Each week brings U.S. imperialism closer to direct military intervention in Syria with the aim of overthrowing the government of President Bashir al-Assad and crushing Syria’s independence and sovereignty. Up to now Washington has avoided direct intervention, working instead with its NATO allies through Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to fund and arm the reactionary opposition to Assad and the Syrian people.
The latest comments by President Barack Obama brings Washington another step closer to direct intervention. Obama’s propaganda pretext was something used before by U.S. presidents. He charged Syria with possessing chemical weapons. Obama also said if the U.S. saw chemical weapons moved around or being used that would be a “red line,” meaning an excuse for direct intervention. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has also threatened to intervene to keep these alleged chemical weapons from “falling into the wrong hands.”
This is just a rehash of George W. Bush’s 2002-2003 pretext for invading Iraq: the country’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction,” which were never found. The truth was different then and is different now. For strategic reasons involving the targeting of Iran and the control of energy resources in the Middle East, U.S. imperialism aims to replace the independent Syrian government with a client state, weakening Iran and the Hezbollah resistance movement in Lebanon. So far the U.S. and its allies have used proxy fighters to destroy the cohesiveness of the Syrian state and wreck its economic infrastructure, as they did Libya in 2011.
Contradicting Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, the Obama-Clinton-Pentagon gang has waged war no less aggressively than Bush. Some say the new administration’s wars are “smarter,” since, to avoid U.S. casualties, they use proxies and air war, especially drones, and a divide-and-conquer strategy, instead of massive occupations. They kill civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as well as Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
For Syria they use oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Qatar to fund the aggression, Turkey to coordinate the logistics of weapon delivery, and they exacerbate Shiite-Sunni differences and Iranian-Arab differences to pursue the war. The administration even risks strengthening al-Qaida and similar groups. With Saudi funds and guns, these groups play an increasingly more important role in Syria’s civil war. They have little or no support among Syrians, and the Assad government has every right to attempt to eliminate them.
The irony of Clinton’s argument is that after Washington has promoted these reactionary forces, she says the Pentagon must intervene to keep them from seizing chemical weapons from the Assad government. More imperialist lies!
For months now whatever honest opposition to the Assad government that may have existed within Syrian society has been completely pushed aside by imperialist stooges and reactionaries, armed killers that can tear Syria apart. Anti-war and anti-imperialist forces within the NATO countries have an obligation to fight to stop the imperialist intervention and to support the defeat of the reactionary anti-Assad killers.
At the upcoming protests at the Republic and Democratic National Conventions in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., U.S. activists should raise demands that the imperialists get their hands off Syria!