Socialist Action statement on the U.S. missile strike on Syria

 

U.S. strikes Syrian military airfield

Stop the U.S. Bombing of Syria! U.S. Out Now! Self-determination for Syria!

On April 6, the Trump administration launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria’s al-Shayrat military airfield. The U.S. strikes decimated a number of buildings and airplanes. At least nine civilians and six Syrian soldiers were killed.

Neither Trump nor any other U.S. government agency presented a shed of proof that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used sarin nerve gas in its bombing of al-Qaida/Nusra Front or any other “rebel” held buildings in Idlib province.

History has repeatedly demonstrated the need to view with the greatest skepticism U.S. imperialism’s justifications for its endless wars and interventions.

Need we mention the 1964 U.S.-manufactured Tonkin Bay incident, wherein a virtually non-existent Vietnamese navy was accused of attacking a U.S. destroyer? That false flag pretext was employed to launch the Vietnam War, in which four million Vietnamese were slaughtered in a 10-year U.S. conflagration verging on genocide. Or the more recent Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” lie that resulted in the U.S. murder of 1.5 million Iraqis?

Even if the latest sarin gas accusations should prove to be true, we must vehemently reject the warmongers’ proposition that the U.S. military behemoth, with 1100 military bases around the world and currently conducting seven simultaneous wars of death and destruction, has any moral, legal, or other right to be the “cop of the world!”

Bomb first! Ask questions later!

Trump and his now bipartisan “Bomb first! Ask questions later” cohorts have ignited what could become a catastrophic escalation in the region, which could even pose the threat of a nuclear confrontation.

Immediately before the U.S. missile attack, the Trump administration convened a bipartisan group of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans for a congressional briefing session. While there was no indication of opposition to the Trump attack, a few, citing the U.S. Constitution, later expressed the need for congressional debate and approval before waging war.

Trump’s action came a day after Democrat Hillary Clinton had urged the U.S. bombing of Syria. Today, Trump has adopted a version of Clinton’s election-time “no fly zone” advocacy, suggesting that “safe zones” might be established in Syria—that is, land-based regions policed by U.S. imperialism and its allies.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added a few days after the attack that missiles might again be launched against Syria should it use barrel bombs. He neglected to mention that the U.S. is the world’s largest manufacturer of weapons that kill civilians indiscriminately. Cluster bombs, banned in scores of countries, but not the U.S., are deployed by U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia in Yemen today. They rain down exploding spheres the size of baseballs. But the Saudis and U.S. imperialism are led by civilized people!

Imperialism’s record in Syria

Not one day of the years-long U.S. imperialist-abetted intervention has improved the humanitarian situation of the Syrian people. On the contrary, the U.S. government’s aim—as in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya—is to secure political hegemony in the region so as to better serve its profit-driven corporate clients. In order to accomplish its goals, as it demonstrated during the uprisings known as the Arab Spring, the U.S. must foreclose the possibility of self-determination for the peoples of the Middle East.

In reference to the Obama administration’s “red line” threat of war in 2012-13, Trump stated, “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.” No doubt Trump is fully aware that Obama’s “nothing” included five years of intervention that included CIA and Pentagon training and arming of “rebels” seeking Assad’s ouster, a bombing campaign supposedly aimed at ISIS targets but deadly for civilians, and an increasing number of U.S. boots on the ground.

With Syria’s U.S.-backed “coalition” allies compelled to retreat from much of the Syrian territory that they previously occupied and terrorized, a bipartisan consensus has now emerged in Washington that Obama’s “regime change” orientation cannot be dismissed.

We are witness to a major shift in U.S. policy, in which Democrats and Republicans alike cannot brook a defeat in a war that they early on fueled and promoted. Today’s crisis-ridden world economy ruled by the wealthy one percent is compelled to pursue and intensify its wars against working people at home and abroad.

More military strikes threatened

White House representatives state that the administration has not ruled out taking further direct military action against the Assad government. President Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, stated on April 9 that the U.S. goals of fighting ISIS and ousting Assad from power were “simultaneous.”

The Trump administration’s bipartisan-supported missile attack is aimed at advancing U.S. leverage at a future bargaining table in a contemplated reconstructed Syria. It is the first taste of the new administration’s promise to use the grotesque $54 billion rise in the trillion-dollar war budget “more aggressively” in the interests of U.S. corporate capitalism.

The need for a united and massive U.S. antiwar movement in the streets of cities across the country has never been greater. Without equivocation, the central responsibility of all antiwar and social justice organizations is to mobilize against all U.S. and allied interventions in Syria and to fully support the right to self-determination of the Syrian people.

The defeat of imperialist intervention is the prerequisite for the Syrian masses to organize their own independent class-struggle forces aimed at fully meeting the needs and aspirations of Syria’s workers and farmers as they strive in the future to build a socialist society. Today’s U.S.-backed Syrian “rebels,” if they exist at all, are ever demanding that the U.S. bomb Syria to smithereens. Indeed, these “rebels” are increasing integrated into and indistinguishable from the terrorist/jihadist al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front. They offer nothing in the way of liberating ideas and action for the Syrian people.

The days ahead will prove to be a critical measure of the antiwar movement’s capacity to unite and stay the hand of the world’s most dangerous superpower.

(Photo) Aftermath of the U.S. missile attack on Syria’s Shayrat military airbase. Mikhail Voskresenskiy/ria novosti via AP