Anti-War Committee Statement for Pride, 2012
Both Democrats & Republicans are increasingly calling for “humanitarian intervention” in Syria to protect human rights & for military action in Iran to “protect” us from their nuclear weapons program. As people who support peace & justice it is important that we take a stand against U.S. wars in both these countries!
The media is constantly bombarding us with images of protesters being attacked & stories of civilian casualties. Some, including MN’s Representative Keith Ellison, have called for a Libya style U.S. military intervention. The message that is not getting out is that this is a civil war, where the U.S. is already supporting one side, which is being used to justify even further U.S. intervention into a country that has an alliance with Iran.
Humanitarian intervention is in reality a subset of military intervention and is a form of warfare. While the rhetoric of no fly zones & human corridors sound more palatable than bombing campaigns of urban centers which are indeed the same. The examples of U.S. intervention in Yugoslavia, Iraq & Libya demonstrate this reality.
We should see this rhetoric of concern for Syrian democracy for what it is – a pretext for war. The U.S. works hand in glove with dictators & kings throughout the Middle East including the Bahrian government. The U.S. does not support the Syrian government and hasn’t for some time because it is not friendly to U.S. corporate interests or to the U.S. foreign policy agenda for the Middle East. When the Obama administration demands a regime change in Syria what they really want is a puppet government like the ones the U.S. has established in Yugoslavia, Iraq, & Afghanistan which will be compliant to the U.S. pipeline plans & to support Israel instead of the Palestinian people.
Sanctions are Warfare!
The U.S. is currently using sanctions against Syria & Iran. There is a misconception that sanctions are a diplomatic tool or a method of humanitarian intervention. Sanctions target the civilian population. They make prices soar & make it more difficult for working people to get their basic needs met. In Iraq in the 90s U.S./UN sanctions targeted items they argued could be used to make chemical weapons & didn’t allow importation of medicines, technology for water purification, or even pencils! Sanctions in Iraq overly affected children under 3 and senior citizens because they were the people least able to survive without medicine or clean water. More people died from U.S./UN sanctions in Iraq than died in the bombings in Hiroshima & Nagasaki combined.
Both the Bush & the Obama administrations have demonized the Iranian government & their leader Amadinijad to justify why it would be too dangerous for Iran to have nuclear weapons. In both Iraq & Libya the U.S. demonized their countries’ leaders to the point that their propaganda campaign made it seem like any action was justified – even if it killed scores of civilians because their leader was so awful so as to shift the responsibility for the war from the U.S. to the leader himself.
Bush claimed weapons of mass destruction to justify the pre-emptive war on Iraq even though now we know that this was a lie. A similar pretext is being used now. Leaders of both parties are justifying military intervention in Iran for similar claims of protection. The U.S. alleges that Iran is not developing a peaceful nuclear energy program. Either way the U.S. & its ally Israel have used their nuclear weapons to threaten Iran. Ironically, the U.S. is the only country that has actually even used nuclear weapons.
We should defend the self-determination of the Middle East. The U.S. shouldn’t be trying to overthrow the Assad or Amadinajad governments. The U.S. doesn’t have the right to declare it time for regime changes. The people of Syria & Iran have the right to choose their own path free from U.S. intervention.
Take Action! Call Congress (1-800-962-3524) to say you do not support U.S. intervention in Syria or Iran. Ask them to vote NO on all proposals that more the U.S. closer to war including sanctions.