The US has been dropping bombs, sanctioning and refusing to assist the reconstruction of earthquake shattered, civil war torn Syria for nine years. The US jumped into the 2011 Syrian civil war in September, 2014, with bombs instead of peace proposals. Why? America saw its chance to change out the regime of hated Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who’s aligned with 2 major US enemies, Russia and Iran.
We even gave the greenlight, including weapons and moral support, to Assad opponents, some of whom are anti US extremists. “Not to worry,” US officials claimed. “These are moderate bad guys we can control.” Right.
Once Assad largely prevailed in the civil war with ally Russia’s help, the US refused to end its quest to oust Assad. We’ve kept 900 troops in northeast Syria to control the oil fields we stole from Syria, effectively keeping a third of Syria from Assad’s control.
US intervention and occupation is a decade long war crime on the Syrian people. Unlike the Russo-Ukraine war, it’s almost totally ignored by mainstream media. It did pop up a week ago when unknown fighters attacked a US outpost there, killing a contractor and injuring 5 US soldiers. The Biden administration was outraged, ordering immediate retaliatory attacks against groups thought to be involved. At least 19 were killed which satisfies the required high US kill ratio in such responses. Whoever was killed, guilty or innocent, doesn’t matter. Revenge for attacking our invading army is all that counts.
When asked if the attack on US troops will cause President Biden to re-evaluate his commitment to stay in Syria, spokesman John Kirby replied “Here’s what’s not going to change … the mission and ISIS is not going to change. We have under 1,000 troops in Syria that are going after that network, which is, while greatly diminished, still viable and still critical. So we’re going to stay at that task.”
Since ISIS will always have a few imagined bad guys in Syria, Kirby might have will said, “Here’s what’s not going to change. We’re staying in Syria till we achieve our sole mission…changing out the regime of President Assad, the people of Syria be damned.”
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.