Here’s a preliminary draft of what the United States Congress could pass this week if it were sincerely interested in human rights, international norms, the rule of law, and peace in Syria. You are welcome to suggest it to your Congress members, who are more than welcome to tinker with it. You might also share it with any friends or uncles or neighbors who demand to know: “If you’re against missile strikes then what are you in favor of?” Send me any suggested changes.
Non-Lethal Aid to Syria
No Military Solution
a) The Congress does not authorize military action or support of military action in Syria, and such action by the Central Intelligence Agency and any other agencies of the United States must cease immediately.
b) The United States respects the position of the United Nations Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, as parts of the Supreme Law of the Land. The United States will not violate these treaties by military action or threat of military action against Syria.
a) The United States will encourage Syria, as well as Egypt, Israel, Angola, North Korea, and South Sudan to ratify and abide by the Chemical Weapons Convention.
b) The United States will eliminate in the swiftest manner that safety allows the entirety of its own chemical weapons stockpiles, and urge other nations, including Russia, to do the same.
c) The United States will forthwith cease to maintain or make use of as weapons: white phosphorous, depleted uranium, or any form of napalm, and will assist Iraq in its recovery from their use.
d) The Congress urges the president to sign the United States on as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
e) The United States will forward to the UN Security Council and to the prosecutor of the ICC all evidence of violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
f) The United States will urge the United Nations to send human rights monitors to Syria.
a) The United States will transfer 1% of the current year’s Department of Defense budget to non-military aid programs for Syrian refugees and those suffering as a result of war in Syria and around the world.
a) The United States will diplomatically urge Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, and all other nations to cease providing arms and ammunition, or funding for arms and ammunition, to fighters in Syria on both sides of the war.
b) The United States will diplomatically urge Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, and others involved to urge the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government to establish a cease-fire. The United States will use all available pressure, including ceasing to itself provide arms to nations involved.
c) The United States will work with the international community to bring both sides in the Syrian civil war to a neutral negotiating table, with no pre-conditions.
Photo from Mark Fischer licensed under Creative Commons