Thread: Trump government attacks Syria

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    Default Trump government attacks Syria

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    The U.S. military launched approximately 50 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield late on Thursday, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began six years ago.

    The operation, which the Trump administration authorized in retaliation for a chemical attack killing scores of civilians this week, dramatically expands U.S. military involvement in Syria and exposes the United States to heightened risk of direct confrontation with Russia and Iran, both backing Assad in his attempt to crush his opposition.
    President Trump said the strike was in the “vital national security interest” of the United States and called on “all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. And also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”
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    Can somebody with more knowledge of this situation help me in understanding the fallout that is going to result from this? I understand that there is going to be some serious shit hitting the fan in regards to Russia, especially if any Russians died in the process, but there are some things I don't understand.

    1. What is the motivation for this? I know Trump and everyone else keeps saying it is the chemical weapons, but the U.S doesn't give a fuck about innocent people dying or chemical weapons. Fuck the CIA facilitated chemical weapons attacks with Saddam Hussein in 88 against Iran, killing approximately 20,000 Iranian soldiers (against international law, almost needless to say). It doesn't effect anyone's bottom line if a few people die, irritates the military-industrial complex to a large degree, due to such an attack questioning U.S authority, but not enough to prompt something like this. To my knowledge, not even during the Cold War with the Soviet Union did we openly attack a proxy of the theirs'. Through proxy fighters, yes, but never in our own name. So any ideas? I've heard of a pipeline plan that was being opposed by Putin and the Syrian government. More death for oil? Perhaps the fact that Trump's approval rating is at an all-time low? Perhaps that neo-liberals pushed a trigger-happy hairless ape to aggression by claiming that he was a Russian puppet and that Russia had pictures of a bunch of strippers pissed on him. A confluence of all of these possibilities?

    2. I've heard rumors that the Syrian government already had this shit tied down with ISIS and that the war there was virtually over. Is there a conspiracy theory here, or am I just Alex-Jonesing it?

    3. Any additional thoughts regarding what this will mean for Russia-U.S relations?
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    Default US launches cruise missile attack against Syrian government

    US launches cruise missile attack against Syrian government

    By James Cogan

    7 April 2017

    Between 8 and 9 p.m., US Eastern Time Thursday, two US warships in the Mediterranean fired a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base at Shayrat, near the city of Homs. The attack is the first direct assault by the United States on the Russian- and Iranian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has plunged the world into days of uncertainty as to the consequences. Highlighting the utter recklessness and criminality of the American action, Russian forces were at the base.

    The Syrian government has issued a bitter condemnation of the US attack, denouncing it as “aggression.” There are reports that at least four Syrian troops were killed and that the air base was virtually destroyed.

    The Russian military was reportedly given notice that the air base was going to be bombed. Russia has large numbers of aircraft and personnel in Syria assisting Assad’s forces fight a six-year, US-sponsored insurrection by predominantly Islamist militias. If the Russians were given notice, questions remain as to whether they were given a sufficient window of time to withdraw their assets from harm’s way.

    The pretext for the US attack is the sinister and dubious allegation that Assad’s air force used chemical weapons in an attack on a rebel-held town on Tuesday. The claims are dubious, above all, because the Syrian government had no motive to use such weapons, knowing that it would be seized upon to demand that Trump order a direct US-led intervention. The Islamist rebels, by contrast, along with their CIA advisors, had ample motive under conditions in which they are facing complete military defeat. Moreover, the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra militia is known to be in possession of, and to have used chemical weapons.

    On Thursday, the Assad government again categorically denied any responsibility for a chemical weapons attack. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem stated: “I stress, once again, that the Syrian Arab Army did not and will not use such weapons even against the terrorists who are targeting our people.”

    The attack on Syria is the outcome of months of political civil war in Washington, which has seen Trump denounced by the Democratic Party and much of the media as a virtual Russian puppet for his stated agenda of improving relations with Moscow. His domestic opponents have succeeded in compelling the new administration to shift and make the immediate focus of US foreign policy stepped-up operations in the Middle East.

    The result is the prospect of a rapid descent toward a confrontation with Iran and nuclear-armed Russia. It is entirely conceivable that the Syrian military, using sophisticated Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missile systems, will now retaliate by engaging American aircraft in Syrian airspace or launching attacks on the American troops operating on the ground with various rebel militias in parts of the country.

    Trump appears to have authorised the bombardment even as he was sitting down for dinner and a photo opportunity with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in the US just hours before and whose government has consistently aligned with Russia to defend Assad’s government.

    Among the numerous questions posed by the US strike is whether the top-level summit between Trump and Xi can even proceed. The situation is, by any standard, unprecedented for a Chinese leader. Xi will face immense recriminations in China if he is seen sitting alongside Trump in polite diplomatic talks, at a luxury golf resort in Florida, while his own government, Russia, Iran and other countries are denouncing a unilateral and illegal American act of war on Syria.

    Moreover, the Trump administration has been threatening to launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea and trigger a catastrophic war on China’s borders. The missile strike on Syria will remove any doubt in Chinese strategic and military circles as to whether Trump would be prepared to order such action.

    Trump held a press conference Thursday evening at his Florida mansion. In words dripping with imperialist hypocrisy, he stated: “Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson subsequently issued a statement accusing Russia of being “complicit” in the alleged gas attack and denouncing it for failing to meet its undertakings in 2013 to ensure Syria destroyed its chemical weapons. At the time, the Obama administration, in the face of doubts in the US military establishment and popular opposition, used the Russian guarantees to back away from its plans to wage a massive air war on the Assad government.

    The Putin government in Moscow, backed by Bolivia, has signaled that it will demand an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Friday to condemn the American strike. The Russian Senate Security and Defense Committee chair Viktor Ozerov told journalists that the attack was an “act of aggression against a United Nations member.” Prior to the missile strikes, Russia had demanded an impartial investigation into the alleged gas attack and warned Washington that there would be “negative consequences” if it instead took military action.

    The other key supporter of the Assad government, Iran, has issued a statement through its foreign ministry that it “roundly condemns” the US action. Large numbers of Iranian military personnel are on the ground not only in Syria, but in Iraq, fighting alongside Shiite militias that are nominally loyal to the US-backed government in Baghdad.

    In Syria, the Saudi- and Turkish-financed and armed Islamist Ahrar al-Sham militia declared that it “welcomes any US intervention through surgical strikes.” The Israeli government has issued a statement voicing its complete support for the American operation. Turkey had already given blanket support in advance of the strikes.

    As the US strike took place late in the night European time, the imperialist allies of Washington in Europe, after spending days exploiting the alleged gas attack to denounce Assad and Russia and call for action, have not yet issued formal statements.

    On the other side of the world, an indication of how numerous US allies may respond has been given in Australia. The country’s defence minister was phoned by US officials several hours before the US strikes. Australia has fighter-bombers and other aircraft operating with American forces in Syria and Iraq. Both the government and the main Labor Party opposition have made statements fully endorsing the US strike, though Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not confirm if the Australian military would join attacks on the Syrian government.

    As capitalist governments around the world react, the critical issue is the independent political response of the international working class. This is addressed in today’s perspective on WSWS.

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    Default Protests in Cities Across the Country To Say NO To War On Syria

    Protests in Cities Across the Country To Say NO To War On Syria

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    Protests in Cities Across the Country – Find one near you or organize one. Bring Refuse Fascism’s NO!

    Donald Trump told us all along he would “bomb the shit out of” the Middle East.

    Thursday he sent 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into a Syrian government airbase, in what he said was retaliation against the Assad regime’s reported poison gas attack which killed 200 Syrian civilians.

    Trump, who said he was responding to the deaths of “innocent children, innocent babies,” had ordered an airstrike on a mosque in Al-Jineh Syria March 16, killing 46 civilians. He has twice attempted to ban civilians from that same country, Syria, from entering the U. S. as refugees.

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    Can somebody with more knowledge of this situation help me in understanding the fallout that is going to result from this? I understand that there is going to be some serious shit hitting the fan in regards to Russia, especially if any Russians died in the process, but there are some things I don't understand.

    1. What is the motivation for this? I know Trump and everyone else keeps saying it is the chemical weapons, but the U.S doesn't give a fuck about innocent people dying or chemical weapons. Fuck the CIA facilitated chemical weapons attacks with Saddam Hussein in 88 against Iran, killing approximately 20,000 Iranian soldiers (against international law, almost needless to say). It doesn't effect anyone's bottom line if a few people die, irritates the military-industrial complex to a large degree, due to such an attack questioning U.S authority, but not enough to prompt something like this. To my knowledge, not even during the Cold War with the Soviet Union did we openly attack a proxy of the theirs'. Through proxy fighters, yes, but never in our own name. So any ideas? I've heard of a pipeline plan that was being opposed by Putin and the Syrian government. More death for oil? Perhaps the fact that Trump's approval rating is at an all-time low? Perhaps that neo-liberals pushed a trigger-happy hairless ape to aggression by claiming that he was a Russian puppet and that Russia had pictures of a bunch of strippers pissed on him. A confluence of all of these possibilities?

    2. I've heard rumors that the Syrian government already had this shit tied down with ISIS and that the war there was virtually over. Is there a conspiracy theory here, or am I just Alex-Jonesing it?

    3. Any additional thoughts regarding what this will mean for Russia-U.S relations?
    the US gave ample warning to russia and syria, they want to destroy the peace deal between iran and turkey, and they want to provoke the DPRK. They're calling it "the airbase that the chemical attacks were launched from" which makes no fucking sense at all. The bomb itself was a single missile "laced with sarin" that struck an empty warehouse literally filled with shit, it was used for manure storage by some local farmer. Rather than claim it was al queda like Assad did last time, they instead claimed it was a "rebel chemical weapons manufacturing plant" and that some chemicals must've leaked out when they bombed it. Reporters however were on the scene right afterward and witness accounts claim the warehouse had been empty for years. The Syrian government wouldve been better off saying they didn't know anything about the explosion and are "investigating it", rather than admitting it was their missile.

    The russians control the military bases in tartus and latakia neither were attacked, they attacked a tiny airbase in the desert called shayrat, even the hotel that syrian, iranian and russian soldiers were stationed outside shayrat was not attacked. Its important there are two fronts which is al queda in the east a lot of them from iraq, and the sort of arab spring in the west, so while the US doesn't attack assad directly and even has worked with them. Assad was one the USA's best friends before the arab spring reached damascus. They haven't attacked syrian's directly before. So this is like Libya where the USA is directly bombing the state but it is not really declaring war. Yet this is Syria, its ten times the size of Libya and there is no massive army of civilians ready to topple the regime, the FSA is gone, the kurds are broken and divided, the loyalists especially the alawites are dug in and dedicated to their support of Assad. Any type of loyalists toward assad or putin is going to be calling trump a member of alqueda now probably.

    So questions I think we should all be asking is that if chemical weapons are such a big deal, and assad knows this, why would he use them on such a benign target? Why would the USA spend millions of dollars to put a few potholes in a worthless airbase?
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    and less than 24 hours later the syrian's shayrat base is operational again that was weird
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    News Updates from CLG
    08 April 2017
    All links are here:

    Russian warship steams toward US destroyers that launched Syria strikes --The Russian warship is now steaming in the direction of the U.S. warships. | 07 April 2017 | A Russian warship has entered the eastern Mediterranean Sea Friday and is heading toward the two U.S. Navy destroyers that launched missile strikes into Syria, Fox News has learned. The Russian frigate, Admiral Grigorovich RFS-494, crossed through the Bosphorus Strait "a few hours ago" from the Black Sea, according to a U.S. defense official. The Admiral Grigorovich is armed with advanced Kalibr cruise missiles.
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    Vicious police attack on Jacksonville anti-war protest
    At least 4 arrested, 1 hospitalized

    By staff

    Jacksonville, FL - Police launched a vicious attack on a “No war with Syria” rally in Jacksonville’s Hemming Park, this evening, April 7. Eyewitness say at least four have been arrested, and that one protester was beaten so severely that he has been hospitalized.

    About six Trump supporters attempted to disrupt the 50-person anti-war rally. A Trump supporter got behind the speakers with a pro Trump flag and hit a protester with it; at that point the cops launched their attack.

    On demonstrator, Connell Crooms, was punched in the face and kidneys, while a taser was in his back. He was arrested and is now in the hospital. A member of Veterans for Peace, Will Haeger, was punched in the face by the cops. Rally emcee Dave Schneider was arrested across the street, where he was encouraging protesters to go to the jail to support those who had be detained.

    “Police completely ignored the pro-Trump provocateurs, as they moved in to unleash merciless beatings. I have never seen this kind of brutality,” said Richard Blake, one of the protest organizers.

    Read more News and Views from the Peoples Struggle at You can write to us at [email protected]
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    Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Stop Trump’s illegal war in Syria

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    Tell Congress: Stop Trump’s illegal war in Syria

    The petition to congressional leaders reads:

    "Rein in Donald Trump’s illegal military strikes without congressional authorization now. Hold immediate and emergency deliberations on Trump’s illegal escalation of military engagement in Syria."

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    Dear Chris,

    Donald Trump has launched an illegal war in Syria.

    Last night, he launched Tomahawk missiles into Syria without seeking any congressional approval. Since taking office, Trump has made a series of rash, hawkish and barbaric combat decisions that have already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians and American military personnel. But this is worse than anything we have seen so far.

    We need Congress to act quickly and decisively to rein Trump in. Trump has launched illegal military strikes. Now is not the time for congressional leaders to head out of Washington for spring recess. They must assert their constitutional authority and hold immediate and emergency deliberations on Trump’s continued reckless and unauthorized military actions in Syria.

    Tell congressional leaders: Rein in Donald Trump’s unauthorized military strikes and hold immediate emergency deliberations on Trump’s illegal escalation of military engagement in Syria. Click here to sign the petition.

    It is undeniable that Assad’s regime is responsible for triggering a catastrophic humanitarian crisis – but Trump is acting in his own best interests, not those of the Syrian people. As humanitarians confronting the horror of the Syrian civil war, we must consider how we can best protect civilians and end the violence. Rash, illegal acts of war are not the way.

    The backwards step of instigating illegal strikes in Syria is horrifying on multiple levels. The current Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress passed post-9/11 does not authorize this strike.1 This latest attack also violates international law. The Charter of the United Nations is crystal clear on when it is legal to go to war: in the case of self defense or when it is approved by the U.N. Security Council.2 Trump not only met neither of these conditions, he also did not give Congress a chance to debate and vote on this illegal escalation.

    Donald Trump has never articulated a vision or endgame for our involvement in Syria. Throughout his racist and misogynistic campaign, he tried to present himself as an anti-war candidate. But since his election, he has failed to invest in staff or strategies that will lead to anything other than American and civilian bloodshed.

    Escalating our military entanglement in Middle Eastern countries – with the inevitable escalation of civilian casualties that comes with it – has been shown to actually help terrorists with recruitment. Trump’s reckless action is nothing more than a publicity stunt and an attempt to boost his plunging poll numbers and change the narrative for a dysfunctional administration that appears to be in complete disarray. It is a reckless abuse of power that shows a complete disregard for both the law and human life, and Congress must hold him accountable.

    Congressional leaders must assert their constitutional authority to rein in a rash, out of control so-called president putting the lives of American military personnel and innocent civilians at risk, and they must do it now.

    Now is the time for Congress to check and balance Trump.

    Tell congressional leaders: Rein in Donald Trump’s unauthorized military strikes and hold immediate emergency deliberations on Trump’s illegal escalation of military engagement in Syria. Click the link below to sign the petition:

    Thank you for standing for peace,

    Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

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    John Nichols, “Trump Launched Missile Strikes on Syria Without Congressional Authorization,” The Nation, April 6, 2017.
    Jack L. Goldsmith, “What Happened to the Rule of Law?,” The New York Times, Aug. 31, 2013.
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    Default Syria Attack: Quick way to contact your senators and rep

    Syria Attack: Quick way to contact your senators and rep

    No more tax dollars for war in Syria!

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    It’s urgent that your senators and representative in Congress hear directly from you about the U.S. missile attack on Syria. As a constituent, you can quickly send a message to all three of them by clicking here.

    The missile attack puts the United States and Russia -- the world’s two nuclear superpowers -- on a collision course while threatening to make the Syrian conflict even more deadly. Yet many members of Congress have been praising the attack.

    In a democracy, when the people lead, the leaders can be compelled to follow. But that can only happen if we assert ourselves.

    Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. denounced what he called “the madness of militarism.” Today, that madness is all too prevalent. Please click here to tell your senators and representative that you favor a complete cutoff of funding for U.S. military actions in Syria.

    The elected officials who are supposed to represent you in Congress must hear from you.

    Links below go to key information and astute analysis in the aftermath of the missile attack on Syria.

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    >> Robert Parry, Consortium News: “Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment”
    >> Greg Grandin, The Nation: “The Real Targets of Trump’s Strike Were His Domestic Critics”
    >> Marjorie Cohn, Truthout: “Donald Trump’s War Crimes”
    >> Jim Naureckas, “The Essential Pundit Take: ‘Trump Became President’ by Bombing Syria”
    >> Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept: “The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise for Bombing Syria”
    >> Adam Johnson, “Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes – Zero Are Critical”

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    Default [LFN] U.S. Out of Syria Now! It's Time for Unity in the Streets!

    [LFN] U.S. Out of Syria Now! It's Time for Unity in the Streets!

    U.S. Out of Syria Now! It's Time for Unity in the Streets!

    On April 6, 2017, President Donald John Trump ordered a massive missile barrage on the Shayrat Air Base in Syria's Homs province. It was an act of war, for which there can be no justification. The Syrian Arab Republic is no threat to the security of the American people. The President did not even bother to claim that it is.

    The President's justification for the attack was an April 4 chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province in northwestern Syria. Idlib province is under the control of armed opposition groups who are linked to al-Qa'ideh. About 80 civilians, including children, died in the attack, and many others were injured. It is alleged that the gas used was sarin, one of the deadliest weapons in the chemical arsenal.

    The Trump administration was quick to blame the Syrian government, headed by Bashar al-Assad. The evidence that President Trump provided was about as definitive as the evidence that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the months before the election. If Trump has better evidence than "I'm hearingŠ" or "everybody knowsŠ" he has not yet shared it with the American people. The working people of the United States deserve to know the truth -- after experiences such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident at the beginning of the Vietnam war and the allegations that President Saddam Hussein possessed "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq in 2003 -- weapons which were never found because they never existed.

    In terms of military and political tactics, a poison-gas attack on civilians, even in al-Qa'ideh-controlled territory, makes little sense. The Syrian government has been regaining the upper hand in Syria's five-year-plus civil war, having won complete control of Aleppo. The Trump administration appeared to have dropped the Obama administration's call for regime change in Syria. As late as the last week of March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asserted that the choice of the future of the Assad regime was one to be made "by the Syrian people."

    Though President Trump's approval rating is the lowest in history for a president so early in his term, Americans seemed to agree with his stated policy of keeping out of the Syrian civil war. An attack using sarin gas against civilians would be so counterproductive to the Syrian government's overall strategic interests that it raises the question of whether some other party is guilty of carrying it out -- an attack often called a "false flag" operation. It must be acknowledged that there is no more hard evidence that the Khan Sheikhoun attack was a false flag attack than there is that Assad's forces did it.

    However, in a larger sense, the question of responsibility for the chemical attack is irrelevant. Even if Bashar al-Assad is guilty of the attack -- and the evidence does not prove it at all -- no one appointed Donald John Trump to be the policeman and trial judge. How does the United States claim the right to be the moral arbiter in the Syrian conflict?

    To be sure, the videotape images of the Khan Sheikhoun victims provoke an emotional response -- and it provoked an emotional response on the part of the President. Well-meaning people are saying to one another, "we can't just let this happen and do nothing." They are then willing to give the President grudging support for his decision to launch a missile strike. However, even the horror of a sarin gas attack does not give the United States the right to take military action, especially when similar attacks on civilian populations are occurring in other areas, such as Yemen, where U.S. ally Sa'udi Arabia is committing war crimes on as high a scale as anything happening in Syria, but from which videotape does not find its way to television network news in the United States.

    No, working people in the United States need to demand that the Administration get out and stay out of Syria -- immediately, totally, and unconditionally. That means no missile strikes, no aerial bombardment, no drone strikes, no reconnaissance flights, no weapons, no money, no "support troops," and no combat troops. That means whether or not Bashar al-Assad remains in power, whether or not Russia, Iran, or paramilitary groups such as the Lebanese Hizbullah militia are helping the Syrian government fight the Islamic State and al-Qa'ideh forces. And it means now, not after a settlement is negotiated, not after we "figure out what's going on," and certainly not after U.S. casualties reach unacceptable levels.

    Clear, principled demands for immediate, total, and unconditional withdrawal and non-intervention stand in stark contrast to the mealymouthed evasions coming from the politicians of the Democratic Party. The most honest and forthright expression came from defeated presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who called for a military strike against the Syrian government even before President Trump announced that he had ordered it. After hearing of Trump's decision, Clinton expressed her support for it. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York also expressed support for the missile strike, only complaining that the President had not come to Congress to ask for authorization. Similarly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supported the air strikes, calling them a "proportional response," but urging Trump to come before Congress for any further authorization of use of military force.
    Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts issued a statement which began by condemning the "Syrian regime" for the Khan Sheikhoun attack -- despite the Trump Administration's inability to present conclusive evidence -- and then only calling on President Trump to "explain" his military action to the Congress. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii took the strongest stand of any member of Congress against Trump's action, but her statement fell short of calling for unconditional withdrawal. She even called for Assad's "execution" if he were found guilty of the Khan Sheikhoun attack at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

    United action by the labor movement and antiwar organizations is a vital necessity. Unfortunately, united action has been hampered by toxic hostility between activists who support the removal of Assad from power and those who recognize that it is not a decision in which Americans can have any say. Insisting that the United States stay out of a conflict is not the same as endorsing one side in a conflict. When polemics among activists become more important than working together for peace, it benefits only the warmakers. United action is the vital necessity today. Emergency actions have been scheduled for as early as the afternoon of April 7. That is the right thing to do. Donald Trump has taken a step towards escalating U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict. It's up to working people throughout the country to unite to demand that he does not take a next step.

    Lastly, Americans who are demanding that the United States stay out of Syria need to add one more demand: that the United States open its borders to Syrian civilians who are fleeing the violence in their country. The Trump Administration is hypocritical in the extreme when it launches a missile strike into Syria because of violence against civilians and then refuses to allow civilian refugees into the United States. This has to change. Let them in!

    * * * * * *

    Issued by the Labor Fightback Network. For more information, please call 973-975-9704 or [email protected] or write Labor Fightback Network, P.O. Box 187, Flanders, NJ 07836 or visit our website at Facebook link
    Donations to help fund the Labor Fightback Network based on its program of solidarity and labor-community unity are necessary for our work to continue and will be much appreciated. Please make checks payable to Labor Fightback Network and mail to the above P.O. Box or you can make a contribution online. Thanks!
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    Default Violent NYPD Attacks Anti-war March

    Violent NYPD Attacks Anti-war March

    By staff

    New York, NY - Hundreds of protesters gathered at Union Square, April 7, to protest the bombing of Syria. On Thursday, April 6, President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk Missiles into Syria that killed nine people, including four children.

    Protesters gathered on the back steps of Union Square behind a banner demanding “Hands off Syria” and signs declaring opposition to the U.S. war machine. A round of speakers from different organizations, including the International Action Center and NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, opened the rally.

    Sara Flounders, from International Action Center, said, “Does anyone here really think that that bombing yesterday had anything to do with protecting lives in Syria? Everyone here knows that this is another war based on lies. Whether it’s Trump, or Clinton or Obama it doesn’t matter who is in the White House. The U.S. military and corporations are the ones who want the wars and wage the wars and they don’t care about anyone here.”

    Michela Martinazzi, from Freedom Road Socialist Organization, said, “President Trump you can't claim to care about Syrian children when you bomb their country and then ban them at our airports. President Trump you can't claim you care when your airstrikes murdered 200 people last month. There is no justice in U.S. intervention. There is no freedom in U.S. bombings. We must demand hands off Syria!”

    The closing speeches included those by Nerdeen Kiswani and Noura Farouq from NYC SJP. They brought up the hypocrisy of the response to Syria, when in 2014 Israel ruthlessly bombed Palestine and killed approximately 2000 Palestinians. At around 8 p.m., the Union Square crowd was joined by another protest that had started at Trump Tower earlier that day. The earlier protest was organized by ANSWER Coalition.

    Close to 1000 protesters began marching and taking the streets alternating chants from “U.S. imperialist! Number one terrorist,” “Hands off Syria!” and “Out of Syria! Out of Iraq! Out of Palestine! Don’t come back!”

    The NYPD kept pushing protesters back to the sidewalks, but protesters vastly outnumbered the cops and any attempt at being corralled was met with chants of “Whose streets? Our streets!”

    Protesters kept marching north from Union Square. As the march continued, cops became more and more agitated at losing any semblance of control over the crowd. Cops began jostling anyone who accidentally got too close; shoving them. Several protesters were seen being shoved into nearby parked cars or knocked down.

    When protesters passed the Flatiron Building, on 23rd and 5th, the cops attacked. It began with cops trying to pry the Palestinian flag from two organizers, John Becker, of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner’s Solidarity Network, and Dan Cione, of NYC Students for Justice in Palestine.

    At the same time, eight to ten cops rounded on Nerdeen Kiswani, of NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, threw her on the ground, ripped off her hijab and pulled it so it choked her.

    Other protesters caught in the attack were Angela Firestone of NYC SJP, Michael Bellamy of SPARC, Collin Ashley of Peoples’ Power Assembly, Stephen Millies of the Workers World Party and International Action Center, Brendan O’Brien of ANSWER and the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Jonah Quest.

    While the arrests were happening, protesters lined the sidewalk and shouted at the cops, “Who do you serve, who do you protect?” A small gathering proceeded to summate what had just happened and began making plans for jail support.

    Those arrested were taken to the 7th precinct and more than a dozen stayed outside doing jail support. All nine of the detained were finally let go by 1:30 a.m.

    Vijou Bryant, from Gabriella New York and International League of People’s Struggles, said regarding why the NYPD reacted the way they did, “The cops were pissed with our program and our rally at Union Square. It was militant with a strong line of anti-imperialism and holding the U.S. accountable for the bombing in Syria. Our rally and march was unpermitted, and they were unsure of our route and where we were going. The only way the cops know how to deal with people protesting for the people is to physically harm us.”

    Read more News and Views from the Peoples Struggle at You can write to us at [email protected]
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    Default Trump's Strike has Prolonged the Syrian Tragedy

    Trump's Strike has Prolonged the Syrian Tragedy

    Chris Nineham

    Trump's attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria has received plaudits from western politicians and commentators across the board. Liberal pundits, who had nothing but contempt for Trump days ago, are suddenly more respectful after this show of lethal force, even though most would probably accept The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland's caveat that despite this virtuous show of violence, Trump is still not to be wholly trusted.

    U.S. missiles fired

    The liberals pleasure at the proof of Trump's attack capabilities is felt even more keenly by the U.S. foreign policy establishment, all strands of which are overjoyed that the President has shown first that he is prepared to take the U.S. back onto the attack, and second that he is coming back under their control. In the words of former NATO commander James Stavridis:

    “With this tactically sound, professionally executed strike in response to significant human rights violations, President Trump shows above all that he is willing and able to take advice from the first-class national security team that he has assembled.”

    The argument, if that is not too strong a word, most widely used to justify the attack is that it will have a deterrent effect on President Assad and so reduce the likelihood of further atrocities. It therefore apparently represents some kind of limited progress for Syrian people.

    Escalating Tensions in Middle East

    The chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun was horrific, and outrage is the only human reaction. But the question is, has Trump's response really helped to limit future killing? Events since have proved the hollowness of this claim. Apart from the fact that the attack will have caused its own horrors – the Syrian government claims nine civilians have been killed – it has demonstrably escalated tensions in Syria. The Russians, for example, have responded by moving to beef up Syria's air defence systems and upgrade their ability to bring down fighter planes. They have also apparently redirected a Black Sea Frigate armed with cruise missiles to the Syrian port of Tartus. Interventionists on all sides have been emboldened. Inside Syria, calls for more Western intervention against Assad are being made with renewed vigour. In the U.S., Hilary Clinton is following up recent calls for a no-fly zone and attacks on all of Assad's airbases with a demand for “a broader strategy to end Syria's civil war.”

    This atmosphere is almost certain to lead to an intensification of the fighting, leading of course in turn to many many more civilian deaths. Crucially, it also makes an effective political process – the only possible path to peace – ever more remote. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in this desperate war. In so far as it has had an impact on the Syrian situation, Trump's attack can only have deepened and prolonged the terrible tragedy of the Syrian people.

    But the attack raises wider questions, ignored by the liberals. No doubt it can partly be explained by considerations of domestic opinion, including a desire to look tougher than Obama and to allay worries about his relationship with Putin. But the fear must be that more fundamentally, this is connected to a broad shift in U.S. foreign policy. In contradiction to Trump's image as an isolationist, his presidency has been marked by military and rhetorical escalation on many fronts. He has serially provoked China, most recently by his warlike posture to North Korea. He has stepped up U.S. participation in the Saudi war on Yemen, deployed conventional troops in Syria for the first time, ramped up drone attacks across the board, and sharply increased U.S. involvement in the attack on Mosul in Iraq. One of the results has been that according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, in March for the first time, more civilians caught up in the Syrian conflict were killed by U.S.-led coalitions than by Isis or Russian-led forces.

    Washington foreign policy insiders are cock-a-hoop because for them the missile attack suggests Trump is putting the last vestiges of isolationism and ambiguities about Putin behind him. In the run up to the last election, whatever the different nuances, there was unanimity in the U.S. 'defence' community that Obama's war on terror lite had been a failure and the country needed to take up more offensive stances. Now it looks like the President is fully on board.

    This doesn't mean there will be immediate follow ups to last Thursday's missile attack. Syria is a quagmire and there are no easy options for the USA. Nor does it mean that Trump's unpredictability has been overcome. Liberal applause for the attack on the Shayrat airbase is particularly contemptible and irresponsible because the attack was ordered by probably the most xenophobic and crazed president in U.S. history. But it does look as if we are entering a worst case scenario, in which a more aggressive foreign policy posture is being fronted up by an impetuous bigot who enjoys shooting from the hip.

    The final reason for concern is what this means for geopolitics more broadly and how this impacts on Syria and the Middle East. Those who supported last Thursday's strike are blithely ignoring the fact that it brought us one big step nearer to confrontation between nuclear armed great powers. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was no doubt pushing a point when he said the attack took U.S. force “within an inch” of military clashes with the Russians. But does anyone in their right mind wanted to be reading those kind of quotes in their news feed? And it is clear the tensions are frighteningly real. The suspension of the pact to coordinate air operations sounds technical but its real meaning is that Russian and U.S. forces are now fighting in Syria with more and more conflicting aims, no agreed terms of engagement and no official channels of communication. •

    Chris Nineham is a founding member and National Officer of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK where this was first published.

    Other reports/resources:

    Michael Laxer, “Justin Trudeau's dangerous Syrian Trump gambit.”
    Al Jazeera, “Syria's civil war explained from the beginning.”
    Phyllis Bennis, “Trump, Syria, and Chemical Weapons: What We Know, What We Don't, and the Dangers Ahead.”
    Related Reading

    The Much-Maligned Views of Rania Khalek on Syria
    Rania Khalek interviewed by Justin Podur | 2017-04-04

    Debating Syria Productively
    David Bush | 2016-12-30

    Syria and the Antiwar Movement
    Judith Deutsch | 2016-12-29

    Solidarity With the People of Syria! Build the Antiwar Movement!
    Richard Fidler | 2016-11-18
  18. The Following User Says Thank You to ckaihatsu For This Useful Post:

  19. #15
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    Thanks for your informative texts. You really keep this site going.

    Sent from my SM-S920L using Tapatalk
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    Thanks for your informative texts. You really keep this site going.

    Sent from my SM-S920L using Tapatalk

    Thanks for the appreciation, jdneel.

    I figured that's what was lacking -- one needs basic *information* / ('intel') about the larger world before we can apply our reasoning and analysis on a class basis.

    It's now actually looking like the Democratic-imperialist / 'deep state' faction is politically prevailing with their previously laid plans for Syria, despite any formality of the presidential election results for Trump.

    Hopefully this helps people to wake-up to the fact that the U.S. president is just an employee of the state along for the ride, and that it's the nation-state *institution* itself that sets foreign policy over the span of decades.

    That leaves only the *class divide* as being valid and significant, and *not* ruling-class intra-state factionalism (as during election season) since the same kind of imperialist policies are carried-out either way.
  21. #17
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    So what I think this will come down to is, the democrats will demand that this "kind of action" only be done with congressional approval, maybe demand someone step down, then Trump will try to push through approval for some insane war in a country that we're not even thinking about right now. Then they will say they got congressional approval so it doesn't matter how insanely thinly veiled the excuse for getting into this new war is. I'm not sure where though... but my guess is the Philippines

    Yup the Philippines...
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    Default Russia and Iran affirm commitment to Syrian government

    News Nation & World

    Russia and Iran affirm commitment to Syrian government

    Iranians shout anti-U.S. slogans after the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran on April 7, 2017. (Abedin Thaerkenareh / EPA)

    Philip Issa
    Associated Press

    Russia and Iran renewed their support for the Syrian government in a flurry of calls on Sunday, saying last week's U.S. missile strike violated Syrian sovereignty but failed to boost the morale of "terror groups" in Syria.

    In a phone call with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the strike on Friday a "blatant violation" of Syrian sovereignty, Syrian state media reported. Assad accused the U.S. of trying to boost the morale of "terror groups" in Syria. The government refers to all those fighting against it as terrorists.

    A statement carried on the military media arm of Hezbollah condemned the American strike in much stronger language, saying it had "crossed red lines" and vowing to "reply with force" to any future aggression "in a variety of ways."

    The Lebanese militant group has invested thousands of fighters in the defense of Assad's government. The statement was made in the name of a previously unheard of "shared operations room" between Russia, Iran and allied forces. There was no comment from Russia or Iran about the statement.

    The Kremlin said in a statement Rouhani also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone.

    "Both sides noted the inadmissibility of aggressive U.S. actions against a sovereign state in violation of international law," the statement said. "Vladimir Putin and Hasan Rouhani spoke in favor of an objective, unbiased investigation of all the circumstances of the chemical weapons incident on April 4 in the Syrian province of Idlib."

    U.S. vows sanctions to follow strikes on Syria as tension with Russia grows

    Rouhani said the U.S. strike would not affect Iran's Syria policy, while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would not withdraw in the face of similar aggressions.

    "What the Americans did is a strategic mistake and offense. They are repeating offense of their predecessors," Khamenei was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

    Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout Syria's six-year civil war. It has organized several Shiite militias from around the Middle East to fight in support of Assad's government and has sent troops and officers from its own Revolutionary Guards.

    The U.S. says the strike was in response to a nerve gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun last week, which has been widely blamed on government forces. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons.

    Despite U.S. missile barrage, Syria continues airstrikes against rebels

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation that the strikes signaled an overhaul of American policy, saying its priority remained to defeat Islamic State militants in the Middle East. The strike was the first time American forces targeted a Syrian government installation in the course of the war. U.S. Treasury officials say they are preparing sanctions in response to the chemical weapons attack, though the Syrian government is already buried under U.S. and E.U. sanctions.

    Tillerson will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow later this week. Moscow has been a steadfast ally of the Syrian government and has defended it against claims of chemical weapons use in front of the U.N. Security Council.

    A Syrian Sukhoi jet took off from the Shayrat airbase targeted by the volley of US strikes, Hezbollah's al-Manar TV channel reported Sunday, saying repairs to the base began within hours of the attack.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday played down concerns of a rift with Russia over Ankara's support for the strike, saying Turkey was committed to the cease-fire mechanisms it has developed with Russia for Syria. Turkey provides military support to some of Syria's opposition forces.

    But he said Turkey could not "remain silent" on the Syrian government's chemical weapons use, and insisted Moscow work with Ankara to establish a transitional government in Damascus.

    "We want to continue our efforts with Russia in the Astana process in terms of measures to increase trust and establish a cease-fire," he told reporters in Antalya, according to the Anadolu state news agency.

    In the days after the Khan Sheikhoun attack, Turkey provided the Syrian Civil Defense search and rescue outfit with 50 protective kits for responding to chemical attacks, and trained them in their use, Anadolu said.

    Associated Press writers Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul, Jim Heintz in Moscow, and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune

    Syria, Russia, Iran issue rebuke airstrike: U.S. launched missiles 'under a trumped-up pretext'

    Survivors of Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack grapple with illness, grief

    Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt kill 43, wound dozens
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    Default Minneapolis protest demands “Hands off Syria”

    Minneapolis protest demands “Hands off Syria”

    By staff

    Minneapolis, MN - In response to the recent U.S. air strikes against Syrian military targets by the Trump administration, over 200 people joined a Minneapolis anti-war protest on Saturday, April 8.

    The protest, organized in just a day and a half, was initiated by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition. (MPAC) The protest was held along the sidewalks along the very busy Lake Street and Hiawatha Ave shopping area. Thousands of people driving and walking by saw the protest. Many people waved and expressed support for the anti-war message. The protest was organized under the call of “Say no to U.S. war on Syria.” Many groups and individuals helped to get out the word about the protest through Facebook, phone calls and e-mail announcements.

    Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a member of the MN Anti-War Committee, led chants and was the first speaker to address the crowd. She said, “We are here today to denounce U.S. missile attacks on Syria. The U.S. should not increase its intervention in Syria. More bombing will not bring back the victims of this recent chemical weapons use. More bombing will not bring back the over 400,000 deaths in this six-year conflict.”

    Aby-Keirstead continued, “This responsibility of speaking out is on us. The 1% are united in supporting this war. Hilary Clinton openly dared Trump to attack on Thursday and the only Democratic ‘opposition’ to the aggression is that they should have been given the opportunity to give him a green light to attack first – not a real opposition at all! Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting noted today that five top papers ran 18 opinion pieces praising Syria strikes and that none ran a piece critical of this action. Many members of progressive and liberal groups are confused on the issue of Syria so we need to be vocal in challenging the mythology of the ‘U.S. humanitarian war.’”

    Aby-Keirstead also told the crowd to be ready to give solidarity to anti-war protesters who were attacked by police and arrested in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday.

    Alan Dale, a member of MPAC concluded the protest, "It is urgent to speak out against the escalating U.S. war moves. U.S. military intervention is not about helping people, or fighting terrorism, it is about control of the resources of the Middle East.”

    Organizers also pointed to the growing danger of new escalations of U.S. military intervention in Yemen and Somalia.

    The MPAC coalition announced their next action at the protest. MPAC will hold a protest on Tuesday, April 11 at 4:30 p.m. at the offices of Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to speak out against the escalation of U.S. intervention.

    Read more News and Views from the Peoples Struggle at You can write to us at [email protected]
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    Default The airstrikes in Syria and the war drive of American imperialism

    The airstrikes in Syria and the war drive of American imperialism

    10 April 2017

    In the aftermath of last week’s cruise missile attack on Syria, the relentless logic of military escalation is driving decisions in Washington. The US political establishment and media are demanding that the action be followed up by a “comprehensive strategy” to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and escalate the confrontation with Russia.

    The Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, declared on Sunday that “regime change [in Syria] is something that we think is going to happen.” As for Russia and Iran, she said, “We’re calling them out. But I don’t think anything is off the table at this point… You’re going to continue to see the United States act when it needs to act.”

    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on Sunday for the deployment of “five to six thousand” US troops to Syria and for economic sanctions against Russia. Assad, he said, is making a “serious mistake because if you are an adversary of the United States and you don’t worry about what Trump may do on any given day, then you’re crazy.”

    The chorus of calls for action against the Russian government came from both Democrats and Republicans. “They’re accomplices,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said. “Vladimir Putin is a war criminal who is assisting another war criminal.” His colleague, Democrat Ben Cardin, declared the UN Security Council should set up a tribunal to indict both Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes.

    Such rhetoric is the language of war. The denunciation of one or another foreign leader as a war criminal is the standard prelude to military action.

    The United States is not alone in its incendiary provocations. All the imperialist powers in Europe have lined up to support the US strikes. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon wrote on Sunday that Russia is “by proxy responsible for every civilian death last week”—claims that of course were not made in relation to the US massacre in Mosul last month.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is participating in a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Italy beginning today, in which the US and its European allies are discussing an ultimatum that Moscow remove all its troops from Syria and cease support for the Assad government. Tillerson will repeat this demand in a face-to-face meeting with the Russian foreign minister in Moscow, reportedly accompanied by charges that Russia is complicit in “war crimes.”

    In one of the few comments pointing to the consequences of such positions, Georgetown University professor Colin Kahl wrote in the Washington Post on Sunday that if the US goes down the road of escalation, demands for regime change and no-fly zones, “the prospects of a military confrontation with Moscow are real.” Yet this is precisely the road that the Trump administration, backed by the entire political establishment and the imperialist powers of Europe, is taking.

    How will the US and its allies respond if Russia rejects an ultimatum to back down in Syria? Amidst the hysteria gripping the American ruling class and media, no one is asking how many hundreds of millions of people will be killed in a war with Russia, or if there will still be a habitable world in the aftermath of a nuclear conflagration.

    As all of this is taking place, the US is escalating its war threats in Asia. The Trump administration deployed warships to the Korean Peninsula over the weekend, amidst media reports that the White House is considering “decapitation” strikes and other military actions against the North Korean government—which could happen as early as this week.

    The level of recklessness of imperialist foreign policy has an objective basis. There are two interrelated factors that are driving it.

    First, dominant sections of the military—which is now largely dictating Trump administration policy—are determined at all costs to reverse the retreat of the Obama administration from war in Syria in 2013, when an agreement was reached with Russia to oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. They see this as critical for maintaining US domination not only in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but globally.

    Writing in the New York Times on Sunday, Republican Senator Tom Cotton stated that the strikes on Syria “have gone a long way to restoring our badly damaged credibility in the world.” Cotton proclaimed: “In one night, President Trump turned the tables. He showed the world that when the United States issues a warning, it will back up its words with action… With our credibility restored, the United States can go back on offense around the world.”

    Cotton’s arguments make clear that the chemical weapons attack is yet another manufactured pretext for intervention. Time and again, imperialist accusations that war crimes had been committed have later been proven to entirely fabricated to justify a neo-colonial and predatory agenda.

    The Syrian government of Assad, whose forces have been on the offensive, had nothing to gain from ordering a chemical attack on his retreating enemies. The United States had obvious political motives. The CIA and military were looking for a justification to launch airstrikes on the Syrian government based on geostrategic considerations.

    Now that they have done so, Cotton boasted: “Friend and foe alike have been reminded that the United States not only possesses unmatched power, but also once again will employ our power to protect our interests, aspirations and allies.”

    The second reason for the escalation of military operations relates to concerns over the deepening crisis and instability throughout Europe and within the United States. The European Union and NATO are fracturing amidst the rise of nationalist movements in the wake of Brexit.

    The fight against Russia is to be a “unifying” theme. Chris Coons, the Democratic senator from Delaware, spelled this out in remarks at the Brookings Institution last week. Under the headline “Are we at war with Russia?” Coons declared that the “American-led international order” is under threat due to the actions of Russia, which “benefits directly from the election of European leaders who support narrow-minded nationalism and share its opposition to a cohesive European Union and a strong NATO.”

    According to Coons, “the regime of Vladimir Putin is achieving today what the Soviet Union set out to do in 1950… It is destroying unity in the West, isolating the United States, and alienating the Western people from our governments.” It “has undermined Americans’ trust in our institutions, in each other, and in the very credibility of our democracy.”

    The effort of Coons to attribute the breakdown of the EU and social discontent within Europe and the United States to the actions of the Putin government in Russia is patently absurd. Tens of millions of working people suffering from declining living standards do not need Putin to know that the political and economic system has failed them.

    Within the United States, the Democratic Party—allied with the military and the intelligence agencies—is playing the leading role in fomenting anti-Russia hysteria to try to keep Europe in line and to direct internal social tensions within the United States outward toward military conflict. The Democrats have shelved their occasional criticism of the Trump administration’s domestic policies. In the aftermath of the Syrian airstrikes last week they have rushed to praise the White House and are only demanding a more consistent policy against Assad and Russia.

    Ominously, Coons worried about the fact that according to recent polls, “only half of all Americans believe Russia actually interfered in our presidential election,” even after “the entire US intelligence community made it clear that Russia intervened in our electoral process.” Congress must “comprehend the nature of our conflict with Russia and ensure the American people share that understanding.”

    And if people do not “share that understanding”? This is clearly then the result of “enemy propaganda” and illegitimate.

    The American ruling class is right to be concerned about mass consciousness. The same contradictions of world capitalism that produce imperialist war also produce the objective basis for socialist revolution, in the form of the growth of the class struggle all over the world. In the United States, the consequences of the war drive against Russia will produce shock and outrage. There is a deep and abiding skepticism and hatred for the political establishment and media among broad sections of workers and youth.

    The greatest danger, however, is that opposition is not politically organized. Decisions are being taken behind the scenes, with the population largely unaware of the cataclysmic consequences. In the media, there is a complete absence of any critical examination of the propaganda claims of the government. The entire spectrum of official politics supports the catastrophic war policy of American imperialism.

    Whatever the immediate outcome of the US strikes on Syria, events are moving relentlessly in the direction of world war. That reality must animate the fight internationally for a politically conscious intervention of the working class to end imperialism and nation-state divisions and reorganize society on socialist foundations.

    Joseph Kishore

    Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site - All rights reserved

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