TO: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
We urge you to reject any military intervention in Syria, including arming the rebels or creating a no-fly zone, and instead to focus on increasing humanitarian assistance through the United Nations and building active multi-lateral diplomacy without preconditions with all involved parties for an immediate ceasefire, a full arms embargo, and negotiations to end Syria’s civil war.
Why is this important?
You can’t put out a raging fire by pouring gasoline on one side of it. There is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and more arms to any side mean more civilians will be killed.
Any U.S. military intervention holds the threat of unplanned escalation, and ultimately a quagmire. It is much easier to send planes, bombs and missiles than it is to get out – especially if a plane is shot down or a pilot captured. There is no exit strategy for Syria and even a “no-fly zone” could easily become a costly quagmire.
The situation in Syria today is full-scale civil war, which denies the people of Syria their right to choose their own government and leaders. Other governments arming and financing the two sides does not restore that right, it only makes things worse.
The U.S.-Russian initiative known as Geneva II talks should be pushed forward, involving all the relevant outside actors, especially those providing weapons and military or economic support to any side. The U.S. should stop trying to prevent Iran’s participation in the talks – any serious diplomacy requires everyone to be at the table.
On the Syrian side, negotiations must include not only the Syrian government and the armed rebels, but organizations representing Syrian civil society including unarmed opposition forces, Syria’s minority communities, women, and youth.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
Just Foreign Policy (IFP)
Peace Action (P-A)
Peace and Justice Resource Center (PJRC)
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ)
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
Women’s Actions for New Directions (WAND)