Next Steps on Syria
We helped stop a potentially disastrous U.S. military intervention in the Syrian civil war, but that war rages on. Here is a “peace platform” Peace Action helped craft along with allies* in the very effective ad hoc coalition on Syria we initiated. Your comments on the substance of the platform, and on how to promote it to the media, the public and policy-makers, are most welcome.
A CALL FOR U.S. ACTION FOR PEACE IN SYRIA
1. The U.S. should, first, do no harm. Stand against any U.S. military strikes or any further military intervention in Syria. Support UN decision-making, international law and diplomacy instead of military force.
2. The U.S. should call for an immediate ceasefire by all sides and a comprehensive international arms embargo. Announce plans to stop sending or facilitating any arms to rebel forces or allowing U.S. allies to do so, and urge Russia and Iran to stop sending any arms to the Syrian government.
3. The U.S. should immediately re-open plans with Russia for international diplomatic negotiations towards a political solution in Syria. The talks must include all sides in Syria, including non-violent Syrian civil society, and representatives of Syrian, Palestinian, and other refugees and internally displaced persons forced from their homes in Syria. All key parties to the conflict, including Iran, should be included. The U.S. should also support efforts towards accountability and justice for all war crimes that have been committed in the Syrian war.
4. The U.S. should announce a major increase in refugee and humanitarian assistance coordinated through the United Nations, and call on other countries to increase aid and coordinate through the UN.
5. The U.S. should support the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons to lead and oversee the transfer of chemical weapons to international control so they may be safely destroyed or removed. The U.S. should support further disarmament efforts by endorsing calls for a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone throughout the Middle East, with no exceptions.
* Groups working together on Syria:
Sisters of Mercy
Win Without War
Institute for Policy Studies
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Just Foreign Policy
Progressive Democrats of America
American Friends Service Committee
Peace and Justice Resource Center
U.S. Labor Against the War
United for Peace and Justice
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Women’s Action for New Directions
It’s an outstanding statement. Push it out any way you can. Start with posting it on the Peace Action website and the sites of every group in the coalition and PA affiliates. Have the affiliates use it in letters and op-eds and Facebook and send to Congress. Send it to your entire press list. Then send it to the think tanks that advise Obama and the State Dept. if you know them.
One question on #5–Is the U.S. not supporting the OPCW? Since recent news stories say the process has started, that one sounds out-dated unless the U.S. is somehow opposing it or there’s something more specific the U.S. could be doing to make it successful.
Excellent statement. I agree that it should be disseminated everywhere, starting with the media, Congress, President Obama and Secretary Kerry.
Great statement. Concise and to the point. I’ll circulate it locally.