U.S. anti war activist addresses election observers in Syria
Damascus, Syria – Election observers gathered June 4, the day after election day, to discuss what they had seen and adopted a statement that the elections were democratic and wished the Syrian people a new stage of stability, national unity and reconciliation. Parliamentarians from 11 countries officially participated as observers, including Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and The Philippines. There were also journalists, anti-war and international solidarity activists from Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Pakistan, Malaysia and Bahrain.
Joe Iosbaker, an activist with the Anti-War Committee-Chicago, was asked to address the meeting and comment on what he witnessed in Homs, where he was stationed as an observer.
Iosbaker told attendees, “In Homs we saw, first, the tragedy and horror of the U.S.-backed armies. We spoke with survivors and saw the photos of 900 martyrs.
“Second, we saw the triumph of the people, as hundreds rallied in each neighborhood and surged into the polling places to cast their ballot.
“Third, we witnessed Sawa, the coming together of the people, the parties and the leader of the country, President Bashar al Assad.
“Fourth, we were drawn into the warm embrace of the Syrian people, we danced debka and we put our fingers in ink as a symbol of solidarity.
“We will return home to bring to the American people what we saw, the truth of a democratic election, a constitution that is popular and a president who is being given the mandate by the people of Syria: to defeat the imperialist U.S., NATO, Zionist aggression; to reconstruct the country, and to heal a people who have suffered this vicious intervention.
“At this time, I want to say that the Syrian people represent that which is best, most noble and most beautiful of humanity: resistance to injustice, to war and occupation. You take your place with the people of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and most recently Ukraine, in the long pantheon of heroic peoples.
“Long live Syria! End the war now! U.S./NATO, hands off Syria!”