If you watched the debate last night, you heard the candidates offer their different views on how to handle the crisis in Syria and the international threat of Isis. But both Clinton and Trump agree on continuing an aggressive military strategy in the destabilized country, even though most experts and research concluded long ago that there is “no military solution to terrorism”.
In fact, after 15 years of fighting the so-called Global War on Terror, not only is terrorism still a threat, it’s spreading. This reality does not seem to phase the presidential candidates or their policies on interventionism.
In the debate, Trump threatened to “knock out Isis” with “sneak attacks” and made an irrational case for the US to increase its nuclear arms production in response to Russia. He also blasted the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
Clinton said that she supports the use of special forces, approves targeting and killing suspected Isis leaders, and would consider arming rebel groups on the ground.
All of these options are dangerous, have proven not to work in past examples, and will not help end the violence and killing in Syria.
We propose a different path.
On United for Peace and Justice‘s recent briefing call, “The Many Wars of Syria”, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, and former UFPJ Steering Committee member, laid out a 5 point plan that the peace movement can back as a means to end the conflict and promote peaceful solutions in Syria.
PHYLLIS BENNIS’ 5 POINTS ON WHAT CAN BE DONE TO END THE SYRIAN WARS ARE:
DO NO HARM
Stop the killing. Stop the airstrikes. Support a ceasefire.
MAKE IT REAL
Withdraw pilots, planes, boots on ground, drones, special forces, etc.
STOP SENDING WEAPONS
Arms are ending up with most extreme forces, best fighters. It’s a violation of international law and the Leahy Amendment
CREATE REAL NEW DIPLOMATIC PARTNERSHIPS — NOT MILITARY
Extend/strengthen Iran agreement, expand local ceasefires, diplomacy through UN
MASSIVE HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT
Support Syrian refugees and address the refugee crisis (US doesn’t have refugee crisis, it has a racism crisis)
By these standards, both leading candidates for President are failing to provide a hope for peace in Syria.
The peace and justice movement must organize and act to prevent increased militarism in Syria and the Middle East. It’s up to us to hold all candidates accountable for their views and proposed actions that make us less safe, destroy hopes for peace, and fuel terrorism.