SEP candidate in Sri Lanka denounces US war threat

Hands off Syria!

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka condemns the war plans by the US and its allies against Syria. The SEP calls on workers, youth and the oppressed masses in South Asia, including Sri Lanka and India, and around the world to oppose the planned US military attack on this small, oppressed and under-developed country.

By threatening to invade Syria—in violation of international law—the US is acting like an international gangster. The official justification for war is a pack of lies, echoing the bogus pretext about “weapons of mass destruction” used by the Bush administration in its 2003 war against Iraq.

A war on Syria will be a prelude for an invasion of Iran and a wider war involving Russia and China, which would threaten the population of the whole planet. The aim of the US is to dominate the world’s energy supplies and the Eurasian landmass. This is to be done by blocking any regional or international challenge to its domination.

The American president is the last one who should lecture the world about the use of chemical weapons given the fact that the US repeatedly employed white phosphorous and depleted uranium in its rape of Iraq. Moreover, the US backed opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad—including those tied to al Qaeda—have already been implicated in using such weapons in order to create the pretext for a US-led invasion.

The so-called revolution in Syria is nothing of the sort. The US and its Gulf allies are funding a gang of jihadists, former military officers and CIA assets to overthrow the Assad regime and replace it with a puppet of US imperialism as it sought to do in Iraq and Libya. It is the task of the Syria working class to deal with Assad not American and French imperialism.

The US also wants to use war to divert social tensions inside the United States—which are reaching a breaking point after five years of economic and social crisis--and suppress opposition to the illegal spying by US intelligence agencies.

Under Obama’s “pivot” to Asia, the US is systematically working to encircle China and prevent it from becoming an obstacle to US global domination. Under these circumstances, war against Syria threatens to trigger a conflagration not only in Middle East but throughout the whole world.

Nearly a hundred years since imperialist powers plunged mankind into the First World War and some 75 years since the outbreak of the Second World War, humanity is coming face to face with the danger of a Third World War with unfathomable consequences.

After more than a decade of bloody wars, occupations and drone killings, the population of the world—including in the United States and Great Britain—is deeply opposed to another imperialist war. This is behind the British parliament vote and the disarray of the Obama administration, which has already decided on war. But the world’s people cannot rely on parliaments, the US Congress or the United Nations to prevent war.

Behind the backs of ordinary people, the South Asian region is now being sucked into this gathering storm of imperialist war. The Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse is under pressure from US-led western powers to break from his ties with China. After backing the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), they have hypocritically seized the issue of war crimes to exert pressure on him.

India’s Congress-led government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also under pressure to line up with Washington against Syria, as part of the US-India strategic partnership against China.

The only social force that can stop imperialist war is the international working class. I call on workers in Sri Lanka and throughout South Asia to organize mass protests and other forms of opposition to the US war drive against Syria.

The struggle against war must be combined with the fight against the destruction of jobs and living standards, the austerity measures of the capitalist governments, and the ripping up of democratic and social rights. Above all, the working class needs a mass political party aimed at replacing the capitalist system with socialism and putting an end to class exploitation and imperialist oppression.

The world Trotskyist movement, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its sections, including Sri Lankan SEP and its sister parties throughout the world, are fighting to mobilise the international working class for this struggle.