“Punishment for use of specific kinds of weapon is no justification for further acts of war or for supplying yet more weapons.”
As Parliament is recalled to debate the unfolding crisis in Syria, Quakers in Britain have made this statement:
“Quakers in Britain are appalled by the suffering and loss of life on all sides in Syria. We understand – and share – the wish of the international community to take some form of action to reduce the bloodshed, but we strongly urge those who are tempted to respond militarily to think again.
“Air strikes will kill people just as surely as chemical attacks. All weapons must seem equally abhorrent if it is your family that is being killed. Punishment for use of specific kinds of weapon is no justification for further acts of war or for supplying yet more weapons.
“New participants in a war will breed new hatreds. Experience of other conflicts shows that supposedly simple or ‘surgical’ military interventions usually become messy and hard to end. We are convinced that even when some kind of victory is claimed, the deep harm done by violence always outweighs the supposed benefits.
“We beg those in power to work with diligence through the United Nations and all diplomatic channels to bring peace nearer. We challenge them to use their resources and imaginations creatively. Please don’t fall into the old trap of thinking that taking any action is bound to be better than doing nothing.
“We will pray for peace in the region, and continue to voice our deep opposition to war.“
Signed: Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain