Syria: Escalate the Talk, Not the War
In the face of growing pressure, President Obama has so far avoided dramatic escalation of U.S. military involvement in Syria. Despite calls to the contrary from unsuccessful presidential candidate John McCain and other “when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” know-nothing war-mongers, who apparently thought the disastrous Iraq and Afghanistan wars were just ducky, the Obama Administration has so far held off on a military escalation.
Of course, we are very concerned about the horrific humanitarian crisis there, the allegations of chemical weapons use (by the Assad government? the rebels? both? we just don’t know), Israel’s illegal bombing of alleged Syrian weapons sites (perhaps also meant as a warning to Iran?), and possible covert action or arming of rebel factions by the U.S. or its allies.
However, to date, the Obama Administration has wisely not proceeded with establishing a “no fly zone” or other direct U.S. military escalation, and there is at least hope for an international/regional peace conference led by the U.S. and Syria’s main ally, Russia. Such a conference should include other key countries in the region, including Iran (France opposes Iran’s inclusion). Russia and the U.S. have asked both sides of the Syrian conflict to agree to such a conference, possibly in late June. So far president Assad has agreed and the opposition has not.
Such a conference should address a wide array of concerns – an immediate cease fire, an agreement to stop arming all sides in the conflict, access for United Nations inspectors to investigate conflicting claims of chemical weapons use, accountability for Israel’s illegal bombing, a possible Syrian national unity government, establishment of a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the region and other national, regional and international concerns.
Our goal here is not, however, to present some sort of ten point peace plan, but to push back on reckless calls for war or military escalation. Tell the president, “we need to escalate the talk, not the war.” Please sign our petition, and feel free to add your own thoughts, and to forward it to your friends and family
Syria is at a truly dangerous moment involving many regional countries and nuclear powers, choosing sides and adding to a risk of massive disaster. Please sign and forward our petition.