On Friday night, the U.S. military, along with the French and British military, launched about 118 missiles into Syria. These strikes, flagrant and completely unnecessary acts of aggression, do nothing to help the people of Syria or end the years of war they have suffered under. The strikes could increase the potential of major military conflict between the U.S. and Russia, threatening to expand the war and put the whole world at risk. These strikes, supposedly in defense of the people of Syria, show the total hypocrisy of the Trump administration and every Democrat and Republican politician who supported this assault.
The pretext for the strikes was a chemical weapons attack that killed 70 people, including children. The attack was allegedly carried out by the regime of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, against opposition forces in the town of Douma. The U.S. government and major news companies claimed that the Assad regime carried out the attack even though no evidence of responsibility has been released. An inspection team from the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was scheduled to carry out an inspection of the alleged site this past weekend. Now, after the bombing, no inspection is likely to take place.
Even if the Assad regime did carry out this chemical attack, we should not believe for a minute that the Trump administration or the U.S. government is concerned about the Syrian people. This assault will do nothing to limit this war and they know it. Syria has been engulfed in a civil war since 2011, which has killed an estimated 500,000 people, and forced five million people to flee Syria as refugees. The U.S. has carried out thousands of air strikes on Syria since 2014, killing thousands of civilians. And the position of the Trump administration has been to try to prevent all Syrian refugees from coming into the U.S. as they flee their destroyed homeland.
Trump and many other politicians and news commentators have expressed outrage at the horrors of this chemical attack. They have referred to Assad as a monster. What a bunch of hypocrites! Where is their outrage over Israel’s escalating attacks on Palestinians? The U.S. supplies Israel with $3 billion in military aid every year. Where is their outrage over Saudi Arabia’s brutal war on the people of Yemen? The war has already killed over 10,000 civilians since 2015. The Saudi forces have ripped the country apart and blockaded the capital city of Sana’a. There is a massive cholera outbreak and a severe famine, which threatens the lives of over 400,000 children. The U.S. is the main supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia, selling nearly $18 billion worth in 2017 alone. Yes, Assad’s regime is certainly a brutal one. But it’s not more brutal than the U.S. military and the regimes it supports all around the world.
The U.S. government is the greatest military threat in the world today. It has the world’s largest military, with over 800 bases in 70 countries, and spends an estimated $1.4 trillion per year on the military, more than the next twelve countries combined. And for what? Who is protected by this massive military? The answer is simple: the large banks and corporations, and the billionaires who own them.
The crisis in Syria is not an isolated event, but the result of this system of capitalism, where corporations and their governments maintain their control through unspeakable violence. The people of Syria have nothing good to expect from Trump and other U.S. politicians. This system benefits no one except a tiny handful of wealthy people with their hands on the levers of power. We need to say NO! to their system and their wars that serve to maintain it.