Category: Struggle for Peace
Let’s condemn another U.S. trick against Syria

By Houston Communist Party

President Donald Trump has cooked up a big slimy lie to serve as a pretext for a U.S. aggression against Syria.

This lie is as big and as slimy as the lie cooked up by George W. Bush and company to serve as a pretext for U.S. aggression against Iraq in 2003. The Iraq lie alleged falsely that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq. Trump’s lie falsely alleges that the Syrian air force dropped bombs containing deadly chemicals on the civilian population in Syria.

This is an old and traditional lie that frequently appears in the aggressor’s propaganda of U.S. imperialists. The U.S. armed forces and their allies in Syria planted chemical weapons in civilian neighborhoods and the devices were detonated by remote control at any time that the U.S. imperialists decided was appropriate for a massacre. The U.S. imperialists and their allies waited until the Syrian aircraft flew over the neighborhood designated for this sneaky, dirty attack. When the Syrian aircraft flew over, the U.S. and its allies detonated the chemical weapons killing civilians.

Trump has come out vociferously blaming the Syrian government for the atrocity that Trump and his allies perpetrated on the people of Syria. The people of the USA have witnessed these dirty tricks in the wars against Iraq, the occupation of the Dominican Republic, the Bay of Pigs attack against Cuba, the war against the Philippines, and the wars against Vietnam and Cambodia. In every instance, the U.S. imperialists start the aggression with a big slimy lie.

The liberal progressives and left forces in the USA must denounce this old trick that the US imperialists are about to perpetrate on the Syrian and the US people.

What’s to Hide? Trump White House Withholding Information on US Wars
The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense

What’s to Hide? Trump White House Withholding Information on US Wars

© Photo: Public Domain
Military & Intelligence

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https://sputniknews.com/military/201704031052221571-trump-administration-hiding-troop-movements/

Citing an almost 16-year-old authorization for the use of military force outside the borders of the United States, the Trump administration has begun to quietly deploy more US troops to Iraq and Syria — without disclosing their number, mission or location.

As a candidate, Trump had suggested that he would seek more of an “element of surprise” when engaging in warfare, and now, with new secrecy surrounding the increasing US troop deployments to Syria and Iraq, he is making good on that promise.

In a striking departure from the protocols engaged in by the Obama administration, no announcements were made regarding the recent addition of 300 Army paratroopers to assist the Iraqi military in their assault on Mosul, or the deployment of 400 Marines into Syria to operate artillery in support of coalition-friendly militants fighting Daesh.

According to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon, “In order to maintain tactical surprise, ensure operational security and force protection, the coalition will not routinely announce or confirm information about the capabilities, force numbers, locations, or movement of forces in or out of Iraq and Syria,” cited by the Los Angeles Times.

But many feel keeping that information secret is a mistake. Ned Price, US President Barack Obama’s National Security Council spokesman, recently remarked, “The position of the Obama administration was that the American people had a right to know if servicemen and women were in harm’s way.”

Under the Obama administration, troop deployments were detailed after they had been carried out, but, according to the Pentagon, that policy has now changed.

Currently, troop deployments, when announced at all, are done using round numbers, with little to no specific details provided. Even when troop numbers are given, the Pentagon has acknowledged that those figures do not include the many security, logistics and other employees involved in staging a battle-ready force.

The additional troop movements to the Middle East have not been debated in Congress, leading some to wonder when, and if, the Trump administration will articulate a long-term policy for the region, according to the LA Times.

Due to the absence of any official authorization for the US troop presence in the region, the Pentagon has been relying on a 2001 mandate put in place by Congress during the Bush administration to fight al-Qaeda.

Not all legislators are comfortable with repurposing old laws to fit new wars, however.

“The world’s changed a bit,” said Armed Services Committee member Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), adding, “The nature of the threat’s changed too.”

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) was more blunt.

“I do not think it is right for the US military to become involved in the Syrian civil war based on the 9/11 AUMF [authorization for the use of military force],” he said, cited by the LA Times.

“I voted for that AUMF as a House member. I never imagined that vote being used to justify US ground troops in Syria in the year 2017. And I don’t think anyone else who voted in favor of it did either.”

Winnipeg, Thur Feb 2: The path to peace and sovereignty in Syria [Please forward widely]
| January 29, 2017 | 7:09 pm | Canada, Struggle for Peace, Syria | No comments

Dear Friends

You are invited to hear Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett’s talk about the devastating conflict in Syria, the myths and realities.

Thurs, Feb. 2, 7:00 p.m.
Millennium Library, Carol Shields room

Please attend and invite your friends (forward this email or invite people via facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/456145108108286/ )

We are glad to have Eva in Winnipeg, who has worked as an independent journalist in Syria over several years. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement.

The mainstream U.S. and Canadian media present only half the facts about this war-torn country, and too often it is the half that is wrong.

This is a chance to assess the truth about Syria and the West’s role in the conflict, hear why most armed groups are now negotiating a path to peace, and to discuss the prospects for Syria to maintain its sovereignty in the face of Western threats of regime change and massive bombing campaigns.

Eva covered the war in Syria on six occasions since 2014, including two months in summer 2016 and one month at the end of 2016 in Aleppo. She writes for different media and maintains a blog In Gaza since living three years in the occupied territory.

For information, reply by email or phone (204) 792-3371.

Yours truly,
Darrell Rankin
For the Manitoba Peace Council

Sponsored by: Manitoba Peace Council, CKUW and Canadian Dimension magazine.

Amid new arms race, Putin & Trump must spearhead int’l law banning nuclear war – Gorbachev

https://www.rt.com/news/375238-gorbachev-nuclear-war-putin-trump/

Amid new arms race, Putin & Trump must spearhead int’l law banning nuclear war – Gorbachev
Former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev called on Russia and the US to join forces in ruling out a disastrous global conflict, urging Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to draw up a UN Security Council resolution banning nuclear war.

In an Op-Ed for Time magazine published on Thursday, the first and the last President of the Soviet Union painted a grim picture of the state of the world, calling it “too dangerous.” Specifically, Gorbachev drew attention to the burgeoning defense spending which, he believes, has prompted a new round in the arms race with potentially disastrous consequences.

“No problem is more urgent today than the militarization of politics and the new arms race,” he wrote.

Gorbachev believes that defense doctrines have become “more dangerous” and that increasingly hostile rhetoric from politicians and military leaders fueled by the media indicate that the full-blown military conflict could be around the corner.

“It all looks as if the world is preparing for war,” he said.

READ MORE: If we are in arms race, US started it by pulling out of ABM treaty – Putin

Gorbachev believes that the responsibility to spare the world from the menace of a potential nuclear conflict should be jointly shouldered by Moscow and Washington, given that they control over 90 percent of world’s nuclear stockpiles. Russian President Putin and US President Trump must therefore push for a resolution to be passed by the UN Security Council that would clearly stipulate the inadmissibility of such a conflict, Gorbachev proposes.

“Specifically, I propose that a Security Council meeting at the level of heads of state adopt a resolution stating that nuclear war is unacceptable and must never be fought,” he wrote.

US-Russia cooperation should not merely boil down to combatting terrorism or slashing nuclear stocks, but aim to reconcile positions on wider range of military issues, Gorbachev said.

READ MORE: Just imagine… if Russian troops were amassed on America’s borders

“The goal should be to agree, not just on nuclear weapons levels and ceilings, but also on missile defense and strategic stability,” Gorbachev said, adding that nuclear war should be “outlawed” as a deeply ineffective and flawed means that has long proven to be futile.

In order to avert the conflict, “we need to resume political dialogue aiming at joint decisions and joint action,” he wrote.

Citing an unprecedented military build-up in Europe, Gorbachev said it led to Russian and NATO forces that “used to be deployed at a distance” to be stationed so close so they able to “shoot point-blank” at each other. The stationing of more missile defense systems “undermine strategic stability,” he said.

Gorbachev asserted that soaring military expenses have given rise to weapons the power of which is “comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction,” criticizing the politicians’ tendency to care more about deadly weapons than actual peoples’ needs.

“While state budgets are struggling to fund people’s essential social needs, military spending is growing,” he wrote.

Similar concerns have repeatedly been voiced by Vladimir Putin’s government, which blamed the US-led NATO alliance for exacerbating tensions with Moscow by deploying anti-missile systems close to the Russian border and starting a new arms race.

“The prerequisites for a new arms race were created after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. This is obvious,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December, referring to the decision by President George W. Bush’s administration to pull out from the treaty in 2002 that paved the way for its multiple anti-ballistic system deployments across the world. Moscow believes the move has challenged its nuclear capabilities.

Reflecting on his own and US President Ronald Reagan’s efforts to avoid nuclear war, Gorbachev said that the “nuclear threat once again seems real” as “relations between the great powers have been going from bad to worse for several years now.”

“Ridding the world of this fear means making people freer. This should become a common goal. Many other problems would then be easier to resolve,” Gorbachev wrote.

Nazım Hikmet & Joan Baez – Hiroşima
| January 16, 2017 | 7:45 pm | Struggle for Peace | No comments

Obama’s Legacy of War and Imperialist Crimes

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Obama’s Legacy of War and Imperialist Crimes

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/01/obamas-legacy-of-war-and-imperialist.html

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he had been presented by various media as a “peace pigeon”, as a man whose “humanitarian spirit” would- supposedly- give an end to the bloody imperialist wars waged by the Bush administration. However, the presidency of Barack Obama proved, once more, the undoubted fact that the U.S. foreign policy isn’t based on persons, but on the interests of the plutocracy, the monopoly interests of the United States. 

In his farewell speech in Chicago yesterday, President Obama praised the “values” of the United States which, as he said, “become more powerful when democracy works” and “when ordinary people participate in this”. During his presidency, Barack Obama proved what kind of “values” he represents- these “values” are very well known to the people in the Middle East, in northern Africa and Ukraine where his government was involved.

A brief account of- Nobel Prize winner-Obama’s foreign policy record is the following:

  • In 2009 the Obama administration continued all imperialist interventions initiated by the government of George W.Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • In the fall of 2011, when Muammar Gaddafi (a former ally of the U.S) began engaging in “energy bazaars” with Russia and China, NATO unleashed a bloody imperialist intervention in Libya.
  • During the so-called “Arab Spring” and the changes in the bourgeois governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the U.S. played a crucial role in supporting the emergence of radical islamic organizations. It was during the Obama administration when the U.S. secret services were actively involved in training and funding jihadists in the Middle East.
  • In early August 2012, President Obama signed a decree for the more active support of the armed “Syrian opposition” against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. NATO, CIA and other secret agencies fed the monster of jihadism which gave birth to the savage murderers of the Islamic State (ISIS/Daesh). The jihadists of ISIS were initially used as a “tool” for the change of the- not liked by Washington- regimes and then, under the excuse of the “fight against terrorism” as the pretext for new interventions. 
  • Obama’s administration had also a significant role in the bloodshed in Ukraine, through supporting the rise of fascist, neo-nazi forces (under the disguise of the so-called “Orange Revolution”) in the country. This policy of Obama’s government took place within the framework of the U.S. and NATO’s confrontation with Russia on broader geostrategic issues. 

     The costs of Obama administration’s so-called “War on Terror”, according to data from the “National Defense Budget Estimates for FY 2017,” Table 2-1, March 2016.
2009 – $197.1 billion: President Obama took office. He sent 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan in April. He promised to send another 30,000 in December. He focused on attacking resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida forces on the border with Pakistan. That added $59.5 billion to Bush’s FY 2009 budget. Voters reelected Karzai amidst accusations of fraud. Obama announced he would draw down troops in 2011. Iraq forces regained control of Baghdad’s Green Zone. 
2010 – $181 billion: Obama funded an orderly wind-down of U.S. troops in Iraq by 2011. Surge forces were sent to Afghanistan.  NATO agreed to turn over all defense to Afghan forces by 2014. 
2011 – $162.4 billion: Special Forces took out Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. Obama announced he would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, and 23,000 by the end of 2012. OCO costs rose to $158.8 billion. Troops left Iraq by December.
2012 – $119.6 billion: Obama announced the withdrawal of another 23,000 troops from Afghanistan in the summer, leaving 70,000 troops remaining. Both sides agreed to hasten U.S. troop withdrawal to 2013. Their presence had become unwelcome. U.S. contractors stayed in Iraq to protect American interests. (Source: “Afghanistan War Timeline,” The New York Times, June 22, 2011.) 
2013 – $49.6 billion: U.S. forces shifted to training and support role. Taliban and U.S. reignited peace negotiations, causing Karzai to suspend his negotiations with the United States.
2014 – $88 billion: Obama announces final U.S. troop withdrawal, with only a goal of only 9,800 remaining at the end of the year. (Source: “Afghanistan War,” Council on Foreign Relations.)
2015 – $67 billion:  Troops trained Afghan forces. (Source: DoD 2015 OCO Amendment)
2016 – $89.5 billion: Troops returned to Iraq to train local soldiers to fight ISIS.The DoD also requested funds for training efforts in Afghanistan, and training and equipment for Syrian opposition forces. It also includes support for NATO, and responses to terrorist threats. (Source: DoD 2016 OCO Amendment)
2017 – $64.5 billion: The DoD requested $58.8 billion for Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and the Levant, increased European support, and counterterrorism.(Source: DoD 2017 OCO Amendment).

According to research by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, more than 7000 people have been killed during Mr Obama’s tenure by people controlling drones inside rooms far from any war zone. Of those, the bureau suggests almost 900 have been civilians, including as many as 110 children.
Obama, who began his presidential term as “peace pigeon” was proved a steady servant of U.S. Imperialism. The U.S. foreign policy under the new President, Donald Trump- despite his different declarations and rhetoric- is not going to change substantially.  In any case, the intense intra-bourgeois confrontation in the U.S. is based on the need of strengthening the position of the American capital and monopolies internationally. Capitalism is the “womb” of war. 
IN DEFENSE OF COMMUNISM ©.
Not My President! Resist Trump! March and Rally in Houston on Friday, January 20
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Donald Trump is the most openly racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, and authoritarian candidate to become president of the United States in modern history. He was not democratically elected, and he will never be a legitimate president for scores of millions of us. As this billionaire sociopath moves into the White House and the threat of fascism grows, it is imperative that workers, women, oppressed people, and democratic-minded allies make clear: Not My President! Resist Trump!
The January 20 coalition is organizing a march and rally to protest the inauguration of Trump on Friday, January 20. Our application for a parade permit was denied, but this will not stop us from forcefully opposing Trump from his first day in office. We will assemble on the sidewalk at 900 Smith St., next to Hermann Square, at 1 pm. Beginning at 1:30 pm, we will march on the sidewalks down Smith St. to the Leland Federal Building at 1919 Smith St. Our rally there will include speakers, chants, spoken word artists, and the dramatic smashing of a new Trump piñata.
The January 20 action will be an independent political action by workers and oppressed people, without any ties to organizations led by the Democrats or Republicans. As Trump moves into the White House and the threat of fascism grows, our message will be that only the masses of workers and oppressed people can effectively resist Trump, defeat fascism, and lay the foundation for revolutionary change. And the January 20 action is only the beginning of our resistance.
Together, we will demand: Stop the attacks on immigrants! Stop the attacks on women! Black lives matter! Brown lives matter! Stop racist police terror! Defend the Muslim community! Defend and expand the rights of workers and the 99%! Defend the LGBT communities! Stop the rise of fascism! Stop US imperialist wars! Stop the destruction of Mother Earth!
The January 20 coalition includes Alianza Mexicana, Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha, Houston Communist Party, Houston Socialist Movement, International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, Latinos Inmigrantes Triunfadores, Organizacion Latino Americana Pro-Derecho Del Inmigrante, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and other organzations (list in formation). If your organization would like to endorse the January 20 action or if you would like more information, please call us at 832.692.2306, 713.447-4106 (se habla espanol), or 713.714.5361. If you would like to help spread the word about the action, please share our “hold the date” event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1755961954728284/.
In Solidarity,
Houston Socialist Movement