The true, barbaric nature of US government is once again apparent. It is a war machine. It has always been so, but for a long time the inherent belligerent, criminal state was disguised with the trappings of democracy, human rights and law.
But those trappings are now discarded; and the steely, bristling war machine trundles forward to kill and maim countless more civilians for its gratification. The US is the political equivalent of a perverse cult in which, periodically, innocent human blood must be sacrificed to satiate its lust.
The US political establishment cannot help itself. It is programmed for war, no matter who sits in the White House or in Congress. This is because the political system in the US is a ghoulish servant of corporate and military empire. The politicians must obey, and many of them are only too willing to obey, the over-riding dictates of the elite: maximise profits at home or abroad. If that means impoverishing the majority, so be it. If that means going to war and killing millions of innocents in order to impose regime change to install pliable puppets, so be it. This is dictatorship by an elite under ironclad capitalist imperatives. Formal democracy was a cover for decades, now it has been discarded as no longer needed.
The spectacle this week in Washington testifies to this grotesque deformation of democracy. Politicians of both main parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are lining up to support calls for war on Syria, while the majority of ordinary American citizens oppose any such action. Impervious to the wishes of its people, never mind the precepts on international law, the US is now taking aim to unleash death and destruction. A country of 310 million people with the biggest military arsenal on the planet is preparing to attack a small land of some 22 million people, which has not or does not threaten the US. In Syria, nearly one-third of its population has been displaced after being ravaged by nearly three years of war. Now this devastated Arab society and its seven million refugees are to bear the onslaught of American missiles and air strikes. How barbaric can you get?
Following a charade debate in the US Senate – and unanimous acceptance by lawmakers of phoney propaganda levelled against the Syrian government over chemical weapons – there emerged bipartisan support for President Barack Obama’s plan to launch war. The brainless uniformity of the American political mindset is appalling. Senators and Representatives were seen congratulating themselves on having “debated” and “deliberated” to use military force – all based on the most outrageous lies and fabrications. The notion that there is some kind of diversity in the US political system is a travesty. There is no “left” or “right”; or “doves” and “hawks”. The US White House and Congress is a collective rubber stamp to serve as an illusion for the capitalist war machine.
Some commentators have speculated, vainly, that there are figures within the US administration who up to now have been acting as restraining influences. US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey were supposed to be the dissenting voices of reason by which sanity might prevail over militarism. What a pathetic illusion that is. These three servile figures were this week cheerleading the calls in Washington for war on Syria.
And the worst joke of all is President Barack Obama. Here is the man who was first elected to end American wars and overseas aggression that the ordinary, decent people of the US have become sick of. President Obama was prematurely awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after he made early speeches about nuclear disarmament and “reaching out to the Muslim world”. How the American people have been cruelly betrayed by Obama, who has served only to increase US militarism around the world, including nuclear capability, illegal wars and assassinations. Now the Peace Laureate promulgates the calls for war on Syria.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden last weekend, Obama said:
“Our military has positioned assets in the [Middle East] region. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs [General Martin Dempsey] has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the Chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.”
In other words, this is a president who is holding a gun to the head of the Syrian people and the wider world. What’s more, we can be sure that the so-called “peace president” has signed off on a full-scale military attack on Syria in the coming days. The New York Times reported this week that Obama held a confidential meeting in the White House on Monday with two of the most rabid militarists on Capitol Hill, Senators John McCain and Lyndsey Graham. These two dangerous clowns, who openly support Al Qaeda militants in Syria and have been calling for US air strikes for the past two years, emerged from their confab with the president, both telling the media of their satisfaction that Obama was readying a “serious” military attack on Syria. If those two crackpots are content, then we can be sure that the US is indeed planning a major campaign of aggression.
Let’s put this in perspective. The US and its Western allies’ claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons are entirely bogus. There is not one shred of evidence to support these allegations, which rely on bombast and unverifiable information. The evidence, in fact, shows that the perpetrators of the deadly chemical attack near Damascus on 21 August, as in other previous incidents, were the anti-government mercenaries that the Western states and their regional proxies, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have infiltrated into Syria since at least March 2011. There are reliable reports that the mercenaries were supplied chemicals from Saudi Arabia and were acting under the direction of Western intelligence to cause an atrocity in order to provoke the red line threshold for Western military intervention.
The haste with which the US has mobilized warships and cruise missiles off Syria within days of the alleged chemical weapon attack on 21 August, and the unseemly rush to war in Washington, indicates clearly that the bigger plan is regime change in Syria – an objective that the US and its allies have long desired and is well documented. So it is highly probable that Western agencies have colluded in a war crime to justify committing an even bigger war crime; and all the while we are told that the US government is preparing to launch missiles on a country in order to “save lives”. It is so ludicrous and yet Washington politicians feign to “debate” the merits and demerits of this farce.
The Washington elite is brazenly telling lies to the American people and the rest of the world. The cause and reasons for going to war are audaciously fraudulent and insulting to commonsense. Obama and his lieutenants claim that the “limited strikes” on Syria do not amount to war. That is absurd. Five US destroyers are lining up to launch hundreds of cruise missiles on Syria. How can that be construed as anything but war? The White House claims that the agenda is “not regime change” yet the US is sending weapons and CIA advisors to help the mercenaries in Syria, as noted again by the New York Times this week.
Obama claims that the planned attacks on Syria are not aimed at “tilting the balance of forces” in Syria, yet he has said that the strikes will “degrade the regime”. It is believed that the US military is targeting more than 20 airfields and airports across Syria. That obviously has little to do with neutralizing chemical weapons and everything to do with crippling the Syrian army’s capacity to finish off the Western-backed mercenaries, who have been routed in recent months. Also, as political analyst Christof Lehmann points out, US Special Forces have been primed on the borders with Jordan and Turkey to mount “seek and destroy missions” along with the militants inside Syria. “That means that it is not at all unlikely that there will be an attempt to decapitate Syria’s military and political leadership,” says Lehmann. That’s not regime change?
The White House says the action in Syria is “not open ended, it is not Iraq or Afghanistan… there will be no boots on the ground”. So, why is the USS Antonio advanced amphibious warship stationed off Syria with 700 Marines onboard, and why has the latest motion agreed in Congress left a provision for “search and rescue teams to go into Syria”?
It is transparent and glaring. The US war machine is cranking up to commit yet another criminal aggression on a sovereign country. This will be just the latest episode in a long history of American aggression and state terrorism against humanity and peace. And US politicians, from President Obama down, are lying through their teeth. They are wrapping themselves up with legalistic, moral and humanitarian principles to disguise the fact that they the mouthpieces of the most barbaric regime on earth.
What this shows is that the US state is – inherently and incorrigibly – a war machine. Even a supposed “peace president” ends up behaving as an out-and-out war criminal. What American citizens need to do is to recognize the source of that inherent aggression. It’s way beyond this or that political party or politician. It’s the systematic inherent violence of capitalism. Americans need to deal with that for their own sake and that of humanity.