watch latest column on senior columnist Lal Khan in dunya akhbar ..
The rowdy and wild Trump seems to have been tamed sooner than most had imagined. The US military-industrial complex and the Wall Street have apparently prevailed with the Tomahawk cruise missile strike. Only days before, the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had stated that Assad’s rule in Syria was a reality that had to be accepted. This proves, beyond doubt, that the deep state is calling the real shots.
Mainstream media outlets seemed to have been briefed in advance for an avalanche of propaganda. Within minutes of the news of the Idlib attack, the media swiftly blamed Bashar al-Assad. A US-based website made an interesting comment, ‘The case of who was responsible for the alleged chemical weapons attack was ‘solved’ in less time than the New York Police Department devotes to investigating a street mugging.’
The cynical abuse of footages of the mauled Syrian children, allegedly being gassed by the ‘draconian Asad’, proved only to be a ploy for the support of Al-Qaeda, Al Nusra and other bestial outfits that have been hired as proxies by various imperialist states. From Turkey’s Erdogan to the Saudi Monarchy and from the Zionists in the Israel to the Gulf Sheikhdoms, the most vicious despotic regimes are singing the chorus of the ‘American nightmare’. The European imperialists, who were masquerading as human rights advocates and democrats, are enthusiastically supporting Trump whom they were denouncing just weeks ago.
In the twentieth century, in the colonial massacres of the Middle East, brutalities in the Indian subcontinent, imperialist imposed repressive regimes in Latin America and the ‘Blood Diamond’ genocides in Africa, there seems to be an unending story of bloodshed and destruction by imperialists. The Vietnam War was not just a horrifying episode but also proved that these imperialist monsters can be defied, defeated and vanquished. In the new century, yet again, we have witnessed the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 through this capitalist hegemony’s increasing level of bestiality.
The Syrian drought between 2007 and 2010 had forced a vast section of its population to migrate to cities. This created an increased pressure on the already creaking infrastructure even in a nationalised planned economy under Haafiz Al Asad, Bashar’s father, within the limitations of an isolated nation-state. The mass discontent led to a small uprising in March 2011 coinciding with the Arab upheaval of that period. Bashar al Assad tried to crush it but the revolt expanded. The rivalry with the obscurantist Arab monarchies was mainly his defiance against them and the imperialists. The mass upsurge in Syria was aborted and it morphed into a religious and sectarian conflagration with these reactionary proxies setting up their fiefdoms in the region. Renowned British journalist Finian Cunningham wrote not so long ago, ‘The putative “secular rebels” have turned out to be indistinguishable from extremist groups like al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra and so-called Islamic State (also known as Daesh). The Islamist group Jaysh al-Islam admitted to using chemical weapons against Kurdish militias in Aleppo. It also uses human shields and publishes execution videos.’ Moreover, American journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that the Nusra Front might have carried out the 2013 Ghout a chemical attack.
It’s not only the Russian and Iranian backing for Assad but more so is the dread and detestation felt by most Syrians towards US-backed mercenaries. The Russo-Iranian interventions in Syria are not for any progressive aims either for they have their own axes to grind. Iranians had contacts with the Americans while Putin’s diplomatic and military manoeuvres include closer ties with Israel. It’s no coincidence that one of the most prominent head of state recently visiting Putin’s Kremlin court was Benjamin Netanyahu.
However, this insane military adventure comes at a time when the US economy is frail and a social crisis is burgeoning. It will only intensify the economic and social instability across the world, especially in the US. The Russians are not going to retaliate except for the rhetorical condemnations and veiled threats in the corridors of the feeble and illusory forums such as the UNSC.
All stakeholders are terrified of escalating a catastrophic war that would rapidly unravel beyond their control. Some of the top Republican senators have started calling it a ‘one-off strike’ and not a continual operation. However, certain incidents like US missiles killing Russian military officials on Syrian territory could explode the fragile status quo. To protect its vital interests, the US is forced to rely more and more on its military prowess that cannot be sustained for long.
But the insanity of new wars by imperialists is another indication of the historical decay and redundancy of capitalism. Lenin had explained, ‘It (war) is a terrible thing; but it’s also terribly profitable!’ This has been the character of the system throughout its history. Without its revolutionary overthrow, capitalism will keep on dragging the human civilisation into the abyss of barbarity with its symptoms palpable in Syria.