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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/3/13

Washington escalates Syrian bloodbath

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A recent report prepared by the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR) estimated that the losses to the country's economy over the last 22 months amounted to $48.4 billion -- the equivalent of 81.7 percent of the country's GDP for 2010. It estimated that GDP had declined by 18.8 percent in 2012, this on top of a decline of 35 percent since the fighting -- together with punishing Western sanctions -- began. According to the report, losses to the country's capital stock amount to $42 billion, with the outright physical destruction of plants, equipment and buildings accounting for $20.8 billion.

The US-backed "rebels" have systematically looted the economy in areas of the industrial capital of Aleppo that have fallen under their control, stripping factories of their goods and machinery and smuggling them across the border to Turkey.

The war has sent nearly one million refugees fleeing across Syria's border to escape the fighting. Another estimated two million are internally displaced within Syria. According to the United Nations, three quarters of the refugees are women and children.

The US-backed war is destabilizing the entire region as Washington attempts to utilize regime change in Syria as a means of redrawing the map of the Middle East to suit its own interests and to prepare for a far more dangerous war against Iran.

If the Obama administration now feels it can move ahead toward more direct military intervention, it is in large measure thanks to an official "antiwar" movement that has been thoroughly integrated into the Democratic Party. Pseudo-left organizations have functioned as adjuncts of the CIA in promoting "humanitarian" intervention and portraying a bloody sectarian conflict as a "social revolution."

Nonetheless, the policy of military aggression abroad, like that of austerity at home, is deeply unpopular among working people, the vast majority of the population. Preventing another catastrophic eruption of American militarism depends upon the political mobilization of the working class against the root cause of war, the capitalist system.

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Bill Van Auken (born 1950) is a politician and activist for the Socialist Equality Party and was a presidential candidate in the U.S. election of 2004, announcing his candidacy on January 27, 2004. His running mate was Jim Lawrence. He came in 15th (more...)
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