Escalating the Syrian Civil War Won’t Help Protect Civilians
(Photo: Abdulmonam Eassa / AFP (ARA))
Washington, D.C. — September 11, 2018 — In response to reports that the U.S. is holding talks with the U.K. and France about launching coordinated airstrikes in Syria should the Syrian government use chemical weapons, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement:
“When will the Trump administration learn you can’t protect civilians by raining more bombs on Syria? The administration needs to explain how these new strikes accomplish what the U.S. strikes last year and earlier this year could not. The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, but those truly concerned with preventing their use should focus their energies on ending the war in which they’re being used rather than escalating it.
“Just as with the airstrikes in 2017 and 2018, without explicit authorization from Congress and the U.N., any new bombing runs would violate U.S. and international law. If new reports of chemical attacks emerge, the best way to deal with them is to follow international law and allow U.N. weapons inspectors a chance to do their job. You can’t reinforce the international norm against the use of chemical weapons by flagrantly violating the international norm against military intervention.
“Beyond the dubious legality and efficacy of past and potential retaliatory strikes, attacking Syrian forces, which are working closely with Russian forces on the ground in Syria, entails an unacceptably high level of risk of escalation between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.