Wilmington Peace Group protests US involvement in Syria

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Submitted: Mon, 09/02/2013 - 3:06am
Updated: Mon, 09/02/2013 - 12:54pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As the President prepares to seek approval from congress before taking action in Syria, people around the world are weighing in, and that includes right here in the port city. The Wilmington Peace Group held a rally today in protest of U.S. involvement in Syria.

Protesters braved the heat, and took to the streets to urge government officials to steer clear of Syria. They say they want peace, not war.

“This is not our fight,” Steve Lee, organizer of the Wilmington Peace Group said.

“To create more death and destruction, is not going to be the answer to death and destruction,” protestor Jay Vics said.

For two long hours, under the hot summer sun, protestors stood on the corner of Oleander Drive and South College Road to raise awareness, and tell state leaders to stay out of Syria.

“We’re here today to raise consciousness for the people of Wilmington, to attract those that already feel the same way we do that violence should not be met with further violence,” Lee said.

Vics says he hopes the rally will get people fired up.

“Let’s let the people in Wilmington that are too afraid to turn on the news, or would rather watch American Idol, just let them know that something important is happening here, and feel free to join us if you’re outraged, as outraged as we are,” Vics explained.

Lee says he hopes that rage will turn into action.

“Hopefully spoke people to action to contact Congressman McIntyre and Senator Kay Hagen to vote against any US involvement in Syria,” Lee said.

In a statement, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said, “It is shocking and deplorable that the Assad regime would use chemical weapons on its own people, and the international community cannot allow this to happen without serious consequences. I believe seeking Congressional authority is the appropriate way forward. Without putting American troops on the ground, the atrocities in Syria require a strong response that will prevent them from happening again and ensure that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile does not fall into the hands of terrorists and further destabilize the Middle East.”

Late Sunday night Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7th District) also released a statement on Syria.

“It is the constitutional responsibility of Congress to provide for the common defense of our citizens, our communities and our country.

“The recent actions in Syria raise very serious concerns regarding the use of chemical weapons, and it is appropriate that any potential military response be discussed with and debated by Congress,” said McIntyre, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “As this debate moves forward, the important question to be answered is whether our involvement in a foreign country’s civil war meets the threshold of endangering our own national security.”

We tried contacting Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-3rd District) to see what they have to say about US involvement in Syria, but we have yet to hear back.


  • JeffM says:

    Mr. T,

    Article 1 Section 8 is the right place to look, because the intention was that the list of delegated powers (powers delegated to the federal government from the states) was to be an exhaustive list. Of course, the government (as governments do) have usurped power that was not intended to be delegated to them.

    At any rate, the section concerning “the laws of nations” was put in place because of piracy, which was a problem at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. In fact, one of the country’s earliest foreign engagement was with the Barbary Pirates. However, those pirates were utterly lawless, and not a government entity. The Barbary Pirates were specifically attacking American shipping, and were therefore a threat to vital US interests.

    In the case of the Syrian conflict, it is a civil war. To make matters worse, both sides of the conflict are anti-American. We can have sympathy for lives lost in the conflict, but we must also be mindful that more lives will be lost with a “limited strike”, which would naturally result in the loss of civilian lives. There are numerous acts that we find abhorrent, but it is not the role of the U.S. government to seek out monsters to destroy (in the words of John Quincy Adams). This sentiment was very much in keeping with President Washington, who made it clear in his farewell address (which should be required reading in schools, as it used to be) that we should avoid entangling alliances and keep away from foreign conflicts that do not involve us.

    Hasn’t the country seen enough of useless wars in the past 12 years (we could certainly go back much further than that, in fact)–a trademark of the current and previous administration?

    We have heard of a sequester, and threats of cutting basic functions of government, but yet they will find a way to fund yet another unnecessary intervention into a purely local matter that does not concern us, and has no vital U.S. interest. At some point, some common sense has got to be injected into American foreign policy.

  • Vog46 says:

    While technically correct your assessment disregards the impact a strike would have on our relations with other countries. You also said:
    “The fact that many people place little value on certain life, like the Syrian people, is sad since our Declaration says all men are created equal.”
    That is in fact OUR declaration of independence – not Syria’s. If you read the early documents of our founding fathers they were loathe to intervening in any foreign disputes.
    Remember the area where Syria is located and the influences of religions in that area with Shia’s and Sunnis being the majority of people in that area.
    While the President COULD intervene, legally, Americans for the most part are tired of policing the world, and are war weary. At this point many Americans are “Palinesque” in their view – let them kill each other and have Allah sort through it all out. While that view is an anathema to me as Christian it is unfortunately how many feel.


  • Guest2020 says:

    It wasn’t okay when the GOP sanctioned the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not okay now. This is an issue not supported by the Constitution and any politician who supports it is once again breaking his oath of office.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Where in the Constitution is the federal government allowed to police the world and interfere in the business of another country?

  • ConstitutionMuch says:

    You people are crazy and have no idea what you are advocating; nor do you have any idea of those who oppose this war. It is the hippies who are trying to go to war, since their demigod is the one promoting it. All of the people pounding their chest against Syria are the same libs who wanted to bring Bush in for war crimes. By condoning this war, you completely abdicate any Constitutional authority over this country. That’s not an opinion – that is a fact. Many people much more intelligent than you saw to it to design a national military for our nation’s defense – not as a conquering force to “punish” those who don’t behave as we would within their own borders. Assad does not pose a threat to us in any way – unless we strike first. Obama is a reckless idiot that has forced his way into the big boy sandbox, and has no clue what he’s doing.

  • Adam Smith says:

    ..took time out of their lives to publicly express their views on an unjust to-be-determined war. How about I get online, from my home, to make fun of their beliefs and talk crap about their actions, because that is going to be good for society. If I type a really snarky comment about liberals or hippies I can feel better about myself and in turn make the world a better place. No need to thank me for writing this comment. I know my opinions on a website really make the world turn.

  • Mr.T says:

    Guest 2020, I thought about your question so I looked up the US Constitution. The very first sentence says, the United States government shall provide for the common Defense. Section 8 says the United States shall define and punish felonies and offenders against the laws of nations. Section 8 also gives the congress the authority to declare war and or engage in war like activity.

    As I understand, Syria signed an agreement among nations that it is unlawful to use gas on either another nation or their own people.

    The war powers act allows for the President to engage with out the consent of congress under certain conditions.

    The fact that many people place little value on certain life, like the Syrian people, is sad since our Declaration says all men are created equal.

  • Vog46 says:

    Why are they crazy?
    Saddam posed no threat to us? But the excuse was he could lob a missile into Israel – so can Assad.
    We searched for years for WMDs and found none – yet we supposedly KNOW Assad used Sarin gas to kill his own people. FOX News had gotten to the point that they were claiming that chemical weapons were in fact WMDs so even if we didn’t find nukes Saddam was still in possession of WMDs from his Kurdish bombings.
    Saddam was seen as a a ruthless dictator – so is Assad.
    Bush went to Congress so is Obama..
    I have only a couple of questions – first – is the intel factual? The Iraq intelligence turned out to be completely wrong !!!
    My second question would be – will we be “seen as liberators”? My guess is “no” we won’t.

    Third – why bother? This region of the world has been shown NOT to want democratically voted republics as a form of government so exporting democracy is not a viable reason anymore. I would hope we would have learned from the Clinton mistakes, and the Bush mistakes and the Carter mistakes in this region but guys like McCain and Graham actually want to put boots on the ground as opposed to Obama wanting to “just” bomb.

    Or is your REAL problem the fact that it’s Obama (or any other Democrat) proposing this?



  • Guest123456 says:

    Here as I stand in your mind a so called hippy, A little confused on the fact that you stated that we are for War because our Demigod is promoting it. My question is to you, have you lost your ever loving mind? Who I voted for has nothing to do with how I feel about this War *or soon to be war*. What I do know is that no matter what our President does, no war, yes to war that the Repugs will have something to say or twist it to make every outcome bad against the Dem black President that turned around this sinking country. I hate to stoop down to the name calling but thats all I see people do on here now. You think this is the only President that has had this on his plate, I did vote for him for my own reasons and dont agree on the War, but if it must happen then it must. Please understand I was a history major and Phy so Ive studied goverment and wars overr time. What you must do is ,understand nothing is cut and dry. I think our country picked the best president ( considering the others ) for what we needed. I may not agree on everything the President does but he works twards what I want, what we need.

  • Guest123456 says:

    Its a shame to lessen a cause just because only a few people showed up. Atleast they stand for something. When is the last time any of you spoke out and got something fixed or atleast heard? I was involved in a protest matter 3 years ago and the first time only 12 of us showed up, the next time over 90. Just because you may not think they make a difference does not mean their voice does not matter. Yes we know that a sign will not stop a war, but heck atleast it got people talking about it, as a nation our youth couldn’t even tell you where Syria is.

  • Mr.T says:

    BushI may have been the only President to figure how to deal with the tyrants. Bomb the hell out of their military. Completely dis-mantel their ability to wage war. Reduce their influence in the region. Make them turn their attention back on themselves so they don,t have time, money or desire fight an enemy. BushI did this to Saddam, it worked and Clinton had very little to do while maintaining keeping Saddam in a box.
    Bush II went to far and got us in a mess, It seems like Obama learned something from both Bushes, what to do and what not to do. I think we should go with the least amount of risk but at the same make Assad wish he hadn,t been born.

  • Vog46 says:

    A little while ago it seems the support is building in a bipartisan manner. Besides Sens McCain and Graham, now Speaker Boehner is supporting strikes in Syria.
    I’m sure the intel is more specific than what we know publicly.
    So, if the GOP supports it, does it now make it OK?


  • Mr.T says:

    Thanks for the history lesson but my statement was directed toward some extreme view points from Guest 2020. I understand that documents written hundreds of years ago dealt with conditions of the period.When our founders wrote that we have the right to bear arms, we only had muskets and knives. There where no 100 rounds clips. We continue to live by the words of the documents and we don’t have the luxury of dividing them between what we like or dislike, kinda like the Bible.
    I understand that their is great opposition and fear of this Syrian action and I trust that in the end our leaders will make the best choice in this matter. I have a differing opinion to yours and Guest 2020. This is my choice and you are welcome to yours.

    When we declared our independence we sent to the King of England the words that all men are created equal. We didn’t declare that this condition was only directed toward members of the Colonies, we declared all men being created by god to be equal. Our government and our citizens continue to live under this declaration. This applies to all people everywhere.
    I don’t like it and hate to see bad people do horrible things to good innocent people but when this happens I am proud to be a member of a nation that will not tolerate these actions.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …put on your cowboy outfit, strap on both cap guns, get on over to Syria and fix it yourself! You seem you have all of the answers, so go make a difference! Drop by Iran, Yemen, Somalia and North Korea on your way back and straighten them out while you’re at!!!


  • YoursTruly says:

    I’m sure this peace rally will stop Assad from brutally killing his own people including innocent women and children.

    It must give these people a warm fuzzy feeling inside to think they are doing something by holding a rally then going home to their safe homes and living in a democratic society while hundreds more innocents die.

    If any thing is cause for use of force against a brutal tyrant it is this. The tyrant used NERVE GAS to kill his own people.

    Yeah let’s not get involved. We have our safe country with high standard of living compared to the rest of the world.

    Enjoy watching your Miley Cyrus Twerking video while a hundred more innocents die.

    Let’s protest those bad drones that take out many terrorist who blow up masses of innocents with bombs because of their perverted radicalism. They have a right to their insame ideaoligies.

    Whos to say who is right or wrong? It’s all relative dude!

    Let’s send drones to Syria and Iran loaded with flower petals and peaceful poems. I’m sure that will impress the wicked.

  • Guest2020 says:

    The federal government does not have Constitutional authority to intervene in Syria.

  • Confused Guest says:

    ” ‘Hopefully spoke people to action to contact Congressman McIntyre and Senator Kay Hagen to vote against any U.S involvement in Syria,’ Lee said.”

    What does this mean? Hopefully ‘spoke?’ What?

  • Guest 1492 says:

    until I listened to the vid. Yikes! He really said that!

    We should send him to Syria as a peace envoy. Maybe he’ll confuse Assad enough to stop him from killing his own people for a few days.

    Of course, Assad will ultimately kill him after he realizes that it’s all just gibberish. By the time Assad’s done with him, he’ll be able to turn the other cheek ….. inside out.

  • Bhbengals says:

    I love the young guy that couldn’t take his sunglasses off or turn his hat around for his TV interview advising us on foreign policy.

  • Guest1118 says:

    Is almost 40 years old and is very active politically (on the GOP side, a liberty/conservative) in this area. It was a hot day, give him a break.

  • Theo says:

    Held a rally? Only five people showed up, isn’t that more of a peace get-together?

    Also, there is something inherently sleezy about making watch a commercial before submitting a response!

  • 357sig says:

    Only 5 protesters showed up. WWAY reporting a skewed accounting of events only undermines their credibility.

  • Guest7969 says:

    you are whats called an “extremest”…Just sayin’

  • dean bailey says:

    yes let stay out of syria civil war, what we need to do is start a civil war here. we need to overthrow republican back. u.s. gov. give me a gun . republicans need to go. this country be better place without them.

  • Guest2020 says:

    If there was a war between the democrats and the republicans, the republicans would win. They support the second amendment and are better armed.

  • Guest7969 says:

    think its so cute how these types of people think the world can sit down and play patty cake. Listen, Syria, Iran and other extremist nation leadership would KILL you for simply standing on corner with your little peace sign. HATE us because you have that simple RIGHT. Its OK though, the big boys and girls put on boots and military uniforms so you can live in your little fantasy land…must be nice in there…

  • ConstitutionMuch says:

    Our Constitution only enables our military to defend our country – not go around the world starting wars because our moral superiority is threatened. Just because your formerly antiwar now turned bloodthirsty megalomaniac puppet on a string president is pounding his fist for war, you feel compelled to support him in it because after all, you voted for him and all the free goodies you were promised. Assad’s actions against his people does not threaten our national security – therefore it would be unconstitutional to launch any offensive strike against him. Don’t like it? Go get a Delorian, a flux capacitor, and go back in time to rewrite the Constitution allowing us to start wars all over the world whenever we feel like it. If we do launch this war, our security will then be seriously threatened.

  • truthseeker says:

    Hey, where was their VW bus, flowers, beads and a joint on their ear? Grow up hippies or did your LSD trips fry your liberal brains?

  • JJS says:

    Are you dumb? We have no dog in this fight. And as a Christian I think we should be very wary of when we decide to start taking lives..

  • Guest 1492 says:

    Don’t think you’re going to win any awards for creative thinking here.

    A couple of thoughts on your “as a Christian” pronouncement:

    * Weren’t “Christians” the ones who initiated the Crusades?
    * As a “Christian” should we have ignored Hitler?

    My point is: It’s more complicated than just your simplistic statement.

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