The US carried out over a hundred missile strikes against the sovereign nation of Syria several days ago. The US president Donald Trump said that it was a “one-time shot”, and that this would not turn into a larger campaign against the Assad government. The goal of the attack, according to the US, was to punish the Assad government for the alleged chemical attack upon the population of Douma on April 7th. However, Trump did say that “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”
It is claimed that the targets of the strikes were chemical weapons production facilities or related industries. “We confined it to the chemical weapons-type targets,” US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said. “We were not out to expand this; we were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”
These missile strikes we denounced by the Syrian government which they call a violation of their sovereignty. President Bashar Al-Assad said on Twitter that, “Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.” They firmly denounced the assault along with their international partners in Russia, Iran, and China.
With all the chaos regarding this attack, some important points need to be made about the situation.
Risking a Third World War
Attacks like this from the US run the risk of igniting a much larger conflict around the world. If tensions escalate due to the irresponsibility of the US, a third world war could possibly break out. Syria is the focal point of a change in geopolitics. Coming out of the Cold War the US emerged as the sole superpower in the world. This status has been markedly challenged by the rise of China and the reemergence of Russia. Other countries are beginning to challenge US hegemony. The US is no doubt aware of this and will do whatever necessary to preserve their dominant position, including mass murdering Syrians.
Russia, Iran, and China are supporting the Syrian government in its struggle against US imperialism. To assault Syria is to assault the interests of these other countries as well. This chain of anti-imperialist states is the world’s answer to the hegemony of the US and its bloody way of doing business. This fact is a bane to the US empire which is beginning to die.
Russia specifically has been adamant in its military support for Syria and its government. They have great energy interests in keeping Syria out of the hands of US imperialists. By the same token, the US is eager to clasp its hands upon the energy resources of the country. To this end, they’ve already used the Kurdish groups as proxy forces to capture important agricultural and oil fields in the country. (This fact is a stain upon the so-called revolutionary Kurds.) The US does not seem to be willing to admit its defeat in this theatre just yet.
We have several powers willing to butt heads with the US over the Syrian conflict. Both the anti-US forces and the US forces need the cooperation of Syria in order to develop and exploit the energy resources of the country. The US wants to destroy the country and install a puppet government that will hand over everything to them. The Iranian, Russian, and Chinese coalition want to build a working relationship with Syria in the spirit of co-operation. Who that oil and gas end up in the hands of will determine much in energy politics, and the fate of the US petrodollar in the future. Already Russia has gained exclusive rights to produce oil and gas in Syria, something the US seeks to steal.
US Military Technology was Made to Look Weak
In the aftermath of the missile strike on Syria, the US came out looking weak. Of the over one hundred missiles that were fired at various targets, seventy of them were intercepted by Syrian anti-air defence systems. These systems were manufactured in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. This makes them over forty years old. Yet, despite this, they were able to carry their weight against the most modern missile technology that the US possesses.
This attack by the US was meant to cause far more damage than it did. While Trump has bragged about the abilities of the US military, this operation was largely a failure. It’s not known what all the intended targets were, but when most of your missiles are shot down before they reach their targets, it doesn’t look very good. The US is supposed to be an invincible military power which cannot be challenged, but this simple decade’s old defensive technology was up for the job.
This also speaks highly of the military technology produced by the Soviet Union. This is far from the image that we get from US representations of Soviet technology in the media. They portray it as inferior, poorly constructed, supposedly a symbol of socialism in general. If decades-old technology could compete with US technology today, who knows how far the Soviets might have progressed?
As if this wasn’t enough, last night it was suspected that Israel fired 12 missiles in two attacks from Lebanese airspace at Syrian targets. All of them were intercepted and destroyed by the anti-air defence. A humiliating black eye for Israel.
While the US claimed that the strike was intended to cripple the Assad government’s ability to produce chemical weapons, their attacks seem to leave many questions. The building destroyed was claimed to be a production facility for toxic gas, yet the Syrian government revealed that the building was a cancer research facility that produced oncology drugs. Up to a year before the war, the facility was able to produce those drugs for cancer-stricken people. It also produced medications related to blood diseases and vaccines. Today it has no operational capacity. As if it wasn’t bad enough these drugs are no longer being produced, the US is blocking Syria from purchasing them with sanctions. The facility produced 98% – 99% of the country’s health sector needs. The inhumanity of this is staggering.
Why did the US carry out such a strike, to begin with? Previously they said that they would wait for an investigation to confirm the facts before the would take any actions. The strikes occurred on the very day that the investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was to begin their work. If this medical facility was allegedly a chemical weapons lab, why didn’t the US simply tell the OPCW about it so they could investigate? Because it is largely believed, and confirmed by Russian investigators, that no such attack took place. The US is suspected of carrying out the attack to cover up the facts and impede the investigation.
Now, if it had been a chemical weapons production facility, the resulting strike would have contaminated Syria for kilometres as the chemicals spread. Why would the US want to do this is they “knew” it was a production facility? They claim to care about the victims of the so-called chemical attack, so why would take deliberately do something that would make it worse?