Syria and Iraq

President Obama has said that there is no military solution to the tragedy of Syria and the failure of Iraq. Nevertheless, we are now engaged in a war there. We believe that U.S. military actions make the situation worse. There are important steps that we could take to help the people of Syria and Iraq which do not involve self-defeating military action. Here are some ideas put forward by Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies:

The bombing should stop immediately, and be replaced with a U.S. policy based on:

  • Supporting an intensive new UN-based diplomatic initiative involving all parties in the region

  • Opening direct talks with Iran and Russia based on shared opposition to ISIS – with Iran to jointly push for ending anti-Sunni sectarianism in the Iraqi government, and with Russia to work towards ending the multi-party civil war in Syria

  • Pressuring U.S. allies in the region to stop their governments and people from arming and facilitating the movement of ISIS fighters

  • Shifting the war funds to a massive increase in humanitarian assistance


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