by Danny Haiphong
The U.S. anti-war movement – which protests only Republican wars – went largely out of business with the election of Barack Obama, who almost immediately started new wars in pursuit of regime change. Russia’s intervention in Syria has blocked Washington’s aims to seize power in Damascus. Ironically, Obama’s inability to topple the Assad government “has given the Democratic Party room to brand itself as a party of peace for the 2016 elections.”
Report: Syria Scores Victory in Moscow Talks Despite Weakness of US Anti-war Movement
by Danny Haiphong
“The forces of white supremacy and the Democratic Party have successfully protected imperialism from the development of a mass movement against its reign of terror.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian leaders Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov on December 15th to discuss the future of Syria. The talks ended with a mutual agreement between parties for the US to take regime change off the table. This was a modest, but important victory for the Syrian people and the struggle against imperialism. For nearly five years, the US and its imperial allies have waged a jihadist proxy war to overthrow Syria's government led by Bashar Al-Assad. The talks were a clear indication that imperialism's policy of regime change has failed, at least for now. However, few in the US have covered the significance of this development due to the weakness of the anti-war movement.
The US anti-war movement, excluding a few organizations, has in large part supported imperialism's regime change initiative in Syria. Such support has been justified on the basis that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is not fit to govern the Syrian people. International non-profits, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have led the charge in demonizing the Syrian government's so-called human rights abuses. Meanwhile, these same organizations have ignored the Syrian government's popular support. The heroic Syrian people have made significant gains since the proxy war began despite the pro-imperial posturing of the movement in the US over the same period.
US imperialism's agreement to take regime change off the table was influenced by many factors. Russia's aid to the Syrian Arab Army has significantly weakened US sponsored terrorists in the region. Syria has been able to take back the city of Homs from the terrorists and make progress in Aleppo. The Syria-Russia alliance, along with the help of Iran and Hezbollah, has successfully pushed back imperialism's proxy assault. But Syria's gains toward self-determination have not come without sacrifice. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or displaced from their homeland.
“International non-profits, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have led the charge in demonizing the Syrian government's so-called human rights abuses.”
Another factor that led to the US and Russian agreement is the upcoming US presidential elections. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party need to brand themselves as the party of peace if the Democratic Party hopes to win the White House in 2016. As it stands now, the Obama-led Democratic Party has a long resume of war and little credentials of peace. Obama and Democratic Party Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton have supported the Syrian regime change strategy since 2011. In 2013, Obama sought Congressional authorization for a military invasion to finish the job. His administration was interrupted by broad opposition and Russian intervention. Ever since, the Democratic Party has continued to arm terrorists and support them with airstrikes alongside its imperial partners as part of a so-called coalition against ISIS. Holding off on regime change has given the Democratic Party room to brand itself as a party of peace for the 2016 elections.
The last factor driving the agreement is US imperialism's general decline on the international stage. Competing interests among Europe, Turkey, and Russia have escalated global tensions. The proxy wars being waged in Syria, Iraq, and throughout the region have only strengthened jihadist terrorist forces. Blow back in Paris and San Bernardino has caused Europe in particular to align more with Russia's counter-terrorism strategy. Furthermore, Turkey's provocations with Russia of late have strained US-Russian relations. These developments have made imperialism particularly vulnerable to setbacks as Russia and China seek alternatives to full spectrum US dominance.
Unfortunately, the anti-war movement in the US is unprepared to seize the moment. The forces of white supremacy and the Democratic Party have successfully protected imperialism from the development of a mass movement against its reign of terror. The former has conditioned the anti-war movement to dehumanize the Syrian people and peoples outside of the West's orbit. The latter has served as the rope that attaches the anti-war movement to state apparatus. Because the issue of imperialist war has been disconnected from the struggle of the oppressed in the US, these forces possess fertile ground to operate. Syria will continue to fight to secure its self-determination as Russia and the US discuss the nation’s fate. Talks resume on December 18th. However, whatever peace process comes out of these talks will have to make due without the US anti-war movement’s support.