The Spark

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

Editorial:
U.S. Attack on Syria

Apr 16, 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.

As of this writing, the number of casualties is not known.

These missile strikes were supposedly a response to a chemical attack the Syrian government is said to have carried out on a rebel-held city, Douma.

Can anyone believe that the U.S. leaders are truly outraged by chemical attacks? Around 40 people were killed in the apparent chemical attack in Douma – but is the death of those 40 somehow more monstrous than the deaths of 350,000 Syrian civilians killed by bombs and guns, that the U.S. government apparently had no problem accepting? Or the millions dead in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of the U.S. military?

The U.S. government is no champion of democracy or peace in this region. It has long supported groups that were every bit as brutal, and every bit as reactionary and fundamentalist as ISIS. It supports Saudi Arabia, the most reactionary state in the region, which is also supporting fundamentalist groups in Syria.

Syrian president Assad’s brutality is not really a problem for the U.S. leaders, either. Until recently, the U.S. government was happy to sit back as Russia reinforced Assad in Syria’s civil war. U.S. leaders criticized Assad’s dictatorship and offered some weak support to rebel militias in order to cause some problems for Russia’s client state and to support Saudi Arabia. But they did not move to do anything that might further destabilize the region. They justified their actions under the banner of crushing ISIS while Assad’s forces, supported by Russia, crushed their opposition.

The recent collapse of the ISIS militias has created a new situation in which the U.S. is on the outside looking in. With Russia’s support, the Assad regime has been able to beat back the militias supported by the Saudi regime. In addition, Turkey, unhappy with the American support of the Kurds, has grown closer to Russia recently. In fact, Turkish president Erdogan recently held a summit with Russian president Putin and Iranian president Hassan Rohani, to discuss the settlement of the Syrian conflict.

It is no coincidence that the Western bombing attacks occurred right after the last Saudi-supported jihadist militias were driven out of Douma. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are losing the last shreds of leverage they have in Syria; so, the U.S. made a show of force – to assert that the U.S. and its ruling class would still protect their interests there, no matter what Trump recently said about “leaving very soon” and “letting someone else take care of it.”

Only now do the U.S., Britain and France shout in outrage about the Syrian government’s treatment of its own population. Only now, Trump calls Syrian president Bashar al-Assad a monster and an animal. The hypocrisy of imperialists knows no limit!

The day after the U.S. missile attack, Trump declared “mission accomplished.” Military chiefs announced that they had “struck the heart” of Syria’s chemical weapons manufacturing capabilities and stockpiles. But there is absolutely no indication that they touched these chemical weapons. And they certainly did not force anyone to agree to stop the killing – themselves included.

The day after the attacks, the Syrian population continued to die at the hands of the government, and the fundamentalist rebels, and all the countries supporting either side. Assad was seen going into work as if nothing had happened.

The U.S. show of force, under the pretext of outrage over the use of chemical weapons, does not at all aim to defend the Syrian population, nor to put an end to the war which has continued to punish and displace the Syrian population for seven years. This show of force is for the sole purpose of imposing the U.S. rulers’ right to participate in the disgusting chess game being played with the blood of the population.

The working class of the U.S. has no interest to support this barbaric attack on the population of Syria.