Trump’s attack on Syria - not an act of humanitarianism

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/bombs-can-never-be-a-hu...

Edited version of this op ed published in Irish Examiner. Here is the full version.

Trump’s attack on Syria - not an act of humanitarianism

The international outrage caused by the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province last week which killed over 80 people, most likely carried out by the Syrian regime, is justified and understandable as are calls that something must be done to end the horrific six year war in Syria.

Chemical weapons versus equally horrific weapons
The use of internationally banned chemical weapons against civilian targets are rightly condemned but why does their definition not include such equally awful weapons as depleted uranium and white phosphorous or even conventional weapons? The US Central Command has confirmed that it has used depleted uranium against Da’esh in Iraq. It was used extensively in the 2004 US attack on Fallujah which, a study has shown, has left a legacy of increased rates of infant mortality, cancer, deformed births that are proportionately greater than that those recorded after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs in WW2.

The coalition force’s use of white phosphorous has recently been noted in Mosul and was also used by the Israeli Military against Gazans in the 2008-2009 war, in one case attacking a school where civilians were sheltering.
It’s a mute point that the victims of these attacks would be concerned about the academic and scientific distinction between chemical weaponry and other equally barbaric forms of attack often deployed by coalition forces.

Hypocrisy of the US and other western powers

WITH SYRIA; AGAINST SELECTIVE SOLIDARITY from War Resisters League

LIBERALS ARE WRONG TO CHEER ON TRUMP'S BOMBS - JULIEN MERCILLE, JOURNAL.IE

WEST IGNORED RUSSIAN OFFER IN 2012 TO HAVE SYRIA'S ASSAD STEP ASIDE - GUARDIAN

OWEN JONES ON TRUMP'S AIR STRIKE IN SYRIA

IAWM EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH VICTIMS OF CHEMICAL ATTACK BUT CONDEMNS OVERNIGHT AIRSTRIKE BY TRUMP ON SYRIA

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 07 APRIL 2017

• SUPPORT IRISH SYRIA SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT PROTEST AT RUSSIAN EMBASSY TODAY

• IAWM CONDEMNS OVERNIGHT AIRSTRIKE BY TRUMP ON SYRIA

• AN ESCALATION OF THE WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER

The IAWM supports the protest called by the Irish Syria Solidarity Movement today (Friday) 07 April, assembling at 6pm at Christchurch in Rathgar and marching to the Russian Embassy in Orwell Rd, Rathgar.

It is vital that we show solidarity with the victims of this brutal attack on Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province, apparently carried out by the Syrian regime, which appears to have involved chemical weapons, and has now killed 80 civilians. It is also vital that we show solidarity with all the victims of this proxy war.

Assad’s and Putin’s forces along with others have bombed and killed Syrian civilians and caused havoc for the people of Syria.

The IAWM also condemns the overnight attack on a Syrian airbase ordered by Donald Trump. This escalates the Syrian proxy war further and will undoubtedly lead to further civilian deaths and only prolong suffering for the people of Syria. The IAWM believes that there is no military solution to this conflict and that a political solution must be found.

The overnight US airstrike is a cynical attempt by Trump to reassert US influence in Syria and to deflect from the civilian deaths that he has caused in Iraq, Yemen and even in Syria.

The NGO Airwars, which monitors civilian casualties from airstrikes in the Middle East, has claimed that "almost 1,000 non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March -- a record claim".

During the last part of March alone:

-- US aircraft bombed homes, a school and a hospital in Tabqah, Syria, killing 20 civilians.

-- A US-led coalition airstrike on a school that was housing 50 families displaced by the fighting near Raqqa, Syria, killed at least 33 civilians.

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