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Issue #1819      April 25, 2018

Anti-imperialist unity

At the time when US President Trump was announcing plans to withdraw from Syria allegations emerged once again accusing the Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad of using chemical weapons against his own people, this time resulting in punishment airstrikes carried out by Israel against a Syrian military base in Homs.

Wreckage after an airstrike of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, Syria.

Like the previous accusations last year in April and back in August 2013, the Syrian government derives no conceivable tactical benefit in using chemical weapons, and in any case Syria’s chemical weapons (which the United States claimed to have totally destroyed) were only ever conceived of as strategic weapons to gain leverage against Israel which has nuclear weapons that are far deadlier by an order of magnitude.

Like the previous accusations (such as the lies about weapons of mass destruction behind the invasion of Iraq in 2003) we are being asked to rely solely on evidence provided to us from areas under the armed control of the forces fighting the government, to essentially “take their word for it” even though we have good reason to believe that the anti-Assad forces too have chemical munitions capabilities.

In February US Secretary of Defence James Mattis even admitted they had “no evidence” that the Syrian government had ever used chemical weapons, so why believe current accusations if the witness is demonstrably unreliable? The first time the UN was called into Syria was to investigate the use of chemical gas against Syrian government soldiers, leading the UN representative Carla Del Ponte to conclude that “only opponents of the regime have used Sarin gas”.

The forces for peace have always rallied behind the noble cause of nuclear disarmament. However, the reality is that such causes, i.e. for the prohibition of deadly weapons, have been used as a means to strip post-colonial countries like Syria, Iraq, and Libya, of their strategic deterrent, leaving them naked in the face of imperialist hostility, and leaving Israel unchallenged in their quest to “pour concrete” into the foundations of their European colonial settler regime established on stolen Arab Palestinian land.

What cannot be denied is that the objective behind the Western inspired and instigated Syrian conflict is the overthrow of the Syrian government, with the Syrian state and its allies like Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah resisting these attempts. Never in this entire conflict (2011-present) has anyone who claims to espouse progressive politics convincingly made the case that the forces attempting to overthrow the Syrian government would represent any kind of progressive or democratic advance of any kind.

Yes, in the first year of the conflict (2011) there were democratic demands being shouted at the government, but what the media never tells anyone is that the government addressed those demands, and within the space of a year, changed the constitution (February 2012) thereby ending the Ba’ath party’s legally enshrined “dictatorship” over executive and legislative bodies. While making major concessions to the Syrians wanting reform, the government has predictably resisted the forces attempting to take over the country militarily.

In times like these, Mao’s declaration on the eve of the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 provides the most accurate historical analogy for understanding the Syrian war. Mao said in order to unite with the Guomindang government of China at that time which had been transformed into a party of the comprador capitalist class of China, but which nonetheless had an interest in national self-defence against Japan:

“When imperialism launches a war of aggression against such a country [like Syria or Yemen], all its various classes, except for some traitors, can temporarily unite in a national war against imperialism. At such a time, the contradiction between imperialism and the country concerned becomes the principal contradiction, while all the contradictions ... within the country are temporarily relegated to a secondary and subordinate position.”

The great victory of the Soviet Union and China against the fascist axis, however, not only smashed the most violent attempt at colonisation in history, but it exhausted the other colonising powers like Britain, France and the Netherlands, bringing to life a vast sea of independent post-colonial nations with a powerful ally in the Soviet Union and greater socialist bloc who would give them the means of defending their independence.

In 2007 a retired former high-ranking US General named Wesley Clark went public in a speech published by Fora TV. According to Clark, in 1991 after the first gulf war Paul Wolfowitz told him, “but one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes, Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us”.

While the Russian economy was being raided by capitalist piracy in the 1990s, Russia retreated from the world stage, which unsurprisingly coincided with the dismantling of Yugoslavia by NATO, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which laid the groundwork for the eventual covert wars against Libya and Syria, and the genocidal war waged by Saudi Arabia against Yemen which Australia supports by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

In other words, the period of “inter-imperialist conflict” ended, eventually giving way to the present period, often referred to as an era of “neo-colonialism”, in which the United States plays the leading role in sabotaging the development of post-colonial countries like Syria that choose to pursue mutually beneficial relations with other rising powers.

The Anglo-American alliance is a dying empire, one which is currently lashing out at Syria for refusing the diktats of a predatory three-part alliance between NATO, the GCC (the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states: The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait and Yemen) and Israel. Every escalation against Syria is an escalation against nuclear armed Russia, and every Israeli air-raid against Syria raises the possibility of a wider war with Iran.

Next article – Global Briefs

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