I called the offices of Representative Welch, Senator Leahy and Senator Sanders. I made a suggestion, based on Representative Welch’s good reputation for being able to work with Republicans on common ground aspects of issues.
We know that House Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi are supporting President Obama’s Syria proposal. So this might be a long shot, but it is worth a try.
I ask Representative Welch to find co-sponsors for a bipartisan bill, an alternative to the Obama proposal or Senate bill. This could list all possible alternative non-military actions (humanitarian, diplomatic, United Nations) that the U.S. can take regarding Syria.
This could allow House members who oppose the Senate bill to vote “for” another option. If such a bill was proposed, then the American people could then tell their House reps to vote for the alternative plan, instead of just saying “vote no on the Senate bill.”
Why not include a resolution listing things that Americans can do? For example, donate to vetted humanitarian aid organizations, both religious and secular. Start interfaith dialogues with Americans whose families immigrated from the Middle East, to not only understand this complicated situation, but also get to know each other as people, not just as “stereotypes.”
The United Nations may be as dysfunctional as the U.S. Congress, and Russia and China may try to block any U.N. resolution on Syria. But let that play out. Then the focus can switch towards Russia and China, and not just on President Obama, Congress and our country.
Now is the time for Representative Welch to leverage his well-deserved reputation towards a bipartisan, nonmilitary alternative bill.
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