For Immediate Release
Peace Doesn't Come Through Cruise Missiles
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Middle East Children’s Alliance, a non-profit organization that has worked for the rights of children in the Middle East for 25 years by sending humanitarian aid and supporting projects for children, opposes US warfare against the people of Syria.
MECA stands against any US bombardment of Syria and the ongoing and overwhelming military presence that the US maintains in the region.
From decades of experience on the ground and working with our partners in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, we know better than most the true cost of war on the lives of children. Increased warfare will further destroy the health and well-being of children throughout the Middle East.
We have been here before—the US has no moral authority. The US has used chemical weapons including Agent Orange in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and white phosphorus in Iraq and Afghanistan. At this time there is no confirmed evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. Are we once again supposed to take the word of Israel as we did in Iraq, which turned out to be false?
We know that recently a milestone of 1 million Syrian children have been forced to leave their homes, becoming refugees outside of Syria, and that there are 2 million more internally displaced. We know that when tragedies of such a scale occur, action is needed, and there are many actions worthy of implementation, including:
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· Increased humanitarian aid and medical services.
· The guarantee for the right to return for all refugees throughout the Middle East. Many Syrian refugees are originally refugees from Palestine and Iraq.
· The immediate cessation of all sales of weapons to the region, most importantly by the US, France, UK, Russia & China, who produce and sell the vast majority of the world’s weapons.
The Middle East Children’s Alliance has recently sent two emergency medical shipments and provided direct support for programs for Syrian women and children who fled to Lebanon. We plan to send more aid in the coming months, knowing that US warfare will only increase the humanitarian crisis and make it more difficult for aid to reach those who desperately need it.
We reject the lie that chemical weapons are in some way worse than the brutality of the United States’ economic and military policies that destroy the lives of children and their families. In Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine and Egypt, the US has pulled the trigger or provided the weapons to other governments to do so against civilian populations.
An immediate ceasefire, not US bombardment, is the only solution.
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Founded in 1988 by Barbara Lubin and Howard Levine, the Middle East Children's Alliance is a Berkeley-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization that has delivered more than $10 million in food, medicine and medical supplies to children in the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq and Lebanon. MECA also provides financial assistance to community groups working with children in the Palestine/Israel.