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President Trump has stated his intent to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria on several occasions since March 2018. Each time politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties, supported by the corporate-controlled media, have, based on U.S. imperial interests, vehemently challenged the withdrawal proposal.

These folks also based their opposition to withdrawal on their supposed concerns for the Syrian Kurds. Unfortunately they have shown far less concern about the welfare of Iraqis, Libyans, Yemenis, Afghanis and Palestinians among many other populations suffering terribly due in part to U.S. actions.

It is a telling commentary that few of the so-called elite U.S. political/military/media leaders have raised any concerns about the immorality and blatant illegality of U.S. interventions in Syria and elsewhere. These elite act to advance their own interests and the short-term interests of the U.S. empire, actions that are really counterproductive in the long term. They believe the U.S. can violate international law with impunity since they view it as the exceptional nation. How has our nation descended to this immoral level?

The U.S. corporate media has played a major role in this descent as it keeps the U.S. public ignorant or misinformed about foreign affairs. For example, few Americans understand that the U.S. and allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel have long wanted to oust Syrian President Bashar al Assad whom they viewed as an ally of Iran.

U.S. General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO, said when he was visiting the Pentagon a few weeks after 9/11 he was told of a plan to take out seven nations (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran) over five years. The U.S. failures in Iraq certainly changed the timetable.

This U.S. goal regarding Syria was also openly discussed back in 2005 in an interview with President Assad by CNN host Christiane Amanpour. She said: “Mr. President, you know the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States. They are actively looking for a new Syrian leader. They’re granting visas and visits to Syrian opposition politicians. They’re talking about isolating your diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d’etat or your regime crumbling. What are you thinking about that?”

In late March 2007 McClatchy News reported the George W. Bush administration had instituted a campaign months earlier to isolate and embarrass Assad. Some officials feared that the campaign’s goal was to destabilize Syria and possibly to overthrow the Syrian leader.

Besides military means, the U.S. has used groups like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Syria and elsewhere (e.g., Ukraine and Venezuela). For those not familiar with NED, in 1991 NED’s first president, Allen Weinstein, said: “a lot of what we’ve do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”.

During its war crimes in the Middle East, including the illegal effort to oust the Assad government, the U.S. has shown little to no concern about the welfare of the Arab populations who have suffered incredibly. In addition, the fighting has devastated Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria as well as the hopes for a decent life for their populations.

It’s past time for the U.S. elite to renounce U.S. imperialism with its immorality, crimes against humanity, killing and destruction and to pay reparations to its victims.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs Fridays in the Colorado Daily.

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