The situation in Syria is complicated and disastrous, with an all-out civil war in Syria entangled with a proxy war among many powers seeking influence in the region. US pursuit of regime change in Libya and Iraq created chaos that promotes power grabs by extremist militias. Many of the weapons we are sending into Syria to arm anti-government militias end up in the hands of ISIS. In Syria it’s extremely difficult to sort out this complicated web of resistance fighters, religious extremists and warlords with backing from regional and world powers.
The one thing that is clear is that historic and current US military intervention in the Middle East is throwing fuel on the fire.
I call for principled collaboration in bringing a weapons embargo to the region, freezing the bank accounts of countries that continue to fund terrorist groups, vigorously promoting a ceasefire, and supporting inclusive peace talks.
I call on all actors in Syria, including the Assad government, Russia, Turkey and rebel forces to agree to an immediate cease-fire, stop all activities that are harming civilians, and work towards an agreement that will allow the delivery of humanitarian aid by neutral international organizations.
The best thing we can do for Syria, the Middle East and the world is to de-escalate this conflict, and involve as many of the players as we can in that de-escalation.
There is no military solution for Syria. The path to peace is not war. The only viable way forward to end the war in Syria is a political solution that brings all of the credible forces together to engage in a process of national reconciliation that is ultimately decided on by the Syrian people.
*Previously a prior unapproved draft of our position was inaccurately placed on our website. This was written by a junior staffer as a proposal, and was never the Stein/Baraka position.