Non-Military Steps to Diffuse Crisis in Syria
June 13, 2012
In light of persistant conflict in Syria, much talk has been made as to how to act in such a situation, and whether military intervention is a viable option. The FCNL wrote an article entitled "U.S. Military Intervention in Syria is Not the Answer" in which they oppose the continued and progressive violence that would inevitably occur if the U.S. were to intervene in a militaristic way in Syria. Not only is it important to recognize the human rights violations that may persist with combating violence with violence, but it is essential to prefer a diplomatic and humanitarian approach. In the article mentioned above, there is a list steps of support in which to protect the civilians of conflict plagued Syria and bring forth desired resolution.
The opposition to military conflict is additionally seen in the desire of Syrian youth to create peace, which has recently been unsuccessful by the efforts of the UN and the League of Arab States in terms of obtaining permanent ceasefire. This nonviolent movement called "Stop the Killing" organized by the youth was initiated as a group created under the intention of good will without any political or religious affiliation. As the fight to create peace continues, the need of support of such peaceful movements is essential.
Peace is an objective, as explored by various individuals and organizations that should be highly sought after because, as Juan Cole describes in his article, there are several reasons that arming Syrian rebels could be a bad idea. Juan Cole recognizes that the violence that weaponry causes will not only lead to disastrous outcomes in Syria, but it could also carry over to surrounding countries' safety and economic advancement. Ultimately, Cole believes that by providing military support to Syrian rebels, the negative consequences would overwhelm any possible positive advancement.
It is important to understand the nature of the conflict in Syria in order to better understand what the most effective steps would be to end the catastrophic violence that has ensued in the past several months, as adeptly described in Daniel Byman's,"Preparing for Failure in Syria: How to Stave off Catasphrope"". It seems that provision of weapons would prolong the conflict rather than terminate it, as described in an article by Leon Goldsmith. Many of Assad's supporters, especially the Alawits, a sect of Shia Muslim, described in this article, feel obliged to continue supporting his regime in fear of not only political persecution but religious. In order to come to the best political solution we must understand the political climate present in Syria today, and come to understand that fighting violence with violence is not the answer. There is a great need in Syria for peaceful reform as well as economic stability and that certainly cannot be achieved through means of brute military force.
In short: the conflict in Syria is deep rooted in economic, religious, and political foundations; in order for long-term, true solutions to be made, one must resort to nonviolent diplomatic solutions rather than force.