Friday, April 07, 2017

The Selective Peace Movement in Ithaca, New York

For the last six years of the Syrian civil war, there has never been an antiwar demonstration in Ithaca about the war. No one has protested Assad's barrel bombs, the destruction of east Aleppo, the Russian support for the Assad regime in destroying Syria - nothing. No demonstrations against the attempt of ISIS in Iraq to exterminate the Yezidis, the sexual enslavement of Yezidi women and girls, the destruction of historic antiquities. No one has gone out into the streets of Ithaca and protested the inaction of the United States in the face of the mass murder of half a million Syrians, and the forced homelessness of half the Syrian population.

In the past year there has developed an array of groups to welcome Syrian and other refugees to Ithaca, which is highly commendable, and friends of mine have been very active in the local refugee assistance groups.

But now, finally, I have just received a notice of an antiwar demonstration planned for Tuesday night at Cornell University, calling for "Hands off Syria!"

And is this demonstration calling for the Russian army and air force to leave Syria? Is it calling for Assad to go into exile and stop massacring his own people with ruthless air assaults, including the use of poison gas, both Sarin and chlorine? Is it calling for ISIS to withdraw from the towns and cities it has occupied?

No, this demonstration has been called ONLY against the US bombing yesterday of the Shayrat air base, the place from which the Syrian bombers left to drop Sarin on a village in the Idlib governate.

I really cannot express how angry I am about this. If the people who organized this demonstration really cared about the people of Syria and the array of murderers and oppressors they have been trying to survive since 2011 when their peaceful uprising began, they would have been in the streets long ago. Their silence until now speaks for itself.

HANDS OFF Syria! Emergency Mobilization Against War With Syria
Hosted by Cornell Welcomes Refugees and Amnesty International at Cornell University  
Tuesday, April 11 at 7 PM - 8 PM  
Ho Plaza, Cornell University Donald Trump’s recent missile attack on Assad regime targets is an act of war. The US government now intends to form an “international coalition” to achieve regime change, a course of events frighteningly similar to those that kicked off the illegal invasion of Iraq. Further military intervention will only fuel the Trump/Pence regime’s larger “America First” project of refugee bans, indiscriminate drone strikes, and domestic state terror. Gather with us on Ho Plaza to say: HANDS OFF SYRIA!

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