The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
Oppose the U.S. Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen

Apr 3, 2017

Two months after President Trump took office, the U.S. military has been enmeshing itself deeper and deeper in a string of wars throughout the Middle East region. The U.S. military is sending in more troops and launching more air strikes into Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

These attacks have caused devastation and mass slaughter. On March 17, U.S. air strikes and artillery flattened a big part of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, killing hundreds of civilians. Residents compared the devastation to Hiroshima, Japan, the first target of the U.S. atomic bomb during World War II. Near the Syrian city of Aleppo, U.S. air strikes hit a mosque complex, killing more than 60 people. In another Syrian city, Raqqa, U.S. air strikes hit a school, killing at least 33 people.

U.S. troops have been sent to join the months-long battle for Mosul, a battle that is far from over. They are being sent into battle in Syria and Yemen.

For years, U.S. officials pretended that the wars the U.S. military launched in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003 were over. They pretended that the U.S. had gotten out, removed all its troops, except perhaps for a few “advisors.” And the U.S. news media fell in line. News from the wars drifted to the back pages. But these wars were not just continuing, they were spreading to other countries and getting more intense.

This happened under Obama. Now, the same thing is happening under Trump.

To carry out these wars, the U.S. military has often relied on drones to drop bombs, a war by remote control. But the bombs are deadly and the destruction is real.

No matter how deadly the bombs are, battles and wars are still waged by troops on the ground. To carry out these wars, the U.S. has used the military forces of its puppet governments, which the U.S. funds and supplies. Besides that, the U.S. has helped build up, train, arm and equip an assortment of militias and terrorist gangs. The U.S. also funds regional allies who act as surrogates for the U.S., including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. And under some circumstances, the U.S. military collaborates with its rivals. In Iraq, the U.S. military works closely with Iranian forces. In Syria, the U.S. has been working with the Russians. The U.S. may publicly condemn them for atrocities, even while the U.S. bombs the same targets.

But ultimately, in order to maintain its dominant position, the U.S. military relies on its own forces. Sometimes, these U.S. forces are paid mercenaries, provided by private companies. Other times, they are troops of its imperial allies, through NATO. But most often, it is the U.S. military itself, whose numbers in the Middle East are growing.

The populations of all these different countries are caught between warring armies and militias, leaving millions dead. Big parts of the population try to survive in a living hell, with no place to live and no food to eat. The numbers are staggering. The United Nations recently warned, for example, that more than half the population of Yemen faces famine and starvation because of the war, while more than half the population in Syria has been forced from their homes and are living as refugees.

Working people in the U.S. also pay for these wars. They turn people around the world against people in this country, because of the actions that the U.S. government takes in our name. With the devastation, destruction and famines, why would anyone be surprised that terrorism springs out of them?

We have been paying a price for years for these wars. When we give our support for these wars, even just be accepting them, we pay a price in our own human decency. Our tax money should go to pay for schools, roads and so many other things. Instead it is taken for war, death and destruction.

Working people have every reason to oppose these wars, wars that the U.S. government fights to impose the domination of the U.S. capitalist class over the peoples of the world, including the people of this country.