On this week’s show we take a closer look at the impending military attack on Syria. Our first guest is Gareth Porter, author of a recent article In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail UN Probe. Our second guest is John Walsh from ComeHomeAmerica which claims that both “Left and Right Opposing Bombing Syria.”
More about this week’s guests:
Gareth Porter is an investigative journalist and historian specializing in U.S. national security policy. He just wrote the piece “In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail UN Probe” for Inter Press Service, which states: “After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration of President Barack Obama reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the UN to call off its investigation.
John Walsh is a Professor of Physiology, University of MA Medical School and frequent contributor to CounterPunch.com, DissidentVoice.org and Antiwar.com He is with the group ComeHomeAmerica, which brings together people from the left and right. The group recently released a statement saying they condemn “our government’s war on Syria, prosecuted first with sanctions, then with covert support through ‘allies’ like the dictatorial petro-monarchies of the Gulf and now with overt provision of arms for the anti-government forces and perhaps even a bombing campaign. We demand an immediate cessation of this bellicose policy by our government. Sanctions and military intervention in Syria are not in the interests of the American people; nor are they in the interests of the Syrian people. We are far from alone in our opposition. Fully 70 percent of Americans are opposed to armed intervention in Syria — a number that has only increased over the months according to Pew polls. And yet the President and a majority in Congress favor intervention, revealing a crisis of our political institutions, which are far removed from the will of the people on this and many other issues. We in ComeHomeAmerica are a very diverse group. We are traditional conservatives, progressive activists, libertarians of the Ron Paul type, old-fashioned leftists, religious people appalled by war and non-religious who also harbor disgust over our numerous wars for over a century now. We are not pacifists, although there are pacifists in our ranks. But we do believe that any war must be defensive and a last resort, not a constant option to further the perceived interests of our elite. Our roots go deep in our country’s history, at least as far back as the Anti-Imperialist League, which was organized to oppose the war in the Philippines and included members as different as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie, the wealthiest man in America. We protest our government’s actions not simply because of the specific conditions in Syria but based on general principles. The same principles would have kept us from launching the recent wars on Iraq and Libya and many others over the past century and longer. Our first principle is that war inflicts enormous damage on human beings and we are repulsed by it, a revulsion that is found in most human beings. Hence the war-makers try to keep their deeds hidden or covered in fantasies of glory. Secrecy in turn leads to suborning the press, a mainstay of our democracy. Our second principle, the easiest one, is that we do not want to pay for these wars and the belligerent imperial colossus, including the DoD, CIA, NSA and others, costing about one trillion a year, roughly the sum that is raised in personal income taxes on April 15. Some of us simply want the money back and others want it to be spent on social needs. But while we differ on that, we agree that the money must no longer go to a war complex. On that we are firmly united. …”
In 1999, a tie vote struck down congressional approval for the bombing of Yugoslavia by the Clinton administration, but the bombing continued. See IPA news release at the time: “Last Night’s House Vote Makes It Official: The Bombing of Yugoslavia is Illegal.”