Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Feb 08th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

sam farr2As the conflict in Syria continues to unfold, what is your stance on U.S. involvement?

I was an early opponent to military intervention in Syria. The atrocities of the Assad regime are crimes against humanity and in direct violation of international law. However, without an overt threat to our national security and without a clearly defined, achievable goal to end the Syrian people’s suffering, I find it difficult to justify engaging our military in another nation’s civil war with no clear endgame.

But I do not think we should ignore the plight of the Syrian people. The goal of the United States should be to bring stability and peace to the region. I am afraid that committing the United States to a military strike would have unintended consequences that fan the flames of war and increase the suffering of the Syrian people.

From day one, I have believed that diplomacy is the path we must relentlessly pursue, and I was heartened by President Barack Obama’s recent re-commitment to that path. Over the weekend, we took a big step forward in that process when Russia and the United States agreed on a plan to bring the Syrian chemical weapons under international control. 

While I am hopeful that diplomacy will remove the threat posed by chemical weapons in Syria, I am still well aware that this is a complicated process that—at best—will only partially ease the pain of the Syrian people. Two years of civil war has torn the country apart, leaving millions of Syrians without a home and threatening the stability of the entire region.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has forced the displacement of more than 6.8 million people—almost one-third of the country’s population. Of those displaced, nearly 2 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries. The sudden influx of people has placed a severe strain on the resources of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and other parts of North Africa.

Due to overcrowding, the capacity in many of the refugee camps is insufficient to meet the ever-rising humanitarian need and many are living outside of the camps. The problem continues to grow worse each day. Since January, an average of 200,000 refugees has fled Syria each month. Last week, the number of refugees crossing the Jordanian border increased tenfold to almost 900 people a day.

This large of a population of refugees and internally displaced people (those forced to flee their homes in Syria) is a threat to basic human rights and the stability of an already fragile Middle East. People displaced from their communities, without safe access to food, shelter or healthcare, are especially vulnerable to violence and recruitment by armed actors, among other threats of war. Poor living conditions and dwindling resources in the camps have created potential for further unrest beyond Syria’s borders.

The United States has already committed some aid but there is still much more that must be done. When our country put out the call to punish the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, the international community responded, and we are now working with Russia and the UN Security Council to develop a plan to peacefully remove the chemical weapons from Assad’s control. 

Our bottom line can and should be peace, for the people of Syria and for the region as a whole. Those in Washington who believe the suffering of the Syrian people is cause for a military strike should also be advocating just as loudly for humanitarian aid.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits