Karapatan vehemently denounces the moves of the United States government, through Pres. Barack Obama, to conduct airstrikes and heighten its aggression against Syria. On a humanitarian pretext, after the August 21 chemical attack in suburban Damascus killing more than 1,400 people, including 426 children, the US has positioned six of US and its allies' warships in the Mediterranean coastal lines of Syria. The so-called destroyers are equipped with 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles which are “ready to fire”.  

Amid intrigues being generated and fanned by the US government accusing the Syrian government of conducting the chemical attack, the Syrian peoples and the oppressed and peace-loving peoples of the world have seen through the lies of the US and are now taking action and solidarity against efforts of the US government to justify their war against Syria. 

The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for the chemical attack and has cited the role of the mercenaries hired and encouraged by the US, who have the most to gain in the said attack.  The US and some of its European allies have used defense contractors to train these Syrian mercenaries. The Syrian government had feared that the US might provide armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and hold the government accountable for using these. Which government, after all, has all the resources and political and military infrastructure to carry out such a dastardly act, but the US? Which government, after all, has the most to gain in the said attack through economic and political dominance in the Arab region, but the US?   

In the two-year civil conflict in Syria, thousands have been killed and millions have taken flight.  Likewise, aggravated by the sanctions imposed by the US and EU, Syria’s economy has plunged by 35% percent.  

Current President Bashar al-Assad came into power after the death of his father, Hafez, who ruled Syria for 30 years.  Syria has experienced coups, counter-coups and purges since its independence from France in 1946 with the US Central Intelligence Agency playing a significant covert role to protect US and its allies’ political and economic interests in the region. The US has been so much concerned with Syrian leaders’ stand against Israel, the border disputes with Turkey, US oil pipelines and strong “communist” leanings.

The Assads though have been reliable US puppets.  Since Bashar Assad became President in 2000, Syria underwent liberalization.  His rule was likewise characterized by abuses. He jailed his critics, controlled the media, favored the elites and has among the worst human rights record in the world.   Sanctions on the Syrian government have been imposed by the US and other imperialist powers. Bashar’s falling out with the US is reminiscent of the fate of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Imperialist wars of aggression, led by the US government, are waged primarily to protect and preserve their political and economic interests.  They do this on the most opportune pretexts.  Iraq was invaded because of CIA-inspired intrigues for its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction.  Afghanistan was supposedly invaded for failure to surrender Osama bin Laden, though no international procedure had been laid down.  US imperialism’s greed is boundless and war against oppressed peoples is its weapon.

The US is currently whetting its military might by forging security partnerships through increasing bilateral military training exercises and operations provided by rotational and temporary basing in military facilities of partner countries.  In the US “pivot” to Asia-Pacific, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is cultivating ties with governments in South East Asia to ensure “stability” in the region.  US officials have negotiated with the Philippine government to allow rotation of more US forces and military ships, aircrafts and equipment through the country on temporary deployments. After the Filipino people succeeded in driving away the US bases and facilities in the country in 1990, the Noynoy Aquino administration is on a roll in tightening agreements that would allow US forces to further legitimize their permanent presence and operation in Philippine territory and waters.

However, it is precisely because of these imperialist designs that the US posturing against Syria comes as both as a war of aggression to firm up its political and economic dominance globally and in the Arab region and an affirmation of the hypocrisy of Pres. Obama, who rode on the crest of the US citizens’ clamor against the US war against Iraq for him to win in the presidential elections.

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, its members and chapters all over the Philippines stand in solidarity with the Syrian people in opposing this US imperialist war of aggression. We are one with the oppressed peoples of the world, who are subjected to inhuman conditions because of US intrusion in our countries, in resisting US imperialism. We are one with all oppressed peoples in our struggle for genuine freedom and democracy in our nations.###