Thousands of protests throughout the world since Aug. 21 –- from street demonstrations to public statements and resolutions –- have rejected the projected U.S. attack on Syria.
Big-business media like the New York Times have attempted to minimize or ignore these protests. The semiofficial TV5 in France has shown protests in other countries, mainly the United States, while ignoring the ones in France. This station avoids exposing the “Socialist” Party now running the French government. The SP has a long history of supporting French imperialism.
The New York Times of Sept. 2 showed two examples of the paper’s approach to these protests.
The article on the German elections mentioned, “Ms. Merkel stated more clearly than she had before that Germany would play no part in any military response to the apparent chemical weapons assault outside Damascus.” There was no mention that 140 protests have taken place in Germany since Aug. 21 against such a military response.
The article on a Sept. 1 Arab League meeting in Cairo says, “It was a major step toward supporting Western military strikes but short of the explicit endorsement that the United States and some Persian Gulf allies had hoped for.”
The article reports that Morocco, a North African monarchy, agrees with the call to support “action required to stop the bloodshed,” in the words of the Saudi foreign minister. The same article ignored Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, who reaffirmed Algeria’s opposition to military operations against Syria. (Algerian Press Service, Sept. 1)
Othman Jérandi, Tunisia’s minister of foreign affairs, underlined his country’s opposition to “any foreign military intervention in Syria.”
By reporting that two-thirds of the British public oppose Britain’s participation in the attack, the BBC admitted that public war-weariness influenced the parliamentary defeat of Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to commit Britain to it.
The BBC discounted the role of the Stop the War coalition in mobilizing popular discontent and holding demonstrations of thousands in London. The U.S. media also minimized coverage of these protests.
In France, there were demonstrations in Paris, Marseille, Nîmes, Avignon, Toulouse and Annency on Aug. 28 and 29. While not massive — at most 800 in Paris — they were militantly anti-war. The main center-right party in France, the Union for a Popular Movement, has called for a vote in Parliament, making note of polls that show two-thirds of the people oppose military action.
The French corporate press hardly mentions left opposition to military action. But on the solidarity website of France’s Communist Party it is possible to find a call by the Party of the Left for a vote to stop French participation in the aggression.
In Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, the media have barely reported on the significant protests. The corporate media present Turkey as a stable ally of the U.S., with its government allegedly so worried about an attack from Syria that it requested a Patriot missile defense system on its southern border with that country.
But the Turkish Workers Party organized major protests in Izmir, in front of the NATO headquarters; in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and in Adana, right outside the U.S. air base of Incirlik. A coalition of peace groups and nongovernmental organizations called a major protest in Ghezi Square in Istanbul on Sept. 1. (Turkish Weekly)
The RT news website has a slideshow showing some of the protests around the world –- including Greece, the Palestinian city of Nablus on the West Bank, and Ukraine –- and raises the question of what the progressive people of the world want to do. The power of masses of people acting together worldwide could defeat this imperialist machination of the U.S. and its few allies.