Dan Kovalik: ‘The Resistance’ That Doesn’t Resist War
Simultaneously with Trump’s Inauguration, the liberal “opposition” announced the beginning of “The Resistance” against Trump’s openly racist and xenophobic reign. Most notably, “The Resistance” protested in airports against Trump’s ban of immigrants from seven Muslim nations. I myself participated in such demonstrations.
Trump’s administration otherwise got off to a rocky start, with courts shooting down both of Trump’s attempts at the Muslim ban, with the White House in seeming disarray, with the failed attempt to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” and with Trump and his band of misfits becoming the butt of endless jokes. All of this helped pull Trump’s poll records down to record lows for this time in an Administration. But then, something happened – Trump bombed Syria on April 6. And, incredibly, he was cheered on by Republicans and Democrats alike, his polls shot up, and “The Resistance” was mute if not supportive of Trump’s “act of courage.” Trump the monster was now legit because he committed a monstrous act. Incredible!
But, of course, Trump had done a lot of bombing before his popular April 6 attack on Syria. Thus, less than two weeks before this particular bombing of Syria, he bombed Mosul, Iraq, killing nearly 300 people in what the LA Times described as “one of the largest attacks on civilians in recent memory.” Indeed, by some reports, Trump had killed around 1000 civilians in both Iraq and Syria in just the month of March alone.
In truth, at least judged by their actions, or inactions more specifically, the folks who make up “The Resistance” don’t care about Trump’s massacres of civilians in foreign lands, just as they didn’t care about Obama’s. But then, 70 civilians are killed in Syria by chemical attack, and now everyone cares. Indeed, they care so much that they applaud Trump for launching 59 Tomahawk missiles — named, of course, in honor of the tens of millions of Native Americans the U.S. slaughtered — in an action which, by all accounts, accomplished nothing but inflame tensions in an already tense region of the world. In addition, Trump’s bombing itself killed 9 civilians, including 4 children. And, Trump was applauded for his aimless, lethal attack on Syria even though no investigation has taken place into who actually carried out the chemical attack.
The U.S. government and its compliant media ― who have lied us into nearly every war in memory ― said that Assad carried out the attack, and so it must be true. As a refresher, here is a partial list of the wars we have gotten into over the years and the lies which preceded them: Vietnam War (Gulf of Tonkin lie); First Gulf War (lie about Kuwaiti babies being thrown from incubators onto the floor); Second Gulf War (lie about WMDs); and destruction of Libya (lies about “black mercenaries” and Viagra-fueled rapes). Literally, millions have died based upon lies told by our government and “free” press.
However, that we have so often been tricked into war, and that the chemical attack suspiciously happened just one day after Trump said that we had to accept the idea of Assad as President of Syria were simply not fair game for comment. And those who have noted such pesky truths, and who have consequently asked for proof – for example, military veteran and Democratic Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard ― have been pilloried for daring to merely ask questions.
And yet, just after Trump bombed nearly 300 people to death in Mosul, most Americans, including those in “The Resistance,” were easily convinced about the rightness of U.S. military action in response to the death of 70 people in Syria. That the first, much larger group was killed by bombs and the smaller by chemicals seemed the difference for people, but innocents are dead just the same in either case. Trump “the liar” is now Trump “the bomber,” and so all is well again, we are told, in the American Republic. But things are not well at all.
That an unpopular President can improve his ratings just by bombing another country – at least if we are told that that country is deserving of such a bombing – while that same President’s massacring of civilians throughout the world is simply ignored, demonstrates that the American Republic is no more. We now live in the seat of a cruel, remorseless Empire which needs no credible justification for the violence it decides to rain down on the world. Who, I would ask, will save the world from us?
Dan Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer and has taught International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law since 2012.
The U.S. Navy launched a total of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield around 4:40 a.m. April 7 (local time) in response to the Syrian government’s alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians. (U.S. Defense Department photo)