Stein Opposes Obama’s Troops on the Ground in Syria

Stein Opposes Obama’s Troops on the Ground in Syria

Calls for Middle East Arms Embargo, and for US Allies to Stop aiding ISIS

November 2nd, Lexington, Massachusetts

Jill Stein, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for President, said today that she opposed President Obama’s recent decision to put American troops on the ground in Syria.

“After the catastrophic failure of regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, the last thing that the U.S. should be doing is trying to orchestrate regime change in Syria. To stop ISIS we should lean on our allies Saudi Arabia to cut off funding and for Turkey to close its border to jihadi militias. We should convince our allies to stop buying Isis oil on the black market. And we need to enact an arms embargo on the Middle East rather than effectively arming all sides,” noted Stein. It is estimated that the U.S. has supplied 80% percent of the weapons in the area.

“By establishing a weapons and ammunition embargo to the Middle East, we can effectively disarm ISIS. We should work to engage Russia to jointly sponsor this weapons embargo,” added Stein.

Stein said the US should be working with Syria, Russia, and Iran to restore all of Syria to control by the government rather than Jihadi rebels. Collaboration could lead to real success against ISIS. And it would stop the flow of refugees that is reaching crisis proportions in Europe.

Stein noted, “By putting U.S. troops on the ground, Obama has set up a tripwire for drawing the U.S. deeper into the conflict.  If U.S. personnel are embedded with Syrian rebels, and Russia bombs the rebels, then Russia could inadvertently kill Americans, creating a dangerous international incident. The US would have political cover to provide ground-to-air missiles to “protect American lives”.  By destabilizing Syria, Obama opened the door to ISIS. Now he is forced into a policy that is doomed to failure.  He is funding radical militias who are anti-democratic and unfriendly to the United States. And he is asking Americans to die to support those militias.”

Middle East expert Stephen Zunes points out that empirical studies have demonstrated repeatedly that international military interventions in cases of severe repression actually exacerbate violence in the short term and can only reduce violence in the longer term if the intervention is impartial or neutral. Foreign military interventions increase the duration of civil wars, making the conflicts bloodier, and the regional consequences more serious, than if there were no intervention. Such military intervention often triggers a “gloves off” mentality that dramatically escalates the violence on all sides.

As Medea Benjamin recently pointed out, “If you look at the results of U.S. intervention, it’s been to take a relatively isolated place like Afghanistan, where there were extremists, and now spread them out to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, northern Africa.”