Last night US President Trump, without the Pentagon’s consent, without waiting for the UN to finish its investigation as to whether the massacre of 72 civilians in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun, was attributable to Assad or “collateral damage”, gave the order to launch 59 missiles against the Syrian air base from which the gas attack would have been launched. The airport was destroyed as oil supplies and weapons flew into the air with at least 5 deaths in Assad’s military.
1. The domestic roots for ‘Trump’s drastic action’ on Syria
The domestic one is that, with the lowest approval rating that any newly elected American president has ever had, he had to do something “extraordinary” to give credibility to his verbal “shots”. (…) Trump’s action is a reminder of the need to “defend” those promises of heaven and earth to the American people; a strong deed worthy of the words that he has uttered.
2. It’s international roots
On the international scene Trump has understood that to stand by, as the previous administration partly did, could cause significant damage to US imperialism allowing their imperialist competitors to make further advances. (…) What is currently the most pressing problem for the new US administration is the strong and visibly armed return of US imperialism to one of the hottest areas of the international arena, the Middle East, Syria and the Mediterranean.
The real problem for Trump is to prevent Russia from supporting the regime of [the] “dictator of Damascus” and with it Putin’s opportunity to maintain Russia’s merchant, and especially, military fleets in the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartus. (…) So giving their Russian opponent a free hand over the Syrian issue would bring the risk of greater naval rivalry in the Mediterranean and big trouble for the strategies of the Pentagon.
(…) It’s a warning to those who need it. To Russia over military hegemony in the Mediterranean, to China to keep a tight rein on North Korea, “otherwise we’ll do it”, to Iran, which directly participates in the war against Isis trying to make imperialist gains in terms of territory and oil against the US’ Saudi ally. (…)
Behind all this there is, as ever, the war over “pipelines” (…) all competing over the price of crude oil and for control of the trade routes of the Asian gas market.
4. Estimation of the gravity of the international situation
The major imperialist powers are mobilising with worrying speed and determination. From a strategic standpoint the indiscriminate use of force and the risk that it could turn into general carnage across a range of contested territories has become the most likely course on both the military and economic fronts. Faced with this prospect which is already partly a reality, (…) we must add a tragic appeal to the masses worldwide. If this is the imminent future for humanity (…) then we have to make war on war, to struggle against capitalism for a world that has no need of exploitation, crises, wars and millions of dead to survive.
5. Conclusion (Response)
Only a revolutionary process can stop the war and with it destroy the economic system that sustains it. Only a new way of organising the production and distribution of social wealth can and must be a guarantee that such barbarity is not continually repeated with tragic inevitability.
Fd, 7 April 2017.
Translated from Italian, 8 April 2017
(Emphasis by the editor)