Once again imperialism is employing the pretext of the allegation of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army in Douma in order to change the balance of forces on the ground in the Syrian war. Military action has already been started by Zionist Israel, either on its own initiative or as a result of a previous agreement with the United States administration.
The use of chemical weapons cannot be condoned. However, the evidence provided for the claim that it has been used by the Syrian army is flimsy and the historical record is clear as to the fact that the US has constantly had recourse to unabashed lies in order to create pretexts to resort to military action.
The sources that first claimed that a chemical attack was staged by Syria on 7 April are all institutions financed by the US and Britain. The fact that US officials, including Secretary of Defence James Mattis, had already started talking about the possible use by Syria of chemical weapons before the attack is by itself ground for suspicion. The dismissal by the US side of the Russian proposal made at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council for a visit by the Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is also significant. Added to all this is the miserable record of US imperialism in lying to the world in order to achieve its military objectives.
There is no need to go back to incidents such as the notorious Tonkin Gulf frame up that served as a pretext to the decisive escalation of the Vietnam War in the 1960s. The abominable sight of US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation at the UN Security Council on the eve of the war on Iraq in early 2003, during which the US tired to prove to the rest of the world that Saddam Hussein had ample stocks of weapons of mass destruction, is much more relevant. It is common knowledge that several months after the occupation, the imperialist camp itself admitted that there were no such stocks!
Nearer home, in August 2013 there was another allegation of the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta. The imperialist coalition withdrew from a plan to bomb Israel at the last moment. There were several factors at play, but the decisive one was revealed by the Pullitzer winner US journalist Seymour Hersh some months later. On the basis of evidence obtained from the US Defence Intelligence Agency, Hersh stated that the “the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal” and that the attack would much more correctly be attributed to Al Nusra, the Syrian section of Al Qaeda.
The CIA has constantly reported that there is no evidence of Syrian use of chemical weapons. In the incident of Khan Sheikhoun last April, interestingly enough exactly one year ago to the day, in which Trump had a Syrian military base bombed by the US Air Force, serious questions were raised again by US sources.
In the light of all this, the chemical weapons story cannot be taken seriously until further investigation. It is a fact that on the ground there is every reason why the imperialist-Zionist alliance would desperately do anything to change the balance of forces. After seizing Aleppo and expelling the opposition forces, the Russian-backed Syrian army has recently made serious inroad into the rebel-held suburbs of Damascus. So the imperialist camp is out to stop this advance by the Syrian army.
The imperialist attack on Syria, already started by the bombing by Zionist Israel, must be stopped. Not only are these plans unjustified with regard to the situation in Syria, they also create a grave danger, threatening a war that extends way beyond the already devastated Syria and the Middle East.
We call on the international working class movement, communists and socialists around the world and in particular in the region, and all anti-imperialist forces to raise their voice to stop the imperialist-Zionist alliance.
We call on the peoples of all Arab countries and the other peoples of the Middle East, Turks, Kurds, Iranians and others, to unite against the imperialists and Zionists.
Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP)
10 April 2018