Letters to the Editor

Let’s choose peace, not war in Syria

The US policy of regime change is a major cause of the war in Syria. It began in 2012 when Obama declared that “Assad must go.” As widely reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, without a declaration of war from Congress or approval of the UN Security Council, the US government began illegally arming and training Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow the government of Syria, while US allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar provided enormous amounts of weapons and cash.

Thousands of jihadists from all over the world poured into Syria through NATO member Turkey, joining ISIS, Al Qaeda, or other rebel groups. All this turned a non-violent “Arab Spring” uprising of ordinary Syrians wanting democracy into a vicious international war. This only benefits the war industry and their investors.

Instead of illegal regime change and war, our representatives could choose a policy of peace. This means respecting international law and the United Nations system that was established following WW2 for the purpose of preventing another world war. It also means to stop providing weapons to brutal, authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who have little respect for human rights. If we stopped arming these regimes, it would be in Russia’s interest to do likewise. As the world's most powerful nation, the US is in a unique position to use negotiation to demilitarize the Middle East and promote democracy and greater respect for human rights. This would create a better, safer world for us all.