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.

“NATO countries are desperate to contain and control the Syrian opposition, especially as rebel forces gain new ground. Western governments want to ensure that a post-Assad Syria will be compliant, not independent. The move to form a new coalition is just the latest attempt to increase the West’s hold on opposition forces and influence their trajectory.

“This development follows unsubstantiated claims that Syria is considering using chemical weapons against the opposition, but there is no reliable evidence that this could happen. Only “unnamed intelligence sources” in the US government have made the suggestion. These are the same sources that lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

“In addition, these claims make no sense militarily. If Syria deployed chemical weapons, it would guarantee foreign intervention and signal the end of Assad’s government – an outcome it is trying to avoid, not accelerate.

“The US and its allies are currently trying to justify an attack, not because they care about the people of Syria, but because they want to sever ties between the Syrian government and other countries and groups that oppose US and Israeli policies. Syria is seen as a key supporter of resistance movements in Lebanon and an ally of Iran. In this light, any intervention is Syria could lead to a military attack on Iran.

“A recent CTV poll found that 76 per cent of Canadians oppose intervention in Syria. After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, the Canadian public is not prepared to support another invasion. Remember that Bush’s “axis of evil” included Syria and Iran, but US troops got bogged down in Iraq, and were unable to spread the war. US interference in Syria today is an attempt to finish what Bush started.

“The Canadian Peace Alliance condemns this interference, which is already creating instability and spreading violence throughout the region. Therefore, we call on the Canadian government to respect the will of Canadians, and to refrain from any interference in the lives of the Syrian people, whether military, political or economic.”

December 14, 2012