Editorial, ASR 63 (2015)
Once again the U.S. government has begun a military campaign in a middle eastern country to end “terrorism.” Thousands will be killed with explosives, made homeless and destitute, and the region left in turmoil and even more deeply in the hands of religious fanatics.
This time the battlefield is Syria, but it is a long war, begun sixty years ago when the CIA toppled the elected leader of Iran and installed the Shah. The Shah’s secret police murdered and tortured for a quarter century, until finally his dictatorship was overthrown by a revolution usurped by religious factions before democracy could be restored. The U.S. has been involved in wars throughout the middle east ever since, first supporting Saddam Hussein in Iraq and encouraging him to attack Iran, then toppling him a decade later by invading Iraq.
The U.S. supported Al-Qaeda when it fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, then had to hunt down its own Frankenstein’s Monster after that monster turned on its creator with the World Trade Center attack. Reagan invaded Lebanon supposedly to bring stability, but had to pull out after the Marine barracks was destroyed by a suicide bomber. Obama helped Libyan rebels overthrow Qadafi with weapons and air attacks, not unlike what he proposes to do in Syria, but it would be foolish to expect any other outcome than what happened in Libya. Assad may fall, some ISIS leaders will be killed, but another country will be left in a state of permanent civil war.
Anarcho-syndicalists have no sympathy for Assad, a hereditary dictator who is only too willing to kill those who oppose his regime. Neither do we see the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) as anything more than a violent criminal enterprise, playing on religion to gain followers and extort money from people living in that region. However, this new military adventure is not about ending terrorism, it is about protecting the oil fields of Iraq for U.S. corporate interests and creating another economic windfall for the military contractors and arms dealers.
President Obama wanted to attack Syria over a year ago to help overthrow Assad, but anti-war sentiment was too great. It was not until Syrian rebels calling themselves ISIS began attacks in Iraq, and threatened the oil fields there, that the corporate media discovered a “terrorist threat” and began running atrocity stories and the Obama regime finally got its war.
Whatever progress liberals and the left hoped to see from President Obama will be sacrificed to a renewed war on terror. President Obama has been compared by some to President Franklin Roosevelt, who had to change course from being “Dr. New Deal to Dr. Win the War” to defeat the Nazis. Unfortunately, Obama has been more “Dr. No Deal” than “Dr. New Deal.” This Syrian military adventure will only make matters worse. Under Presidents Bush and Obama, working families saw almost $5 trillion of their savings and assets transferred to the wealthy Wall Street swindlers who caused the largest financial meltdown in history.
Nothing has changed by trading Obama for Bush: No reinstatement of New Deal banking rules that would have prevented this disaster. No bailout for home-owners who were left to pick up the tab. By launching this military adventure, it is assured that as long as it continues we will hear the sad refrain whenever we demand something from the government, “We Are Too Broke!”
The only way to stop these oil wars is to ignore the claims of the war mongers and continue fighting to improve the lot of working people in our own country, and do everything we can to keep our children and fellow workers from joining the imperial armies of the energy barons.