Statement by Madeleine K. Albright on Syria

Contact: Ben Chang

Email: Phone: 202-842-7222


I urge Congress to vote “yes” on the resolution authorizing a military response to Bashar Assad’s illegal and immoral use of chemical weapons to murder more than one thousand innocent people. The United States and the world community either have the courage to establish and enforce standards of civilized conduct or they do not. Either option has risks, but to me, the risks of complacency and inaction far outweigh those of the limited, but purposeful, response now contemplated. The dangers of this world will only deepen if aggressors believe that global norms have no meaning and that gross violations can be carried out with impunity. The belief that the United States can insulate itself from peril by standing aside or by waiting for others to act is an illusion mocked by the lessons of history. There are many complex issues associated with the Syrian civil war — this vote by this Congress at this time is not one of them. Assad has gambled that he can get away with slaughtering his own people by barbaric means; that is a gamble he cannot be allowed to win.