A Stain On The World's Conscience
How to Help strives to give you quick, impactful ways to do something about the day’s news. Most days, we find those ways within our grasp.
There is one recurring story, though, that consistently frustrates our sense of agency. That is the story of Syria.
Our distance from Syria's reality is vast. The inhumanity and intractability of the crisis there seems so complete.
Still, we have to believe that there are things, no matter how small, that people of conscience can do to help.
And with everything our own government, over many administrations, has done in the region, the crisis is much closer to home than we might think.
Yesterday, the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad dropped banned chemical weapons (likely sarin gas) on civilians in the northern province of Idlib.
At press time, nearly 100 people have died and 400 people have suffered respiratory distress. Many are women and children. After the chemical attack, fighter jets attacked the local hospital that was treating victims.
Sen. Marco Rubio said it’s “no coincidence” that this attack happened days after remarks from Trump Administration officials that al-Assad’s removal from power was not a priority.
To be sure, the Obama Administration too failed to adequately address the crisis, especially in the wake of the Ghouta chemical attack that killed more than 1000 people in 2013.
How to help the people of Syria
Contact Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar Ja’afari 212.661.1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register your outrage.
Call on our own government to put more pressure on the Assad regime (and its ally Russia), enforce sanctions, defend the chemical weapons ban treaty, and welcome Syrian refugees to the United States. You can call the White House comment line at 202.456.1111 and your member of Congress at 202.224.3121.
Support groups working in Syria for an end to the crisis, including The White Helmets, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, Syrian American Medical Society, Islamic Relief USA, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and many others listed here.
Support the US-based groups working to welcome Syrian refugees, including the International Refugee Assistance Project and United Against the Muslim Ban.
Learn more about what is happening in Syria. One way is to watch the Academy Award-winning documentary short The White Helmets. Also check out the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Ask your member of Congress to reject the Trump Administration's plan to increase military spending by $54 billion. You can call the US Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121.
Sign this petition urging Congress to postpone its vacation until it votes on any future military action in Syria.
Connect with a soon-to-be-revitalized anti-war movement, including groups like Code Pink, Win Without War, Veterans for Peace, and Peace Action.