Expanded Statement by Ken Stone on behalf of Syria Solidarity Movement, March 12, 2021
The February 25th, 2021, US bombing of Syria signaled the new US regime’s intention to continue its war of attrition on Syria. It is merely the latest stage of a hybrid war that began when the Arab Nationalist Movement came to power in 1963. Since 2011, Washington has led a coalition of NATO countries, Arab monarchies, plus the apartheid State of Israel, in a proxy war – using terrorist mercenaries as their foot soldiers – for regime change. US troops also illegally occupy a third of Syria, containing much of Syria’s oil and gas and some of its best farmland. In addition, the US (with the help of Israel) maintains a proxy army of Kurdish separatists in Syria’s north that seeks to dismember the country by carving out a Kurdish state on lands whose population is overwhelmingly Arabic.
Syria deserves immense credit for defiantly resisting, for ten long years, the illegal US attempt to dismember their sovereign state. These included false flag gas attacks by terrorists and blaming the Syrian government – with the help of OPCW; attempts by the International Criminal Court to indict President Assad; propaganda constructs like the White Helmets to create pretexts for western military intervention; increasingly severe regimes of economic sanctions which devalued Syria’s currency, created wide spread unemployment, impoverished millions, and created huge shortages in the midst of a pandemic; massive lawfare campaigns like the “Caesar photos”; efforts to isolate the Syrian government; and covert operations to buy the support of western mainstream media.
However, with allies Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah, and Palestinian militias; support of Venezuela and Cuba to North Korea; plus supporters in the global peace movement, the Syrian government has frustrated most of the above schemes, and avoided failed-state status, as happened to Libya, likewise a target of the empire during the 2011 so-called “Arab Spring.”
Syria has paid a great price: nearly half a million dead; 6.6 million internally-displaced persons; 5.6 million refugees across the Middle East, Europe, and North America; enormous civilian infrastructure destruction; looting of archeological treasures; physical and psychological trauma to its citizens; and much, much more. All of these cry out for an international accounting with reparations from those responsible.
At no point was the Syrian conflict a “revolution” or popular uprising. According to Wikileaks, the US promoted destabilization and sectarianism inside Syria since at least 2005, and probably before. Importantly, according to international law, it is only the Syrian people who have the right to determine the future of Syria, not the US president, his NATO allies, Arab vassals, or terrorist mercenaries. And the Syrian people have demonstrated great courage and endured great sacrifices in order to keep alive their secular, pluralistic, and Arab socialist state, which features universal free education and medicare, programs that are ironically not available in the country leading the war against them. In the past decade, Syrians consistently supported their government in parliamentary and presidential elections.
We, in the Syria Solidarity Movement International, will do our part to end the criminal war on Syria, no matter how long it takes, and we call upon like-minded people the world over to join with us. In particular, we ask you to put pressure on your elected officials to
- Stop the war against Syria;
- Resume diplomatic relations with Damascus;
- End the coercive economic measures against Syria and Syrians;
- Support the reconstruction of Syria
SSM International, March 12, 2021.
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