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Resist Trump’s attacks on Syria!

Commentary by Danya Zituni |
April 10, 2017
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(Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - On the morning of April 7, President Trump ordered the U.S. military to attack Syria, firing over 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syrian government targets near Homs, Syria’s third largest city. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that only 23 of 59 missiles struck intended targets, with the majority assaulting nearby villages. Syrian media sources are reporting at least nine civilians died in the attack, including four children.

At $1.59 million per missile, the attack cost the U.S. government $93.81 million. But it also instantly added nearly $5 billion to the collective stock value of big American corporations that make missiles and weapons, including Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The Trump administration’s bloated military budget is money robbed from crucial social programs such as education and healthcare, which face significant cutbacks. Trump’s racist attacks on the Syrian people are therefore also an attack on the rights of workers and oppressed people here, and only benefit the wealthiest 1% of corporate owners.

Trump’s attacks are a dangerous escalation of the six-year-long U.S. war on Syria, as it is the first time that Washington is openly announcing military strikes aimed at the Syrian government. Such attacks could create a deadly confrontation between two nuclear powers: the U.S. and Russia. Russia has been assisting the Syrian government against U.S.-funded proxies dominated by al-Qaeda. For years, the U.S. government has spent over $1 billion per year funding and arming right-wing proxy forces that have ripped the country apart, creating millions of refugees. In 2016 alone, the U.S. military dropped 12,192 bombs on Syria, destroying the country's infrastructure and killing thousands. Economic sanctions have strangled the Syrian economy, resulting in massive inflation and poverty. The Syrian health service, one of the best in the Middle East before the U.S. intervention, is now close to collapse.

Bomb first, investigate later: U.S. policy in the Middle East

The U.S. government claims their vicious attack against a sovereign country in the Middle East was punishment for a recent poison gas explosion in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed 70 people, which U.S. blamed on the Syrian army. In Hillary Clinton’s first interview since her presidential election defeat, she eagerly united with Trump’s plan, encouraging the U.S. to bomb Syrian airfields mere hours before the attacks started.

The corporate-owned media immediately began parroting these war-hungry claims, without any independent investigation, even though the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice just two months ago publicly boasted on NPR, “We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile [in 2014].” This is the same racist media that demonize Black and Latino youth as ‘criminals’ in order to justify mass incarceration in for-profit prisons and police murders.

In 2003, the U.S. government used fabricated ‘proof’ of weapons of mass destruction owned by the Iraqi government to publicly defend their invasion and occupation of Iraq. No such weapons even existed, yet the war raged on. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died, tens of thousands of American troops suffered life-changing injuries or were killed, and al-Qaeda (a right-wing fundamentalist group, founded by Osama bin Laden and other forces that were funded and trained by the U.S. government in the 1980s to overthrow Afghanistan’s left-wing secular government) in Iraq became ISIS.

U.S. government confirms, ISIS empowered by U.S.-led ‘war on terror’

A recently declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document written in 2012 exposed plans by Western powers and their regional allies to facilitate the rise of ISIS in order to "isolate the Syrian [state]." The document is confirmation from the highest level of U.S. intelligence that they see ISIS as a tool for overthrowing the Syrian government, and it acknowledges that al-Qaeda dominates the anti-government forces in Syria. Trump’s recent attack targeted a Syrian army base at odds with ISIS, allowing ISIS to launch an offensive on Syrian troops in the area.

It has long been the strategy of the U.S. government to fund right-wing proxy groups to weaken or overthrow governments which do not fully align with U.S. corporate interests. The ‘war on terror’ is effectively a war on the nations and liberation movements that oppose the foreign domination of their country’s land, labor and resources.

Hypocritical lies pave the way for endless U.S. wars

The U.S. government itself is guilty of the same crime against the Syrian people, as well as the Iraqi people, which they claim that the Syrian government committed. In Iraq, the U.S. military has littered the environment with thousands of tons of munitions made from depleted uranium, a toxic and radioactive nuclear waste product. As a result, more than half of babies born in Fallujah from 2007-2010 were born with birth defects. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. military fired thousands of rounds containing depleted uranium in Syria, after they vowed not to. According to weapons experts, the use of depleted uranium is a war crime and an act of genocide, because the civilian population’s exposure to it causes cancer, birth defects, immune system damage and other serious health problems.

During the 2003 U.S. war on Iraq, American soldiers and their contractors also sodomized Iraqi prisoners with broom handles and chemical lights. Furthermore, wherever the U.S. military and their bases are, it is well documented that massive prostitution and sex trafficking follow.

No ban! No bombs! No sanctions!

The U.S. war on Syria is not about ‘democracy’ or ‘humanitarianism,’ especially not after the Trump administration closed its doors to Syrian refugees and enacted two Muslim bans. Rather, it is about the imposition of an economic and political order which protects the interests of Western powers and their regional allies. Syria is a passageway of important oil and gas pipelines, while the U.S.-backed state of Israel perceives the Syrian government as a threat due to its support for resistance against the Israeli occupation of Arab lands across the Levant. Trump’s attacks have allowed Israel to accelerate its drilling of oil and gas from the Golan Heights in Syria, an area which has been under Israeli military occupation for the past 50 years.

It is the duty of all freedom-loving people in the U.S. to organize and mobilize the broadest number of people against all U.S wars. To defend the interests of workers and oppressed people in the U.S. is to demand the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, as well as an end to the bombings and killer sanctions on the Syrian people.

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