Far from being a blow for peace and security, these reckless actions heighten the risk of military confrontation between the US and Russia, with all the calamitous consequences that would follow.
The assault on the Shayrat air base by 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles confirmed that United States and Western policy in Syria is primarily to remove the government of President Bashar al-Assad, rather than to defeat the murderous sectarian forces of DAESH-ISIS, al-Nusra and other death cults.
This escalation of the war in Syria will be welcomed by these sectarian religious groups who see any weakening of the Damascus regime as an opportunity to further their own reactionary agenda. They understand that the overthrow of Assad is more likely to create the conditions of unlimited chaos, violence and anarchy in which their own brute force can triumph, than to install the kind of pliant pro-imperialist government desired by the US and its allies.
The Shayrat attack also represented yet another flagrant breach of international law by the US. Their cynical misuse of the UN and its conventions threatens the human rights and security of peoples everywhere.
By proposing a one-sided resolution at the UN Security Council that made unacceptable demands of the Syrian government – instead of leaving such matters to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – the US knew that Russia and probably China would exercise their veto. Engaging in unilateral military aggression only 48 hours later, as discussions were underway at the Security Council to formulate a compromise resolution, shows that the US was repeating the same dishonest charade that preceded the disastrous blitzkreig on Iraq in 2003.
For all the media propaganda about what the so-called ‘international community’ desires, most countries and peoples reject any role for the US as the world’s judge, jury and executioner.
This is a role which US President Trump relishes, although he has had to fall into line with the US military-industrial complex. He now appears to accept this subservience, having backtracked on previous positions in relation to NATO, China, Russia, his candidate for National Security Adviser and now on military intervention in Syria.
All of this underlines the need for Britain to pursue its own independent foreign and defence policy, outside the imperialist US-NATO-EU axis.
This should include promoting policies of solidarity with the peoples of the Middle East against sectarian fundamentalism, for a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel and for UN-backed negotiations to bring about a peaceful, democratic settlement of the crisis in Syria.
The Communist Party of Britain unreservedly condemns the use of chemical weapons against civilians in any circumstances and supports all genuine calls for a full UN-OPCW investigation into all credible allegations of their use.