Sep 10 2013
In a stunning turn of events over the past 24 hours, Russian officials have secured a tentative agreement from the Syrian government to turn over its arsenal of chemical weapons to the international community in a last minute bid to avoid military action from the United States. The move is apparently in response to an offhand comment made by US Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference yesterday. A journalist, asking what Bashar Al Assad could do to avoid war, was told by Kerry that the Syrian President could hand over “every single bit” of his chemical weapons.
In a series of interviews about military action in Syria yesterday, President Obama seemed to echo a vague version of that comment, saying he would prefer a diplomatic solution. Here’s what he said to Gwen Ifill on PBS.
Now, a group of 8 senators has drafted an alternative resolution to the one authorizing military force, which would instead give the United Nations the time it needs to secure Syria’s chemical weapons. The resolution is backed even by hawkish Republicans like John McCain. But these developments do not necessarily mean that war is off the table – the draft resolution, if it even passes, would set a deadline for Assad to turn over his chemical weapons cache, and, automatically authorize force if the deadline were to pass unmet.
Sarah Van Gelder, co-founder and Executive Editor of Yes! Magazine, has written an article titled Syria: Six Alternatives to Military Strikes where she outlines some peaceful options for resolving the conflict. Some of her ideas include placing an embargo on all military supplies, providing much needed humanitarian aid and bringing guilty parties to the International Criminal Court.
GUEST: Sarah Van Gelder, YES! Magazine cofounder and executive editor
Click here to read Sarah Van Gelder’s article.
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