U.S. Out of Syria: Rebuilding the Anti-War Movement



On April 6 just after 8:30 p.m. the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian Air Force base in Homs province. While the Trump administration sought to paint the offensive as a justified retaliation for the chemical attack in Idlib alleged to have been carried out by the Syrian government, we know all too well that the US empire has no moral qualms about the victims of the Idlib attack or the entirety of the Syrian people for that matter. Our position as anti-imperialists must be consistent and clear: US “humanitarian interventions” have only ever resulted in the death and decimation of entire nations, and in the case of Syria, further US intervention will only prolong the war, lead to the death of more innocent Syrians, and serve U.S. capitalist interests. The US has thrown its airpower into a campaign of terror in Syria and Iraq for 973 days and counting, ostensibly under the pretence of fighting the Islamic State and other rebel groups. During that time there have been 19,527 airstrikes across these countries, with an estimated 2,978 civilians killed and many more displaced. The most devastating of these airstrikes came in the Iraqi city of Mosul on March 17, in which over 300 Iraqi civilians were killed, making it the one of the worst US led civilian bombings in a quarter century.

In the past two months, the United States has deployed thousands of US soldiers in Syria and Iraq, top US generals have demanded more troops in Afghanistan, and Yemen has been hit with more US bombs and raids than ever before. As organizers in the United States, we must condemn in words and actions the recent expansion of the United States’ military presence in the region, specifically in Syria. We have discussed our view of this inter-imperialist conflict and our position remains unchanged. The shift in US military intervention, no longer limited to devastating airstrikes, now includes the addition of 500 US marines and Army Rangers in Syria, as well as the deployment of 2,500 Marines in Kuwait to be used in combat operations in Iraq and Syria. We also cannot forget that the US has engaged in a steady buildup of forces in Iraq, now numbering over 5,000.  The facts suggest the US is preparing for a larger ground presence, a move that would cause the continued carving up of Syria. This constitutes the possible threat of regime change imposed by imperialist forces and allies, such as the United States, Turkey, israel, the Gulf states, and others. We vehemently oppose the intervention of all imperialist forces in Syria and denounce American complicity in denying the Syrian and Kurdish peoples the right to self-determination free of outside coercion.

Since 2011, the world has witnessed a brutal conflict between the Syrian government, rebel factions, and their respective allies. Over 300,000 have been killed, and millions are displaced within and outside of the country. While both sides of this conflict have attempted to leverage international support, we understand that neither the Syrian Government nor the organized political and military opposition have served the Syrian people or their democratic aspirations. While employing rhetoric of revolution, the armed and political opposition has been consistently funded by the US and its allies, who have repeatedly attempted to co-opt the rage and pain of the Syrian people for the benefit of US strategic interests. It is clear that these forces have been co-opted by outside powers which seek to impose their own agenda in Syria and blunt the revolutionary potential of the Syrian and Kurdish people. Meanwhile, little doubt remains about the position of the Syrian government to the values of democracy or human dignity.

STOP THE U.S. WAR MACHINE (1)As an anti-imperialist youth organization, we can not stay silent about US intervention in Syria. The United States has played a central role in shaping the conditions that birthed ISIS beginning with its occupation of Iraq in 2003 and further fueled the current conflict by supporting reactionary and competing opposition groups in Syria. We understand the United States’ stated goal “to defeat ISIS” is nothing but an excuse to intensify airstrikes, raids, and escalating military occupation; ensuring its hegemony in the region. In the process, thousands have been killed, leaving generations with irreparable damage. We strongly condemn the US’ role in Syrian affairs, including the Trump regime’s rejection of refugees caused in part by this American imperialism. The Syrian & Kurdish people must decide their own fate, and all actors who seek to undermine Syrian freedom and self-determination should be held accountable. To this end, we recognize that our enemy abroad is our enemy at home. The enemy that leads the world in incarceration, the enemy that murders Black and Brown people with impunity and allows fascism to rise is the same empire that facilitates Zionism and rains bombs on the heads of people all around the globe.


While we respect the diversity of opinion concerning the Syrian conflict, we call for the unity of pro-Palestine and anti-imperialist organizations around the country to mobilize around halting the escalation of US intervention in Syria and in the region as a whole. Our primary duty is to prevent our own government, one which has invaded and destroyed dozens of nations since WWII, from continuing to exacerbate the conflict. We must be clear that regardless of the use of a “humanitarian” or “counter-terrorism” framework to justify intervention, the United States has no role in the Middle East but to leave it. Neither guise will cover the strategic chaos the US encourages and benefits from as it seeks to expand into new markets and ruthlessly exploit existing ones. The lack of a formal declaration of war does not sidestep the reality that the US is at war with Syria. This intentional informality is symbolic of the hidden face of modern imperialism, as seen in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan among others. We will not allow the Middle East to be destroyed at the feet of the world’s deadliest war machine. As Palestinian & MENA diaspora and comrades in the United States, we have no option but to collectively resist by building an anti-war movement that can halt American intervention in Syria, Palestine, and around the world. Just as we support the right of the Palestinian people to resist Zionist settler-colonialism, we must unconditionally uphold the right of the Syrian & Kurdish people to resist American and all imperialist military occupation, using any method they deem necessary.






New York City Students for Justice in Palestine


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