Trump, Syria and regime change

American Herald Tribune |Robert Fantina: It’s déjà vu all over again! United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, she of the refined and eloquent speech, is calling for ‘regime change’ in Syria. Yes, under the direction of another Republican president, the cry for regime change in a Middle Eastern country is now demanded by the world’s self-proclaimed police force. It’s interesting that the criminality that this ‘police force’ perpetrates on the world is simply the macro version of what its domestic police force perpetrates upon the citizenry, but that’s a topic for another essay.

During the administration of George W. Bush, Iraq was the villain, accused, without any evidence, of harboring ‘terrorists’, being complicit in the September 11 attacks in the U.S., and basically needing U.S.-style ‘democracy’ (whatever that is).

One might say that that United States doesn’t learn from its mistakes, but that would be a naïve view. To the undiscerning eye, the invasion of Iraq may have seemed a colossal error from any possible perspective. Although under a dictatorial tyrant, the Iraqi people had relative peace and security. Different sects lived without undue hostility, and people were able to enjoy the benefits of safe movement within their country.

But this was not what the U.S. had in mind for the unsuspecting Iraqis. No, they were to have ‘democracy’ whether they wanted it or not. So, in order to grant this unwanted gift, the U.S. invaded. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed, and millions displaced, many of them still in refugee camps. The infrastructure was destroyed, and today the nation is without rule, in chaos, and no one is safe.

A mistake? One would think so, but one must look a little closer. The United States is the largest manufacturer and exporter of weapons in the world; in order for that very lucrative industry to continue to earn the huge profits that it does, people must have a reason to use its products. The Iraqi war was a boon to this business. And today, with Iraq a hotbed of recruitment for so-called ‘terrorists’, a whole new market has been created. Mistake? Hardly!

Additionally, the U.S. will allow one nation, and one nation only, to be powerful within the Middle East, and that is Israel. The main difference between Israeli apartheid today, and South African apartheid a generation ago, is that South Africa didn’t have a wealthy lobby, with which it could purchase the U.S. Congress. If it had, apartheid in South Africa would be alive and well today. But Israel does have such lobbies, and they are more than generous to Congress members who do their bidding. How generous, you might ask? Well, between 2010 and 2016, senators received over $14 million dollars from pro-Israel lobbies for their various senatorial and abortive presidential campaigns. Between 2014 and 2016, member of the House of Representatives received nearly $6 million dollars from the same source, for their campaigns. In the hallowed halls of Congress, money talks!

So Israel, which uses chemical weapons against the defenseless Palestinians, whose country it occupies in violation of international law, is allowed to have nuclear weapons, but Iran, which has a peaceful nuclear policy, is not. Again, this determination is made by the U.S., which for some bizarre reasons sees itself as the arbiter of international morality. The U.S. is the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons, destroying two cities, neither of which had any strategic military importance. So what? Tens of thousands of Japanese people died instantly, while tens of thousands more suffered horrific, lingering deaths as a result. So what if the U.S. just invaded Syria for allegedly (please note that there is nothing to confirm this, and much to deny it) using chemical weapons, when the U.S. used them in Fallujah against Iraqis? And who cares that Israel uses them against Palestinians? No one in the U.S. government is suggesting that ‘regime change’, through the use of bombs, is required in Israel. Hypocrisy, anyone?

No, not really, not in the twisted context of U.S. governance. As has been mentioned, the reason the U.S. invades nations is partly to enrich the weapons industry, and often, when in the Middle East, to please its master, Israel. Only one country can have premier weapons, including nuclear weapons; only one must dominate the region. Its dismal human rights record notwithstanding, Israel must remain on top of the Middle Eastern world. After all, it pays for this privilege, and Congress will deliver.

Under President Barack Obama, Syrian society was horribly disrupted as the U.S. financed rebel groups determined to overthrow the government. Tens of thousands died; many others were rendered homeless. In some cases, such groups were fighting each other with weaponry both were provided by the U.S. And now President Donald Trump is resolved to follow the Iraq model in Syria, by bombing the country and bringing about ‘regime change’.  This is also said to be a warning to Iran, next on the U.S. hit list. One must remember that it was a divided U.S. government (Democratic president and Senate and Republican House of Representatives) that approved the Iran nuclear agreement that Israel disdains. It is highly possible that Iran will decide, in the face of such aggression so close to home, to develop nuclear weapons to protect its country. The U.S. can then say that Iran violated the agreement, and once again, ‘bombs away!’

As a U.S. citizen who fled the country in 2005 and now resides in Canada, this writer can understand voters in 2016 wanting almost anyone other than Democrat Hillary Clinton. But there was actually no choice, unless one looked to third-party candidates, as this writer did (Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation had an amazing platform). When one feels, mistakenly, that one must choose one of two repulsive, rich, elitist war-mongers, one might see Mr. Trump as the lesser of two evils.