From the Dorchester People for Peace Update, July 21, 2017
Despite how despicable Donald Trump remains in so many ways, reports that he plans to end US arming of so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels is good for Syria – and good for the US. While the NY Times had a low-key but relatively straightforward report about the policy change, the more Neocon-oriented Washington Post had this headline: Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow. (One of the paper’s columnists was even more alarmed: Trump’s breathtaking surrender to Russia) Liberal Middle East scholar Juan Cole wrote: Trump hands Putin gift, cancels Support for Syrian Rebels.
This is crazy. Whether or not there may have been an opportunity to replace Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with a secular democratic regime in the early days of the Arab Spring (doubtful), that is clearly no longer a possibility. “Democratic” “moderate” armed rebels – to the extent they exist at all – have no imaginable path to power, compared with the extremist Islamic sectarians who dominate the opposition military forces — with the continued aid from US allies autocratic Turkey and the absolutist Gulf petro-monarchies. Those who continue to advocate more US intervention or support for the “Syrian Revolution” are promoting the unending destruction in Syria without even the remotest possibility of a positive outcome. They have blood on their hands.
Not surprisingly, Israel, which has quietly intervened in Syria in support of the Islamist rebels, is against efforts to wind down the fighting in Syria through cooperation between Russia and the US, such as the recently-agreed ceasefire in SW Syria. Israel has attacked Syria many times over the years, including during its current civil war, and threatens further attacks against “Iranian bases” in Syria. Look for stepped-up war cheerleading from Washington Neocons and Israel’s poodles in the US Congress.
But this doesn’t mean that US intervention in Syria is over. US support for “anti-ISIS” armed groups, together with US bombing in Syria (illegal under international and US law) and Iraq (technically “legal” but unwise and immoral) is on-going — with horrific civilian casualties.
The U.S. is also risking a catastrophic military clash with Russia or Iran in Syria. There is no legal or moral basis for the United States to be waging war in Syria, risking conflict with Russia and nuclear apocalypse for us all. Sign up for the Thunderclap and sign the petition to the U.S. Congress and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, urging them to immediately remove all U.S military planes from Syrian skies and keep them out of that country’s airspace. Partners Include: RootsAction.org, World Beyond War, DailyKos, Veterans For Peace, The Nation, and Watchdog.net.
ISIS is retreating in Syria and Iraq, but the US is not. The Trump administration has not made secret its hostility to Iran — and the drumbeats for war are building.