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Obama’s pledge to end wars pie crust promise: Activist

A foreign-backed militant looks at smoke billowing into the sky in the background during clashes with Syrian forces south of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on October 19, 2015. (©AFP)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war activist from California, to get her take on the US decision to dispatch special forces to Syria.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Washington is saying the Special Forces will be involved in training and advice missions, but the 'no boots on the ground' promise has been broken. How do you think the Americans who actually voted for Obama to end these wars feel?

Sheehan: Well, of course Obama has expanded and started many wars since he has been president. He has not ended any not even in Iraq when they said that he had ended the war in Iraq. He’s supporting Saudi Arabia in their bombardment of Yemen.

And so, sending more boots on the ground after he promised not to of course is just pie crust promise, easily made and easily broken. And there needs to be a more force of grassroots activism here in the United States to demand that the US withdraws troops from the Middle East and from regional conflicts.

And so, the people who voted for him to end wars obviously didn’t listen to what he said in his campaign. He never really promised to end wars, he promised to expand them.

So, Congress gave the president authorization in 2001. Barack Obama has used it, George Bush used it, the next president will use it until Congress actually listens to the people and revokes those authorizations. I don’t think that they were meant to be open-ended.

Press TV: The US forces are being sent to Syria in contravention of international law, it’s like the Syrian government has not asked for combat missions in Syria, and this decision amounts to interference and violation of a sovereign state. How is the US justifying what it’s doing?

Sheehan: Well, the US really is justifying that based on... I mean I’ve seen that people are saying that ISIS (ISIL) is a threat to the people here in the United States when it’s been proven over and shown over and over again they are meddling in that region. And a meddling is to soft the word are invasions, occupations, using drone bombing, using piloted aircrafts for bombing, supporting so-called rebel groups.

The US may not have had boots on the ground, but the US has been giving money and training to the so-called rebel groups in Syria in contravention of international law. As you said, invading a sovereign state, but that’s what the US has done.

Now when Barack Obama says they’re going to be advisors and they’re going to be trainers. We have advisors and trainers in Saudi Arabia right now. Saudi Arabia is, I have said earlier, bombarding Yemen, killing innocent people, but that was the excuse in Vietnam in the 50s on what happened in that country.

And so, the US is obviously a military empire and it will be up to the people in the United States to call for and demand an end to that. And another thing is I find it interesting that the Congress is only talking about putting Americans in harm’s way where there are tens of millions of people in the Middle East that have been put in harm’s way because of what the US has done.

It’s time to close bases, withdraw troops, pay reparations and let the people of each sovereign state decide what’s best for them and not best for the interest of the US. We have no interest in that region.


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