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Syria – is there still reason to hope?

Dear all,

the situation in Syria is getting worse and worse. Citizens are being massacred, the state denies any responsibility for its affiliated troops and the opposition (at least the part that gets media time here in Germany) is calling for civil war. And yet, there is still a small hope. We have seen how slow and driven by self-interest large nations are reacting or changing their position. But apart from finding a way of removing Assad from office and ignored ceasefires, we have also seen that pressure is rising from all sides on the UN Security Council to act.

Right now though, there is another chance to help, and that is by trying all we can to stop weapon deliveries to Syria! One chance has been identified by the avaaz network and they started a campaign today for which they need as many signatures as possible. A Russian weapons manifacturer, Rosoboronexport, is delivering weapons to Syria still. To put pressure on them, we can pressure the two biggest buyers of their weapons, India and USA, into stopping their contracts, if Rosoboronexport continues to deliver weapons to Syria.

You can sign the petition here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/us_and_india_stop_syrias_merchants_of_death/?cQPgFab  and as important, you can share this link so others can sign it, too! This is not the perfect solution, but it definitely is worth a try! If doing what I can is giving just a signature for stopping arms trades to Syria, I gladly will give that signature!

Hope comes in different shapes, one Syrian proponent of nonviolence is returning home as well. Ken Butigan over at wagingnonviolence.org wrote an article on the immediate return of Sheik Jawdat Said to Damascus. The article refers to a very interesting interview he gave on NPR last week:

“We need to get rid of armies. Soldiers are rifles used by others,”

Then there is Iara Lee, a filmmaker who worked at the Turkish-Syrian border and spoke with Syrian refugees there wrote this article last month, which brings at least some insight and again a different point of view to this complex situation and more reason for hope for nonviolent solutions: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iara-lee/the-only-true-revolution-in-syria-is-nonviolent_b_1519844.html#s=more226651

There actually was a comment there, speaking about non-violence turning into a kind of religious thing you would have to belief in. On the contrary, non-violence is both art and science of not killing and not hurting people in conflicts. It needs research, training and yes, it needs hope for a better future like any other form of interaction.

This post represents the personal opinion of Georg at the time of writing!

One thought on “Syria – is there still reason to hope?

  1. myers

    Syria is a typical example of the inability and failure of our politicians to facilitate & implement negotiated, non-violent conflict transformation strategies, although it is highly disputable if this is even their real interest. With the Russians supplying weapons to Assad, the Arab League or the West supplying weapons to those opposing him, and different armed gangs roaming the streets, the inevitability of civil war or foreign intervention is growing by the minute and it is questionable who now can possibly stop it or with what means. The ones who will suffer most from this are the diverse minorities living within Syria, above all unprotected women and children. One thing is sure – you cannot reach a peaceful and negotiated settlement as long as the guns are firing. Are all countries really supporting the Annan peace plan? Is there any really other alternative to that?

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