[Marxism] US bombing of Syria didn't begin today

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 10:32:58 MDT 2017

US bombing of Syria did not begin today, it began in September 2014, 2.5 
years ago. Some 8000 air strikes. Thousands of civilians have been 
killed, including hundreds just in recent weeks in some horrific 
strikes, like the Idlib mosque and the Raqqa school. No-one has ever 
protested. No "anti"-war movement protested. No "anti"-imperialists 
protested. Just this week three prominent US leaders made the policy 
clear that Assad should stay (already unofficial policy for years). Then 
Assad goes and blows it by throwing sarin in their faces! What an idiot. 
I guess he was testing the waters. The US had no choice but to respond 
in some way for the sake of its alleged ... "credibility."

But can I ask, from our point of view, what is the big deal? Why are 
8000 strikes on opponents of Assad (and not only ISIS), killing 
thousands of civilians, not "intervention," yet just when you get one 
strike against the biggest terrorist in Syria, after it slaughters 100 
children with chemical weapons, only that is intervention, that is 
supposedly something more significant, that is something we should 
protest. Can I ask in all honesty what is the difference? Frankly, 
whoever has not been protesting the US bombing of Syria all along the 
last two and a half years, and who now suddenly protests this US 
"intervention" today, cannot in any sense be considered anti-war, or 
anti-imperialist, but simply an apologist for the Assad genocide-regime 
(and that's before even getting to the more fundamental fact that we are 
here talking about people that also never protested the most horrific 
bombing of Syria to pieces for 6 years by the regime and Russian 
imperialism). If that is not logical, then I’d like to have it explained 
to me why.

The interesting issue is why Assad was stupid enough to do this, just a 
few days after Nikki Haley, Sec of State Tillerson, and White House 
spokesman Sean Spicer, all said we're good with Assad staying, and after 
weeks of fairly open US collaboration with Russia and Assad in the 
bombing of Idlib and Deir Ezzor, the reconquest of Palmyra, and even the 
defence of Manbij. I assume Assad was testing the waters, but that just 
shows the arrogance of power. The US was giving him everything; the 
withdrawal of the red line in 2013 was supposed to mean you can do 
everything else except chemical weapons (and thus Assad used everything 
else in the four years since, in unbelievable quantities, with complete 
US indifference, if not support), as part of the US-Russia-Israel deal 
that saw Assad's chemical weapons removed. To then go and use these 
weapons and show off that he still has them was simply impossible for 
the US to ignore in terms of its "credibility." Assad was reading the 
messages correctly from this last week, that US leaders were encouraging 
him; he just read it wrong that this could include sarin. Look at Nikki 
Haley, fuming in the UN; she had to fume, because three days earlier the 
same Nikki Haley made the official announcement (along with Tillerson 
and the White House) that removing Assad was "no longer" (sic) the US 
aim. Assad should have been more gracious about being kissed like that.

Meanwhile, State Dept Tillerson explains this punishment strike should 
not be confused with a US change of line on Syria: "US Secretary of 
State Rex Tillerson said the attack showed the President "is willing to 
take decisive action when called for. I would not in any way attempt to 
extrapolate that to a change in our policy or posture relative to our 
military activities in Syria today," he said. "There has been no change 
in that status. "I think it does demonstrate that President Trump is 
willing to act when governments and actors cross the line and cross the 
line on violating commitments they've made and cross the line in the 
most heinous of ways." 

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