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.
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 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.
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.