The Common Good

Soulful Leadership For Peace In Syria

Source: Daily Kos
Date: September 24, 2013

Time and again I hear friends say, “The situation in Syria is terrible. We have to do something. What if we had just stood by and let Hitler take over Europe? It’s time to send in U.S. troops.” On the other hand, I also hear friends say, “The U.S. is not the world’s policeman. This is a civil war in Syria. We need to stay out of it.”
Are there only two choices? Are we stuck with the options of either military intervention or a refusal to be involved? What if we stood up and said, “We want to find creative ways to help the Syrian people that will stop this terrible cycle of violence, not exacerbate it?”

This is exactly what a courageous few have been saying. Soulful leadership in this situation means having compassion for the victims of violence in Syria while at the same time finding a third way forward. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, for example, points to a third way, a way of nonviolent engagement.

Friends Committee on National Legislation, too, has articulated what diplomacy in this situation could look like. Furthermore, FCNL points out the great harm that a military attack could cause, exacerbating the conflict and broadening it beyond Syria.