By Stanley Heller
They say that generals usually prepare for the last war. This has happened to the peace movement, too. The anti-war coalitions in the U.S. and UK are acting as if this was 2003 and everyone needed to focus on Western imperial adventures. Instead circumstances are quite different. The main carnage right now has little to do with “the Empire”. A dictator from a family dynasty is using his entire military, every weapon the country owns, to bring a nation to heel. He’s assisted (and in some ways commanded) by foreign powers, one semi-fascist, the other a theocracy. The larger anti-war organizations and coalitions have nothing to say or bleat, “Our main responsibility is to criticize our own government’s abuses” or airily call for all foreign forces to stop intervening while refusing to condemn the barrel bombs or the obliteration of hospitals. (There are also the unspeakable organizations licking the dictator’s boot in the name of “anti-imperialism”.)
Half a million people have died because the Assad gang is determined to hold on no matter what. The Russians are blowing up whole blocks in Aleppo, systematically destroying medical facilities and White Helmet rescue facilities. Assad has hundreds of thousands of people under siege. Palestinians refugees from camps like Yarmouk are exiled once again. The “world community” has fed refugees, but is paralyzed about action within Syria. The U.N. airdrops food to only one city, the Assad run Deir al-Zour surrounded by ISIS. Worse they’ve been sending aid money right into the pockets of members of the regime.