What do you get when you cross a rogue state with a superpower? The United States.
That message came through loud and clear this week when the Pentagon sent a Special Forces unit over the border from Washington’s failed occupation of Iraq into Syria to murder eight civilians, including three children. First refusing to answer questions on the attack, the U.S. State Department then explained it as a new strategy.
The strategy: U.S. military forces can attack across any border of any country whenever they think it might give them a military advantage.
That is, Washington is the capital of a rogue state. It attacks whenever it feels like it for whatever reason pops into its head. It’s hard to imagine a state more rogue than that.
As if to underline this point, the Pentagon also carried out a cross-border attack at the eastern end of its occupied zone. In this one a drone, that is, an unpiloted plane from the U.S.’s failed occupation of Afghanistan, fired a rocket in Pakistan. Some 20 Pakistanis were killed there.
Later, regarding the aggression against Syria, the Pentagon claimed it had killed and removed an alleged al-Qaeda-in-Iraq agent. There is no way to independently check this information. Pentagon spokespeople have lied consistently about everything having anything to do with Iraq. They always claim they have targeted and killed al-Qaeda or Taliban “terrorists.” Somehow fishers, farmers and their children in Syria, and wedding parties in Pakistan are included in this “terrorist” list.
In this case, too, the smart money is betting that the Bush gang and the Pentagon officers are again lying. They use this cover story to justify their wanton aggression. They assume people in the U.S. will fall for the lie, as with “weapons of mass destruction” and Saddam Hussein’s bogus “ties to al-Qaeda.”
Outside the U.S., no one believes them. Not even U.S. allies. Not only have Russia, China and Iran condemned the attack, but also the pro-U.S. prime minister of Lebanon, the U.S. client regime in Egypt, the Arab League and the rightist French government of Sarkozy.
The British media—which colluded with the war buildup against Iraq in 2002—this time began considering possible real motives behind the attack. The BBC’s coverage pointed out that “[The attack’s] timing is curious, coming right at the end of the Bush administration’s period of office and at a moment when many of America’s European allies—like Britain and France—are trying to broaden their ties with Damascus.” Other media, in Britain and elsewhere, speculated that the U.S. attack was the “October surprise” aimed at turning the election back toward John McCain.
Even official Iraqi voices criticized the attack and considered it another obstacle to approving the Status of Forces Agreement with Washington (see other editorial, this issue). The 50 permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq will be seen as a constant threat of new wars against Iraq’s neighbors. From London, the Syrian foreign minister warned that should there be a follow-up U.S. aggression, Syrian forces would be completely justified in responding.
An Asia Times article (Oct. 27) reports that some Iranians worry that the U.S. will use a similar ruse to strike inside that country of 70 million people, and that this could open up broader fighting.
The Bush gang led U.S. imperialism into a series of wars of aggression over the past eight years. From 2001 until at least the end of 2003, the administration had the support of the overwhelming majority of the U.S. ruling class, including its politicians, media and strategists as it prepared to conquer Afghanistan and Iraq. Now Bush is isolated. He heads a lame-hawk administration, but it still has claws. And neither of the major capitalist candidates has dissociated himself from this new policy of aggression.
It is not only we who see the Bush administration as gangsters at the helm of the most powerful rogue state in world history. But we state it clearly. And we insist on the need to mobilize a mass movement to condemn the invasion of Syria and to stop further war adventures.
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