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 United States has already suffered an ignominious defeat in Iraq, where it has been forced to officially withdraw without daring any ceremony and where even the announcement was left to be delivered by a civilian journalist. Nevertheless, the US has left thousands of soldiers and mercenaries in Iraq to continue its interference in that country. Barack Obama’s threats of renewed air strikes are an attempt to continue a failed policy by any other means.
The Canadian Peace Congress asserts that it is the sole right of the people of a country to determine the path of their political, social and economic development, free from foreign interference. Instead of seeking new pretexts to justify new intervention in Iraq, the US and its allies should withdraw completely from that country and respect the Iraqi people’s sovereignty to decide their future free from occupation and all forms of foreign interference.
In Canada, the Harper Conservative government is planning to use the centenary of World War I as an occasion for glorifying war and militarism, and for justifying its aggressive foreign policy. But in reality there is nothing glorious or worth celebrating about a world at war. Imperialist aggression in Iraq is, no doubt, a stepping stone to direct intervention in Syria and would take the world perilously close to a regional or global conflict. The basic interests of humanity cannot be sacrificed in the service of profit for the few.
The Canadian Peace Congress calls on the Government of Canada to:
- oppose the drive for a new imperialist intervention in Iraq;
- reverse the process of integration of the Canadian and US militaries;
- withdraw from NATO and other military alliances;
- adopt a new foreign policy of peace, solidarity and international cooperation.
Furthermore, the Congress encourages all progressive and peace-loving people and organizations in Canada to oppose the drive for new intervention and war against Iraq, under any pretext.
Canadian Peace Congress Executive Council ~ June 28, 2014