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Green Party LogoGreen Party: The U.S. must aid and admit Syrian refugees, end regime-change policies that cause displacement

Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
Friday, September 11, 2015

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator,

Videos and news from the Green Party's 2015 Annual National Meeting in St. Louis, Mo., July 23-26

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party calls for an expanded U.S. role in offering aid and new homes for Middle Eastern refugees and an end to interventionist "regime change" policies that continue to provoke violent conflict and displacement of civilians.

"The crisis of displacement has been caused in large measure by U.S. policies in the Middle East, north Africa, and western Asia. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in the last decade and ousted Qaddafi in Libya in 2011, the result was an era of regional instability and violence in countries between Pakistan and Nigeria. Greens warned that this would happen and opposed all of these actions," said Bahram Zandi, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chair of the party's International Committee.

Greens said that wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, southeast Turkey, Sudan, and northeast Nigeria have either been triggered or aggravated by U.S. invasions, interventions, and drone assaults. Power vacuums in many of these countries, in the wake of U.S.-led regime change, enabled extremist insurgencies, Islamic State, and al-Qaeda affiliates to seize control, inflict appalling violence, and drive people from their homes.

Among the refugees are 2.6 million Iraqis displaced by Islamic State and half of Syrias population of 23 million, with four million now seeking shelter in other countries.

Green Party leaders urged three steps to end the crisis:

(1) The U.S. must end policies of military intervention and regime change that only create worse conditions.

"The neocon doctrine of regime change, unilateral military action against countries that haven't attacked the U.S., and assertion of U.S. military supremacy continues to guide actions even in the Obama Administration. Republicans and many Democrats are now clamoring for even more regime change, while U.S. media cling to variations on 'U.S. military heroes vs. evil dictators' propaganda to justify these disastrous policies," said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party.

In 2014, neocons and liberal warhawks pressed President Obama to launch bombing assaults on Syrian President Assad's forces, while interfering with peace talks in Geneva. Greens said that such an intervention would have caused an even greater crisis by enabling Islamic State to seize control of all or most of Syria, creating an even worse crisis. Low-level U.S. intervention in Syria since 2012 has mainly strengthened sectarian anti-Assad rebels, with military aid winding up in the hands of al-Qaeda and Islamic State forces.

Aylan Kurdi, the drowned refugee boy whose photo has been widely circulated, was trying to escape Islamic State and U.S. bombs falling on his hometown of Kobani, not Assad forces.

Green Party leaders have warned that demands by U.S. warhawks for U.S. and Israeli belligerence against Iran, over the latter's nonexistant nuclear weapons program, could lead to a global conflagration (

The Green Party has strongly opposed neocon policies, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the attack on Libya that deposed and killed Qaddafi, and military aid for repressive autocrats in countries like Saudi Arabia, whose forces continue to hammer Yemen with support from the U.S.-led coalition.

(2) The U.S. must commit to providing humanitarian aid instead of feeding bloated military budgets.

Such aid must include assistance for the Syrian refugees and acceptance of them for resettlement in the U.S., in a number commensurate with the U.S. role in having created the crisis. The U.S. plans to admit only 1,800, compared to 800,000 in Germany.

Greens said that the U.S. must revise its view of compassionate refugee status to include economic refugees displaced by U.S. military ventures across the globe and that the U.S. take responsibility for its own imperialist foreign policies.

(3) The U.S. must lead an international summit on aiding the four million Syrian refugees and finding political solutions that will stabilize afflicted regions and enable refugees everywhere to return home.

"The only workable solutions are those that rely on diplomacy instead of warfare and that recognizes human rights and respects the rights of sovereign nations to reject Western economic policies that encourage austerity and economic instability," said Andrea Mérida, co-chair of the Green Party. "The Green Party favors negotiations toward peaceful resolution that reduces or eliminates sanctions, while continuing or strengthening inspections to ensure human rights, international law, and existing treaties. The U.S. must also cease supporting Israel's violent suppression of Palestinian rights, which continues to poison U.S. relations with other nations in the Middle East. As stated in our platform, we reaffirm the right of self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis, which precludes the self-determination of one at the expense of the other."

See also:

The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the ‘Do Something’ Lie
By Adam Johnson, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, September 5, 2015

As Major Culprit in Creating Crisis, U.S. Rebuked for Failing Refugees
By Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams, September 4, 2015

Freedom Rider: Refugees Flee American Aggression
By Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report, September 9, 2015


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