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The News Line: Editorial Victory to Syria! Defeat imperialist war drive with world socialist revolution! THE DEATHS of dozens of civilians including young children in Syrian town Khan Sheikhoun has been seized on by imperialism as a weapon to try and snatch victory from a massive defeat.

They have rushed to condemn the Syrian army and president Assad as ‘war criminals’ who used banned chemical weapons against the town while providing absolutely no evidence that these deaths were the result of a deliberate attack by the Syrian airforce.

They immediately rubbished any suggestion that chemical weapons stockpiled by jihadists had been released either deliberately or as an accidental result of the Syrian bombing of the town. However, there is a long record of imperialism invoking ‘humanitarianism’ as a cover for wars that have claimed the lives of millions.

Who can forget the ‘humanitarian’ war to oust Saddam, a war that cost the lives of millions of Iraqi men women and children, justified by a tissue of lies about weapons of mass destruction, lives later described as a ‘price worth paying’ to gain control of Iraq and its oil?

The fact is imperialism faces defeat in Syria as their jihadist allies in IS and Al-Qaeda have been unable to oust Assad and effect the regime change that imperialism demanded. Instead, the Syrian government and its people have emerged victorious in the war. Unlike Iraq, where the US and UK were able to invade with impunity while the Stalinist Putin stood to one side and allowed the country to be smashed up, Russian forces are well established in Syria with bases around the country.

Assad has made it perfectly clear that he is not going to submit and go and that it is for the Syrian people to decide who will govern them not the US. This position appeared to be accepted by senior officials in the Trump administration who just a few days ago were saying that they were no longer focused on removing Assad from power.

Yesterday, this had changed with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying Russia needed to ‘think carefully about their continued support for the Assad regime’ while Trump said in an interview with The New York Times, that Moscow’s role in the long-running civil war was ‘disappointing’ – adding it was a ‘very sad day for Russia because they’re aligned’.

Imperialism’s tactics are clear, with Assad refusing to go and with their allies facing immediate military defeat their only chance of grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat lies in forcing Russia to back down and withdraw its military support for the Syrian government. Strong-arming Russia in this way would, they believe, resolve the hopeless crisis imperialism faces in Syria, either by Assad’s removal and replacement with a puppet regime of the West or by forcing the partition of Syria.

This tactic has been used before in history. It was employed by the US in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. Then the US forced the withdrawal of Russian forces from Cuba on the pretext of not allowing Russian nuclear missiles to be stationed on the island – despite the fact that it was perfectly acceptable for the US to position their missiles in Italy and Turkey aimed at the Soviet Union.

The threat of a nuclear war was sufficient to force the Soviet Union leaders to back down and withdraw from Cuba. This is what is behind this latest move by imperialism, to force Russia to give up Assad and Syria to the imperialists. They are prepared to risk a nuclear Armageddon that would kill hundreds of millions of people in the region and beyond in order to dominate the world and keep it free for capitalism to make profits and secure its oil wealth for exploitation.

Working people in the US and UK must reject the drive to war by imperialism and give their full support to the Syrian government and people by demanding the withdrawal of all imperialist forces from the region and take action in defence of the right of the Syrian people to decide their future.

There is only one way to put an end to the barbarity of capitalism in its death agony and that is to overthrow it through the victory of the world socialist revolution.


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