I thought you might appreciate the following comments on the Syrian conflict by retired Concordia University history professor and longtime advocate of social democracy in Canada Graeme Decarie in his blog “The Moncton Times@Transcript” September 9. Although Professor Decarie makes no claim to Marxist advocacy, he is certainly advocating a more militant anti-imperialist stance with respect to the Syrian conflict than many self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups in his own country who are advocating solidarity with the Syrian rebels and calling on their own Western imperialist governments to arm the rebellion, if not intervene directly to oust the current Syrian regime.
Professor Decarie’s comments follow:
“The only big news in the paper is that Obama wants to attack Syria. Secretary of State Kerry has been foaming at the mouth about it. “This is our encounter with Munich.” “Can we stand by and watch the slaughter?” In fact, there is no resemblance between this crisis and Munich – which was an attempt by a British PM avoid a war. As for standing by to watch a slaughter, the American government stood by while its own forces slaughtered millions. As for the possibility that chemical weapons were used in Syria. The US has made claims, but has made public no evidence they were used, and no evidence they were used by the Syrian government.”
“Most of the world, including most of the West, has told the US to get stuffed. Its only supporters are the usual stooges like Canada, South Korea, and Japan – none of which has shown any desire to take part in an attack. As for the use of chemical weapons being a horror, it is. However, the US has used chemical weapons for a century. It still does. It dumped 20 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam. It still infects thousands of American veterans of Vietnam, causing horrible birth defects to their children and great grandchildren. It used napalm in Japan, largely against civilians. It also used napalm in Vietnam. (Napalm is a forbidden chemical weapon under international convention.) Israel used phosphorous in Palestine just four years ago. The US didn’t even report it. The US supplied Saddam Hussein with sarin, among other chemical weapons, for use against Iran. It used depleted uranium lavishly in Iraq, causing high rates of cancer that persist. And, oh yes, how soon we forget, It experimented with poison gas in the 1950s. It spread poison gas over the poor (African-American) districts of St. Louis. The result was a high rate of cancer in those districts. For at least sixty years, the US has been the world’s largest maker, supplier and user of chemical weapons. Now, it demands the world support it in attacking Syria for (maybe) using it.”
“Then there’s the historical background you won’t get in any news report. During and after World War I, Britain, France, Spain, Italy interfered massively with the middle east and North Africa. They took over vast oilfields, installed phony royal families (as in Saudi Arabia), stooge dictators in some, and direct rule in some. And so began years of brutal exploitation. When, after 1945, the European empire collapsed, the US began its move to take over, and create its own empire in the region. Britain and France have grabbed onto US coattails hoping that, by joining in, they can get some bits of their old empires back. Libya was a part of that takeover. That’s why Canada sent bombers. Libya was getting too independent. So the leader was killed, and the country plunged into a chaos of violence and hunger from which it has never recovered. But the US has the oilfields.”
“Syria is another part of that takeover process. The so-called “civil war” in Syria was begun, paid for, supplied with mercenaries, weapons and money by the US and its allies like Saudi Arabia, the emirates and Turkey. The US HAS BEEN in this war from the start. There is no civil war in Syria. There is an invasion of Syria, largely by foreign mercenaries. and with the US pulling the strings from the start. I don’t know the cause of this recent decision by Obama to get involved directly. It may be his fear that the so-called rebel forces will win – and then establish an extreme Moslem state in Syria. It may be his fear that the Syrian government will win. But why should we worry about Obama’s reasons? Obama is a stooge for big business just as much as George Bush was . He always has been. It was evident, or should have been, in his first presidential campaign, that he was nothing but a smiling face and a chant of “we can do it.” Obama is simply the US equivalent of a Justin Trudeau – or a Brian Gallant.”
“In short, since 9/11, the US has continuously fought expensive, extremely brutal, and largely unsuccessful wars to satisfy the big business dream of “The American Century” of world dominance. The G20 has been its biggest diplomatic defeat in history as only a very few toadies like Canada, France, South Korea, Japan offered support – and most of their support was moral. But no teeth. Where will this take us? That’s anybody’s guess. Three of the biggest countries in the world – Russia, China, and India – have a stake in blocking American big business. So do almost all of the people in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. At best, the American strike would lead to a long and extraordinarily brutal war – and perhaps even a losing one. The US military has shown serious limitations over the past 60 years. But even those outcomes are the ones we will get only if we’re very lucky. This is one hell of a serious time we’re facing. That’s why the T and T gave the story almost as much coverage as the expansion of a local, frozen yogurt shop.”
Can I subscribe to the paper edition of SF?
just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d like to subscribe too!
Why isn’t there details on the website? More people should be reading this stuff. We are bombarded enough by the capitalist media we should make sure we circulate as much of our own.
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