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US Escalates Syrian War – OpEd


The seven year-old war waged against Syria ought to be over by now. The jihadist forces backed by the United States, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were nearly all chased out of the country. The combination of Syrian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces utilized Russian air protection to their advantage and ISIS was on the run.

All of the elements needed to bring peace to this country were in place. Far from being the evil force that Americans have been told to fear, Russia took the lead in winning the peace and in seeking a settlement among the various Syrian factions.

Donald Trump made a campaign pledge not to seek regime change but he has fallen in line with American imperialism and with his Israeli and Saudi allies. If they can’t unseat president Assad they are determined to carve Syria into their own spheres of influence. Peace is the last thing they want to see. Turkey is always the wild card. First among the regime changers, then against them, then using a fight against the Kurds to snatch its own territory. In just one week a Russian pilot was killed by jihadists, a United States airstrike killed 100 Syrians, and Israel and Iran played a dangerous tit for tat as they carried out attacks against one another.

There can be no discussion about Syria that does not put the United States at the center of the conflict. Absent American backing none of the other war makers would have ever dared to lift a finger. Barack Obama took the lead in the plot but then demurred against further escalation in the face of British faltering and perhaps his own fear of the outcome. Trump is surely the most pro-Israel in a long line of presidents. He goes along with the influential lobby with complete conviction.

Syria is not the only target in this effort. Iran is also in Trump’s crosshairs as he keeps alive the 40-year old campaign to destroy that country. Of course Israel is implicated in any anti-Iranian activity and as the only nuclear power in the region always poses great danger to the entire world.

The potential for conflict is ripe as the United States is determined to throw a wrench into any process that might lead to peace. Worse yet there is silence in the United States Congress and blatant warmonger cheerleading in the corporate media. Leftish Democrats who at one time could be counted on to at least ask questions are long gone. Supposed progressives like Bernie Sanders support war and Zionist members of the House of Representatives and Senate are happy to join Trump in supporting anything that Israel wants.

The non-stop Russophobia from the corporate media and politicians has done its damage. Anything that the Russian government wants has been labeled as evil and Democrats are happy to join Trump in bringing the world to the brink.

While Americans are told that Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un are threats to peace it is American presidents who put the world in danger. The name may be Clinton, Bush, Obama or Trump but the result is the same, chaos and death in pursuit of full spectrum dominance.

American presidents get away with their criminality because they govern an uninformed and confused populace. The average American is captive to corporate media lies and never looks elsewhere for information. Any narrative that counters the official story is deliberately disappeared from view and the result is ignorance and a tiny, ineffective antiwar movement.

All of the ingredients are present for a great tragedy unless the people speak up. The imperialists learned their lesson from Iraq and know better than to fully commit large scale troop deployments as Bush did. That is always a cause for public dissent and possible electoral defeat. Wars by proxy get a pass from people who care little about body counts unless there are American victims.

But the antiwar movement has no choice but to step up. Our numbers are small but there must be a commitment to stop this slow motion catastrophe from going any further. Any lingering connections with the Democratic Party must end once and for all. They will gladly go along with plans for war in Syria or elsewhere. The commitment must be to end United States interventions and declare independence from anyone who is not firmly opposed to crimes cooked up in Washington.

Every American president escalates what his predecessors began and now the world is on a precipice. It is a daunting task to revive a movement that has withered so badly. The odds aren’t good but inaction makes them even worse. What was once hyperbole is now reality. The United States has endangered the entire planet and only ordinary people can stop the catastrophe.

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Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR (, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

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