Behind the backs of the American people, President Obama has ordered US military jets to bomb Libya even as the White House ratchets up its military intervention in Syria.
As the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, I denounce these criminal actions that are causing more death and destruction in countries that have already suffered horribly from years of US military intervention. Workers and youth in the US and internationally must mobilize against this action, which also threatens to lead to a military clash between the US and Russia, the two most powerful nuclear-armed countries.
In authorizing the 30-day airstrike on Libya, Obama defended the 2011 regime change operation carried out by the US that has left the North African country in ruin. While the fresh bombings have been carried out in the name of the “war against terror,” the fact is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the direct product of the US and its NATO allies.
The Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton relied on militias linked to Al Qaeda to overthrow the Libyan government and murder its leader Muammar Gaddafi. These same forces, armed and financed by US and European imperialism, were then sent to Syria to topple the Russian- and Iranian-backed government of Bashar al Assad. This has resulted in the deaths of over 400,000 people, the creation of 10 million refugees, and the destruction of one of the most advanced Arab societies.
“We did the right thing preventing what could have been a massacre, a bloodbath in Libya,” Obama said referring to the 2011 US-led attack on Libya. US forces, which include an undetermined number of ground troops, would continue “in order to ensure that there were strong structures in place to assure basic security and peace inside of Libya,” Obama declared.
The president launched the airstrike without even the pretense of congressional approval. Instead, just as his Republican predecessor Bush did to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq, Obama cited the so-called Authorization for Use of Military Force that approved military action against those who had planned and carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This is absurd, since ISIS did not even exist in 2001.
The renewed violence in Libya takes place as the US and British media published new accusations from anti-Assad “rebels” that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons.
No one should believe a word of this. Similar charges leveled by the Obama administration in 2013 to justify a full-scale military intervention were exposed as lies by journalist Seymour Hersh and others. While a US attack was forestalled because of deep opposition internationally towards another Middle East war, large sections of the American military-intelligence apparatus, including the current Democratic presidential candidate Clinton, supported the attack.
The ruling class in the US is determined not only to control the oil of the Middle East but to send a signal to Russia and China that it will stop at nothing in its drive for world domination. The wars in the Middle East coincide with increasingly bellicose provocations against Russia in Eastern Europe and China in the South China Sea.
Throughout last week’s Democratic National Convention, nothing was said about plans for these wars, even as the Obama administration, behind the scenes, readied for this week’s bombing campaign in Libya. Now the Clinton campaign is braying for war and attacking Republican candidate Donald Trump from the right for being insufficiently aggressive against Russia.
Young people have grown up in the US knowing nothing but endless wars and a government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, which revels in its power for mass murder and its callous disregard for human life. In Clinton, the world faces an even more dangerous warmonger.
War is the product, however, not simply of the blood-thirsty character of this or that politician, but of capitalism and the outmoded system of rival and antagonistic nation states. American workers, like our brothers and sisters around the world, have no interest in killing each other over which gang of multi-billionaires controls the world’s markets, resources and profits.
The Socialist Equality Party is running in this election to fight for the building of a mass international anti-war movement, based on the working class and opposed to the capitalist system. Only the unified fight of workers around the world for workers’ power and socialism can guarantee the next generation a future free from the barbarism of war, social inequality and poverty. I urge you to support the Socialist Equality Party election campaign and build the SEP to lead the coming mass struggles of the working class.