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Syrian crisis marks historical moment | Letters
Major historical moments sometimes pass almost unnoticed.
We witnessed not only a major breakthrough in addressing tensions in the Middle East, but perhaps a major breakthrough in how our planet might better address lawlessness and crisis.
Surprisingly it was not national governments that instigated the change, but ordinary people across the globe are forcefully calling for diplomacy and the rule of law rather than military intervention in addressing the crime of the use of chemical weapons.
British Parliament refused to support their Prime Minister’s call to back the U.S. in using military strikes against Syria. Most other countries’ governments agreed. President Obama and the U.S. Congress took the cue from a deluge of calls opposing military strikes against Syria and the risk of yet another war. President Obama engaged Congress before unilaterally allowing an act of war. And the Russian government applied diplomacy in calling for Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons. All this happened so quickly, so amazingly, that the press and most of us were not able to take it sufficiently in.
And now, in perhaps an even more important matter, President Obama has broken a 34-year silence between the U.S. and Iran by making a call and engaging in a diplomatic effort to address nuclear disarmament and improving relations between the two countries and thus the whole of the Mideast.
And perhaps most important of all, we are all now more aware of the importance of the rule of international law, cooperation and accountability to ourselves as a whole planet, not just as exceptional, entitled individual nations.
Violence and war are not effective answers to addressing injustice.
What works is abiding by just laws, accountability for those who break them, and engaging in conversations/diplomacy about differences and injustice whether it be in our homes, our local communities or in the international community.
These events have provided an encouraging moment in history, and I am deeply grateful.