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Now is the Time to De-escalate the Violence in Syria: Talking Points

Posted by Alli -

Wed, Sep 11, 2013

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Now is the Time to De-escalate the Violence in Syria

•   We should move forward on the Russian proposal for Assad to hand over chemical weapons.

•   We should recommend that whoever is found responsible for the chemical attack be brought before the International Criminal Court.

•   We should call for a meeting of the signers of the Convention Against Chemical Weapons to decide collectively how to respond.

•   We should energetically promote a ceasefire and arms embargo on all sides. Russia, Iran, and others must stop arming and funding the Syrian regime.  Washington, Saudi Arabia and other US allies must stop arming and funding the armed Syrian opposition.

•   We should jointly, with the world community, ensure that the UN has the funds it needs to care for the over 2 million Syrian refugees

 

A US military strike would be illegal. The UN Charter allows military action only in two cases – immediate self-defense or authorization by the Security Council. Syria hasn’t attacked or threatened the U.S., so there’s no self-defense claim. And the Security Council hasn’t authorized force, and likely won’t. U.S. law says only Congress can declare war – President Obama has asked Congress for approval, but claims he has the right to go ahead even if they vote no. That would violate the Constitution.

Military strikes also threaten to increase the violence and cause harm to Syrian civilians. The Pentagon admits cruise missiles aren’t always accurate.  And the Syrian government is reportedly moving more military offices to populated areas, increasing the likelihood of civilian casualties. Moreover, And the Obama administration admits its planned “limited surgical strikes” won’t do anything to bring the horrifying Syrian civil war to an end any quicker.

 

That’s why we feel that military action will increase the levels of violence and instability inside Syria, within the region, and potentially even globally.  Extremist forces in the region have the most to gain from military strikes; they will use the direct US involvement as a recruitment tool and potential target. Syrian civilians could face greater repression by the government in retaliation for US military strikes. Military strikes could fuel escalation of all five wars underway in Syria: the civil war, the regional power war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the global war of words between the US and Russia, the sectarian war between Shi’a and Sunnis, and the war over nuclear policy between the US/Israel and Iran – all now being fought to the last Syrian.

If Syria retaliates against US troops or ships, or US bases in neighboring countries, or Israel, it is almost certain the US response would risk regional escalation and a dramatic expansion of US involvement in Syria’s civil war.

 

Let’s stop this attack before it happens.

Call your congressperson. 202-224-3121. Say No to More War.

Contact: Info@codepink.org,

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