Posted by CODEPINK Staff
by Phyllis Bennis -Director, New Internationalism Project for the Institute for Policy Studies
(This version has been slightly edited for length, with italicizes additions made by Janet Weil of CODEPINK.)
1. The U.S. should, first, do no harm. NO U.S. military strikes or any further military intervention in Syria. Support UN decision-making, international law and diplomacy instead of military force.
2. The U.S. should call for an immediate ceasefire by all sides and a comprehensive international arms embargo. Announce plans to stop sending or facilitating any arms to rebel forces or allowing U.S. allies to do so, and urge Russia and Iran to stop sending any arms to the Syrian government.
3. The U.S. should immediately re-open plans with Russia for international diplomatic negotiations towards a political solution in Syria, including all sides in Syria, including non-violent Syrian civil society, and representatives of Syrian, Palestinian, and other refugees and IDPs. The U.S. team should support plans to insure that the settlement provide protection for all communities in Syria and the return of refugees, and not exclude whole categories of people who may have served in the government, the army, or armed opposition militias. The U.S. should also support efforts towards accountability and justice for all war crimes that have been committed in the Syrian war.
4. The U.S. should announce a major increase in refugee and humanitarian assistance coordinated through the United Nations, and call on other countries to increase aid and coordinate through the UN.
5. The U.S. should support the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons to lead and oversee the transfer of chemical weapons to international control to be safely destroyed or removed. The U.S. should support further disarmament efforts by endorsing calls for a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone throughout the Middle East, with no exceptions.