Open Letter to Rep. Lois Capps:
I know this may seem strange coming from a pacifist and someone who opposed both the Iraq and Afghan wars, but I think President Obama’s proposed strike in response to Assad’s chemical weapons attack may be a good thing, and be conducive to peace.
I think the only viable road to peace in Syria is the six-point UN plan proposed by Kofi Annan in February 2012, and quickly rejected by Assad. It would have protected the interests of the Alawite and Christian minorities, and it would have provided a voice for the Sunni majority and enabled a transition to shared power without violence.
Alas, people only negotiate when they think they have to, and if Assad thinks that he cannot easily win this thing — especially not through the easy route of chemical warfare — this may push him toward the negotiating table. I know there are risks, but inaction itself would be a risky option.