The White House claim that this military escalation is a US response to the regime of Bashar al-Assad crossing Obama’s “red line” and violating “international norms” by using chemical weapons against the so-called “rebels” is an insult to the intelligence of the people of the United States and the world.
[…] The fundamental reason for this debacle is not a lack of weapons—which Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have poured into the country under the CIA’s supervision—or the brutality of the Assad regime, but the fact that the majority of the population, however much they might dislike Assad, hate the Islamist “rebels” even more.
There is a palpable element of desperation in the latest turn by the Obama administration, which the White House left to a junior aide to announce. It is responding not only to the failure of its previous [proxy war] policy, but also to enormous pressure from within the ruling political establishment for war.
This found sharp expression in the remarks Tuesday by former Democratic President Bill Clinton, who warned that Obama would look like a “wuss” and “total fool” if he stopped short of “dropping a few bombs.” Clinton solidarized himself with Republican Senator John McCain, whose own reckless militarism makes him a candidate for either a war crimes tribunal or a mental facility.
This was the culmination of a steadily escalating campaign by politicians of both parties, the media, the Washington think tanks and sections of the military and intelligence apparatus for a more direct military intervention.
Serving as adjuncts in this campaign are pseudo-left groups such as the International Socialist Organization in the US, the New Anti-capitalist Party in France and the Left Party in Germany, which promote the Islamist militias and mercenaries in Syria as “revolutionaries” and fashion twisted political alibis for imperialist intervention. All of them have blood on their hands.
Nonetheless, there are evidently deep divisions within the state over a war that poses the threat of drawing the entire region as well as powers with interests in Syria, particularly Iran and Russia, into the maelstrom.
After the bitter experiences of Afghanistan and Iraq, there is virtually no support among the American people for US intervention in Syria. US imperialism’s pretense to be championing democracy in Syria is further shattered by the revelations of its police state spying operations against the people of the United States and the world, and the vicious witch-hunt it has launched against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has exposed these crimes.
Despite two years of media propaganda vilifying the Assad regime and casting the Al Qaeda-linked militias as crusaders for democracy, an NBC- Wall Street Journal poll released this week showed that barely 11 percent of the US public supports even arming the “rebels.”
The entire political setup in the US proceeds with indifference to these popular sentiments. The hackneyed statements of the Democratic and Republican politicians have nothing to do with convincing anyone to support the war, while the corporate media churns out “news” that resembles Orwellian propaganda.
It will be the working class, both in the US and internationally, that pays the price for intervention in Syria. Under conditions where it is universally proclaimed that there is no money for jobs or vital social programs, not a word is raised about what the military options being considered by Obama will cost. More fundamentally, there is an inexorable logic to a US escalation in Syria, which points toward military confrontation with Iran and potentially Russia, threatening the lives of millions.