PLANNING for military intervention by the imperialist powers into Syria, to overthrow the regime of president Assad, was stepped up this week with growing demands in Washington for a ‘coalition of the willing’ to be formed to actively arm and give military support to the counter-revolutionary Free Syrian Army.
The influential Republican Senator, John McCain, has been demanding that president Obama ‘should consider all the options, including arming the opposition’.
It was also revealed that Pentagon Central Command has already embarked on a ‘preliminary internal review’ of US capabilities in the region.
Following the veto by Russia and China of UN-backed intervention in Syria, and the stated reluctance of the NATO countries to take on board the sole responsibility for a war against Assad and the Syrian army, the US and the reactionary gulf states, along with Turkey, are urging an early meeting of a body termed the ‘friends of Syria’ to prepare for a Libya-style intervention.
This would involve the creation of so-called ‘humanitarian corridors’, in effect routes policed by the armed forces of imperialism and protected by a no-fly zone which, far from being humanitarian, would open Syria up to a massive supply of weapons and armour along with troops to actively fight the Syrian army.
Despite the fact that any military intervention in Syria by the imperialist powers is fraught with dangers that far exceed those they faced in Libya, it is now being openly admitted in Washington that the imperialist crisis is so great that they have no alternative but to gamble on being able to overthrow Assad as a preliminary to attacking Hezbollah in the Lebanon, and making war on Iran.
The dream, or nightmare, of an entire region subjugated under the iron heel of US imperialism is driving forward a war that will set the Middle East and the Gulf alight and cost many hundreds of thousands of lives – a price worth paying as far as the imperialists are concerned to control and completely dominate the mineral wealth and oil supplies so vital to capitalism.
This deepening crisis has even penetrated the thick skulls of the Stalinist bureaucracy who had considered themselves until lately to be partners of NATO.
A section of the ruling Stalinist bureaucracy in Russia is becoming increasingly aware that military intervention in Syria is a threat to the independence of Russia and China.
Should Syria and Iran fall under the domination of the US, Russia would be completely locked out of the region, and China would have its oil supplies cut.
With US and Nato missiles positioned against its western borders in the states that made up part of the USSR, and with the danger of being effectively driven out of the Mediterranean region, sections of the bureaucracy and Russian military are becoming aware that far from being an ally, they are seen as being the main meal to be devoured.
This realisation was reflected in a speech by Russian deputy prime minister Dimitriy Rogozin this week in which he stated: ‘We must build a compact, strong, fearsome army and strategic forces armed to the teeth which will be the guarantor of our security.’
The Stalinist bureaucracy is right to be worried – imperialism in its death agony can see no way out of the catastrophic crisis of capitalism except through wars to re-conquer the world and open up those markets and resources that were denied to them through the victorious Russian revolution of 1917.
However, armed self defence cannot put an end to imperialism. The only way this can be done is through building sections of the Fourth International in every country to lead the developing world socialist revolution to its victory, replacing capitalism and imperialism with world socialism.