Chicago Coalition Denounces Threatened U.S. Attack on Syria

Protest set for 5 PM, Thursday, Federal Plaza

(From the

“What an insulting way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington”

CHICAGO, IL – With President Obama threatening to launch a U.S. attack on Syria, a coalition of Chicago activists is organizing to oppose his proposed bombing of Syria, charging that it would be like pouring gasoline on a raging fire. They have set a protest to begin at 5 PM, Thursday, August 29 at Chicago’s Federal Plaza at the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets.

No matter how one feels about the Assad regime or the rebels, a U.S. attack on the Syrian government would lead to many hundreds if not thousands more casualties, and would represent a dramatic escalation of the war, threatening a superpower confrontation with Russia.

Like so many prior U.S. attacks, this one is built upon a tissue of lies and misinformation, charge anti-war activists:

  • The alleged trip wire for the U.S. attack on the Syria government is that government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Yet a May 5th Reuters report notes that “U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.”
  • While Secretary of State Kerry claimed on Monday that the U.S. was forced into this posture because “for five days” the Syrian government wouldn’t allow access to the suspected chemical weapons attack site, UN spokesman Farnan Haq admitted in yesterday’s briefing [see starting at 12:00] that while it announced in the press Thursday that it wanted access, the formal UN request wasn’t submitted until Saturday, which was granted the next day.
  • The United States has aided previous poison gas attacks that killed thousands, according to a Monday report in Foreign Policy Magazine. The magazine referred to previously unpublicized documents that show that the CIA cynically aided Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with intel, knowing that he would use the info to launch chemical weapons attacks that killed thousands of Iranians.

The hypocrisy of the “human rights” casis belli for war on Syria fits a larger pattern. Saddam Hussein’s poison gas attacks aided by the Reagan administration are part of a rich trove severe human rights crimes by operatives of previous administrations that remain unprosecuted by President Obama.

The United States and its European allies, for example, had no problem using “extraordinary rendition” to kidnap people in countries abroad and deliver them to brutal prisons of Assad’s Syria, Mubarek’s Egypt, and Ghaddafi’s Libya for torture. President Obama’s allies in the Syrian civil war include serial human rights abusers Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel, all of whom are lavishly supplied with U.S. arms.

Far from promoting democracy, the United States under President Obama has supported a string of dictators around the globe, against their own peoples, and supported the recent military coup against Egypt’s President Morsi and the 2009 coup against Honduras’s elected government.

“It is a brutal irony that on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington that we are again contemplating dramatically escalating a war in another small nation halfway around the globe,” said Andy Thayer, one of the initiators of tomorrow’s protest and an organizer against last year’s NATO summit in Chicago. “We live in a nation that is almost as racially segregated as it was then, with economic stratification on such a scale that people now commonly refer to the 1% vs. the 99%. These are precisely some of the reasons why a few years later Dr. King spoke out against his President’s war.”

Thursday’s protest is co-sponsored by Answer Chicago; Anti-War Committee – Chicago; CAMI-Committee Against the Militarization of Youth/Comite anti-militarizacion; Gay Liberation Network; International Socialist Organization; La Voz de los de Abajo; March 19th Anti-War Coalition; Syrian American Forum; World Can’t Wait Chicago (list in formation)

For more information please call 773.209.1187 or email