THE imperialist military alliance, NATO, meets today at the request of Turkey which will be invoking Article 4 of its treaty which covers threats to ‘member states’ security’.
The cause of this emergency meeting is the shooting down of a Turkish jet fighter, which invaded Syrian airspace last Friday on what was clearly some kind of spying mission. It had not just ‘strayed’ into Syrian airspace.
At a time when Syria is facing an all-out attempt by the imperialist powers, supported by the Turkish government, to overthrow the Assad regime and implement a ‘regime change’, any incursion by a military plane will inevitably be regarded as hostile and met with the appropriate response.
Turkey has openly boasted that it has established ‘safe havens’ on its borders with Syria for the mercenaries and Islamic terrorist groups who are engaged in doing imperialism’s dirty work.
These groups are funded and equipped by the reactionary gulf states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, using weapons provided by the US and other NATO countries.
The reaction of the leaders of the imperialist powers to the shooting down of this plane by Syria was as predictable as it was nauseating in its hypocrisy, with US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, condemning it as ‘another reflection of the Syrian authorities’ callous disregard for international norms, human life and peace and security.’
And what international norms would these be, the only ‘norms’ established by imperialism are that it is perfectly OK to invade other countries illegally, and murder countless hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.
The fact of the matter is that any country sending its jet fighters into US or British airspace would soon find itself minus a plane.
What has really stirred the imperialist powers up is that Syria is clearly no push-over militarily, and they cannot expect a repeat of Libya.
These powers are driven by the economic crisis of capitalism to risk all, including setting the entire region on fire, such is their desperation to completely dominate the oil-rich region.
As for the Turkish government and military, they have long harboured the desire to recreate the old corrupt Ottoman Empire which encompassed the whole of the Middle East and right up into Eastern Europe to the borders of Russia.
On the coat-tails of imperialism they hope to turn this dream into a reality.
But such is the weakness of imperialism that dealing with Syria is fraught with dangers, not least that an all-out war will drive the price of oil into the stratosphere and hasten the collapse of the already bankrupt economies of the imperialist nations.
In their weakness they are relying on the treachery of the Stalinist bureaucracy to come to their aid.
This was made clear in last week’s initiative in calling for an international conference to try and settle the issue of Assad’s departure.
On the one hand, the Stalinists bend over backwards to help out imperialism, while on the other, they are conscious that Syria is their main ally in the region and that imperialism’s noose is tightening around its own necks with NATO missiles sited on their very borders and US imperialism’s backing for right-wing regime-changers in the recent Russian presidential elections.
In reality, they are waiting for an offer from the imperialists that they cannot refuse, another version of the Stalin-Hitler pact.
For the working class the issue is clear-cut; the same government that is preparing for war against Syria has already declared war on the working class and youth at home.
After Iraq and Libya, workers have had enough of murderous imperialist regime changes. Any attack on the Syrian people by the class enemy must be met with a general strike to bring down the government and go forward to a workers government and socialism, as part of the world socialist revolution.