Biden bombing Syria continues two decades of U.S. aggression

Biden bombing Syria continues two decades of U.S. aggression


On February 25, a little over a month since taking office, President Joe Biden ordered the U.S. Air Force to bomb Syria.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated, “These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq.” Further, “we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”

Thus, bombing Syria was the Pentagon’s response to attacks carried out in Iraq.

In January 2020 after a U.S.-controlled drone assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who had arrived in Baghdad for peace talks, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from their country. Just as it has for over 20 years, the U.S. ignored this call to honor Iraqi sovereignty. Further bombing by the USA would seem to be a strange approach to de-escalation.

The United States military and paid mercenaries have occupied Iraq since President George W. Bush invaded that country, contrary to international law, on allegations that it was harboring weapons of mass destruction. When no such weapons were ever discovered and the enormity of the crime was exposed, rather than even apologizing and offering reparations, the U.S. simply doubled down in its occupation of Iraq.

The U.S. has carried out hybrid warfare through economic asphyxiation of Iran.

Subsequently, the United States expanded its aggression against Middle Eastern or Arab countries to Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen and has carried out hybrid warfare through economic asphyxiation of Iran as a means of overthrowing its government.

Some have related the bombing of Syria to negotiations that Biden has called for to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly called the Iran nuclear deal struck in 2015. The JCPOA required Iran to comply with extremely strict limitations on its nuclear materials production and extensive international inspections of its nuclear industries in return for removing economic sanctions imposed primarily by the U.S. and Europe. In May 2018, President Trump unilaterally took the United States out of that agreement. Iran has stated that the U.S. must first remove the sanctions it imposed before any further negotiations. Perhaps by his actions Biden is signaling that he is not so eager to rejoin that deal without further concessions from Iran.

It’s hardly news that one of the primary reasons for U.S. political manipulations, sanctions, and military aggression in this oil-rich region since 1945 has been to secure control of the oil that funded local economies in order to profit U.S.-based giant corporations like Exxon/Mobil.

The importance of the new administration’s first overt military action did not rise to the level of a White House news release. The Pentagon, however, did offer a two-paragraph explanation including: “Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).”

Instead of ISIS, now it’s the U.S. selling Syrian oil.

It is remarkable that the Pentagon is justifying killing personnel, not in Iraq where attacks on U.S. troops and mercenaries took place but hundreds of miles away on the Syrian side of the Iraqi border, where the victims were preventing crossings by ISIS and al Qaeda terrorists. The U.S. has been bombing Syria for many years now by claiming it is fighting against those terrorists while illegally occupying Syrian territories that are rich in oil and regions that grow great fields of wheat, thus foreclosing the Syrian state from using oil revenues to rebuild its war-torn land and harvests to feed bread to its population. When ISIS occupied these regions it sold Syrian oil to Turkey. Now the U.S. is selling Syrian oil.

Moreover, since 2011 the U.S. has imposed fearsome economic sanctions on Syria that prevent the country from importing food and medicines and parts to repair machinery and preventing financial transactions and travel among others. When former President Trump candidly stated that the U.S should steal Syria’s oil, he shocked the world. And yet that is what three successive Washington administrations have been doing.

The question, why would the U.S. bomb a border checkpoint in order to ease travel of groups it has declared are terrorists, may have been answered in part by Joe Biden himself. In 2014 then Vice President Biden told a Harvard audience, “Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria.”

The U.S. has been weaponizing terrorist groups in Syria with the purpose of violent regime change.

He pointed out that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were so determined to “take down Assad and have a proxy Sunni-Shia war” that they poured “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons” into the terrorists who were wantonly killing Syrians and driving millions more into exile. Biden failed to indict his own country, which was also weaponizing the terrorist groups with the same purpose of violent regime change.

It appears that under Biden’s new administration the U.S. is still allied with these same groups that our government repeatedly claims it is fighting against.

Just this past week Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Council on Foreign Relations that “the United States [must] disengage from the GCC’s [Gulf Cooperation Council’s] proxy wars with Iran,” which “have created just catastrophic levels of human suffering throughout the region.”

U.S. military adventurism fuels perpetual wars, and  “the moral and the financial cost of these wars is huge.”

Murphy acknowledged “the enormous costs of this false belief that the United States military can change political realities on the ground in the region.” He continued: “the most significant effect of recent U.S. Middle East military adventurism has been to fuel perpetual wars that allow extremist groups and anti-American sentiment to just grow and grow and grow.” And “the moral and the financial cost of these wars is huge.”

The vast human suffering that Murphy acknowledges has been visited on millions of souls in far-away countries, and the environmental and cultural destruction through two decades of relentless war has caused little if any moral anguish in the halls of the U.S. government.

Although Senator Murphy made it plain that he thinks U.S. policy in the Middle East drastically needs to change, his reaction two days later to the Biden administration’s attack on Syria was legalistic at best and even bland, calling “retaliatory strikes, not necessary to prevent an imminent threat, must fall within the definition of an existing congressional authorization of military force.”

In other words, Biden should ask Congress’ permission before violating another country’s sovereignty by exploding lives with bombs from above. Shouldn’t we ask that critics of U.S. policy like Senator Murphy be required to walk the walk?

We should as well demand that the U.S. remove all its troops, all its mercenaries from the Middle East, return its many military bases to the sovereign nations, stop the bombing, and end the violent and coercive sanctions and regime-change policies.

Image: Joe Brusky (CC BY-NC 2.0).


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