Once again in the history of humankind, the world seems on the brisk of disaster. Early in the morning of Saturday 14 April, US, British, and French forces struck Syria with more than a hundred missiles aimed at several military installations of Bashar Al Assad’s regime. This is an unprecedented escalation in the Syrian conflict after a year of relative respite.
Similar to the Balkan tinderbox in the eve of the First World War, the situation in Syria is defined by a dangerous game of alliances where the allies of NATO (the Syrian rebels) are fighting the ally of Russia (Bashar Al Assad). Unmindful of this, Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May, and Donald Trump have bombarded Assad and brought the world on the verge of World War Three.
Decades of blockbusters and videogames have cast the possibility of a new World War back in the realm of fiction, far from the apparent reality of a fast-globalising world promised to eternal peace —except for seemingly minor conflicts relocated to its confines. Let us face it, however, the jingoist excesses of our rulers are putting the disastrous plot of a 1980s B series war movie right in the realm of possibilities. It only needs a stray rocket, it only needs a faulty radar, it only needs someone to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, it only needs another whimsical tweet of Donald Trump to send the world down the road of iron, fire, and blood.
It is no use finding an excuse for war. If Assad’s slaughtering of his own people was not strong enough a motive to attack him back in 2011, why should it be so today? In any case, from the standpoint of international law, striking the Syrian regime without a U.N. mandate is as scandalous as Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
No, indeed, there is no use for vain speeches, lies, and propaganda to justify the war. The real motives of the American, British, and French governments are too obvious. Trump’s credibility as President of the United States is more than ever threatened by the ongoing investigation on the support he might have received from Moscow during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. As a professional weathercock, Trump is aware that only a war (either hot or cold) against Russia could restore his public image. In Britain, May’s unpopularity and her disastrous management of Brexit can only be counterbalanced by martial brag. The Prime Minister is a pupil of the Thatcherite School and she knows perfectly well that a dodgy remake of the Falkland War is always an option in the face of domestic discomfiture. Likewise, Macron is bogged down in a nationwide dispute, as his reactionary reforms are met with powerful strikes and occupations in the French railways, civil services, and universities. For him as well, imperialist adventures appear as a convenient pretext to drive public attention away from his disastrous policies.
In other words, the escalation of the Syrian conflict is the deadly outlet chosen by a bunch of failed heads of State, who accepted to put the safety of their own people at risk in order to compensate for their fading political credit.
Such blatant foolishness must be met with cold-blood and determination. Unlike their warmongering rulers, the peoples of Britain, France, and America have no need for a war. Unlike those who dream of glorious butchery, people find their heroism in everyday life —when feeding their kids, paying their mortgage, coping with their boss, and, at night, dreaming of a better world.
There are times in history when a single word —PEACE— can unite the reasonable demands of the people against the deadly fantasies of the oligarchy. In 1917, as millions were butchered on the green fields of Europe, the Bolsheviks did not do otherwise when chanting their rally cry: “BREAD, PEACE, LAND”. Of all Bolsheviks’ achievements, the end they put to the Great War in Russia was perhaps the most remarkable.
Time has come again to rally under the anti-war banner.
Against ludicrous warmongers, let us impose pax populi — the People’s peace.