APRIL 7TH, 2017
By IWL-FI International Secretariat.
Donald Trump ordered yesterday the airstrike to a military base of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Shayrat, Homs. He sent 59 cruise missiles from East Mediterranean. The attack was announced in Washington as a punishment to the ferocious attack with sarin gas, which we fiercely repudiate, that the dictator made a few days ago, killing over 100 people, a third of which were children.
We condemn this military attack by U.S. imperialism with the same strength we reject the airstrikes of U.S., France, U.K. and its Arab allies in Syrian and Iraqui ground since 2014. Assad, as much as imperialism, have their hands stained with the blood of Middle East peoples, and both deserve full repudiation by all exploited and oppressed ones across the world.
Trump’s motive is not “humanitarian” and it can never be so. Still considering the hypothesis that the White House turned its policy around and now supports Assad’s fall from power –let’s remember that, so far, every airstrike was allegedly led against Islamic State and Assad was an “ally” in the “fight against terror,”– the tomahawk do not pursue the goal of “freeing” the Syrian people from the atrocities of a genocide dictatorship, allied to the U.S. for several decades, but to control the situation and possibly establish a government emerged from a “negotiation” that will certainly incorporate elements of the current regime.
No. The magnate Trump, who ended up being president of the main economic and genocide power of the planet, is not –and will never be– an “ally” of the Syrian revolution, not even of democracy.
Although the Russian government, main military and diplomatic ally of Assad, was warned about the attack to avoid losses, its diplomacy condemned the fact based on “invented arguments”, and announced that there will be “serious consequences”. Russia does not seem willing to yield in its support to Damasco’s “satrap”, but we must see how far it will go if the U.S. is really decided to intervene.
Of course, Trump’s attack does not make Assad an “anti-imperialist” leader nor anything alike, as the Castro-Chavist currents continue to say, accomplices of the atrocities of his regime. Before and during the civil war in Syria, Assad made all efforts, explicitly, to earn the trust of the U.S. and be considered as a valuable element in the “fight against IS”. For example, just four months ago the Syrian dictator declared that “Trump can be an ally on the fight against terror.”
As Trump extended his hand to Putin –at first, and to differentiate himself from Obama–, Assad felt safer. To this international context we should add the military victories of the regime in the emblematic Aleppo and other neighborhoods of the country. So, following the inflexible dynamics of a dictatorship that clings on to power but continues to be militarily questioned by its people, Assad decided to repeat the doses of barbarism used in 2013 to kill over 1400 civilians, and he threw a new chemical attack on Idlib against innocent civilians. This was not an attack to the Islamic State, which is not present in Idlib. It was an attack against the revolution, as Idlib is the only province capital still under control of the heterogeneous coalition of rebels who raised in arms against the regime in 2011.
Trump has been in power for less than 100 days and his popularity is lower than any other president’s in the U.S. for the same period. It is possible that the attack to a genocide dictatorship that just gassed dozens of children is an attempt to strengthen the Trump government politically. “Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies,” said Trump, while calling all “civilized nations” to end terrorism and the “slaughter” in Syria.
We need to see what his next steps will be. Is Assad no longer considered “a necessary evil” by Washington? Is this just a “surgical” intervention to show “determination” and ensure that “red lines are respected” to increase the U.S. power of negotiation in the transition? Or has U.S. imperialism decided to resume a war strategy like the one Bush previously embraced and clearly lost?
So far, Republicans as much as Democrats supported the White House measure as “proportioned”. Even the most critic ones, like the Republicans John McCain and Marco Rubio, who was Trump’s rival in the presidential race, expressed their support. Hillary Clinton herself said a few hours before that it would be necessary to attack Assad’s aerial bases. And outside the U.S., as always, the NATO, the U.K., Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Poland and Israel applauded the action.
Since 2014, U.S. and a coalition of imperialist and Arab countries have performed hundreds of airstrikes, allegedly “against the Islamic State”, leaving Assad’s regime intact. A few weeks ago, U.S. and its coalition killed hundreds of civilians in Mosul. Washington also counts with 900 ground military forces acting like “advisors”. A great-scale intervention cannot be dismissed, and we condemn it from now because, even if it takes Assad out of power, it will not be a solution to the problems that led the Syrian people to make a revolution. But we need to wait on the development of events, as a move like this would take the U.S. to an unstoppable dynamic of military interventions in the Middle East, from where it had to retrieve after being defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan during the first decade of the century.
From the IWL-FI, we reaffirm our condemnation of these attacks and any kind of imperialist intervention in Syria and the Middle East. Only the victory of the Syrian Revolution, which starts by destroying the regime of the Assad family, can bring better days to the Syrian people.
The U.S. people, that has been showing active opposition to Trump’s government, must mobilize and demand the end of airstrikes and any intervention of Trump in Syria and anywhere else the world. All peoples should mobilize against this imperialist attack and for the victory of the Syrian revolution.
Translation: Sofia Ballack.