A US senator has broken ranks, showing exactly why the march to bomb Syria has little to do with morality.
Democratic senator Chris Murphy tweeted on 11 April:
Let me get this straight: we’re going to bomb Syria because Assad attacked civilians, but next door in Yemen we are eagerly participating in a bombing campaign that has killed thousands of civilians?
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) April 11, 2018
He had an excellent point.
A military campaign in Syria would not only be illegal, historically ignorant, destructive, costly, complicated, and (very probably) counterproductive. It would also be incredibly hypocritical. Because – to the shame of world leaders – there are civilians dying and suffering unnecessarily throughout the world. And the war hawks hoping to swoop over Syria have precious little to say about those civilians.
And as Murphy pointed out, one poignant example of their silence is Yemen.
US support for a humanitarian disaster. Where’s the moral outrage?
According to the United Nations, at least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Yemen, and three million people have been displaced. UNICEF reports that more than 5,000 children have been killed or injured in Yemen since the conflict began in March 2015. Cholera and acute diarrhoea, meanwhile, have affected over a million people, and over eight million people are at risk of starvation.
But the war hawks aren’t rushing to punish Saudi Arabia for bombing the Yemenis to bits. Nor have they rallied for attacks on Burma over its alleged genocide against the Rohingya people. Nor have they demanded that NATO abandon Turkey over its alleged war crimes against Kurdish people at home and abroad. And there’s tumbleweed whenever anyone mentions the Israeli occupation’s brutal treatment of Palestinians.
The list goes on and on.
Hypocrisy floats right to the top
Some people who voted for US President Donald Trump, of course, were against war – and they thought he was too. But that’s not surprising. Because in 2013, he tweeted:
The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2013
AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA – IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013
Obama must now start focusing on OUR COUNTRY, jobs, healthcare and all of our many problems. Forget Syria and make America great again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2013
And in 2012, he even suggested that military strikes were a sign of desperation and weak leadership:
Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2012
The Trump presidency, however, bombed Syria in 2017 after an apparent chemical weapon attack – without evidence of government culpability, and with the overwhelming support of warmongering elites. And after the alleged chemical weapon attack this year, he’s jumped the gun again, even taunting Russia on Twitter:
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
But as Chris Murphy’s tweet reminds us, Assad isn’t the only “animal” in the world. The Donald Trump of 2018 – who has clearly joined the ranks of the war hawks waiting to swoop on Syria – should remember that the next time he’s schmoozing with his own murderous ‘partners’ in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Israel. And so should we.
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