War Prevention Initiative condemns act of war in Syria

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2017

War Prevention Initiative condemns act of war in Syria                                                                                        

The April 6, 2017 airstrikes against Syria by President Donald Trump are reckless, illegal and counterproductive. They do not enhance national security nor do they contribute to improving the tragic situation in Syria.

War Prevention Initiative Executive Director Patrick Hiller stated: “Over and over again we are seeing the destructive pattern of limiting ourselves to military responses in the face of atrocities. Even if the international community has failed to prevent atrocities, we must recognize that military intervention should never be used for the sake of peace and security. The airstrikes are acts of war, and wars are by nature destructive. More violence, death and suffering are fueled into an already violent context in Syria. It is time to follow a new path. A path that is not informed by some sort of perceived naïve pacifism, but by rigorous analysis and use of nonviolent alternatives.”

The War Prevention Initiative promotes continued nonviolent approaches to address the escalated violence and atrocities in Syria. Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Prosecuting the parties responsible for atrocities as criminals through the International Criminal Court rather than waging war against a country and its civilians
  • Invoking targeted economic and political sanctions through the UN Security Council
  • Supporting local nonviolent campaigns
  • Supporting diplomacy, mediation, negotiation or reconciliation to include:
    • Within Syria: the regime, all opposition parties and all societal sectors
    • Globally: Alliances currently backing the regime and the opposition respectively (USA, China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.)
  • Initiating a peace conference with all internal and external stakeholders (including civil society organizations) leading to a ceasefire agreement, an immediate moratorium of all arms transfers in the region and the process of disarmament
  • Engaging conflict resolution experts in the media to report on the effectiveness of nonviolent conflict transformation

We assert that there is no quick and single solution. However, if those and other alternatives are not used, it is not because they are unavailable. It is proven that nonviolent approaches will be more effective and less costly than any kind of military approach. We urge the Trump administration to recognize that it is time to shift from military responses toward the existing, tested and proven nonviolent alternatives to alleviate human suffering.

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For further comment or questions, please contact Patrick Hiller, War Prevention Initiative’s Executive Director at patrick@jubitz.org or 503 505-5721.

About the Author

Patrick. T. Hiller, Ph.D., Hood River, OR, is the Executive Director of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation. He is a Conflict Transformation scholar, professor, Vice-President of the International Peace Research Association Foundation and served on the Executive Committee of the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association (2012-2016), and member of the Peace and Security Funders Group.

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