Finally, a Friday post (and a Syria update.)
As everyone has probably heard, John Kerry sort of word-vomited a potential solution to the question of airstrikes on Syria. He suggested Bashar al-Assad could avoid being bombed by giving up all of his chemical weapons to the U.N. and eventually allowing them to be destroyed. To his apparent surprise, Russia and Syria jumped on this possibility.
So now there is a plan in place to deal with the chemical weapons issue in Syria. There is definitely some doubt as to whether it will be 100% effective, but in the short term at least it looks like we won’t see another chemical weapons attack there.
Of course, the deal still has its detractors, including members of the U.S. Congress who always thought the plan to conduct limited airstrikes was too lenient and are now disappointed that it appears the U.S. will not become militarily involved in another war in the Middle East.
While my last post on Syria laid out my opposition to U.S. military strikes there, I do agree that there is more the U.S. could do to actually alleviate some of the suffering of civilians caught in the middle of an undeniably brutal civil war.
We could follow Sweden’s lead and grant blanket asylum to all Syrian refugees who choose to apply for it.
Failing that, we could at least provide an expedited processing similar to what we do for Cubans coming to the U.S.
The U.S. and other major international aid donors have also so far not even come close to fulfilling their pledges for aid contributions.
There are over 2 million Syrian refugees currently in just the immediately surrounding countries. That isn’t counting the ones who have made it to places like the E.U. or U.S., or internally displaced people (people have had to flee their homes because of the fighting, but are still somewhere in Syria.)
So if U.S. lawmakers and citizens (and the rest of the world) are really concerned about the suffering of civilian men, women, and children of Syria, there is plenty we could do to help that wouldn’t involve bombing their homeland.
If you want to donate to organizations working to alleviate the refugee crisis in Syria, one of the good ones I know of is the International Rescue Committee. Check them out here.
Another option is the Syrian Red Crescent (for those not familiar, it is their version of the Red Cross.)