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Vol. 81/No. 16      April 24, 2017

(front page)

Trump garners bipartisan backing for escalation of war in Syria, Iraq

President Donald Trump’s decision to escalate Washington’s intervention in Syria won him bipartisan praise, including from many liberals who’ve been spending most of their time whipping up hysteria against his presidency. MSNBC’s Brian Williams, who has repeatedly attacked Trump, lauded the “beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments.”

It gave a temporary boost to Trump’s standing in opinion polls and undercut the liberals’ campaign painting him as a dupe of Moscow.

But the politicians and bosses of the big capitalist media who are shedding crocodile tears over the men, women and children massacred by the Syrian regime’s sarin gas bombing in Idlib had no tears for the civilians killed by Washington’s Tomahawk attack April 6. Not to mention the thousands of civilians killed and maimed across Syria and Iraq in previous U.S. airstrikes. After all that’s just “collateral damage.”

And some of them echoed the White House in saying Washington’s new war moves should put fear in the heart of others targeted by U.S. imperialism, especially the government and people of North Korea.

The day after the strike, CNN “analyst” Fareed Zakaria — who has called Trump a “bulls--t artist” — said, “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States” last night.

Even those in the Democratic Party who had some criticism of Washington’s missile attack stuck to griping about why Trump hadn’t sought congressional approval first or worrying about what might go wrong in the future.

“Trump must explain what this military escalation is intended to achieve and how it fits into the broader goal of a political solution,” was the best former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders could come up with. He added he was “concerned” the strike could lead Washington into a “quagmire.”

The Washington Post, a house organ for anti-Trump hysteria, editorialized April 7 that Trump’s response “was right as a matter of morality, but it could also yield a host of practical benefits.”

The Post’s editors opined that Trump “could fill the leadership vacuum, in the Middle East and beyond, left by President Barack Obama’s decision not to enforce his own red line on Syria’s use of chemical weapons.”

All of these pro-capitalist spokespeople came together to try to whip up support for Washington’s war machine defending “our” interests abroad.

“It was hard not to feel some sense of emotional satisfaction, and justice done, when American cruise missiles struck an airfield in Syria,” the New York Times editorialized April 7. But the owners of the Post, the Times and many liberals and middle-class radical opponents of Trump can’t give up on their belief that he must somehow be pushed out of office long before the end of his term.

In the same editorial, the Times’ editors complained “whether by design or not, the American military action has also shifted the focus from the scandal over Russia’s interference in the election on Mr. Trump’s behalf and allegations that the president and his allies may have colluded with Moscow.”

Some middle-class left groups try to pretty up the Assad regime, inventing convoluted conspiracy theories about Assad’s sarin assault. Trump was responsible for the sarin in order to take people’s minds off his collusion with Moscow, they say. Or Syrian rebels faked it to give Assad a bad name.

Workers World Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation insist opponents of U.S. war moves must recognize the Assad regime as a heroic and principled defender of the fight for national liberation and against imperialism. They argue that charges that the Assad regime is massacring the people of Syria with barrel bombs, chlorine bombs and sarin gas are all lies. Their stance is a blow to the fight against the U.S. imperialist intervention.

Splintered Democrats

Meanwhile, Democratic Party activists, from supporters of the failed campaign of Hillary Clinton to those who follow Bernie Sanders, have their sights set on taking power in city, state and congressional elections.

Sanders’ goal is what he calls a “revolution” to take over the fractured party and “restructure” it toward a base in the working class and away from the “elites.” He wants to keep workers who are searching for an alternative to the powers that be and a road to deal with the effects of today’s capitalist economic and political crisis from breaking with the two-capitalist-party system.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is “a surging wave of activists” who the various factions among the Democrats are hoping to corral into ringing doorbells. Sister District, Code Blue, Act Blue and Flippable are among the groups that have sprung up to counter Trump and pour money and foot soldiers into local electoral races.

“A key question for the Democratic Party now is whether newly energized liberal activists will work with the party establishment” the paper said, “push it hard to the left or challenge it in future primary elections.”

One of the beneficiaries of these efforts is Jon Ossoff, Democratic Party candidate for Congress in the Sixth CD north of Atlanta. Ossoff’s slogan is “Make Trump Furious.” Some 97 percent of the $ 8.3 million raised for him so far comes from small contributors out of state.

“It seemed important right now to send a message to Republicans that, at a grass-roots level, Americans are not happy,” Sarah Kupferberg, a Berkeley ecologist and one of those contributors, told the Journal. She added, “I’m very disaffected with the Democratic Party.”

Related articles:
Socialist Workers Party: Get US out of Syria, Iraq!
Stop Washington’s bombs! All US troops out now!
US uses horror at Assad gas attack to step up Syria war
Kurds’ national struggle looms over Mideast wars
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