How PPP Helped Stop a War!
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 16 Sep 2013
People-Power, the Pope, and Russian President Vladimir Putin (PPP) helped prevent a U.S. Attack on Syria. For Now!
Overwhelming public opinion and people-power protest action, both in the U.S. and around the world, against a U.S. attack on Syria, including an appeal by the Pope, and a diplomatic proposal from the Russians all helped to call off the planned illegal U.S. military attack on Syria in the 11th hour.
It is clear that because of public pressure against an attack, President Obama did not have the votes in Congress to approve an attack, so he asked that the vote be postponed. Even with Congressional approval, a U.S. attack would still be illegal under the UN charter and international law. The U.S. has not been attacked nor under imminent threat of attack by Syria. And the UN Security Council has not authorized military action. Therefore any U.S. attack or threat of an attack on Syria is illegal.
It is still not clear who used chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war: the Assad government, opposition forces or others trying to blame it on Assad to provoke a U.S. attack on Assad.
Pope Francis announced Sept. 7th as a day of worldwide fasting and prayer for peace. He was alarmed at U.S. threats to strike Syria. More than 100,000 filled St. peter’s Square in Rome on Sept. 7th. Pope Francis’ heartfelt plea was to end the violence in Syria, not escalate it. He said, “Violence and war are never the way to peace!” He denounced those who are “captivated by the idols of dominion and power” and destroy God’s creation through war. He continued, “War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity.” Pope Francis appealed to the Group of 20 who recently met in Russia, urging them to abandon the “futile pursuit” of a military solution in Syria and work instead for a negotiated settlement. As Gandhi said, “an eye-for-an-eye will only make the whole world blind.”
Perhaps the most unexpected action came from the Russians in proposing that the Syrian government hand over all its chemical arsenal for destruction under international control. The Assad government has agreed. Now the details need to be worked out. But this 11th hour good faith effort by the Russians appears to have prevented a U.S. attack with unknown global consequences. In short, Russian Vladimir Putin, acted as a modern day “Good Samaritan” to pull President Obama and the world from the ditch of widening war. Putin said, a U.S. strike against Syria would “result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders.” Putin added, “We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.” Putin disagreed with Obama’s claim of American “exceptionalism,” saying “when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” Amen indeed, may God bless the Russians, the Syrians, and everybody, not just the U.S.A.
James Albertini is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and director of Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action – P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760 USA. Phone 001 808 966 762 email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Sep 2013.
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