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!
Don’t repeat a failed policy of intervention.
The Canadian military fought as part of the NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, between 2001 and 2014. The Canadian government spent at least $18.5 billion on the war, which killed 160 Canadian soldiers, injured another 2,000, and led to the suicides of at least 54 others following the war. Furthermore, Canadian troops and the Harper government became involved in war crimes – handing Afghan detainees over to torture by Afghanistan’s military.
After more than a decade of war and occupation, in which 170,000 Afghans were killed, Afghanistan remains deeply divided between different warlords and fundamentalist militias. The country and people are no closer to peace, stability and guarantees of human rights than they were 24 years ago.
Throughout the Middle East, the United States, European Union and their NATO allies aim to impose a patchwork of fragmented Arab states who are too weak to challenge Western domination or Israeli expansion. In the process, they have produced a breeding ground for reactionary religious forces like ISIS (Daesh) and al-Nusrah. NATO countries have, in turn, armed and financed these same groups because they are valuable assets whose terrorist activities provide a pretext for direct military intervention in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
Full withdrawal of all Canadian military!
Instead of expanding Operation IMPACT, the Trudeau government must immediately withdraw all Canadian military personnel from the region. Instead of warmongering announcements like Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s November 2015 statement that Syria’s elected president Bashar al-Assad “must go,” Canada must stop promoting regime change in sovereign countries.
Concerning military alliances, Canada must withdraw from US-led NATO and adopt an independent foreign policy of peace, disarmament, international cooperation and solidarity.
Make Canada a genuine peacemaker, instead of a cog in the US war machine.
- Call, write and email your Member of Parliament and the Prime Minister, and demand they withdraw Canada’s military from the Middle East.
- Write a letter to your local newspaper, opposing Justin Trudeau’s plan to triple Canada’s “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria.
- Encourage your union, community group, faith organization or student council to pass a resolution against Canada’s continuing war in the Middle East.
- Get involved with a peace organization in your area, to increase pressure for Canada to withdraw from NATO and adopt a foreign policy of peace.