from the Solidarity Political Committee
August 28, 2013
McCain, Boehner, Graham, Kerry, Biden…the call of U.S. war hawks from both parties is growing louder. Their pretext, of course, is the chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians near Damascus, adding to tens of thousands killed, and millions of refugees displaced, all manifestations of the cruelties of the Syrian civil war.
According to a senior administration official, President Obama has made “no decision” on military intervention (Reuters), but warplanes and military transporters are massing at Britain’s Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coastline. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced that “all military assets” are in place for an imminent rocket attack on Syria from the eastern Mediterranean.
Advocates of military intervention point to the atrocities of the civil war, including the nerve gas attack. It seems overwhelmingly likely, though not absolutely certain, that the Syrian regime perpetrated that attack. But the United States and Britain are no strangers to committing war crimes or using chemical weapons — from the carpet bombing of Dresden ordered by Winston Churchill and the U.S. use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, to Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam to white phosphorus in Fallujah, Iraq.
Declassified documents published by Foreign Policy magazine just days ago detail U.S. support for Saddam Hussein’s chemical attacks against Iran and the Kurds in the 1980s. Those attacks jointly constitute the largest use of chemical weapons in modern history.
Solidarity condemns U.S. military intervention in Syria. That’s not because we have any sympathy or support for the Assad regime. It’s because missiles, whether delivered from ship or plane, will certainly cause civilian casualties. It’s because bombing Syria will have nothing to do with protecting the population from further atrocities. And it’s because the United States has no legitimate right to attack countries whose governments it doesn’t like.
An attack by the U.S. and its allies could even have the consequence of strengthening Assad’s hold, giving the government cover as a fighter against Western imperialism. As one socialist group in Syria proclaimed, “Our revolution has no sincere ally, except the popular revolutions of the region and of the world and of all the militants struggling against regimes of ignorance and servitude and exploitation…No to Washington! No to Moscow!”
The Solidarity Political Committee calls upon our members to participate and help organize rallies and demonstrations against a dangerous and illegitimate U.S. military action that is likely to make an unfolding tragedy even worse.