Stand by Syria

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THE SYRIANS are bracing themselves for a massive missile strike following the blatant and illegal threats of intervention in the civil war coming from Washington, London and Paris following ludicrous claims that the Syrian government was responsible for the poison gas attack that killed over 300 civilians and wounded 1,000 more last week.

The Arab League, which has expelled Syria and is now totally dominated by the Saudis and the other oil princes, has held the Syrian government “fully responsible” for the deadly chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus. But Algeria and Lebanon refused to support it, Iraq says it will opposes the use of its airspace or territory in any attack on Syria, and the new military- led “interim” government of Egypt is also opposing military intervention in Syria, insisting that the only way forward is a political solution in the war-torn country.

Syria can count on the support of Iran and the progressive Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements and while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it clear that “we are not going to war with anyone,” on Monday, the Kremlin is mobilising international support to try to stop an attack on its long-standing Arab ally.

Syria says it will defend itself by all available means if Nato attacks. Syrian foreign minister Walid al Moallem said: “We have two options: either to surrender or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves.” He called US allegations that his government has used chemical weapons “categorically baseless” and compared them to the charges levied against Iraq before the 2003 war. “They have a history of lies,” he said.

The British government is calling on the UN Security Council to sanction “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from chemical weapons in Syria. The British move, clearly drafted in Washington, will be cheered on by imperialism’s feudal Arab lackeys. But it will undoubtedly be vetoed by Russia and China who believe they were double-crossed over the Libyan UN resolution that led to open Nato support for the rebellion that toppled the Gaddafi government in 2011.

Since then Moscow and Beijing have blocked every imperialist attempt to use the UN as a cover for their neo-colonialist plan to enslave the Arabs for the benefit of the big oil corporations. And this week Russia and China stepped up their warnings against a Nato attack on Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the Middle East.

“Attempts to bypass the Security Council” a Russian Foreign Ministry spokespersons said, “once again create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region already fraught with new suffering in Syria,” which would lead to “catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa”.

The Assad government has denied using poison gas and it is co-operating fully with the UN team already investigating chemical weapons claims in the country. Many believe that the incident was an operation carried out by agents of imperialism precisely to provide the pretext for open Nato support for the rebels they have been less than covertly arming and funding for the past two years.

Four American warships are on stand-by in the eastern Mediterranean, each carrying 90 cruise missiles, ready to rain death and destruction on the Syrian people when the word is given. French and British naval forces are also manoeuvring into position for a co-ordinated strike that could happen within the next few days.

Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov is calling for greater Russian solidarity with Syria: “Now we can and we must protect. We must help, support and protect Syria; we must constantly keep it in mind that we will be next after Syria,” he declared. And communist and workers’ parties, including the New Communist Party, signed an appeal this week which said:

“We express our solidarity with the Syrian people and denounce the military attack against Syria which is being prepared by the imperialists of the USA, Nato and the European Union together with their allies in order to promote their interests in the region.

“We reject the pretexts of the imperialists which, as was demonstrated, were also used in the war against Iraq and in the other imperialist wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya.

“We call on the working class, the peoples all over the world to oppose and condemn the new imperialist war, to demand that the governments of their countries have no involvement in and do not support the criminal military offensive.”