On Syria, Neither Candidate Realizes Military Can’t Defeat Terrorism, Only Peace Can

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”.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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:

  1. DO NO HARM

    Stop the killing. Stop the airstrikes. Support a ceasefire.

  2. MAKE IT REAL

    Withdraw pilots, planes, boots on ground, drones, special forces, etc.

  3. STOP SENDING WEAPONS

    Arms are ending up with most extreme forces, best fighters. It’s a violation of international law and the Leahy Amendment

  4. CREATE REAL NEW DIPLOMATIC PARTNERSHIPS — NOT MILITARY

    Extend/strengthen Iran agreement, expand local ceasefires, diplomacy through UN

  5. 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.

Sign the Peace Pledge here and learn more about what we are demanding as part of our campaign.