THE IMPERIALIST attempt to overthrow the Assad government in Syria has met a colossal resistance from the Syrian people, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars of Saudi and Qatari money that has been put into organising and equipping tens of thousands of Jihadist and Al-Qaeda veterans to enter Syria and play a decisive role in the fighting, as well as slaughtering tens of thousands of ordinary Syrians, non-Muslims and Muslims alike.
However, as the Obama speech to the US people on Tuesday night made clear, the main, most powerful enemy of the war in Syria was at home in the vast majority of US workers and youth who were determined to prevent the US attacking Syria and bombarded their representatives in the Senate and the House of Representatives with messages that were so determinedly anti-war, that Obama was on the brink of a historical Congressional defeat of such a drastic nature that, if he defied the vote and exercised the presidential prerogative to go to war, he would have faced a determined attempt to impeach him and remove him from office.
It is the brick wall of opposition that hits any reader of his speech full in the face.
The president, after stressing without any proof that Assad had organised the chemical attack, and asserting that if not stopped he would do the same to his neighbours, Jordan, Turkey, etc, got to the point.
He said: ‘But I’m also the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress. . .
‘This is especially true after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the President, and more and more burdens on the shoulders of our troops, while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.
‘Now, I know that after the terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of any military action, no matter how limited, is not going to be popular. . . And I know Americans want all of us in Washington – especially me – to concentrate on the task of building our nation here at home: putting people back to work, educating our kids, growing our middle class.
‘It’s no wonder, then, that you’re asking hard questions. One man wrote to me that we are “still recovering from our involvement in Iraq.” A veteran put it more bluntly: “This nation is sick and tired of war.”’
He had to admit: ‘It’s true that some of Assad’s opponents are extremists. . .’
Obama faced Congressional defeat and humiliation, and had to be rescued by Putin’s plan to disarm Syria of its chemical warfare capacity and have it destroyed with the agreement of the Syrian government.
The outcome of running into the brick wall of working class and middle class opposition was his declaration that, ‘I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorise the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. I’m sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin.
‘Meanwhile, I’ve ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.’
He ended, ‘America is not the world’s policeman.’
As everybody knows, the USA has been the policeman for world imperialism since 1945, right through to the wars in Iraq and Libya, under the doctrine that it had the right to overthrow any regime that got in the way of US imperialist supremacy.
The essence of the situation is that the world crisis of capitalism has caused a massive crisis for the imperialist powers, who now understand that they are fighting not just foreign foes but the working class at home.
The job of the Fourth International in this period is to unite the struggle for national liberation with the struggle for the victory of the world socialist revolution to smash capitalism and imperialism and go forward to world socialism.
The key to this is the building of sections of the Fourth International in every country to lead the developing world socialist revolution to its victory.