Mikhail Tillman, Rise! Magazine
On the evening of April 8th, 2017, nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles were fired at a Syrian airfield by the Trump administration. So the beating of the drums of war grow louder. This clear violation of international law, despite any justified criticisms of the Syrian government, was met on all sides by the licking of chops. The Democratic Party establishment, far from opposing this blatant act of aggression, give muted criticisms of the executives way of acting and plan for the future out of one side of their mouths, while loudly applauding out of the other. Far from being the critics of Trump they market themselves as being, the liberal establishment and their news media are all too happy to support the president in his drive for war.
The media continues to artfully spin the course of events in a way favorable to the continuation of the process of destabilization and destruction that successive American and European administrations have pursued. The memories of Iraq seem to already be forgotten, even as the circus of human suffering continues nearly fifteen years since the beginning of the conflict. The claims of chemical weapons are more valid than those of WMDs, but the idea that the Syrian use of these weapons is a direct threat to the rest of the world is ludicrous. It’s not enough to be on the right side of history, we have to act now to assure that history doesn’t go down this path again.
The headlines hit us with the reactions from around the world, as if the reactions are our own and not the ruling class. Of course the usual suspects of Iran and Russia are calling the action a violation of international law, with Bolivia characteristically getting into the mix, but the other imperialist powers are getting behind the move in a big way. Although direct conflict with Russia seems unlikely, they are putting us all in a very dangerous position by purposefully stepping on Russia’s toes. From Israel to Saudi Arabia, the repressive and predatory governments are showing their support.
The news media puts the claim that the move violated international law in scare quotes as if the claim is controversial. Any military action against a power that is not an immediate threat to your country is in violation of the UN charter. Instead of going through the UN Security Council, Trump decides to act unilaterally. The world may not be willing or able to hold the US accountable, but the fact that they’re in violation is undeniably true. Thankfully, someone handed Trump a cue-card to read that basically says “What I’m doing is legally justifiable.” so no further questioning is necessary. The Assad administration has undoubtedly carried out criminal offenses against its people, but criminal action does not justify further criminal action. Supporting the Syrian people over the Assad regime is not the same as supporting a disastrous policy of US intervention.
On the same day of the strikes Hillary Clinton, the liberal paramour, called for military action against the Syrian government. Her attitude is representative of the entire liberal establishment, desperate for war and deprived for several years. Fareed Zakaria went as far as to claim that Donald Trump only truly became president after unilaterally engaging in military conflict with a foreign power without the formal declaration of war. The claim is unintentionally prescient, and would serve as a condemnation of the American executive rather than an acclamation of it’s current incarnation in any sane group.
CNN will first claim that the Syrian government is a threat to “our” national interest, and then go on to explain how Syria is in no position to persecute a war with the United States, and that their military is woefully deficient in means to defend itself. Sure, they think Trump should have gotten permission from his own government first, but that’s a minor problem. What really concerns them is that the executive might not have an ironclad plan to destroy the country in a timely and inexpensive manner. The goal of totally eliminating Syria as a hostile entity must be achieved as fast as possible, and they’re willing to help him get it done. The thirst for blood amongst the so-called doves makes ones stomach churn. The media further questions Russian involvement in the recent act of chemical warfare. Now that there’s blood in the water, why stop with the guppy that is Syria? Russia would be more of a meal. The only result that a war with Syria could have is a continuation of human misery and loss of life.
While the US decries the actions of the Assad regime in it’s brutal killing of around fifty civilians, they continue to wage their other brutal war with Syria’s neighbor. While the flames of anger with Assad are growing hotter, the ashes of the victims of Mosul have yet to cool. While the criminal actions of Assad are condemned, the American government have the blood of nearly three hundred more Iraqis on their hands. The moral high ground that America attempts to take is atop a mountain of bones.
The conflict in Iraq looms ominously before us even as we begin to repeat the mistake. Iraq was another government that would fall apart easily under the fist of the Americans, but the putting back together proved to be the problem. A stable, though repressive government is destroyed, and the pieces do not reform into a little America. Instead the embittered population is radicalized in a religious anti-imperialism that continues for as long as the problems persist. None of this matters because stability doesn’t matter. What’s important is the inevitable spike in Trump’s approval rating. What matters is profits for Haliburton and the rest of the den of thieves. Most importantly is the elimination of the influential and stable opposition Syria once represented. In ten years time the politicians will be arguing about who was and wasn’t for the war in Syria because of the disaster it turned out to be.
People have been running from the war in Syria for five years now, with the doors of western governments being slammed in their faces. Trump, the humanitarian so worried about the little Syrian children, refuses to let them stay in the United States. The liberals would allow an inconsequential number in, at least pretending to care without it costing them anything, but Trump takes a clear stand. The few the liberals would allow not costing anything, he isn’t worried about money. His message is one of hate. No mercy, no peace for the people of the Middle East. Destroy their countries and ignore their people, much the same as he’s doing at home. No money for helping the Syrian people, only for further repression and murder.
While we’re being told that there isn’t enough money for the arts or to feed the elderly, we can easily throw away millions of dollars for every missile that serves only to destroy. He’ll use the action in Syria and his consequent rise in popularity as a means to push through his repressive legislation here. The only thing that can stop them is popular action. We have to organize so we don’t have to regret. Find local protests that you can join, and if there are none ready, organize them yourselves. A powerful message now could stop the war before it can escalate. Stop war with Syria before it begins.