Friday, April 7 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Park Street Station, Boston
On Thursday night, Donald Trump attacked Syria with over 50 Tomahawk missiles. We don’t know who caused the chemical attack in Idlib province, but U.S. bombs will not help the situation. The Syrian civil war must be solved by diplomacy, not more bombs.
A new U.S. war against Syria’s government is not the answer to the catastrophic Syrian civil war.
Whoever is responsible for the recent use of chemical weapons, a war against a sovereign country is certainly not the answer. As we learned in Iraq, once started there is no telling where such a war will go and what impact it might have. The Iraq war gave us ISIS. Who knows what this one will give us after all the triumphalism in Washington fades.
If the Assad regime used chemical weapons, it is a war crime and should be dealt with through the International Criminal Court. If the extremist militias that we and our allies support in Syria are responsible for the chemical attack, they should be brought before international tribunals.
The lives of Arab women and children are of no concern to this frightening administration in Washington. If we really want to protect the lives of tens of thousands of women and children in the Middle East, we should end our military and political support for rebels in Syria and for Saudi Arabia’s savage destruction of Yemen.
If Trump is so concerned about children being killed in gruesome ways, why is he killing so many of them in Yemen? Do we really trust Exxon’s CEO to decide who we go to war with (Syria) and whose wars we help in every way possible (Saudi Arabia)?
Trump’s war on Syria is a major breach of both international and U.S. law. Impeachment would be an appropriate response. Congress must come back into session immediately to stop this war and to debate our Syria policy.
Statement by Massachusetts Peace Action and American Friends Service Committee. Rally also supported by United for Justice with Peace, Veterans for Peace, Massachusetts Global Action, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, ANSWER Coalition, and Democratic Socialists of America (list in formation)
By David Swanson, Let’s Try Democracy.
1. Chemical weapons are worse than other weapons.
This is not the case. Death and dismemberment are horrific regardless of the weapon. No weapon is being used legally, morally, humanely, or practically in Syria or Iraq. U.S. bombs are no less indiscriminate, no less immoral, and no less illegal than chemical weapons — or for that matter than the depleted uranium weapons with which the United States has been poisoning the area. The fact that a weapon has not been banned does not create a legal right to go into a country and kill people with it.
2. Chemical weapons use justifies the escalated use of other weapons.
Does shoplifting justify looting? If a Hatfield poisoned a McCoy, would another McCoy be justified in shooting a bunch of Hatfields? What barbarism is this? A crime does not sanction another crime. That’s a quick trip to hell.
3. Important people we should trust know who used chemical weapons.
No, they do not. At least they do not know that the Syrian government did it. If they knew this, they would offer evidence. As on every past occasion, they have not done so.
4. The enemy is pure evil and will answer only to force.
The U.S. government and its proxies have sabotaged peace negotiations numerous times over the past several years, maintaining that Assad would have to step down or — preferably — be overthrown by violence before anything could be negotiated. This does not make the U.S. government pure inhuman evil, much less does it make the Syrian government that.
5. If you don’t want to bomb Syria with one enemy’s name on your lips, you hold the firm belief that said enemy is actually a saint.
This piece of stupidity gets people accused of loving and holding blameless the Syrian government, the Russian government, the U.S. government, ISIS, and various other parties. In fact, the reasonable thing to do is to hold all killers responsible for their killing because of the crime, not because of who commits it.
6. U.S. war-making in Syria is defensive.
This is the opposite of reality-based thinking as war-making endangers us rather than protects us. Someone should ask Donald Trump to remember the Maine. You may remember that Spain wanted the matter brought to a neutral arbiter, but the United States wanted war, regardless of any evidence. That’s been the typical move over the centuries: careful maneuvering into war, not away from it. Trump, by the way, is already up to his bloody elbows in several wars inherited from Obama — wars no less immoral and illegal slaughters because of their connection to either of those presidents. The question of who blew up the Maine is, at this point a truly dumb one. The important point is that the U.S. didn’t want to know, wanted instead to rush into a war before anyone could find out. Typically, the desire to avoid information, and not some other consideration, is the reason for the urgency in war-making.
7. Peace was tried in 2013, and it failed.
No. What happened was that Obama and his administration tried to pull off the same stunt that Trump is trying now, and the public rose up and refused to allow it. So, instead of a massive bombing campaign, Syria got more weapons, more trainers, more troops, and a medium sized bombing campaign. That’s very different from actually shifting direction and offering Syria diplomacy, aid, and disarmament.
8. The U.S. government’s goal is peace.
The long openly stated goal of powerful players in the U.S. government is to overthrow Assad.
9. Syria is as boring and unconcerning as numerous other ongoing U.S. wars.
In reality, Syria is a war that risks fighting between the United States and Russia, while each is armed with far more than enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on earth. Creating a profitable conflict between the U.S. and Russia is a likely actual motivation of some hawks on Syria.
10. Making everything worse with yet more violence is the only option left.
That’s not an option at all. But these are: aid, reparations, negotiations, disarmament, the rule of law, truth and reconciliation.