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Friday, September 13, 2013

[haw-info] Update: U.S. Policy on Syria

Update: US Policy on Syria


The President's decision to back away from the use of military force and to seek a diplomatic solution to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons is an obviously a positive development. Especially significant, given the now 12 year-old "war on terror," was the highly visible public opposition to military intervention. Less visible perhaps but extremely effective, was the mobilization of national and local grassroots peace organizations across the country. Members of Congress were besieged with calls, emails and petitions. In Washington DC and around the country, concerned constituents sent delegations and organized vigils at Congressional offices. Over the course of a week, scores of Senators and Representatives were changing their minds.


It would be comforting to think this was a watershed moment, when the American people and their government turned away from war and threats of war as the centerpiece of American foreign policy, but the impediments to that change are substantial. On the immediate question of how the US government will respond if it cannot obtain a favorable deal on Syria's chemical weapons, there are clearly grounds for concern. It is by no means certain that the Obama Administration has abandoned any intention of launching a military attack.


We want to thank the many of you who signed on to our Historians Emergency list-serve and who participated in some form of action. For the present, we want to keep this list-serve alive given the uncertainties of the moment. If you would like to be included and have not already done so, you can do this by sending an email to: Syria-request@lists.historiansagainstwar.org?subject=subscribe or to Carolyn.Eisenberg@hofstra.edu


Steering Committee of Historians Against War


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