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Five things anti-war activists should know about Syria

By Jess Sundin

Hands off Syria!

As anti-war/anti-intervention activists, we need to oppose any kind of U.S. attack on Syria. The Obama administration has been trying to sell this war to the American people by claiming it will be a short volley of cruise missile strikes with no boots on the ground. Claims of a “short war” rest on the assumptions that the Syrian government will not respond at all to being bombed and on the idea that U.S. objectives (regime change) will be achieved without further attacks. Hundreds if not thousands will die and nothing good will come of it.

On chemical weapons and red lines:

President Obama is arguing that the government of Syria has crossed a so-called “red line” by using chemical weapons in Syria. This has a number of problems. There is absolutely no evidence or confirmation that Syria’s government carried out the alleged chemical attack. Doctors Without Borders admits that its report is based not on their own investigation, but on reports they received from a Syrian rebel group. It is not logical for the Syrian government to have used chemical weapons, given that they were having success in the conflict, and that UN weapons inspectors were in Syria only ten miles from where the attack took place. We can’t forget how we were lied to about WMD’s in Iraq.

The notion that there is a “red line” that no one is allowed to cross is cynical at the core. Iraq is saturated with cancer causing depleted uranium from U.S. bombs. The U.S. military used the chemical weapon white phosphorus in Fallujah and Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza in a manner that violates the Geneva Convention. Chemical weapons are pretext to do what the U.S. government, weapons manufacturers, Israel, and the Saudi ruling class wants to do – bomb Syria.

Honest and good people have found themselves confused about Syria. There are people who feel powerless and just wish the bloodshed would stop. Some feel that military action will make them feel better. They instead need to be asking if military action and more bloodshed improve the situation in Syria. The clear answer is no.

No blood for oil??

While Syria doesn't have much oil, there is a whole lot of it in the neighborhood. The conflict in Syria has been ongoing because it is being used as a geopolitical chess piece by the West. The point of the attack is to defeat Syria so the U.S. can next move onto Iran and strike at other forces that are opposed to U.S domination.

Syria’s real ‘crime’ is to remain independent, ignoring the agenda of U.S. empire in the Middle East and befriending the patriotic peoples of Iran, Lebanon and Palestine. The U.S. speaks of chemical weapons, hoping that we have forgotten their plan for ‘regime change’ in Syria. The U.S. government has no right to determine who should lead the Syrian government. Beyond just openly calling for the Syrian president to be thrown out, the U.S. has already given more than a billion dollars’ worth of battlefield support to the Syrian opposition.

Devastating Syria with hundreds of cruise missiles or bombs will only make it harder for the Syrian people to exercise self-determination. Only the Syrian people themselves can decide their own future. The continued escalation of U.S. involvement in Syria and the Middle East makes a lasting peace impossible. As anti-war activists we should not call for the great powers to lead negotiations on a settlement of the conflict in Geneva or anywhere else to solve Syria’s problems.

We're opposed to war. We represent. We are the 91%!

Working people are weary of the blood and treasure expended to benefit military contractors while we have problems like foreclosures and student debt. In the face of real hardship at home, including cuts to food stamps and Head Start, our bankrupt government is spending our resources to fight the people of Syria, who have more in common with us than we have with Obama.

Politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, represent the interests of U.S. imperialism and are trying to push us toward war. The anti-war movement represents the vast majority. 91% of the American people agree with us. We need to mobilize people to demonstrate and show that we don't want to be dragged into another war. We have to pressure Congress to listen to the majority’s voice. Unfortunately, we can’t trust that they will honor our wishes. We’re prepared to continue the fight and raise the level of struggle.

1,2,3,4: we don't need another war. 5,6,7,8: stop it now, it's not too late!

Failing to win support of the United Nations, the Obama administration is now turning to Congress for cover in the form of a resolution authorizing the use of military force. Getting approval from Congress doesn't make the attack legit.

When Congress returns to D.C. next week, on Sept. 9, their votes will affect whether and how a war on Syria may begin. This week, while they are in their home districts across the country, politicians need to hear from their constituents. This is the time to stop the war before the U.S government is bogged down in another expanding war like Iraq.

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