and future Presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) communities.
Meanwhile, there are already reportedly two million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and other countries, with five million displaced people within the country’s borders….so the emerging threat of a massive WMD campaign would force millions more to try to escape the blanket use of terror anywhere and everywhere in their country. The costs of an increased refugee migration will fall upon the shoulders of the U.S. and its allies who already are supplying billions in aid.
Even if Assad takes further action against civilians, further U.S. involvement will have to be re-authorized but the world community will become more and more united so the “slippery slope” will be mitigated…but is Assad really so dumb that he would risk his regime further after possibly losing his much of air force and command & control abilities?
WHY IT MATTERS:
This course is a minimal approach that keeps in mind that due to the divided nature of the international community, partly because of Russia’s funding of Assad and typically anti-humanitarian vote on the UN Security Council, as well as the reflexive rejection of a anti-WMD campaign by the UK Parliament, the “coalition of the willing” might only include France and few other nations.
But frankly, the lack of sufficient American intervention earlier might have led to the situation we’re in now….an Appeasement 2.0 strategy where we allowed an aggressor to use WMDs on a small scale several times and finally have no choice but to act under less favorable conditions.
If a two-bit dictator can use these weapons now and not be punished then the biggest problem is not even what he did but what does he and other world leaders could do next as a result.
The U.S. announced in June that it would arm the rebels as a result of the less clear reports of WMDs being used but that support never really came and it definitely wasn’t a big fat Stop sign regardless so now Assad is ramping it up beyond debatable levels. So, maybe it’s 14,000 dead next time or maybe neighboring allies like Turkey, Jordan or Israel become affected.
Meanwhile, other rogue states like Iran will be emboldened to kill opponents and go nuclear while nuclear states like North Korea will be further strengthened by their cloak of WMD protection.
Some are reminding us that we didn’t do anything to Iraq after they killed tens of thousands with chemical weapons on the Kurds and Iran in the 80s…well, look how that turned out! We later fought two wars because of Saddam Hussein after he emerged as a wider threat to the region.
So, we might resent serving as the “World Police” is the price we pay if we want to live in a secure world, because when we don’t intervene (Pearl Harbor, 9/11) these things have a habit of approaching our shores eventually.
This was the work of the Greatest Generation that we must continue.
A world at the mercy of these kinds of tyrants is a world of further danger and poverty that affects us all.
FWDPROGRESS ARGUMENT SUMMARY:
“Support for a resolution to respond military to the use of WMDs in Syria”
-> “Heart” Talking Points (how the policy reflects our liberal democratic values)
* Why the “Red Line”: Using chemical weapons and genocide acts are banned under international law as a result of the devastating effects of such warfare during World War I and World War II
* The result of such an attack is an exponential increase in civilian casualties that increased the rate of civilian deaths by about 3000% because of ONE attack and are well beyond the parameters of acceptable war violence that could grow if unchecked
* Limited military action has no relation to a pre-emptive war or strike, or even a direct engagement in the civil war conflict, because it is a focused act of self-defense against the genocidal acts against the civilian population of Syria
-> “Head” Talking Points (how the policy reflects our national and socio-economic interests)
* Due to the lack of international will or capability, the U.S. is the only nation on Earth that can stem the crisis, which already surpassed the use of conventional weapons several times prior to this incident due to the lack of a global response
* As in the cases of Bosnia and Kosovo where there were 0 allied casualties, U.S. military intervention can utilize cruise missles and stealth or unmanned aircraft to damage Assad’s war-making capability at little risk to American soldiers or civilian lives in comparison to allowing the attacks to continue.
* Even with a sustained campaign, air strikes will require a relatively low economic cost compared to the current investments of billions of dollars in arms and non-lethal aid that have already been expensed and will most likely break the Assad regime’s commitment to further war crimes in favor of self-preservation
* Growing violence destabilizes the region and could affect Israel, Turkey Jordan or other allies that the U.S. is pledged to defend
* Rejecting the role of “World Police” and ignoring war crime violations could inspire Assad or other rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea to further pursue the acquisition and use of WMDs that could create a worldwide crisis, and like with Pearl Harbor or 9/11, some day could return to our shores
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act passed Senate committee yesterday, but
of the 3,500+ people who wrote to Congress about it via POPVOX on Wednesday, 91% OPPOSE the legislation!
ADD YOUR VOICE: http://bit.ly/10hLZBs
AND Join the Virtual March for Innovation!
(Partners include Organizing For Action, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Steve Case, Arianna Huffington, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Cuban, Cory Booker, Condoleezza Rice, Jose Antonio Vargas, Voto Latino & more!)
WHITE HOUSE & ORGANIZING FOR FACTS:
Immigrants have started 25% of public U.S. companies backed by venture capital—including @Google, @eBay, @Yahoo, and @Intel
- Over 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or child of an immigrant.
- In 2011, immigrants started 28% of all new businesses in the U.S.
- Immigrant-owned businesses generated $775 billion in revenue for the economy in 2011.
- According to a conservative think tank, “Immigration Reform Would Save U.S. $410 Billion Over The Next Decade”http://OFA.BO/gqfN6x
(connect & learn more)