Why the United States is Waging War Against Syria

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In the wake of the alleged chemical weapons attack last week, the US and its European allies are moving rapidly to launch a war against Syria. Missile strikes to bombard the country into submission could begin within days. The propaganda campaign coming from the media, aimed at packaging another unpopular war for the public, has shifted into high gear.

The official reasons given for the imminent attack are a pack of unsubstantiated lies, a collection of pretexts aimed at justifying a policy that was planned long in advance.

The real reasons for this latest war can be understood only within the context of the geopolitical, economic and social crisis of American and European capitalism, and the world imperialist system as a whole.

First: From a geopolitical standpoint, the long-planned war against Syria is yet another step in Washington’s campaign, since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, to secure its global dominance through military force. Confronted with the protracted decay in its once-dominant position in the world economy, the United States sees in its military power the means of establishing a hegemonic position. As early as 1992, the Pentagon’s Defense Planning Guidance stated that US policy aimed to prevent the emergence of any power that could become a peer competitor of the United States. In 2002, the US National Security Strategy stated that the United States would use pre-emptive war to achieve this aim.

A central feature of the global explosion of US militarism is Washington’s drive to secure a dominant position not only in the Middle East, but on the entire Eurasian land mass. In recent years, the writings of the late 19th and early 20th century imperialist strategist Sir Halford Mackinder have once again become essential texts for the policymakers in the State Department, Pentagon and CIA. In numerous books and countless articles published in academic journals, what Mackinder called the “world-island”—stretching from the eastern borders of Germany to the western border of China—is deemed to be of decisive strategic importance to the United States and its West European allies.

As one recent study asserts, “The Eurasian landmass ought to be the focal point of the West’s strategic exertions… If the nascent process of Western decline is to be arrested and reversed, a better understanding of the geopolitical relevance of Eurasia, and the struggle therein, and a concerted effort there, is crucial.” [The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West, by Alexandros Petersen] As with all imperialist strategies for world domination, this entails a struggle against powers that are seen as obstacles to its realization. The drive to dominate Eurasia leads inevitably to escalating conflict with Russia and China.

The series of aggressive wars conducted by the United States since the 1990s—in the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia—is part of an agenda that envisions the unchallengeable global dominance of the United States. The fact that world domination cannot be achieved without wars that will cost hundreds of millions of lives, and, very possibly, the destruction of the planet, will not deter Washington from plunging ahead.

This strategy of imperialist conquest may be insane, but so was that of Adolf Hitler—whose geopolitical objectives appear almost provincial in scope, when compared to the ambitions of US imperialism. As Trotsky, foreseeing the evolution of American imperialism, wrote nearly 80 years ago:

“For Germany, it was a question of ‘organizing Europe.’ The United States must ‘organize’ the world.”

As for the European powers, for now they see their own imperialist ambitions as best served by tying their fortunes to the Pentagon. They hope they can share in the plunder of US wars and, in the process, legitimize their own looting operations, such as France’s wars in Africa.

Second: Economically, world capitalism is in the fifth year of its deepest crisis since the Great Depression, producing economic stagnation, mass unemployment, and a relentless collapse of living standards. The ever more desperate economic situation—with deepening debts, debased currencies, and intensifying international competition—drives ever more reckless and violent foreign policies.

The Great Depression of the 1930s led to World War II, as the imperialist powers sought to find in war a solution to the maladies of capitalism. The Great Recession that began in 2008, which shows no signs of abating, is leading to World War III. The forms of economic parasitism associated with the processes of global financialization—in which the enrichment of a small stratum of society is achieved through swindling on a massive scale—finds its natural complement in a foreign policy that realizes its objectives through criminal violence.

Significantly, the United States is sweeping aside the United Nations and proceeding to war without the approval of the UN Security Council, where Russia and China have veto power, much as the League of Nations collapsed after fascist Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia in 1935.

Third: All the imperialist countries confront an ever-worsening social crisis produced by rising social inequality and class tensions. In the United States—where the wealthiest 10 percent of the population owns nearly three quarters of the wealth, and the top 1 percent monopolizes half of that—cities are being forced into bankruptcy amid a relentless assault on wages and living standards.

In Europe, the European Union is disintegrating amid rising tensions between the European powers and an assault on jobs and living standards symbolized by the social devastation of Greece. The more bitter and intractable the conflicts between the major European powers, the more they turn to external aggression as the only policy upon which they can all agree.

The imperialist powers increasingly see war as a means to distract attention from the exposure of their criminal operations directed against the people. The timing of the current war is clearly related to the political crisis provoked by Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass, illegal spying by intelligence agencies against the populations of the United States and the major European powers. Imperialist militarism is seen by the ruling elite as an essential means of directing social tensions outward, along the useless and destructive channels of war.

But the twentieth century teaches that the ruling classes that hoped to extricate themselves from the bankruptcy of capitalism by winning big at the roulette table of militarism, eventually discovered that the odds of history were against them and they had made some very bad bets.

The Syrian war, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will produce death and suffering on a massive scale, intensify the world economic and political crisis, and bring mankind as a whole closer to catastrophe.

The launching of war against yet another small country testifies not only to the brutality, but also the bankruptcy of American and European capitalism and the entire world system based on exploitation and plunder. The only way out of the bloody dead end of capitalism and imperialism is through the united struggle of the international working class for the victory of the World Socialist Revolution.

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Workers: Stand with Syria!

New Worker

Syrians are bracing themselves for a massive missile strike following the blatant and illegal threats of intervention in the civil war coming from Washington, London and Paris following ludicrous claims that the Syrian government was responsible for the poison gas attack that killed over 300 civilians and wounded 1,000 more last week.

The Arab League, which has expelled Syria and is now totally dominated by the Saudis and the other oil monarchies, has held the Syrian government “fully responsible” for the deadly chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus. But Algeria and Lebanon refused to support it, Iraq says it will opposes the use of its airspace or territory in any attack on Syria, and the new military- led “interim” government of Egypt is also opposing military intervention in Syria, insisting that the only way forward is a political solution in the war-torn country.

Syria can count on the support of Iran and the progressive Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements and while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it clear that “we are not going to war with anyone,” on Monday, the Kremlin is mobilising international support to try to stop an attack on its long-standing Arab ally.

Syria says it will defend itself by all available means if Nato attacks. Syrian foreign minister Walid al Moallem said: “We have two options: either to surrender or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves.” He called US allegations that his government has used chemical weapons “categorically baseless” and compared them to the charges levied against Iraq before the 2003 war. “They have a history of lies,” he said.

The British government is calling on the UN Security Council to sanction “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from chemical weapons in Syria. The British move, clearly drafted in Washington, will be cheered on by imperialism’s feudal Arab lackeys. But it will undoubtedly be vetoed by Russia and China who believe they were double-crossed over the Libyan UN resolution that led to open Nato support for the rebellion that toppled the Gaddafi government in 2011.

Since then Moscow and Beijing have blocked every imperialist attempt to use the UN as a cover for their neo-colonialist plan to enslave the Arabs for the benefit of the big oil corporations. And this week Russia and China stepped up their warnings against a Nato attack on Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the Middle East.

“Attempts to bypass the Security Council” a Russian Foreign Ministry spokespersons said, “once again create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region already fraught with new suffering in Syria,” which would lead to “catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa”.

The Assad government has denied using poison gas and it is co-operating fully with the UN team already investigating chemical weapons claims in the country. Many believe that the incident was an operation carried out by agents of imperialism precisely to provide the pretext for open Nato support for the rebels they have been less than covertly arming and funding for the past two years.

Four American warships are on stand-by in the eastern Mediterranean, each carrying 90 cruise missiles, ready to rain death and destruction on the Syrian people when the word is given. French and British naval forces are also manoeuvring into position for a co-ordinated strike that could happen within the next few days.

Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov is calling for greater Russian solidarity with Syria: “Now we can and we must protect. We must help, support and protect Syria; we must constantly keep it in mind that we will be next after Syria,” he declared. And communist and workers’ parties, including the New Communist Party, signed an appeal this week which said:

“We express our solidarity with the Syrian people and denounce the military attack against Syria which is being prepared by the imperialists of the USA, Nato and the European Union together with their allies in order to promote their interests in the region.

“We reject the pretexts of the imperialists which, as was demonstrated, were also used in the war against Iraq and in the other imperialist wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya.

“We call on the working class, the peoples all over the world to oppose and condemn the new imperialist war, to demand that the governments of their countries have no involvement in and do not support the criminal military offensive.”

Syria: Lies the Imperialists Told Us

Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition

The criminal attack being planned against Syria is based on lies. They are not hard to expose.

The Syrian government was given a formal request on Saturday, Aug. 24 to grant access to a United Nations team of inspectors to the town in the outskirts of Damascus to determine if chemical weapons had been used. The Syrian government granted permission the very next day, Sunday, Aug. 25.

Obama administration officials then immediately declared that the inspections no longer mattered because the Syrian government had delayed UN weapons inspectors’ access to the site. In fact, top U.S.  officials called UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon on Aug. 25 (when Syria agreed that the inspectors could visit) demanding that he cancel the UN weapons inspections because they “were pointless.” (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26)

The claim against Syria is ludicrous. The Syrian government would not have an interest in using chemical weapons knowing that it would be the trigger for NATO military intervention. The government was winning the war. The foreign-backed armed rebel groups could only win the war if the U.S. and/or NATO intervened directly.

Every imperialist attack and every imperialist-inspired regime change strategy requires a pretext and a public rationale. There needs to be a noble cause to justify the aggression. Since it is the 21st century rather than the 19th century, the politicians of western capitalism have to conceal and mask their predatory aims as they routinely bomb and kill people in the Middle East, Asia and Africa who resist allowing their lands and resources to fall under the domination of western corporations, banks and business interests.

“Public opinion” required a humanitarian motive for the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011 and Syria in 2013.

The greatest purveyors of violence in the world present themselves as the greatest purveyors of humanitarian interests in the world.

Syria is not threatening the United States nor is anyone in the Obama administration suggesting such a threat exists. Thus, the planned military strikes against Syria are a violation of the UN Charter and international law.

The UN Charter and self-defense

The Obama administration is playing a dangerous game, escalating a war that could have devastating regional and global consequences.

The United States and Syria are both members of the United Nations and signatories to the UN Charter.

The UN Charter makes it illegal for one member nation to attack another except in the case of self-defense.

The Obama administration’s calculations on why it can and should bomb Syria are not premised on the idea of “legality” but rather power and power alone. They believe that Syria is so small and vulnerable that it will not be able to defend itself or retaliate against U.S. targets.

But the UN’s Article 51, Chapter VII makes clear that Syria would have such rights in the event of an unprovoked armed attack: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.” (Article 51, Chapter VII).

Syria’s presumed inability to retaliate is the unspoken assumption of the U.S. war planners and their cheerleaders in the mass media. War made easy!

The potential implications of an unprovoked attack on Syria are not even mentioned. The Obama administration implicitly promises the American people that only Syrians will bleed in this new “war.” With this promise they hope that the people of the United States will not rise up against the government that commits war crimes in their name.

During the next days people are going into the streets throughout the United States to say NO to another bombing campaign in the Middle East. Join and organize these demonstrations. The time to act is right now! Click here to join a demonstration in your area.

History of FSA Use of Sarin Gas on Syrian Civilians

via Alexandra Valiente

DOCUMENTS FROM BRITAM DEFENCE ON SARIN FALSE FLAG: URGENT – PLEASE SHARE

BRITAMGATE: STAGING FALSE FLAGS IN SYRIA

IS UK DEFENSE CONTRACTOR PLANNING SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS FALSE FLAG?

URGENT: FACTS ABOUT THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK IN DAMASCUS

NO EVIDENCE OF A SYRIAN MILITARY CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK

FSA’S CHEMICAL WEAPON STASH FOUND BY THE SYRIAN ARMY IN DAMASCUS

IN WAKE OF ISRAELI ATTACK ON SYRIA, UN REVEALS FSA USED SARIN GAS

UN INVESTIGATORS CONFIRM THAT THE FSA USED SARIN GAS ON CIVILIANS [UPDATED]

FSA MILITANTS WITH GAS MASKS AND CANISTERS

SYRIA: MILITANTS USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS

TERRORISTS TESTING TURKISH CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA

US-NATO-GCC-BACKED TERRORISTS PLANNING CHEMICAL ATTACK?

US REPEATS SYRIA “CHEMICAL WEAPONS” WARNINGS

LAVROV: WAITING FOR INFORMATION FROM TURKEY ABOUT FSA CAUGHT WITH SARIN

UN TO LAUNCH INVESTIGATION INTO CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK IN ALEPPO

ALEPPO: 25 CIVILIANS KILLED BY FSA IN TOXIC CHEMICAL ROCKET ATTACK

NATO PROXIES AND THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION USING WMDS AGAINST CIVILIANS IN SYRIA

THE US IS CHANNELLING CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO AL QAEDA IN SYRIA

AL-JAAFARI REFUTES WESTERN WMD PROPAGANDA, REITERATES REQUEST FOR FULL UN INVESTIGATION

CHEMICAL WEAPONS POLITICIZED BY US AND UN: DEMANDS FOR FULL INVESTIGATION INTO FSA’S USE OF WMDS

CHEMICAL WEAPONS CHARADE IN SYRIA

ANOTHER NATO-FSA FALSE FLAG ALERT

US UNVEILS IRAQ WMD CURVEBALL-STYLE LIES VS SYRIA

WEST DROPS WMD NARRATIVE AS EVIDENCE POINTS TO WESTERN-ARMED TERRORISTS

WEST’S WMD LIES FRAY AS SYRIAN ARMY OVERRUNS TERRORIST PROXIES

Confirmed: No Evidence for U.S. Claims Against Syria

Tony Cartalucci

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed what many suspected, that the West’s so-called “evidence” of the latest alleged “chemical attacks” in Syria, pinned on the Syrian government are fabrications spun up from the West’s own dubious intelligence agencies.

The Wall Street Journal reveals that the US is citing claims from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency fed to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a repeat of the fabrications that led up to the Iraq War, the Libyan War, and have been used now for 3 years to justify continued support of extremists operating within and along Syria’s borders.

Wall Street Journal’s article, “U.S., Allies Prepare to Act as Syria Intelligence Mounts,” states:

One crucial piece of the emerging case came from Israeli spy services, which provided the Central Intelligence Agency with intelligence from inside an elite special Syrian unit that oversees Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons, Arab diplomats said. The intelligence, which the CIA was able to verify, showed that certain types of chemical weapons were moved in advance to the same Damascus suburbs where the attack allegedly took place a week ago, Arab diplomats said.

Both Mossad and the CIA are clearly compromised in terms of objectivity and legitimacy. Neither exists nor is expected to provide impartial evidence, but rather to facilitate by all means necessary the self-serving agendas, interests, and objectives of their respective governments.

That both Israel and the United States, as far back as 2007 have openly conspired together to overthrow the government of Syria through a carefully engineered sectarian bloodbath, discredits entirely their respective intelligence agencies. This is precisely why an impartial, objective third-party investigation has been called for by the international community and agreed upon by the Syrian government – a third-party investigation the US has now urged to be canceled ahead of its planned military strikes.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

In an email on Sunday, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and other top officials that the U.N. mission was pointless because the chemical weapons evidence already was conclusive, officials said. The U.S. privately urged the U.N. to pull the inspectors out, setting the stage for President Barack Obama to possibly move forward with a military response, officials said.

The US then, not Syria, is attempting a coverup, with fabrications in place from discredited, compromised intelligence sources and the threat of impending military strikes that would endanger the UN inspection team’s safety should they fail to end their investigation and withdraw.

The Wall Street Journal also reiterated that the US is planning to fully sidestep the UN Security Council and proceed with its partners unilaterally:

…if the U.S. chose to strike, it would do so with allies and without the U.N., in order to sidestep an expected Russian veto.

The US proceeds now with absolute disregard for international law, all but declaring it has no intention of providing credible evidence of its accusations against the Syrian government. It is a rush to war with all the hallmarks of dangerous desperation as the West’s proxy forces collapse before the Syrian military. Western military leaders must consider the strategic tenants and historical examples regarding the dangers and folly of haste and imprudence in war – especially war fought to protect special interests and political agendas rather than to defend territory.

The populations of the West must likewise consider what benefits they have garnered from the last decade of military conquest their leaders have indulged in. Crumbling economies gutted to feed the preservation of special interests and the growing domestic security apparatuses to keep these interests safe from both domestic and foreign dissent are problems that will only grow more acute.

Outside of the West, in Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran, leaders must consider a future where Western special interests can invade with impunity, without public support, or even the tenuous semblance of justification being necessary.

Hands Off Syria! Take Action Against U.S. Intervention!

This Call to Action was originally posted by the ANSWER Coalition.

Washington is on the march toward yet another war of aggression in the Middle East, this time targeting Syria. In the event of U.S. military strikes against Syria, the ANSWER Coalition is calling on organizations and individuals to take to the streets in opposition to what would be a destructive and criminal war by the U.S. government.

Make plans now to hold a demonstration in your city on the day of or the day after U.S. military action begins. Fill out our Event Listing form so we can help spread the word!

Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the American people are clearly opposed to U.S. intervention, the signs all point to war. In a recent Reuters poll, only 9 percent favored direct U.S. military intervention, and 89 percent opposed arming the Syrian opposition. But the tiny elite clique who really run the country are completely discounting the will of the people, making a mockery of their so-called “democracy.”

The U.S. 6th Fleet has deployed war ships to the eastern Mediterranean and is threatening to launch missile and air strikes against Syria. Not only are the White House and Pentagon openly threatening direct intervention, they are also moving to further arm the Syrian opposition. A U.S./NATO attack on Syria could well lead to a wider, regional war with grave and unpredictable consequences.

A staged provocation: a pretext for war

The pretext for attacking Syria is the allegation that the Syrian government used chemical weapons last week in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, just after a UN team had arrived in the country to investigate an earlier alleged use of chemical weapons. President Obama declared over a year ago that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would cross a “red line,” triggering U.S. military action.

The idea that the Syrian government would launch a chemical weapons attack exactly at the moment when the UN team was in the country investigating chemical weapons defies all logic.

In a sign of their total disregard for the truth, the United States government has declared, in advance of any actual investigation, that the Syrian government is guilty of using chemical weapons. U.S. officials have stated that the United Nations weapons inspection team, which is today at the site near Damascus where hundreds of people died last week, is “too late.” In other words, the United States, along with Britain and France – the former colonizers of the region – have decided to use chemical weapons as an excuse to go to war.

We must remember the Iraq War in 2003, where “overwhelming evidence of weapons of mass destruction” was used as the pretext for a war that killed hundreds of thousands and tore Iraq apart. No such weapons were ever found.

If in fact chemical weapons were used in Syria last week, the far greater likelihood is that it was a staged provocation by the opposition to invite U.S./NATO intervention in order to save their weakening military position in the conflict. We have no reason to trust the U.S. government’s version of what happened. This is the same government that has routinely lied and deceived the American people on many issues, as was recently revealed by Edward Snowden’s leaks related to NSA spying.

U.S. foreign policy is not one of benign humanitarian concern, but one of Empire. Washington’s goal is control of the entire oil-rich and strategic Middle East region. To achieve this aim, U.S. leaders – Democrats and Republicans alike – have worked to destroy independent governments and popular movements in the region for more than six decades.

For the people of the United States, fighting against a U.S. intervention in Syria is of paramount importance to prevent the spread of war and destruction. The ANSWER Coalition is calling on all those opposed to this brutal war drive to take action against any U.S. attack on Syria! A broad coalition of organizations worked together in June and July 2013 for days of action opposing the U.S. role in Syria. We expect that the actions in the coming days and weeks will be of a similar unified character.

Plan a demonstration in your city on the day of or the day after U.S. military action begins. Fill out our Event Listing form so we can help spread the word!

Lying About Syria: John Kerry’s “Colin Powell Moment”

Alex Lantier

Yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on national television to deliver a lying statement aimed at preparing public opinion for an impending US-NATO attack on Syria. It was his very own “Colin Powell moment.”

On February 5, 2003, Powell, then the secretary of state in the Bush administration, made an infamous presentation before the United Nations. For two hours, armed with photos, graphs and audio tapes, the chief diplomatic officer of the United States made the case for war against Iraq. He claimed that the evidence he presented showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which it was about to unleash on the world.

The media and politicians of both parties hailed Powell’s performance, declaring that the former general had made an overwhelming case that Iraq had enormous WMD programs. Six weeks later, bombs fell on Iraq as the US invasion began.

Powell’s speech was a pack of lies. Not one of his claims about yellowcake uranium from Niger, aluminum tubes, or mobile weapons labs was true. At the time, the WSWS wrote that the brief for war was “a diplomatic charade laced with cynicism and deceit… predicated on a colossal lie: that the coming invasion is about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and Baghdad’s supposed threat to US security and world peace.” And so it proved to be.

The speech ten years later by Kerry was no less dishonest, no less cynical. Indeed, by comparison, Powell’s presentation was a masterpiece of detail.

Kerry’s entire case against the Syrian regime consisted of a general moral denunciation of chemical weapons. Describing “gut-wrenching images” of casualties from the alleged chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, he said: “The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.”

The United States government and its allies in Britain, France and Germany are in no position to lecture the world on the “moral obscenity” of chemical warfare or anything else. A complete documentation of the war crimes and atrocities carried out by American and European imperialism would fill many volumes.

Washington has poisoned entire Iraqi cities with depleted uranium and white phosphorus. Earlier, it dropped 75 million liters of Agent Orange—a chemical weapon—on Vietnam, affecting millions of people. The US is the one country in the world that has used nuclear weapons on defenseless cities—not once, but twice, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It and the European imperialist powers—who pioneered the use of poison gas—are collectively responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

While invoking the “moral obscenity” of indiscriminate killings with chemical weapons, the Obama administration continues to fund the Egyptian military junta, which over the last month has slaughtered thousands of unarmed protesters in the streets.

Kerry could not present a single fact, beyond his own lurid allegations, to justify the claim that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces carried out a chemical attack in Ghouta.

Instead, he said: “Our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience, and guided by common sense … Chemical weapons were used in Syria. Moreover, we know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these weapons. We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets.”

Such arguments prove nothing. Though Kerry preferred not to mention it, it is well known that US-backed opposition militias have access to chemical weapons and have used them. Opposition groups have posted YouTube videos bragging of their ability to manufacture poison gas, and UN officials have repeatedly stated that investigations inside Syria showed that opposition forces, not the Assad regime, were responsible for previous chemical attacks.

The CIA, which has been transformed into a heavily-armed global paramilitary organization, has access to such weapons and could easily make them available to the opposition.

Kerry’s claim that his accusations against Syria are grounded in “common sense” is false: common sense, applied to the situation in Syria, leads one precisely to the opposite conclusion.

The opposition is on the run, losing the war; their only hope is massive military intervention by their backers in the US, Europe and the Middle East. The chemical weapons attack—previously described as a “red line” by the Obama administration—provides the desired pretext for this intervention.

In another remarkable statement, Kerry gave a back-handed acknowledgment that Washington does not intend to offer proof of its allegations against Assad. He stated, “as Ban Ki-moon said last week, the UN investigation will not determine who used the chemical weapons, only whether such weapons were used, a judgment that is already clear to the world.” That is to say that, regardless of what the investigation shows about the identity of the attackers, Washington will seize upon it as a pretext to attack the Syrian government.

After demanding that Syria allow “unrestricted” access to investigate the alleged attack, Kerry responded to the government’s acquiescence to this demand by declaring that it doesn’t matter anyway, since it was “too late to be credible.” All the demands are simply intended to pave the way for war. Short of opening up the country to foreign occupation, there is nothing the government could do to satisfy the ultimatums of US imperialism.

Only months after his 2003 speech on Iraq, it was clear that Powell had lied through his teeth. In the months ahead, Kerry, the one-time anti-Vietnam war protester, will also be caught up by the web of lies underlying the US war drive against Syria.