[AUDIO] “The Many Wars of Syria” Briefing with Phyllis Bennis

Listen to the audio of our recent briefing call from the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 14th, 21016

Let’s start out the fall with a new commitment to follow more closely the carnage in Syria. Is it a civil war? Is it a proxy war between the nuclear powers ? Is it also a proxy war between Middle Eastern governments? Can ISIS be reined in? Should Assad go? Or stay? What is the USA doing as an actor in the situation? We as anti-war activists should be constantly questioning that. What about congressional moves to demand a new AUMF? Is that wise? What would diplomacy look like in such a complex set of wars? What are solutions that the US Peace Movement could be pushing? For one, we should be extending the good efforts against arms sales to Saudi Arabia — always promoting the goal of a Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East (and why stop there?). We in the Peace Movement have a deep belief that the American invasion of Iraq started this whole change of events. Syrian Immigrants (as well as those from North Africa) are changing the population map of both the Middle East and Europe. Why is the US taking in so few of those who are fleeing? What is our responsibility as advocates for peace to those who flee from war and violence? What do the American people know of all this? Once again our mass media has let us all down. What kind of educational campaign can we launch to quicken the sensibilities of the good folk of the United States? What about the belief in America as a moral force in the world? So many opportunities for America to shine get lost as our treasure goes to “solving” problems with military might. Instead of the greed and corruption fomented by corporations — particularly in the military-industrial area — American ingenuity and trillion dollar investment could dig in with creative answers to climate change. We could lead the world in public education that serves every child in our very diverse democracy. The biggest challenge of all is to address the burgeoning gaps between rich and poor both in this country and across the globe because until that changes, perpetual wars continue. Let’s keep dreaming of a peaceful world and acting to make it so. Sponsors: UFPJ, PDA, Code Pink Moderator: Jackie Cabasso, UFPJ
Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, where she directs the New Internationalism project working to change US policy in the broader Middle East. She was a co-founder of both the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and United for Peace and Justice coalitions, and continues work with both the US and global anti-war movements. Her most recent books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, and Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror: A Primer.  

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