Trump attacks Syria, pro-peace resistance


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Shocks World in Direct U.S. Strike on Syrian Airbase That Could Violate International Law

7 April 2017

Without congressional approval, on Thursday night the United States attacked a Syrian airfield, marking the first military action by the U.S. against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces since the Syrian war began over six years ago. The move comes after the U.S. accused Assad’s forces of using the air base to carry out a chemical weapons attack that killed 86 people, including at least 30 children. Syria denies carrying out the attack. … We also speak with Alia Malek, journalist and former human rights lawyer, and Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. “The hypocrisy of it from the vantage point of the Trump administration is staggering,” Bennis says, calling the strike an act of war and arguing all sides in Syria have violated international law.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Peace Advocates: If Trump Wanted To Help Syrians, He Would Lift Refugee Ban & Fund Humanitarian Aid

7 April 2017

We continue our roundtable discussion on Syria after the United States carried out a missile attack on a Syrian airfield, saying it was a response to a chemical weapons attack that killed 86 people, including at least 30 children. Syria denies carrying out the attack. “Both these superpowers … do not give a damn about Syrian self-determination nor justice for Syrians,” says Yazan al-Saadi, a Syrian-Canadian writer who joins us from Beirut. “We do want something that will be positive for the Syrian people,” adds Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CodePink. “That means immediately lifting of the Trump ban on Syrian refugees coming to the United States, of funding of the $5 billion that the U.N. says is desperately needed to help the humanitarian crisis facing the Syrian refugees, and demand that the U.S. work with Russia to finally come to a ceasefire and work for a political solution.” We are also joined by Alia Malek, journalist and former human rights lawyer, and Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

USA: President Trump has attacked Syria without congressional authorization, violating the US Constitution and the War Powers Resolution: here.

Why Trump’s Syria Strike Will Not End Well: here.

USA: Dan Rather Slams Journalists Who Hailed Donald Trump’s Bombs As ‘Presidential’. “War must never be considered a public relations operation”: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Opposition leaders urge May to resist Trump’s Syria war

Saturday 8th April 2017

But PM busy playing poodle

LABOUR, SNP and Green Party spokespeople joined anti-war and senior foreign affairs figures yesterday in condemning US missile strikes against a Syrian airbase.

The unilateral bombing was supposedly in retaliation for a suspected gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday which killed 52 adults and 20 children.

The US claims the Syrian government carried out the attack, a charge it denies.

Thousands of people were due to gather in London last night for an emergency demonstration called by the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) in protest against Theresa May’s support for the Tomahawk raid.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned against an escalation of the war in Syria, calling on the government to “urge restraint on the Trump administration” and to throw its weight behind a negotiated settlement.

“Tuesday’s horrific chemical attack was a war crime which requires urgent independent UN investigation and those responsible must be held to account,” he said.

“But unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multisided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands.”

Mr Corbyn called for Geneva peace talks to resume as a matter of urgency and urged international pressure for a negotiated settlement.

An StWC spokesperson warned: “As well as deepening the tragedy of the Syrian people, this utterly irresponsible act threatens to widen the war and lead the West into military confrontation with Russia.”

But a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The UK government fully supports the US action ….”

Opposition parties joined Mr Corbyn in criticising Tory appeasement of Mr Trump however. Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said: “We need to send a strong signal to Assad that his actions are intolerable whilst at the same time avoid any escalation of violence that puts more civilian lives at risk.

“It is deeply concerning that President Trump took this action without the permission of Congress … .”

And SNP foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond MP said: “The overnight cruise missile strikes by the US against a Syrian regime air base are no substitute for a policy towards ending the conflict.”

Mr Trump claimed the bombing was in the “vital national security interest” to “prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”

He said: “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons.”

However former British ambassador to Syria Peter Ford urged caution, saying there needed to be an investigation.

He told BBC Breakfast that Mr Trump’s blaming of the Assad regime for the attack was “a misstatement of non-facts.”

Mr Ford warned that the intelligence leading up to the Iraq war “was all wrong and it is possible that it is wrong in this instance as well and that they are just looking for a pretext to attack Syria.”

Asked why he disagreed with [British Liberal Democrat leader] Mr Fallon, he blasted: “I don’t leave my brains at the door when I examine a situation analytically … we cannot take what the so-called intelligence services say at face value, especially when they have an agenda.”

Also from the Morning Star, 8 April 2017:

SEVERAL prominent US politicians from across the political spectrum called President Donald Trump’s piratical attack on Syria illegal and unconstitutional yesterday.

Republican Senator Rand Paul suggested that the bombing was unconstitutional, given that the US “was not attacked” and Mr Trump neither sought nor received congressional approval.

Democratic Senator Tim Kane, who was the vice-presidential candidate for warmonger Hillary Clinton, who had called for an attack on Syria just hours before Thursday’s strike, dubbed the attacks “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”

Democratic Representative Barbara Lee, who cast the lone dissenting vote against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, called the missile strikes an “act of war” that demanded congressional debate.

Democratic Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who served in Iraq as a medic, said: “It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government.

“This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaida and other terrorists and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”

Republican Representative Thomas Massie recalled that Mr Trump himself had warned Barack Obama that any unilateral US attack on Syria would be a “big mistake.”

United Nations security council member Bolivia demanded an urgent meeting to discuss the US missile strike.

Also from the Morning Star, 8 April 2017:

Truth not hype is required now

Saturday 8th April 2017

THE first direct US strike on Syrian government forces escalates Western involvement in a terrible war. Worse, it plays straight into the hands of the Isis death cult.

Within hours of the Tomahawk missiles thudding into Syria’s Shayrat air base the genocidal group had launched another offensive in the area.

This was of no concern to the back-seat bombers in the House of Commons, as the Tories and their useful idiots on the Labour back benches lined up to salute Donald Trump for his killing spree.

Number 10 calls this illegal act of aggression a “proportionate” response to the horrific chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

There are a number of dangerous assumptions in this stance. For one, the notion that the United States has some sort of right to act as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to crimes committed on other countries’ territory.

That an appalling attack on civilians occurred in Khan Sheikhoun is beyond doubt, but Britain should be backing calls for an independent investigation into who was responsible.

One does not need to be an apologist for the Assad regime or its Russian backers to note that all sides in the Syrian civil war have fought with great brutality, and that the government’s opponents have proved themselves quite capable of murdering civilians on a regular basis.

That is as true of Ahrar as-Sham, which publicly welcomed the US air strikes yesterday, as it is of Isis or al-Qaida.

While Western governments pretend to support “moderate” rebels in Syria, the truth is that coalitions such as Ahrar as-Sham or Nour el-Din el-Zinki which have received Western backing and arms are also bent on establishing a theocratic state based on sharia law, have committed well documented atrocities against civilians including children and not infrequently fight in tandem with forces the US admits are terrorists such as the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front.

The rebels are also known to have access to chemical weapons. In 2013, the Turkish authorities — no friends of Assad — found sarin gas canisters in the homes of suspected Islamists, and questions were asked in the Turkish parliament about the release of individuals arrested for possession of chemical weapons who were allowed to cross the Syrian border.

The [Syrian] Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have also reported the use of chemical weapons by Syrian insurgents against their troops.

For all gung-ho MPs like to talk about how Assad got away with a chemical weapons attack in 2013, it was never established that government forces were behind the attacks in Ghouta, while UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte found there was little doubt the rebels had deployed sarin gas.

This is not to say that there is no possibility the Syrian government committed a war crime in Khan Sheikhoun, but it demonstrates that there are a number of other forces which could be responsible — and which, unlike Damascus, have much to gain from provoking greater US intervention in the war.

It has been evident for months that the “Islamic revolution” in Syria is being defeated. …

Any bid by the United States to intervene against the government is likely to embolden the insurgents. It reduces the chance of success in stalled peace talks and risks prolonging the war.

The US says the strike was a one-off. We must hope so.

But Trump is not known for his caution. Socialists must be ready to resist any lurch into an inglorious war in Syria, in which our forces would be fighting alongside some of the most murderous religious extremists the world has known.

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