05.03.2021: Just two weeks after declaring the US would not return to forever wars under his administration, fraudulently installed President Joe Biden rained bombs on Syria, targeting Iranian supported militias fighting US backed Al Qaeda terrorists operating in the region. Biden was only 36 days into his first term before ordering the bombing of the Middle East, once again risking the escalation of an even more catastrophic regime change war. This comes hard on the heels of Biden’s re-invasion of Syria just two days into his Presidency, where 200 US troops and 60 military vehicles crossed the border into Syria to “assist” US backed Kurdish separatist rule in northern Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated that the US airstrikes targeted facilities used by Iranian backed militias including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada. Stretching the limits of plausibility, Kirby claimed that the strikes were in response to rocket attacks on US troops but were deliberately calibrated to de-escalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.
US Empire uses Covid to reignite regime change war on Syria
The US government claimed it gave notice to the Russian government before the strikes took place. It did – but the notice was only four minutes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that “This kind of notification does nothing when the strike is literally already on its way”. Transparently, US imperialism is hell bent on attempting to reverse the defeat it suffered during the regime change war it attempted in Syria from 2011 onwards. The combination of resistance from the Syrian government, with military backing from Russia and Iran, arguably dealt US imperialism its first defeat since the Vietnam War. The Pentagon did not succeed in toppling Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, despite spending $500 million, at the very least, funding and arming deranged mercenary forces to do so. The superiority of Russian air power, combined with the considerable skills of Iranian backed ground militias and heroic Syrian army martyrs – delivered a crushing of ISIS and, by extension, Wall Street.
Washington was stung by this defeat and has never accepted it. Now, their assault on the world’s working and oppressed people under the code name of “Covid”, opens a small window to re-start the regime change war on Syria. While the governments of Russia and Iran performed heroics to stop US imperialism in its tracks in Syria, during 2020 both entities unfortunately marched in lockstep with the US Empire by entertaining the Covid plot. The coronavirus charade was always going to be used by US/EU imperialism against their opponents, and the Russian and Iranian governments’ acquiescence to the fear “pandemic” nonsense only slightly delayed a direct broadside from Washington. Russia and Iran’s mimicking of Western government lockdowns, forced facemasks and forced vaccines was never going to be accepted as currency for respect for their national sovereignty, or much else. Nothing less than regime change and substitute pro-US satrap governments in Syria, Iran and Russia would appease the ruling classes of the US/EU. Indeed, the war on Syria was arguably a stepping stone on the road to regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran, by first eliminating one of Russia’s key allies.
Liberalism accelerates political disintegration
When capitalism enters a steep decline, parliamentary democracy soon becomes insufficiently repressive for the tasks the bourgeoisie needs to carry out to ensure the maintenance of its rule. Basic democratic and civil rights become an obstacle and need to be sidelined. This was one of the goals of the various forms of lockdown fascism initiated by capital in the West during 2020. This particular form of fascism, which was covered with the excuse of “Covid”, was NOT led by a far-right ultra-nationalist stormtroopers but by “left-wing” anti-socialists such as: Antifa, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the lockdown left who tailed the mind-bogglingly conservative Union bureaucracy. This liberal pro-corporate set heavily endorsed the fake pandemic and even – believe it or not – campaigned for longer and stricter lockdowns. While there is no doubt that these forces dragged along some youth and working people who believed they were doing something progressive, their leading lights knew exactly what their task was – to defend capitalist imperialism using any means up to and including violence.
The identity politics, the faux anti-racism, the disingenuous refugee rights activism of Antifa, BLM (which has conveniently disappeared from the streets now that there is a Democrat in the White House) and the lockdown left – combined with Union officialdom – has only strengthened finance capital. All of these forces endorsed and enforced the fake pandemic with its brutally anti-working class lockdowns, forced facemasks, forced vaccines, and tracking and tracing. The Covid ruse enabled the fascistic repression the ruling class required to savage the cost of labour power – through hundreds of millions of job cuts, economic shutdowns and border closures. The extreme Covid political repression also enables the bourgeoisie to wage imperialist war, such as the one being reanimated in Syria. For working people can scarcely organise political opposition to a war when they are separated from each other, when meetings have been banned, and when state borders are barricaded.
What is required is political action which demands US troops exit Syria immediately, and a prompt end to US/EU sanctions and provocations against Syria, Russia and Iran. The threatened imperialist wars against Syria, Russia, Iran and even China are bound up with the Covid war on working people at home. This is despite the deceitful Covid cooperation with Washington by Moscow, Tehran and Beijing. Wars can only be stopped by overthrowing the government waging it – this is the cardinal lesson of the October Revolution of 1917. Then, as now, Marxist leadership of the working class is a critical first step towards the end of imperialist wars and the socialist liberation of humanity.