Statement by the Communist Party USA
On Thursday, April 6, the Trump administration bombed the Republic of Syria, causing casualties and destroying much of that country’s air force. The stated reason for the missile attack was as a response of a horrible incident in the neighborhood of the city of Ildib two days before, in which scores of people, including children, were killed by a poisonous gas, possibly sarin. The United States and its allies, as well as Syrian rebels, claim that either Syrian or Russian warplanes had carried out a deliberate chemical weapons attack. Syria and Russia claim that the poison gas was being stored by rebels in the area, and that the bombing of rebel targets accidentally released it.
The use of poison gas is an enormous war crime which all must condemn. But we must not lose sight of the horror that has been unleashed on the world by U.S. and allied policies of armed intervention and regime change, in the Middle East and far beyond.
Since the First World War, the major imperial powers have had a heavy handed policy of interfering in the internal affairs of the countries of the Middle East. This has entailed propping up reactionary monarchs and despots, and above all, not allowing any progressive or even merely secular regime that defends the interests of the majority of the people in each country, or even merely thwarts the desires of the big corporations and major capitalist powers, to come to power or stay in power.
The major motive for this policy has certainly been oil politics as well as the general strategic domination of the Middle East. Even though the United States today does not get most of its oil from the Middle East, the control of supplies of oil and natural gas has great geopolitical importance because U.S. commercial and political rivals do get their oil from there.
The history of U.S. policies of intervention and “regime change”, sometimes using the fig leaf of “humanitarian intervention”, is an exceptionally bloody one. It has been the policy of both Republican and Democratic administrations, and has not been confined to the Middle East region. It has involved bloody interventions and regime change actions in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960, Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, Dominican Republic in 1965, Indonesia in 1967, Chile in 1973, Yugoslavia in the 1990s,Iraq in 2003, Haiti in 2004, Honduras in 2009, Libya in 2011 and Syria at the present time, to name just a few. After the Cuban Revolution, the United States pushed a policy of regime change in that country which was only interrupted in December 2014. There are dangers of other such interventions in the immediate future.
In each and every case, the “intervention” brought to power a government that did not represent either the will or the interests of the people of the country where the U.S. intervened. In fact, these interventions do not represent the will or the interests of the working class and the vast majority of the people of the United States. And literally millions of innocent people have died because of direct military interventions and economic blockades euphemistically called “sanctions”.
Intervention of this type risks the United States being fully dragged into regime change which could escalate into larger war involving other countries, including those who possess nuclear weapons.
The interventionist policies only serve the interests of the wealthy transnational corporations and a tiny minority of super rich people.
These interventionist policies have undermined the work of the United Nations, seeking to substitute the raw military power of the United States for any kind of collective approach to solving the world’s problems and keeping the peace.
Furthermore, in the Middle Eastern context, interventions of this kind have been a Godsend to groups like ISIS/ISIL and Al Qaeda, who move into the political and military vacuums the interventions create to set up their bases, and then use these bases to spread their ideology and carry out terrorist attacks regionally and all over the world.
We have to see the Trump administration’s bombing of Syria in the light of this dismal history. The horrible incident in ildib, which cost the lives of scores of people, including many children, now becomes the pretext for yet another armed intervention on the part of the United States, as Trump sent 59 Tomahawk missiles deep into Syrian territory, causing more casualties.
Donald Trump is an erratic and unstable president whose foreign policy appears to be incoherent. While his general policy serves the interests of big capital, some of his actions appear to be on a whim, which makes him all the more dangerous. Also, Trump is embattled at home by peoples forces and some tendencies in his own Republican Party which are making every effort to block his reactionary policies. His administration is also plagued by major scandals. It is possible he is using this attack on Syria as a diversion from domestic scandals, unpopular policies and declining popularity. It is shameful how corporate mass media and sections of Democratic Party have jumped on board the war bandwagon.
This way, no problems will be resolved, and many new conflicts will be created. Many, many more innocent people will die.
The Communist Party USA denounces the Trump Administration’s attack on Syria as an illegal threat to regional and world peace. We demand:
- No more such interventions in Syria or anywhere else.
- A U.N. sponsored investigation into the Ildib incident, using the best scientific methods of investigation available.
- A peaceful settlement of the multiple civil wars in Syria.
- An end to U.S. policies of intervention and regime change, and
- The recognition of the rights of the people of Syria and every other country to determine their own future without outside interference.
- Justice for the millions of refugees the conflict in Syria and its neighbors has created.
- Further, we call for the United States Congress to exercise its constitutional role as a check on the actions of the executive branch.