ATLANTA – Peabody-winning foreign correspondent Reese Erlich, an expert on the continuing 6-year-old Syrian war, will speak on “Making Sense of Syria – What the World Can Expect” at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 12 at the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St., Decatur 30030.
The continuing war in Syria, notable both for its barbarism and its endless flow of refugees, has now become one of the 21st century’s major bloodbaths. Based on numerous reporting trips to the region, Erlich will provide up-to-date analysis, including the growth of Syrian extremist rebel groups, the status of the Assad regime, foreign intervention, the failure of U.S. policy and what President Trump will face in one of the world’s major crises.
“The Obama policy of bombing, arming rebels and sending 500 ground troops into Syria has failed,” Erlich said. “The Obama administration failed numerous times to hold viable peace talks.
“Now Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Assad government are sponsoring talks that hope to involve significant rebel groups. Candidate Trump promised not to involve the U.S. in unnecessary foreign wars, but President Trump has appointed hawkish cabinet members determined to increase U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
“In late January the Trump administration asked the Pentagon to develop plans to send artillery and attack helicopters to fight ISIS in Syria, which certainly will increase the number of U.S. ground troops and the danger of more deaths of soldiers and civilians,” Erlich warned.
Erlich reported from the frontlines along the northern Iraq-Syria border. He has visited all the countries surrounding Syria to interview rebel leaders, refugees and civil society activists. His recent book, Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect (Foreword by Noam Chomsky), is his fifth on U.S. foreign policy. He reports for National Public Radio, Foreign Policy, VICE News, and The Progressive, among others. (For more info, see www.ReeseErlich.com and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reese_Erlich
Erlich will make several other appearances during his Atlanta visit, including a private meeting with the Carter Center’s Syrian Conflict Resolution Center’s staff, and talks to college classes, refugee and advocacy groups.
Erlich’s visit to Atlanta is sponsored by the Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition, www.georgiapeace.org, 404-378-5424.