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The Peace Party of the United Kingdom

To intervene or not to intervene in Syria?

Andrew Rawnsley attacked the non-interventionists in an article, “Syria has paid dearly for western passivity” (20 April, 2018), published in the Guardian Weekly and originally in The Observer.

The journalist appears to be seeking a full-scale military intervention in that country where, he says, best estimates put the number of Syrians who have died at 500,000 with more than 5,000,000 refugees in other countries and 6,000,000 internally displaced.

The Peace Party in government, or supporting one from a minority position, would not be advocating the “do-nothing” approach (the “it has nothing to do with us” one) nor would it be advocating the do-something but making sure that whatever is done carries no risk of further escalation – because it is already a “devastating conflict”. It would be working through the United Nations to bring all parties engaged in the war and violence together.

It would be likely to follow the four-step approach advocated by Marshall Rosenberg, namely “observation” (what those parties see in their country that is so wrong that they take violent action), feelings (analysing them in depth and detail), needs (of their groups) and “requests” (to all parties and the “international community” to restore peace and security). To ensure that the agreed requests are carried out, the Peace Party would advocate sending into Syria, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of well-trained, unarmed “peace-makers”.

The Peace Party wants to see the right kind of intervention in this and other violent situations today and in the future, remembering that war and violence solve nothing.

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