Confronted with the growing possibility of direct U.S. military intervention against Syria and open Israeli threats of an attack on Iran, the leading section of the U.S. anti-war movement has called for demonstrations on the weekend of Oct. 5-7 to protest the imperialist war drive. The United National Anti-war Coalition issued the call in an email on Aug. 23.
The weekend of Oct. 5-7 will mark the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, in which the George W. Bush administration used the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a pretext to foment a war. Within another 17 months, the Pentagon was marching on Baghdad, this time using the pretext of “weapons of mass destruction.” That pretext was soon proven false.
The Bush gang was leading the imperialist world in an attempt to once again conquer those parts of the world that had won some independence from their old colonial status during the time the Soviet Union existed. While the Barack Obama administration has reduced the unpopular U.S. troop exposure and casualties in Iraq, it has used proxy forces and U.S. air power, especially drones, to intervene militarily in at least a half-dozen countries. The imperialist attempt at conquest continues.
What the UNAC statement underlines are the new dangers of an even wider war: “We know from the Libyan experience that a ‘no-fly zone’ would require massive NATO bombing of Syrian air defenses and huge civilian casualties. At the same time, State Department spokespeople are targeting Iran and Hezbollah for alleged military support to the Assad government and unsubstantiated terrorist actions.…
“Going after Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Libya, causing massive loss of life and destruction, could be small potatoes compared to the conflagration we might see following military intervention in Syria, Iran and Lebanon.”
The UNAC release also calls attention to the Israeli government’s open threats to take action to allegedly strike Iran’s nuclear power apparatus, a controversial position even within Israel.
The costs of war
While UNAC centers its demands on stopping a new war, the call also exposes the enormous cost to the workers and poor at home, whose social benefits are cut to fund these wars. UNAC also brings up the internal war against oppressed peoples within the U.S.: “Islamophobia and scapegoating of Muslims leads to manufactured frame-ups and violence against the Muslim community and by extension brutal attacks on Sikhs as well. Immigrants are targeted.”
UNAC is setting a strong example for anti-war movements, not only in the U.S. but within all the NATO countries, by standing up to ruling-class propaganda. The politicians and corporate media have waged a campaign of lies against the Bashir al-Assad government in Syria, quoting the opposition’s charges extensively without evidence.
At the same time the imperialist powers have armed the most murderous elements of the opposition through NATO-member Turkey and the Saudi Arabia and Qatar monarchies.
It is all the more impressive that UNAC is taking action at the height of the U.S. presidential election campaign. By doing so it is underlining the independence of the movement from both big capitalist parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. This is a sign that there is resistance, at least among the most conscious political forces, to abandoning grass-roots actions during the electoral season.
UNAC will demand at the actions: “No wars! No sanctions! No drone attacks! Bring all the troops home now!” “Self-determination for the people of Syria and Iran!” and “No to racism, raids and repression! No to Islamophobia!”
For more information, see unacpeace.org.