Act of War or Military Strike?

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I now hear the contemplated bombing of Syria referred to as a “military strike”. The term “military strike” means a small-scale or individual military operation other than war. (My source is here.) This is exactly how the president wants the bombing to be understood, as something isolated, limited and small. The power of the empire to influence the propaganda discourse and to get a compliant press to adopt its vocabulary is very great.

However, bombing Syria is not a military strike. It is an act of war.

What is an act of war? It is, according to an online dictionary, “an act of aggression by a country against another with which it is nominally at peace.” What is an act of aggression? “Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State.” This definition is from a U.N. Resolution dating from 1974.

Although Obama denies that bombing has the purpose of regime change in Syria, it cannot be separated from that purpose. This is because Obama has openly called for Assad to step down. He made this call while ignoring elections and constitutional changes in Syria approved by the public. Well before the chemical event, he planned and considered a range of other acts of war such as a no-fly zone and even partition of the country into rebel and non-rebel areas. Obama has supported rebel groups in Syria by various means, including proxy countries like Saudi Arabia and Quatar, plus training rebels in Turkey and Jordan.

All of these activities are interfering with the political independence of Syria. They form an undeniable pattern. The Obama administration therefore cannot claim convincingly that bombing Syria is a military strike and not an act of war. Obama has been engaging in a continuing attempt to achieve either regime change in Syria or else Syria’s fracture into several regions.

3:10 pm on September 2, 2013
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