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[16days_discussion] Fwd: No US War on Syria: Talks, Not Bombs, Needed in Response to Chemical Attacks

16 Days Campaign 16days at cwgl.rutgers.edu
Wed Aug 28 14:40:40 EDT 2013


For your information:*

No US War on Syria: Talks, Not Bombs, Needed in Response to Chemical 
Attacks*

Evidence has emerged of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil 
war, with hundreds of people killed and thousands injured. Any attack on 
civilians is a war crime, and MADRE unequivocally denounces the use of 
chemical weapons by any government or armed group.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s response to this violence is 
more violence. The United States is planning air strikes 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/world/middleeast/obama-syria-strike.html> 
against targets it designates as linked to the Assad regime’s military 
capacity. Bombing Syrian government facilities will only deepen the 
conflict and worsen the suffering of the people of Syria. US air strikes 
will not reduce the likelihood 
<http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/26/architect_of_syria_war_plan_doubts_surgical_strikes_will_work> 
of chemical weapons being deployed again. In fact, a US/NATO 
intervention could well trigger a massive escalation of the war. 
Instead, the US, Russia and governments in the region must stop sending 
weapons into Syria.

The best response to the horror of chemical weapons is to reinvigorate a 
push for the Geneva II peace talks. The US should engage with Russia and 
Saudi Arabia, key allies of the regime and the rebels, respectively, to 
put pressure on armed actors to implement a ceasefire and to participate 
in talks.

Engagement with Russia requires US assurances that the US does not seek 
unilateral regime change in Syria but is prepared to support talks with 
the Syrian government aimed at a negotiated transition.

The US must also desist from efforts to exclude Iran from the 
negotiations. All warring parties and their sponsors are needed in 
diplomatic efforts to negotiate an end to the civil war.

For any peace talks to yield real results, women must be included at the 
table. In the past two years, Syrian women and girls have been targeted 
with violence, including sexual assault, as a deliberate tactic of 
warfare. Women and children make up the majority of refugees spilling 
over borders into neighboring countries. Their priorities must be a 
central concern of any future peace talks. Similarly, the voices of 
peaceful, democratic Syrian civil society groups must be heard in Geneva.

Finally, the Obama Administration must dramatically expand humanitarian 
aid to the region. The number of refugee children has hit a disastrous 
milestone: one million children. The scale of this crisis demands an 
urgent increase in funding for relief, not more military spending.

MADRE stands with Syrian women and families, and we call on the Obama 
Administration to:

  * Stop the flow of weapons into Syria
  * Renew focus on diplomacy to end the conflict
  * Increase humanitarian aid to the region


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-- 
The 16 Days Team
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Center for Women's Global Leadership
School of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
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New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
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Fax: 1-732-932-1180
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