US Imperialism and the Crisis in Syria

The following is a transcript of a presentation I gave at Left Forum for the panel titled, “How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace.”  You can view a recording of that panel here.

I’ve been asked to speak about US imperialism and the crisis in Syria. It is perhaps misleading to speak of “a Syrian crisis” as if it is a catastrophe occurring independently of the developments in the wider Middle East region. This is how the corporate media prefers to present complex phenomena – especially if the West’s bloodied hands are at the root.

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Why the Refugee Acceptance Movement Must Become an Anti-Imperialist Movement

This article originally appeared on Truthout.

Corporate media have been filled with news about the growing crisis of Syrian refugees. Politicians and journalists alike ask what the United States ought to do about it. An increasing number of governors have declared their intent to reject refugees. In a brazen attempt to stand strong against defenseless people fleeing terror, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie harshly bragged that he would not even admit “orphans under five.” This is nothing but political posturing for a dysfunctional party that must appeal to racist fears to stay relevant, as governors do not have the constitutional power to refuse to accept refugees.

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Do Muslim Lives Matter?

Before the UK parliament voted for aerial bombardment campaign in Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron called the head of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser” for his opposition to the war.  Americans who opposed the war in Iraq (and the few who took a principled stance against US imperialism in Afghanistan) are familiar with such accusations:  the corporate-imperialist party line is “war is the answer.”  Questioning the party line means you’re the enemy.  “You’re either with us or against us.”

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