The following is a release from Richard Black who represents the 13th district in the Virginia state senate:
"Before any attack is launched against the sovereign nation of Syria, I feel compelled to express my firm opposition to the mass slaughter that lies ahead.
Driven by inter-party hubris and foreign influence, we are about to commit our nation to another conflict in an endless string of tragic and costly Mideast wars, despite having no national interest there.
Allegations of poison gas have become the convenient pretext for war. Rebels claim the Syrian government has used gas against civilians. Syria has fought bloody house-to-house battles against rebel armies for two years. Syria’s forces did not use gas against President Assad’s enemies when its use would have decisively shifted the tide of battle in Syria’s favor. But now, the world is asked to believe that, having withheld poison gas in battle, Syria has used it against women and children in the capital of Damascus knowing it could invite countries to join the fight against them.
And who are these rebels who would be our allies? The rebels are widely reported to be dominated by al Qaeda, the same group that killed 3,000 Americans in the 9-11. These rebels have sworn to purge the country of “infidels,” and especially of Christians, who are 10% of the population, currently given protection under the Syrian government.
Rebel leaders have gleefully cannibalized fallen soldiers on camera. Rebels conduct frequent mass executions of Syrian POWs. They have burned churches and raped and beheaded Christians, including priests and nuns. Just two weeks ago, they carried out mass executions in Kurdish towns, butchering at least 450 civilians--men, women and children.
I urge our leaders to pull back from another war. Because the pretext for war is shaky at best; because we would align ourselves with possible war criminals; because these rebels would likely impose barbaric Sharia Law; and because such a war is unjustified under international law, I will pray for our troops, but I cannot in good conscience support this war.
Contact your congressman and tell them to oppose war with Syria today."