“The only way to resolve the crisis in Syria and to assist the victims of this conflict is to end the fighting, not to escalate it,” Veterans for Peace said.
The U.S.-based group Veterans For Peace issued a statement calling on the U.S. government to halt all military operations and intervention in Syria, while also warning against pundits who are using a recent photo of a child in Aleppo as a propaganda tool to urge a military escalation against the Syrian government.
“Recently, a compelling photo of a bleeding and seemingly confused young Syrian boy seated in an ambulance in Aleppo was widely distributed and commented upon in domestic and international news media,” the group said in a statement this week.
“In response, some journalists have called for the Obama Administration to ‘take action,’ including bombing government military targets in Syria.”
The group slammed such calls as a “manipulation of selected images of human suffering as propaganda used to justify yet further military violence, which will only lead to more death and suffering.”
It further urged the U.S. government to end all kinds of assistance to armed groups in the conflict in Syria. “We call on the United States government to cease all military, political and economic assistance to armed opposition groups in Syria and to take actions to pressure U.S. allies to do the same.”
Pro-war “experts” on the Middle East have urged for no-fly zones and safe zones in Syria. The Turkish government, which shares a major border with Syria, has called for such zones since the beginning of the conflict in 2012.
However, the former U.S. soldiers said such zones would actually put the U.S. and its allies in direct conflict with Syrian government-backers such as Russia.
“’No-fly zones’ and ‘safe zones’ would put U.S. Air Force pilots in direct military confrontation with Russian Air Force pilots, leading to a dangerous military escalation between two nuclear powers—an existential threat to all life on earth.”
The statement further stressed that such a situation would lead to destruction and violence similar to what happened in Libya following the U.S.-led NATO intervention.
The group called the photo of the young Syrian boy “the latest and most graphic example of the psychological warfare being waged against public opinion in the U.S. and worldwide.”
For Veterans For Peace, the Syrian conflict isn’t good vs. bad as the mainstream media is presenting it, but in fact a “foreign intervention to destroy the last secular, multi-religious nation in the Middle East.”
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, major U.S. allies in the region, are supplying arms and money to the opposition groups in Syria, the statement added.
“We believe that the only way to resolve the crisis in Syria and to assist the victims of this conflict is to end the fighting, not to escalate it,” the group said, adding that the U.S. should accept more Syrian refugees.
The Syrian government, the statement concluded, “has the right to defend itself from foreign aggression and the ‘regime change’ schemes of the United States and its allies,” while people in the U.S. “must take responsibility for the role of our own government.”