THE US has changed policy on Iraq and Syria overnight, and will now allow US ground troops to assault targets in both countries and its airforce to bomb both countries, especially the cities of Raqqa in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq.
There is no doubt as to what has brought about this change, and the dumping of Obama’s ‘no boots on the ground’ policy. It is Russia’s intervention at the request of the Assad government to prevent the Turkish and Gulf state-backed terrorists of ISIS and the Al-Nusrah front taking over Syria, and then killing its non-Sunni inhabitants, Christians, Kurds, Druze and Alawites, making millions more refugees.
US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter’s war plans, completely reversing policy, were announced to the Senate Armed Services Committee. They did not have the support of the US Houses of Congress, or the UN Security Council, or the Syrian government. They constitute another illegal war!
Treating US democracy like a much-soiled rag, the new ground war is to be carried out under the ‘authority’ of the congressional authorisation passed to pursue the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks. Carter has pledged: ‘We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.’
‘We expect to intensify our air campaign, including with additional US and coalition aircraft, to target ISIL with a higher and heavier rate of strikes,’ he said. Carter said the fight against IS would now concentrate mostly on Raqqa, the IS-declared capital in Syria, and Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq.
On targets on the ground Carter said: ‘Once we locate them, no target is beyond our reach.’ The administration is considering deploying American ground troops to support its local Islamist forces.
None of these plans have the support of the Syrian government, which is in fact the principle target of the change in policy of the US and, no doubt, its allies.
There is not the slightest doubt that what the US does and says today, its UK ‘running dog’ will be doing and saying tomorrow. An agreement has already been made between the US, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States that the latter will resupply all of the terrorist bands that are fighting the government of President Assad, as part of the new turn.
Following the announcement of the new American ground and air offensives to come, the imperialist powers and their allies, plus Russia and now Iran are to meet today in Vienna. The US is essentially seeking to make President Assad an offer that he cannot refuse. He is to be permitted to wind up his government and then go, or else face a massive stepping up of the war with many more Syrians to be butchered or turned into refugees.
Russia will be told that they should convince Assad that this is what has to be done or else face being sucked into another bloody Afghan type war that will bleed it dry. and then see IS type movements move into Russia. In fact, the only force that is not represented at these talks will be the target, the Syrian government and people, whose body the imperialist powers hope to be able to carve up and dispose of.
The Syrian people and government are however very battle-tested, and they will stand fast on the position that only the Syrian people have the right to decide who their government will be. Nobody else has that right, not even Russia or Iran. The workers of the world, particularly the workers of the UK, the US and France the main imperialist butchers, must also stand fast alongside the Syrian people.
The trade unions of the UK, the US and France must decide that if the imperialist powers send their troops and planes into Syria then they will call general strikes against these imperialist wars to bring down the UK, US and French governments.
This is the only way forward. Our enemy is not in Syria or Iraq, it is at home!