Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) opposes United States military intervention in the civil war in Syria. While we support the secular pro-democracy elements in the mass Syrian uprising against the brutal Assad regime, U.S. military power cannot liberate the Syrian people. Therefore, for the reasons outlined below, we urge our members and friends to lobby Congress to reject the president’s request for the authorization of the use of force against Syria.
The international community must condemn the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria and support the United Nations inspectors’ efforts to discover the perpetrators of such violence. But even if it is determined that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime, a unilateral air strike by the United States would not cease that threat. U.S. air power cannot surgically take out those individuals who can deploy such weapons. What it will do is kill many innocent civilians. And our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrates that United States troops on the ground only serve to increase the level of violence in civil wars.
DSA does believe that the international community should provide humanitarian aid to the millions of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and elsewhere. In addition, the United States and all other countries should engage in the necessary diplomacy to press Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah to cease their military aid to the Assad dictatorship. This would enable the Syrian people to liberate themselves, a task that cannot be accomplished by external powers.