Apr 22, 2018
In the early morning hours of April 14, the U.S., assisted by its imperialist allies Great Britain and France, carried out a series of missile strikes on three targets in Syria.
The U.S. says there were no civilian casualties. But missile strikes are not “surgical,” as the military claims. Of course, civilians were hit.
The Trump Administration said the missile strikes were a response to a chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad on a rebel-held city, Douma.
Assad certainly could have ordered a chemical attack – he is a vicious dictator. But can anyone believe that U.S. leaders are truly outraged by the attack on Douma? They have a lot more blood than that on their hands. The war in Syria has already claimed the lives of 350,000 Syrian civilians, killed by high tech bombs, guns and chemicals. And the U.S. shares in the responsibility for this seven-year war.
The Syrian city of Raqqa, a city of 400,000 people, was attacked for over a year by American bombs and missiles. Today, six months after the U.S. siege has ended, there still is no electricity, no water. Human remains poke out of the rubble of destroyed buildings. ISIS may have been rooted out of Raqqa, but so was a big part of the civilian population.
Up until now, Syrian President Assad’s brutality was not a problem for U.S. leaders. The U.S. carried out the fight against ISIS in one part of Syria, using fundamentalist militias organized by Saudi Arabia, led by U.S. Special Forces. Assad’s regime, backed by Russia, fought against ISIS in the rest of Syria.
ISIS was rooted out – but then so were the Saudi-sponsored militias. Assad’s forces, supported by Russia, crushed the opposition to Assad.
With Assad strengthening his hold on power, the U.S. found itself on the outside looking in. That was shown symbolically by the recent summit between Turkish President Erdogan, Russian President Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Without the U.S., they discussed how they wanted to settle the Syrian conflict.
Under the pretext of outrage over the use of chemical weapons, the U.S. sent missiles – a show of force aimed at imposing the right of U.S. rulers to participate in dividing up control over Syria.
The U.S. sent missiles to assert that the U.S. ruling class would protect oil company interests not only in Syria, but in the whole Middle East. It was a warning to Russia, Iran, Syria and Turkey that the U.S. would not be left out.
It was one more part of the disgusting chess game being played by all the big powers, which have the blood of the Syrian population on their hands.
The day after the U.S. missile attack, Trump declared, “mission accomplished.”
And what was that mission? In this war in Syria – which has already killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of people – the U.S. killed yet more people and displaced still more. The Syrians were killed in order to make a statement that the U.S. would use military force to impose the will of its big corporations around the world. This is the “mission” that Trump and his generals “accomplished.”
Trump also called Syrian president Bashar al-Assad “a monster.”
So let’s talk about monsters. There are U.S. wars going on around the world today. U.S. wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan. U.S. wars we never hear about in countries of Africa. U.S. wars we never hear about in countries of Latin America. Tens of millions of people have been killed in these U.S. wars, including U.S. troops ordered into the battle zones. Hundreds of millions of people have been wounded or displaced.
On the scale of things, Assad is a small monster. If we look at all the people killed in wars, U.S. imperialism has shown itself to be the biggest monster of all.