CARRBORO — The Board of Aldermen will send a letter to President Barack Obama and local members of Congress opposing military action in Syria.
The board was wrapping up its first meeting after summer recess Tuesday when Alderman Sammy Slade proposed a resolution. His suggestion was quickly taken up by Mayor Mark Chilton, who replied, “Perhaps you and I could work on a letter pursuant to such a motion.”
Syria is torn in a civil war of disunited rebel groups against the government of Bashar al-Assad. Government troops are accused of using sarin gas, a chemical weapon, against women and children.
Slade said the gesture was important, “especially since the president is already seeking approval, and our Representative David Price has said he is supporting it.”
A Sept. 1 statement issued by Price stopped short of supporting military action, but called the use of chemical weapons on civilians a “moral outrage.”
The statement praised Obama for “seeking approval from Congress even though he is not legally required to do so.”
Price’s statement went on, “I will insist any resolution hold the Administration to its promise that retaliation will not be a prelude to American boots on the ground.”
Obama has said he will seek congressional approval before authorizing military action in Syria.
Alderman Damon Seils seconded the motion, and the measure passed unanimously except for Alderwoman Randee Haven-O’Donnell, who was absent.
On Sept. 2, Seils posted a link on Twitter to an article from the magazine Jacobin titled “Good Wars, Real or Imagined” by Freddie de Boer. In it, the author argues against military incursion to Syria and “liberal hawks.”
In 2002, Carrboro adopted a resolution opposing the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq.
That same board passed a measure and went on record opposing the Patriot Act, which stripped many personal liberties in reaction to the World Trade Center attacks.
In 2003, Carrboro aldermen declared a “French trade month” in response to political backlash against France for staying out of the Iraq invasion.
In 1999, the Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution calling on President Bill Clinton, Gov. Jim Hunt and representatives to enact a moratorium on the death penalty.