Seattle DSA Statement on the Syrian Air Strikes

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The following was written by the Seattle DSA Anti-War Caucus and endorsed by the Local Council on behalf of Seattle DSA.

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On 14 April, 2018, an allied coalition of the classic imperial powers – US, UK, and France – launched over 100 missiles at various targets in an already beleaguered Syria with the stated goal of weakening the Syrian government’s chemical arsenal. Granted a pretense through Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people, the strikes ensure the United States’ continued military presence in the regional hegemonic conflict.

We condemn the use of any weapons against a civilian population. We know from recent history in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya that American military interventions result in years of warfare, disrupted societies, impoverished economies, failed states, untended refugees, and high civilian casualties. These conditions are fertile ground for terrorism and other forms of violence and exploitation. This is especially the case in Syria, where US-supplied weapons sometimes end up in the hands of the Islamic State and its allies.

The United States government’s claims that military intervention in Syria is justified by humanitarian concerns is in contradiction to the USA’s ongoing logistical, financial and military support for human rights violations around the world, including the Saudi genocide in Yemen, the Israeli apartheid regime, and the Duterte police state in the Philippines. Beyond these modern examples, the US government has a long history of imperialism, duplicity, and brutality in its foreign policy. Likewise, the United States’ role as the world’s most prolific weapons trader makes its claims of humanitarian motivations impossible to believe.

In addition to launching several dozen Raytheon-produced missiles, the Pentagon also used the assault as an opportunity to test 19 new Lockheed Martin-produced missiles for the first time. We condemn the use of Syria as a display case for weapon manufacturers’ latest products. The Syrian people are not guinea pigs for war profiteers.

In continuing its imperial aggressions, the United States also acts against the best interests and wishes of its people. The missiles used in the Syrian attack cost the American taxpayer around $200 million. While Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and other weapons manufacturers make billions in defense contracts and weapons sales, teachers in Oklahoma are striking for wages, residents of Flint lack safe drinking water, pregnant people in Texas face the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, and thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico still remain without power.

As socialists, we condemn all imperialist war mongering. We condemn the missile attacks and oppose all US military intervention in Syria. We demand an end to the reckless military aggression which destroys the communities and lives of common Syrian people and which draws the compulsory involvement and sacrifice of common American people for no moral purpose, while safely enriching the wealthiest of the idle investor class. We stand in solidarity with the people of Syria who are resisting oppression and imperialism.

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