If you were to check the headlines, the home pages, or even the back pages of the world’s largest media outlets right now, you would have no idea that just yesterday, the U.S. launched an illegal act of war against another sovereign government. If you were fortunate enough to see the story buried beneath the more scandalous news stories we are becoming used to, you wouldn’t think much of it either – just another day in Syria, right? The media doesn’t want you to question these developments because they want them to unfold without question. Reporting on these issues would create a dialogue, and out of dialogue comes dissenting opinion.
Consider that the last time the U.S. bombed troops operating under the banner of the Syrian Arab Army (barely a month ago), the Independent ran a story that highlighted how this strike was a lot more significant than we were told. One can see why, from the establishment’s standpoint, it is better to have no discussion at all lest the truth break through the cracks of an overly crooked media paradigm.
And the cold hard truth needs to come to light: the U.S. has illegally invaded Syria’s territory. The fact that the Syrian military cannot realistically drive the U.S. military out (especially while it is embroiled in numerous battles with ISIS and other radical guerrilla forces) does not constitute tacit acceptance of the U.S. military presence there. In fact, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has called the U.S. and its associated forces “invaders” numerous times because the U.S. has no legal basis to operate inside Syrian territory.
On top of this unwarranted invasion, the U.S. claims it has the right to defend itself from troops loyal to Syria’s current government. It also claims it has the right to defend forces that operate under the control of the U.S.-led coalition. This is not a new proposal under Donald Trump; Barack Obama authorized U.S. air power to defend the U.S.-trained fighting forces in Syria, even if that meant attacking Syrian government troops.
Trump is just following the manual, with one key difference. Trump has empowered his military generals to make all these decisions for him and call in airstrikes whenever they feel like it, something that was impossible under Obama. According to the Guardian, this means Iraqi forces on the ground in Iraq can call in air support from the U.S.-led coalition. These are the same Iraqi troops that have been documented committing revenge acts, torture, and outright massacres. These people have been entrusted to call in your taxpayer-funded machines of death. The result, as we have seen, is that civilians are being buried at unprecedented rates.
And where will this lead the United States? Without any congressional discussion, public debate, or any form of democratic process, America could formally be at war with the Syrian government and its allies as soon as tomorrow, and no one would be able to stop it. All it takes is a calculated or misguided response from the Syrian military, and the U.S. will again be at war with another foreign entity. In this context, Syria and its allies have shown incredible restraint in the face of such aggression.
Unfortunately, this restraint has come to an end. The pro-Assad alliance just issued a statement in response, warning the U.S. that they will strike back and hit U.S. positions within Syria if these red lines continue to be crossed. The alliance even released a video of an Iranian drone secretly filming an American bomber to demonstrate their capabilities. It is not clear if Russia was a signatory to the warning, but multiple reports indicate that Russia has been providing airpower to these Assad loyalists, further signaling a disastrous road ahead.
Donald Trump is wildly unpopular by democratic standards. And yet, if Mexico wanted to invade American territory, establish a training base to train rebels to claim American soil as their own, then claimed these forces had the right to strike any forces loyal to Trump who came within range of that base, most people would dismiss this as an absurd notion and a flagrant act of aggression on Mexico’s part, regardless of the number of people opposed to Trump’s administration.
This is exactly what the U.S. is doing to Syria and has been doing across the globe for some time now. The media doesn’t want you to talk about this because they want you to sleepwalk into the next confrontation with Syria, and most probably Iran and Russia, their long-time adversaries.
If the United States believes it has a right to defend itself from Syrian-aligned troops thousands of miles away from the American continent, does Syria not equally have a right to defend themselves from an invading force on their own soil? If Syria’s alleged criminal acts are enough to disregard international legal standards and launch a counterattack, what, then, should we make of America’s vast history of criminal behavior?
The media might not want you to discuss this event for what it was: an illegal act of aggression — but the historians that survive this conflict might remember it differently.