Obama threatens U.S. intervention in Syria
Published Aug 25, 2011 10:35 PM
President Barack Obama on Aug. 18 demanded that Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad step down, saying that his days are numbered. The governments of
Britain, France and Germany joined in this demand.
This threat is blatant imperialist interference in Syria’s internal
affairs. More than that, it is an open threat to again intervene militarily in
the region, just as the U.S. and its European allies have done already in
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia.
Two weeks earlier, Russian NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin told the media that NATO
was planning a military campaign to overthrow the Assad government. In an
interview with the Russian daily Izvestia, Rogozin added that the Western
imperialist military alliance also may have plans to attack Iran. (Xinhua, Aug.
When imperialism states its intention to bring down a government or movement,
as the U.S. is doing now to Syria, it is cowardly to stand on the same side as
the imperialists who seek to dominate the world, or even to be neutral. This
has been an ABC in class-conscious workers’ movements for 150 years,
since Karl Marx. Whatever one’s assessment of the government under
attack, imperialist intervention, whether through sanctions or armed attack,
must be opposed.
Obama’s double standard
The Obama administration has called on the governments of Libya and Syria to
resign, as though they were the only ones using force against a portion of
Look across the Atlantic to Washington’s closest ally. The British
government just sent 16,000 police against the rebellious people of London and
other cities. After hasty trials, some people were sentenced to four years in
prison for sending messages with their Blackberries. Even before the recent
rebellions there, the police had killed 333 civilians in England and Wales over
the last 13 years. (Report of the Independent Police Complaints Commission,
reported in The Guardian, Dec. 3, 2010)
In May police of the Spanish state fired rubber bullets at people camped out in
Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona protesting an austerity budget. The Greek
government has repressed many strikes and demonstrations in the past year.
Washington cheers on the state power in all three allied capitals for punishing
Even more blatant is the repression in Bahrain, a country of half a million
people that hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet. There was not a word of criticism from
Washington when the monarchy killed dozens of protesters and arrested and
tortured hundreds more, or when Saudi troops invaded the island to help put
down the uprising.
The threat to Syria is connected to the social explosion shaking the Arab
world. U.S. imperialism and all the old regimes tied to it in the region are
trying desperately to manage and contain this still unfolding mass upheaval
into channels that do not threaten imperialist domination.
The U.S. and its collaborators are also trying to divide and undermine the two
main wings of the forces resisting imperialist domination — the Islamic
forces and the secular nationalist forces — which together overthrew
U.S.-backed dictators in Egypt and Tunisia. There is now a concerted effort to
turn these same political forces against the two regimes in the region that
have opposed U.S. domination in the past Libya and Syria.
U.S. diplomatic cables revealed by Wikileaks showed that the U.S. campaign to
overthrow Assad began years ago under President George W. Bush. (“U.S.
secretly backed Syrian opposition groups,” Washington Post, April 18)
Now Obama’s open declaration against Assad makes it no longer necessary
to see secret cables to know where U.S. imperialism stands.
Flounders is co-director of the International Action Center. For more on Syria see:
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