The U.S. Used Iraq as a Launching Pad for War Against Syria

Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA, September 24, 2014

The U.S. has now used its occupation of Iraq to launch a new aggressive war in the Middle East. On September 23, U.S. aircraft housed in Iraq bombed Syria.

After being forced to admit that its “Free Syria” movement has been about terrorizing the people of Syria, the Obama administration is repackaging old ways to cover over its aggressive, colonial aims in the Middle East. The latest U.S. plan is to white wash organizations trained for years in “Free Syria” camps in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere by labeling them “moderate.” The morbid dream of the U.S. continues to be “regime change” which replaces the Syrian Arab Republic with a colonial administration made up of rebels handpicked by the U.S. Secretary of State.

The U.S. bombing is a blatant self-exposure not only of the colonial aims of the war in Iraq, but also of the bi-partisan character of four years of open U.S. support for terrorism inside of Syria.

According to Obama several days before the bombing, “Here at home, I’m pleased that Congress – a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans, in both the House and the Senate – have now voted to support a key element of our strategy: our plan to train and equip the opposition in Syria so they can help push back these terrorists. As I said last week, I believe that we’re strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. And I want to thank leaders in Congress for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this urgent issue – in keeping with the bipartisanship that is the hallmark of American foreign policy at its best.

“These Syrian opposition forces are fighting both the brutality of ISIL terrorists and the tyranny of the Assad regime. We had already ramped up our assistance, including military assistance, to the Syrian opposition. With this new effort, we’ll provide training and equipment to help them grow stronger and take on ISIL terrorists inside Syria. This program will be hosted outside of Syria, in partnership with Arab countries, and it will be matched by our increasing support for Iraqi government and Kurdish forces in Iraq.”

Today, the aggressive, colonial aims of U.S. wars in Iraq and Syria have been unmasked in front of the whole world. The rich man’s government in the U.S. is once again revealing that it will never restrain itself or voluntarily respect the will of the people.

But in today’s world, it is the people who are the decisive force. It is precisely because the peoples are demanding “U.S. Out of Iraq!” and “Hands Off Syria!” that the tide has turned against U.S. imperialism. The U.S. government has been put on the defensive because its terrorist and dictatorial policies – once they are brought into the light of day and opposed – are rejected by the peoples everywhere.

In the U.S., the political polarization is going to continue and the real task facing us is to strengthen the independent political struggle and anti-war organizations of the people themselves. In the movement for a democratic foreign policy, anti-war activists must show the absolute need for the people to target the imperialist system which is the cause of militarism, war and colonialism in the modern world. In order to put an end to the aggressive wars of our “own” government in the Middle East and elsewhere, in order to place the decision-making power in the hands of the people, the American people must build a movement which breaks the political monopoly of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and its political parties – the Democrats and Republicans.