On Thursday, April 6th, Trump ordered the U.S. military to bomb a Syrian air force base that it claimed had launched a chemical weapons attack against forces opposing the Syrian government. The chemical gas attack was horrible, killing dozens of civilians, including babies. The Republican Party and many Democrats supported Trump’s action. Trump said he was horrified by the death of Syrian children. His response was to bomb the base.
This is the same Trump who opposed U.S. military involvement in Syria for the seven years that this civil war has raged. It has killed over 400,000 people, including those killed by the U.S. bombing of ISIS in Syria. Since Trump came into office, 1000 civilians have been killed by U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq. And the U.S. supports the bombing of civilians, including children, in Yemen, by U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia. It isn’t a question of Trump opposing the slaughter of civilians – it is a question of whether those doing the slaughtering are allied with the U.S. or not.
Trump says that Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a horrible dictator and should not be allowed to commit these atrocities. But he welcomed the current Egyptian dictator, el-Sisi, who repressed and killed Egyptians fighting for their rights and social justice during the Arab spring. So it isn’t a question of opposing dictators but of opposition to dictators who are not U.S. allies.
The U.S. military has been a player in the Middle East for decades, since the 1940’s, propping up dictators who defended U.S. energy, corporate and banking interests, draining the oil riches from the Middle East to supply U.S. energy needs. It is a history that is filled with atrocities, and wars, whether it is U.S. support of Israel in murdering Palestinians, or U.S. support of the Shah of Iran slaughtering the Iranian people, or the two Gulf wars that have killed at least 200,000 Iraqis.
What could be more hypocritical than this supposed outrage over the deaths of Syrian children by Trump and the Republican Party, who have tried to block Muslim refugees, especially from Syria, from coming to the U.S.? This same administration has proposed to cut off funds to U.N. programs that provide food and health services to people all over the world on the brink of famine, and ravaged by war and destruction. This is the same Trump who supported a health care plan that would have cut 24 million Americans off of healthcare while giving close to $700 million to the wealthy.
How stupid he must think we are if he expects us to believe that his actions are based on concern for Syrian children and not on his own need to distract us from what he is really doing to us here at home. Also since Russia is a major ally of Syria, the U.S. attack could make it seem that Trump is not connected to Russia, in the hope of changing people’s minds about the current investigation of his administration’s links to Russia. The Democrats are certainly not a moral and caring alternative to these policies. The day before Trump ordered the attack, Hilary Clinton broke her post-election silence to call for the U.S. to bomb Syria. The Democrats’ hands are covered with the blood of past wars, bombings and support of brutal dictators.
The crisis in Syria is a humanitarian disaster. But the U.S. politicians share responsibility for creating the mess that exists there today. The people of Syria have nothing positive to expect from Trump and the other U.S. politicians. The U.S. policies of greed and war are against the interests of all the poor and working people of the world, including in the U.S.