The Libertarian Party Mises Caucus unequivocally condemns American attacks on Syria.
There are many, many perspectives from which the actions of the Trump regime can be criticized. We repudiate these actions in the following terms:
- A process for seeking justice that will necessarily create new victims is not justice in the first place.
- Attempts to paint US involvement as existential for the US or even for states neighboring Syria are strained to the point of incredulity. As a developing country riven by years of civil war, and on the other side of the planet, the Syrian state demonstrably presents no threat to those outside of its borders, least of all the United States of America. Therefore, attacking Syria is an act of aggression.
- For at least five years, the United States Government has funded, trained, equipped, and otherwise facilitated belligerent parties in the Syrian civil war as its proxies. These proxy forces regularly fraternize with extremist groups and share American support with these groups. The US, therefore, has either intentionally or through gross negligence supplied Islamic fundamentalist theocrats with war material. In addition to this, they have provided strategic support by impeding efforts of the Assad regime to destroy these radical militants through their presence, by dint of using American forces to bait a “Remember the Maine” moment out of the Assad regime to justify its open destruction. We reject this war by proxy and shameless attempts to extract a casus belli from the Syrian state.
- While we have no love of one party rule oligarchies, which Syria absolutely is, we recognize based on the very recent history of Libya and Iraq that being ruled by Daesh (commonly known as ISIS) is many orders of magnitude worse. The US regime has repeatedly failed to provide any serious plans to replace the Assad regime with something resembling civilization when the majority of belligerents against Assad are Islamic fundamentalist groups henceforth referred to as “Daesh.” Daesh have resurrected the slave trade of black sub-Saharan Africans in Libya since the destruction of its government, murdered people of different faiths including Shiite Muslims and Christians, executed people for being homosexual, committed gang rapes of women who are not Sunni, consumed the flesh of their dead enemies, and inflicted a multitude of odious laws and punishments upon other Sunni Muslims, who do not share their extreme brand of religious fundamentalism. The US government is committing an egregious moral error to even indirectly obstruct the swift and complete eradication of this gang of war criminals in Syria, let alone to recklessly dump war material into a conflict that will inevitably fall into their hands.
- We further reject the material support of Syrian belligerents on the basis of American history in Afghanistan, whereby the very Mujahideen the US armed to fight the Russians became the people flying planes into buildings in New York. These people are criminals, they cannot be controlled, and facilitating them in the short-term only facilitates their attacks on us in the long-term.
- Killing innocent civilians in air strikes and other attacks is the chief recruiting tool for terrorist attacks and draws otherwise ordinary people into the ranks of terrorist groups to seek revenge for dead relatives, friends, fellow nationals, and fellow Muslims. By perpetuating its wars abroad, the US perpetuates global terrorism.
- We reject the notion that the lives of innocent people killed by conventional arms are not worth as much as the lives of those killed by unconventional arms such as poison gas. All murder victims are equally irreplaceable. All murder is reprehensible and tragic. If civilians slain by conventional arms in between the selective outrage of the US media and state are not sufficient to justify intervention, neither are those slain by unconventional arms. Given this reality, the civilians killed by conventional coalition attacks also weigh against the US and its partners in war. Air Wars estimates that coalition strikes have slain over 3,500 civilians in Syria alone from 8/08/14 to 3/31/18. When will the politicians and unelected bureaucrats in Washington DC be deposed for these deaths?
- Even for the second war in Iraq, the Bush regime made efforts to produce “evidence” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and planned to use them on the US. The Trump/Obama regimes have not even bothered to make the effort, and the mass media has not bothered to ask seriously probing questions for the most part. The most recent strike occurred before there was even a proper investigation. Since bombing does not raise those already dead from whatever attack may have occurred, the only reason to lurch into war is to both appease incautious warmongers and deny the truth its time to unfold.
- The attack on Syria was performed without approval by Congress, which is illegal according to the powers afforded to the executive branch by the Constitution. The war authorization regarding the war on terror has no bearing on non-terrorist state actors like the Syrian Government. Coincidentally, it DOES apply to the “Syrian Rebels” the US has been aiding strategically this whole time: Al-Nusra front, one of the major fighting groups, is nothing more than Al Qaeda with a different name, and Daesh is an offshoot of Al Qaeda. By helping these groups achieve their strategic goals to overthrow the Assad regime and keeping Syria in chaos, the US is betraying its people and its stated purpose for the last 16 years of rampant interventionism in the Middle East.
- There is not clear evidence that the Assad regime performed the gas attack. Chemical weapons formally produced and used by states have chemical signatures that help identify their origin. Sarin gas, which has been alleged to have been used by the Syrian state numerous times, has lethal qualities that, if White Helmet footage was real, would have resulted in the deaths of numerous White Helmet members from exposure. Finally, it is not in the Assad regime’s self interest to provoke the casus belli-seeking United States into attacking it by gassing civilians when it has at this point achieved a decisive dominant position in the civil war. The Assad regime, and indeed the whole world, is well aware of the US using “weapons of mass destruction” to justify invasions. There have already been two instances of the US using gas weapons as an excuse to escalate the conflict in Syria. It is highly unlikely Assad, someone who has remained in power despite all the forces at work to take him out for over a decade, does not understand that using gas would be a serious strategic and geopolitical error.
- A never-ending engagement in non-existential wars of volition is a part of the Military-Industrial Complex’s new arrangement for continued artificial profits after the Cold War ended. Notably, after the recent missile strike on Syria, Raytheon’s and Lockheed Martin’s stock valuations increased by billions of dollars.
- The United States has provided material support for the Saudi Arabian regime and its wanton war of aggression against its neighbor, Yemen. One of the richest nations on Earth has been engaged in a siege of one of the poorest for years. Thousands have died due to cholera, starvation, and Saudi Arabian munitions provided by the US. If the chattering classes and politicos are so concerned with the suffering of civilians in Syria, why are the lives of Yemenis worth less than nothing to them? Why is it that the politicians and pundits demand justice in the form of regime change in Damascus, but not Riyadh?
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