As the Obama administration appears to be on the verge of direct military attacks on Syria, I highly recommend the website of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a Washington-based lobbying group that expresses the Quaker belief that war is never the answer to the world’s problems.
• There’s an August 28 letter from 25 non-governmental groups urging President Obama to pursue a route other than direct military intervention.
While we unequivocally condemn any use of chemical weapons along with continued indiscriminate killing of civilians and other violations of international humanitarian law, military strikes are not the answer. Rather than bringing an end to the violence that has already cost more than 100,000 lives, they threaten to widen the vicious civil war in Syria and undermine prospects to de-escalate the conflict and eventually reach a negotiated settlement.
• There’s an excellent blog post by an Iraq veteran, Matt Southworth.
I empathize with the suffering happening in Syria right now. I’ve seen firsthand the same kind of suffering. Yet there is a universal truth to war—civil, preemptive, intervention or otherwise. War does not and will never protect civilian populations. Women and children will always be most inadvertently effected. To engage militarily will only serve to exacerbate, not remedy, the crisis in Syria.
• And there are policy recommendations spelling out alternatives to the dangerous escalation of the conflict.
I also found the debate earlier this week on the PBS Newshour to be very instructive. You can view the segment or read the transcript online.
I would welcome suggestions for other current resources shedding light on the issue of U.S. foreign policy in Syria.