Principal reasons to oppose the US invasion of Syria are:
1) Washington is a brutal, hegemonic-expansionist military organization seeking to extend its power. Talk of promoting human rights, doing “good”, etc., is a sleazy, universal tactic for violent groups and is easily exposed as propaganda and hypocrisy. What the US is doing, committing aggression by violently intervening in the affairs of other countries against their will, is illegal. Washington practices lawlessness because its goal is self-interested hegemonic expansion.
2) Extreme anger over prolonged and repeated outside intervention, and destabilization brought about by the interventions, are specific, leading causes of the current regional turmoil.
In contrast to its agreement with Russia, the Syrian government has not asked the US to fight ISIS or anyone else in Syria. Washington is both hostile and untrustworthy, and has used ISIS as a pretext for sneaking shots at Syrian government infrastructure and resources while openly seeking to implement illegal regime change.
In fact, the US has been trying to install a puppet government in Syria since about 1948, agreed with Britain “to use Arab extremists – including the Muslim Brotherhood – to effect regime change in Syria” in 1957, planned “another round of regime change in Syria” in 1991, and in 2006/7 began trying to stoke sectarian divisions and paranoia to promote an uprising against and violent overreaction by Assad, according to Wikileaks documents and US government sources like Wesley Clarke.
But another reason to oppose further US aggression in Syria and elsewhere is that, as Professor Ward Churchill remarked after 9/11 and as may have recently been illustrated again, some people push back.
Usually, the schoolyard bully, due to his size, has free reign to make the other kids do what he wants. But inevitably, every once in a while, some kid sneaks in a counter-punch.
To wit, several nations, including the US, are now saying that the recent Russian passenger-plane crash was caused by an ISIS bombing, as was quickly claimed by the upstart nationalist group.
(Certainly, a Russian plane going down over Sinai, which is partially controlled by ISIS, shortly after Russia began bombing ISIS and other groups in Syria seems like more than random coincidence.)
If one were to ask an even semi-informed US nationalist why ISIS would bomb, or claim to bomb, a Russian civilian plane right now, the person would likely know it is because Russia is bombing ISIS and generally asserting itself into Middle Eastern affairs as a counter-weight to aggressive US hegemonic expansionism, which includes regular, direct threats and provocations against Russia and China.
But if one asked the same person why Al Qaeda would carry out, say, the 9/11 attacks, the person would most likely suppress the obvious parallel and espouse national propaganda lines, such as that Al Qaeda hates US “freedom“.
As those not consumed by nationalist fervor know, this is fundamentalist silliness. The US is targeted for the same reasons other large powers are and have always been targeted by the most hardcore factions among the weaker peoples they bully, terrorize, exploit, rob, and murder.
Before 9/11, the US had dictated to, injured, maimed, or killed/been complicit in the deaths of millions of people in the Middle East, including carrying out a genocide (the term used by UN officials) against Iraq which largely killed children and the elderly.
Since 9/11, the US, according to the most comprehensive and recent study, has killed from 1.3 to 2 million or more people in just three Middle Eastern countries, and is currently increasing its aggression against Syria, where it is complicit in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
ISIS was in large part born directly out of anger over (deadly and ruthless) outside intervention in Middle Eastern affairs. The group was formed in US prisons set up in Iraq, and its original trademark was putting its prisoners in orange, GTMO-style jumpsuits. This is more than a hint about its motivation. Like a toy poodle cornered by pit bulls, it is trying to be and appear as brutal as possible to make up for its lack of heft in comparison to its tormentors. And, in the face of overwhelming odds, the group (and others like it, today and historically) finds much of its motivation in ideologies relating to a glorious life after the death that is likely to come given the nature of its rivals.
People like this have hit back against the US before, hard.
They likely just hit Russia.
If ISIS can take down a Russian civilian plane, it can take down a US civilian plane or strike back at the US in some other way.
This is not about being intimidated and cowardly. Any individual US citizen has almost zero chance of being attacked by ISIS.
This is about ending immoral, heinous, illegal practices that have killed and are killing countless thousands of people and will likely lead to the deaths of more US citizens, troops and civilians, at the hands of people following the natural urge to seek revenge and assert their independence.
The 2011 Syrian sectarian uprising followed by a deadly overreaction by Assad were US goals.
Another goal that has been expressed in think-tanks and papers from the Washington Times to the New York Times, and is on a moment’s reflection genocidal, has been to keep the Syrian conflict going as long as possible; to promote the continuation of a conflict killing hundreds of thousands. In WT: “Western powers should guide enemies to a stalemate by helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict.” In NYT: “…a prolonged stalemate is the only outcome that would not be damaging to American interests.” These evil policies have been used since the inception of the US, beginning with their use against Native nations.
The Russian intervention at the request of the UN-member Syrian government would not be taking place if the US were not trying, as Joshua Landis, Syria expert and professor at the University of Oklahoma, put it, to “pursu[e] regime change by civil war in Syria.”
US citizens have a moral and legal responsibility to remove the cause of the regional turmoil. If they do, the effects, like embers without logs, will fade.
Author focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter.