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Vol. 77/No. 32      September 9, 2013

US hands off Syria!
(lead article, SWP Campaign statement)
The Socialist Workers Party calls on working people here in the U.S. and worldwide to join in demanding that Washington and its imperialist allies keep their blood-stained hands off Syria.

Government officials and other voices for the capitalist rulers in Washington, London, Paris and elsewhere are trying to build a bandwagon to launch a military assault against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Such an attack would be a blow to the interests of the working class and toilers — in Syria, throughout the region, and in the U.S. and the world over.

As a pretext to rain down missiles on Syria, the U.S. rulers are shedding crocodile tears over the slaughter of hundreds of civilians in an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs that Washington says was carried out by Assad’s armed forces. Assad is already responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians during the civil war and before; it’s certainly not above that tryrannical regime to use chemical weapons.

Whatever the facts, however, this latest massacre is simply being grabbed on by Washington and its allies as a rationalization to advance their class interests in Syria and throughout the region.

The capitalist rulers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and other imperialist powers are the deadly enemy of working people at home and abroad. For decades they have intervened repeatedly in the Middle East and North Africa seeking to keep workers and farmers from gaining control of the patrimony of their lands, to reap the profits flowing from oil in the region, and to impose stability for the capitalist world order.

The beginning of a new rise of popular struggles since late 2010, signaled by what is called the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond, is creating big problems for imperialism and for the proper-tied landlords, capitalists, and officer corps in that part of the world. The rebellions are a response to intolerable conditions confronting working people in face of today’s worldwide economic crisis and decades of despotic rule by regimes like those of Mubarak in Egypt, Assad and others.

The civil war in Syria grew out of bloody repression against spreading anti-government protests that began in early 2011.

Workers and farmers in Syria face many obstacles, from the murderous Assad regime to anti-working-class Islamist groups, including some allied to al-Qaeda. As they fight to stem the slaughter on all fronts and throw off the Assad regime, the last thing Syrian working people need is military intervention by imperialist forces.

If Washington hits Syria with its bombs and missiles, the consequences will be grave for workers and farmers across the region. Already the war has spilled over into Lebanon and Jordan, where there are hundreds of thousands of refugees, to the Kurdish areas in Syria and nearby, to workers and farmers in Turkey, Israel and Palestine and throughout the Middle East.

The self-serving protests by President Barack Obama and other imperialist spokespersons against the slaughter of innocents by the use of poison gas flies in the face of the decades of indiscriminate murder inflicted on workers and farmers worldwide by U.S. imperialism, from fire bombing of working-class neighborhoods across Germany and Japan in World War II to the massive bombardment and use of napalm in the wars against the people of Korea and Vietnam. The U.S. rulers are the only ones in the world to have ever used nuclear weapons, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

And Washington maintains thousands of tons of chemical weapons, the second largest stockpile in the world.

The U.S. bosses are pushing a relentless assault on the jobs, wages, working conditions and polit-ical and social rights of workers here bred by the deepening crisis of their capitalist system of produc-tion and trade.

Working people here have common class interests with working people in Syria in opposing imperialist intervention.

U.S. hands off Syria!
Related article:
Washington threatens missile strike on Syria
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