Protests Across the U.S. and Around the World Demand: Hands Off Syria!

Debra Sweet | April 24, 2018

2018-4-15 Syria protestLast weekend, Trump's Make America Great Again move was airstrikes on what was reportedly the Syrian government's chemical weapons facility.  The Pentagon could show no proof that chemical weapons had been used by the Syrian government in Douma, and said so; then suddenly the Pentagon had "proof," although it did not and could not wait for international inspectors to search for it. Journalist Robert Fisk, in Douma, reported on a horrific scene, with civilians at the mercy of all forces in the conflict, living in underground tunnels at the edge of survival.  Doctors he interviewed said people were treated for hypoxia from dust storms not gas but that rumors spread it was poison gas.

While the Syrian government has chemical weapons and has used them, there are these chemical weapons used notoriously and openly by U.S. military forces: NAPALM and AGENT ORANGE in Vietnam and DEPLETED URANIUM and WHITE PHOSPOROUS in Iraq. U.S. President Truman used nuclear weapons.  No other government has deployed them.  But the largest owner of nukes is the U.S.  And look who can give the order.TRUMP/PENCE Must Go.  Sign this Call

Protests Across the U.S. and Around the World Demand: Hands Off Syria!

Large protests took place in Chile, Greece, Israel (where Palestinians protested at the US Embassy), London, Kolkata and Mexico City. In the United States, there were protests in major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC as well as smaller ones like Boulder CO, Sacramento CA and Tucson AZ, demanding that the U.S. keep its hands off Syria. The actions were called by varied organizations. Protesters rallied in front of the White House and at the Trump Tower in Chicago. In San Francisco, Code Pink protested outside the homes of top Democrats Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi to demand that the Democratic Party leaders “speak out against the bombing and the continued war,” and then joined other demonstrators downtown. More and photos.

Trump Puts His War Cabinet Together: 
Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Nominated for Secretary of State

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Last night, April 23, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Pompeo's nomination, which will now be brought before the full Senate to vote on his confirmation.

Rebecca Gordon in stated: "Pompeo wrote that he would back reviewing the ban on waterboarding if prohibiting the technique was shown to impede the 'gathering of vital intelligence.' Pompeo added that he planned to reopen the question of whether interrogation techniques should be limited to those - none of them considered torture techniques - found in the Army Field Manual, something legally required ever since, in 2009, President Obama issued an executive order to that effect."

And, as reported in Common Dreams, "Pompeo has claimed all Muslims are 'potentially complicit' in terrorism. He has pushed for war over diplomacy with Iran and, despite promises to the contrary during his confirmation hearing to be CIA director, has used his DCIA position to undermine the Iran nuclear deal... Pompeo’s bellicosity has also manifested in his refusal to foreclose upon the possibility of launching so-called “preventive” war with North Korea, and in his support for unauthorized American involvement in conflicts such as that in Yemen."

Gina Haspel, CIA operative, nominated for CIA Director
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Senate hearings will be held May 9 on the nomination of Haskell.  If you're interested in joining a protest of the hearings, email me.Ariel Dorfman, a survivor of the 1973 coup in Chile, wrote, "After 9/11, Haspel ran an illegal black site in Thailand where a man was tortured, and she later wrote a memo calling for the destruction of proof of such 'enhanced interrogations.'  She has paid no price for these actions, nor has she been called to account for them... In my view, Haspel, if she was aware of what was going on at the Thailand site, would be as guilty as Pinochet's secret police of crimes against humanity. Treaties to which the United States is a signatory were flouted. She oversaw a chamber of horrors and was involved in erasing the evidence. In Chile, those actions would be prosecuted, and Haspel might end up jail."

Haspel was also part of the chain of command that ordered the destruction of videotapes of the torture of Abu Zubaydah.

We need to get discussion and thinking of these momentous events more widely out there in the public domain.  One way in which each of us can do this is via letters to the editor.  This excellent article by Ed Kinane points out how and why to do this.

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To work against militarism and for social justice is to struggle for hearts and minds. We “educate, agitate, and organize.” We reach out to the public to mobilize its conscience. But the public is large and we are few. Most ways to reach the public are costly. Or shaped by other agendas. So mostly we operate small scale. We could however make much greater use of a familiar and broad public forum: letters to the editor.

LTEs are a valuable tool. In writing them, we can transform ourselves, deepening our analysis and vision, making more public our witness, making steadfast our commitment. We’re standing up and out for what we stand for.  Read more.



World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.