A good move on Syria

Demonstrations across the country against the U.S.-NATO-Israeli intervention in the war against Syria began in June and are continuing until at least July 17.

Now, for the first time, the major anti-war coalitions in the United States have issued a joint call for these demonstrations. We want to congratulate those activists in the anti-war movement who have persevered in the difficult task of winning unity among the United National Anti-War Coalition, Answer, and United for Peace and Justice.

It has been difficult mainly because the imperialist governments and their media have distorted the events and demonized the Syrian government, just as they did the Libyan leadership in 2011, before NATO unleashed an air war against the government in Tripoli.

It is all the more important that the groups reached their agreement on a principled basis and that the main target of the demonstrations will be the major imperialist powers — the U.S. and NATO — and the Israeli settler state, which directly bombed Syria in May. Nearly 100 organizations and individuals have now endorsed the actions, which are taking place all over the United States.

What provoked the movement here to call protests against U.S. and other NATO intervention was the Barack Obama administration’s decision to openly send arms to the so-called Syrian rebels. No matter how the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad government started, it is now made up of heavily armed reactionary forces dependent on the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and the NATO imperialists. They are so disparate and ill-organized that some imperialists might have misgivings about aiding them — they all saw the debacle at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that followed the slaughter in Libya. Nevertheless the weapons pour in, killing tens of thousands of Syrians and forcing more than 1.5 million to flee the country.

Since Workers World has often before explained our opposition to the Syrian war and all imperialist intervention in the region, we won’t repeat these arguments now. They are accessible on the workers.org website.

Early protests in Los Angeles and Dearborn, Mich., have set a high standard. We look forward to the demonstrations being held in coming weeks as setting a groundwork for future anti-war actions on both a broad and a principled basis. For information on the call and to see a list of scheduled demonstrations, go to unacpeace.org.