Canada has ended its active role in the destructive and illegal bombing of Syria. This shows that public opposition to the airstrikes, along with the Syrian people’s resistance to both terrorism and “regime change” have affected Canadian government policy.
But Canada is continuing to assist the bombing campaign through reconnaissance and refuelling. The Trudeau government’s plan to expand Operation IMPACT, by tripling the number of advisers and assistants to the Iraqi Kurdish forces, is really a way to increase Canada’s “boots on the ground.” It also plays into the strategy of fragmenting Iraq into several smaller states.
The escalation will embroil Canada in another prolonged, dangerous and destructive war. Canadians must demand that Trudeau end all Canadian military involvement in the Middle East!
On March 19, peace and anti-war groups in several cities across Canada will be demonstrating against the continued and escalating war in the Middle East. The Canadian Peace Congress endorses these actions and has been working to organize and support events in many areas. We will prepare a leaflet for distribution on March 19, outlining why we oppose intervention by Canada, the United States, and their NATO allies. The imperialist plan for a New Middle East must be confronted and stopped! Please attend events in your area – if nothing is planned, please consider getting in touch with us – we can help you organize an information picket and we can send you some leaflets to distribute.
The following is a list of March 19 actions. If you know of other events, please let us know and we’ll update this list.
Canada must withdraw from Syria, oppose Turkey’s aggression
The Canadian Peace Congress is alarmed that NATO countries are escalating their aggression against Syria, and calls for the immediate and full withdrawal of all Canadian military from the region. Furthermore, Canada must condemn and oppose Turkey’s military action against Syrian government forces who are fighting terrorist organizations in Syria. The current surge in intervention by NATO countries will only deepen the suffering of the Syrian people, prolong the war that has already claimed 260,000 lives, and increase the risk of an expanded regional conflict.
It is shameful that, despite a grandiose pledge to withdraw Canadian fighter jets, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actually increased the number of airstrikes against Syria. The US-led airstrikes were deliberately coupled with renewed material and organizational support to anti-government groups in Syria. Justin Trudeau’s statement that Canada will increase its troop presence for “training purposes” is completely in line with this agenda, and needs to be stopped.
Goa, India 26-28 November 2014
The Executive Committee of the WPC took place in the Indian city of Goa from 26-28 November 2014. The meeting, hosted by the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO), concluded after discussions on the threats to peace in different parts of the world with the following statement:
The World Peace Council, in its 65th year of struggle, salutes the peace loving forces of the world and calls upon them to fight together with the WPC and its member organizations, against imperialism and its brutal wars, for Peace.
The WPC identifies today the enemy of peace in the world to be imperialism in all its forms of expression, ideologically, politically, militarily and economically. Despite the economic crisis the military expenditure last year (2013), according to SIPRI, has reached worldwide in 2013 the $1,474 trillion, which constitute the 2,4 % of the global GDP. We underline that 37 % of this sum is spent by the USA alone and that altogether the military spending of the USA, NATO and its allies constitute the vast majority of world spending. The WPC demands the drastic cuts in the military budgets and the respective dedication to social welfare.
The Canadian Peace Congress opposes any renewal, under any pretext, of imperialism’s war in Iraq. The Congress further calls, again, for Canada to reverse the process of military integration with the United States military, and for Canada to withdraw from NATO. These are concrete steps by which Canada can avoid being dragged into causing another humanitarian catastrophe, and instead assume a foreign policy of peace.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has led the calls for a new imperialist intervention in Iraq, using the argument that Western interests – and even the territory of Britain itself – are threatened by developments within Iraq. This argument is perverse. It is the Britain, the United States and Canada, directly and through NATO, who repeatedly invade and occupy one country after another – imperialism is the main threat to peace in the world. Blair and others are parroting the same thoroughly discredited arguments they used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction were found after that murderous invasion, and this alone should serve as a reminder that imperialism’s true interests are not peace, democracy and security. Imperialism’s real interest is the division and re-division of the world, with war and aggression as tools to control the world’s resources in violation of the sovereignty and basic rights of the peoples of the world.
The ongoing imperialist aggression against Syria – in which the NATO countries, Israel and reactionary Arab states have
The Executive Committee (EC) of the World Peace Council held successfully from November 23-25, 2013 in Caracas its first meeting after the Assembly of Kathmandu (July 2012). The meeting was hosted in excellent conditions by the Committee of International Solidarity (COSI), the WPC member in Venezuela.
We recall very well the holding of our World Peace Assembly in 2008, where we declared Caracas as the “World Capital of Peace and Anti-imperialist struggle”. Our Assembly then was held under the auspices of the late President, Commander Hugo Chavez, to whom we paid our deepest respect for his huge contribution and successful leadership in the Bolivarian revolution, as a genuine leader of his people with broad recognition worldwide.
The WPC salutes the people of Venezuela which is struggling and defending its achievements, trying to open ways for the deepening of the Bolivarian process, against the subversive actions and the economic war carried out by the local oligarchy and imperialist forces, especially this period. We defend the sovereign right of the Venezuelan people to decide upon its future and wealth, for its empowerment in order to become the true master of its destiny.
The EC of the WPC met in a period of increasing aggressiveness of imperialism in all corners of the world, all fields and aspects of human life.
An Open Letter to Canada’s Members of Parliament
Dave McKee, President, Canadian Peace Congress
23 December 2012
Dear Honourable Members,
I write you as the President of the Canadian Peace Congress, an organization that has spent more than six decades working for a Canadian foreign policy based on peace, international cooperation and solidarity.
Such a policy orientation is critical in the current international conditions, as the dangerous situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and threatens to develop into a regional conflict. A number of factors have contributed to this complex crisis, but certainly one of the key elements has been aggressive interference by NATO states and allied governments in the Middle East.
The Canadian Peace Alliance, a broad network of peace groups that includes the Canadian Peace Congress, is stepping up its efforts to prevent Canada and NATO from attacking Syria. The CPA has release the following statement, and is asking people to gather signatures on a petition to the House of Commons.
“There is growing evidence that NATO and its allies will attempt to intervene in Syria to topple the government of Bashar Al-Assad. During the recent “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco, the US and more than 100 countries officially recognized the Syrian National Coalition as the country’s legitimate opposition, a move that may foreshadow a military attack.
“While Canada has not officially endorsed an intervention, there are reports that Canadian military forces are ready to deploy, including the Joint Incident Response Unit and the Disaster Assistance Response Team. With Canadian warships still patrolling the Mediterranean, Canada could very likely join a naval campaign.
The Canadian Government Must Support Peace and Self-Determination, Not War and Occupation!
The Executive Council of the Canadian Peace Congress (CPCon) condemns the recent and escalating aggression by Israel against the Palestinian territory of Gaza. The Congress declares its solidarity with the people of Palestine, and reiterates its support for an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
We condemn the hypocritical and war-mongering position of the Harper Conservative government, who immediately stated its support for Israel’s aggression. Despite efforts to cloak Israel’s attacks with the language of “self-defense” and “anti-terrorism”, the reality is that the current aggression is part of a long history of provocation, aggression, truce violations, political assassinations, collective punishment and other criminal actions by Israel against the Palestinian people. We call upon the Canadian government to reverse its support for the aggressive actions of Israel, and to press the Netanyhu government for an immediate ceasefire and to open genuine peace negotiations.
The Canadian government is called upon to act for peace, not promote war
The Canadian Peace Congress condemns the ongoing foreign intervention in Syria and the escalating drive to war against Iran, and calls for the immediate withdrawal of all Canadian, NATO and foreign mercenary forces from the region. We further call upon the Conservative government of Stephen Harper to restore and normalize its diplomatic relations with Syria and Iran, and to re-orient Canadian foreign policy toward peace, international cooperation and solidarity.
Dear sisters, brothers, comrades and friends,
It is my pleasure to bring you solidarity greetings from the Canadian Peace Congress. We want to thank and congratulate our host, the Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council, for preparing this Assembly and allowing all of the peace and anti-imperialist forces of the world to gather for this important meeting. We also salute the people of Nepal, whose continued progressive struggle has brought about the change from a monarchy to the Federal Democratic Republic, along with many other important social and political developments in recent years.
As well, we want to thank the General Secretary and President of the WPC, for their committed and excellent leadership over the past 4 years since our last assembly in Caracas, and the Greek Peace Committee for continuing to provide the Executive Secretariat and headquarters.
This Assembly of the World Peace Council convenes at a critical moment for peace and progressive forces worldwide. Since our last Assembly in 2008, the global capitalist crisis has continued and deepened, and competition for resources, markets, influence and profits has grown much more fierce and desperate. In an effort to overcome the crisis and avoid economic collapse, capitalist countries are attacking the social, economic and political gains won by the working class over many decades of struggle.
Main Political Report
Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,
This meeting of the Canadian Peace Congress convenes at a critical moment for peace and progressive forces worldwide. As the global, systemic economic crisis continues and deepens, competition for resources, markets, influence and profits has grown much more fierce and desperate. Capitalist governments have moved quickly to attack social and labour rights and impose severe austerity measures that will impoverish and marginalize masses of working people, at the same time that they are prosecuting wars and increasing military budgets. In response, popular resistance to these reactionary policies is building and spreading – from the progressive uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, to the anti-austerity movements in Greece and throughout Europe, to the “Occupy” protests in North America.
Alongside this resistance, imperialism has become much more aggressive, as witnessed by NATO’s violent regime change in Libya. While expansion and violence are constant features of imperialism, the current sharpening economic crisis has compelled capitalists to increasingly pursue military-based solutions. In part, this is related to the massive profits that can be quickly derived from a military economy. Beyond that, this increased aggressiveness also has the aim of co-opting and coercing popular movements, establishing new intelligence bases in strategic regions of the world, facilitating blockades and direct military involvement in foreign countries, and seeking out new pretexts for interference and war.
Peace Congress Calls for Increased Mobilizations Against War
As the conflict in Libya grinds on, the real character of the “humanitarian” military intervention there is becoming more and more clear. Using the political cover of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, NATO military forces led by the United States have wasted no time in transforming Libya’s dangerous political unrest into an imperialist interventionist war aimed at regime change, dividing the country and plundering oil resources.
NATO and its member states – including Canada – have actively sided with reactionary forces within Libya and are now leading the effort to overthrow the government, including blatant attempts to assassinate Moammar Qaddafi and other government members through airstrikes. In the eyes of NATO, the largest military organization in the world, “Responsibility to Protect” means “Opportunity to Interfere,” regardless of death and destruction.
No to US-NATO Military Intervention in Libya! No to Canadian Military Involvement in Libya!
As the crisis in Libya deepens, the Canadian Peace Congress denounces the rapid moves by imperialist forces – including the U.S., E.U., NATO, Canada and Israel – to intervene and exploit the conflict to their advantage. We call on the minority Harper Conservative government to withdraw the offensive Canadian JTF-2 Special Forces who have been deployed to the region, recall the heavily armed HMCS Charlottetown and refrain from deploying logistical air refuelling and support power, and halt the implementation of offensive CF-18’s to the region. Furthermore, the Canadian government must oppose the United Nations Security Council’s imposition of sanctions which will only result in the death and injury of Libyan people, and reject any form of foreign military intervention including the use of no-fly zones which will involve massive bombardment to neutralize existing Libyan air defences.