Regarding the April 24 editorial “No blurring this ‘red line’ ”: Rather than “honoring a red line,” the guiding principle for U.S. policy toward Syria should be honoring the principle of “Do no harm.” War is the ultimate human rights violation, and U.S. military intervention in Syria would escalate the violence. U.S. arming of the opposition would undermine U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi’s efforts to advance a power-sharing agreement and an arms embargo on all sides of the conflict.

The United States can help save lives in Syria by supporting a comprehensive political solution. Just as the Taif Agreement of 1989 ushered in an end to the Lebanese civil war by securing buy-in from internal factions and external actors, a negotiated end to the Syrian crisis must be similarly inclusive. If backed into a corner by military intervention, the Assad regime might be more likely to use chemical weapons on a broader scale. A diplomatic solution is the most effective safeguard against even more bloodshed, whether by conventional or chemical weapons.

Kate Gould, Washington

The writer is the legislative associate for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.