“Whatever else you’re trying to do when you’re trying to end a war, don’t kill more people,” Phyllis Bennis told the Real News Network in an interview during the People’s Summit.
Bennis outlined four highlights of a foreign policy doctrine for dealing with Syria.
- Stop the killing—Withdraw the troops, get the boots off the ground
“There’s 6,000 troops in Iraq that we know about, at least 350 in Syria. There’s probably others,” Bennis said. “Maybe they don’t wear boots, maybe they wear sneakers. They’re forces and the CIA. Get them out. They’re not helping.”
2. Stop selling, giving, and sending arms to everyone who claims they’re against Assad or ISIS
“Half of those arms still end up in ISIS’s hands and it doesn’t work. You can’t win this militarily,” Bennis said.
3. Stop sending arms to everybody.
“Let’s talk about an arms embargo,” Bennis said. “Let’s really be serious about this.”
4. Get serious about diplomacy
“Put more money into the humanitarian work of the United Nations,” Bennis said. “There is a refugee crisis underway and in the United States we’ve shamefully allowed in barely 2,000 Syrian refugees in five years—that’s about what are arriving in Germany in one day. It’s really shameful.”
If any of the presidential candidates are serious about taking up new positions, these are the ones they should take up, Bennis said.