Canada’s government rallies behind Washington’s war on Syria

By Keith Jones
5 September 2013

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/09/05/cana-s05.html

Canada’s Conservative government has repeatedly voiced support for a US-led war on Syria. It has endorsed Washington’s lies about having incontrovertible proof that the Assad regime mounted a chemical weapons attack last month and it has pledged Canada’s support for the US waging war on Syria in defiance of international law.

Speaking to reporters August 28, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said “consequences” for the Syrian regime should not be blocked or impeded by the lack of United Nations’ Security Council authorization. Canada was “of one mind” with the US, Britain, and France and “will,” Baird vowed, “continue towork with them in lock-step.”

The next day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared himself a “reluctant convert” to “Western military action regarding the Syrian situation.” As Harper went on to explain, his reluctance was not due to any qualms about the US unilaterally attacking countries and carrying out “regime change.” Rather it arose from concerns about the potential danger to imperialist interests if the Syrian state were to fracture along ethnic-religious lines. “We have been, and remain, concerned,” said Harper, that “this conflict … is overwhelmingly sectarian in nature and does not have at present any ideal or obvious outcomes.”

That said, Harper emphasized his support for the US raining missiles and bombs on a poor, former colonial country. “We do support,” declared Canada’s prime minister, “our allies who are contemplating forceful action.”

Under conditions where there is massive popular opposition within the US and around the world to the impending US attack on Syria, Canada’s support for Washington’s war drive takes on added importance.

Last Friday, the day after the British parliament rejected a Conservative-Liberal coalition government motion authorizing Britain to join the US in attacking Syria, Baird rushed to second US Secretary of State John Kerry’s concocted “case” against Syria. Endorsing Washington’s attempts to bamboozle the public and run roughshod over the UN inspection process—in a reprise of the campaign of lies mounted by the administration of George W. Bush prior to the US’s illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq—Baird said, “The Obama administration has shown great resolve and proper due diligence in the past week, and we fully support its efforts going forward.”

In their remarks of last week, Harper and Baird indicated that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will not participate in the campaign of devastating air strikes the Obama administration has publicly vowed to inflict on Syria. In announcing his government’s support for US military action, Harper said, “at the present time, we have no plans of our own to have a Canadian military mission.” Baird, in a television interview the previous day, had implied Canada would, in any event, have little to contribute to the US attack, since it would likely begin with “cruise missiles or armed drones, neither of which Canada has.”

What Harper and Baird would not, nor could not, admit is that there is widespread public opposition to Canada participating in another imperialist war.

No one should presume, however, that this opposition and Harper’s statement mean that Canada’s role in the US war on Syria will be limited to political-diplomatic support.

Obama, Kerry and other US government spokesman have spoken of a “limited” campaign of air strikes. But they have also pledged to significantly “downgrade” Syria’s military capabilities and “upgrade” those of the Islamacist-dominated anti-Assad “rebels.” The US Congressional motion drafted at the White House’s behest would authorize military action for up to ninety days.

In other words, Washington is pursuing its oft-stated goal of toppling the Assad regime, but now through direct US military intervention. This escalation threatens to unleash a wider regional war, including potentially involving Iran—Syria’s principal ally and the target of a relentless US-led destabilization campaign, including punishing economic sanctions—and even Russia.

As the war on Syria expands, Washington can be expected to press Canada to deploy CAF ships and planes to the war theater and large sections of the Canadian ruling class will demand such a deployment so as to uphold the partnership with US imperialism through which it has asserted its own predatory interests on the world stage for the past seven decades.

The Harper government—which boasts about the depth of its support for Israel—has, it must be noted, repeatedly signaled that Canada would participate in any attack on Iran.

Moreover, the CAF has long been involved in planning for possible military intervention against Syria. Peter MacKay, who was Canada’s Defence Minister until a cabinet shuffle this past July, repeatedly let it be known that the CAF, in conjunction with Canada’s allies, was drafting plans to intervene in Syria.

Last week, General Tom Lawson, Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff, was in Amman, Jordan for a three-day meeting with the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, as well as generals from eight other countries: the US’s most important NATO allies—Britain, France, Germany and Italy—and four counties that have been supporting and arming the US-backed Syrian rebels—Turkey (also a NATO member), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan.

Canada’s Department of Defence has claimed that the meeting was long-scheduled and had nothing to do with the US preparations for imminent military action against Syria. Dempsey’s participation in the meeting alone makes this claim implausible, to say the least.

As part of its preparations for possible direct military intervention in Syria, Canada has also developed extensive military ties with Jordan, long one of the US’s most dependable client states in the Middle East, including signing a “defence co-operation memorandum” in the spring of 2012.

Canada’s Liberal Party, until recently the Canadian elite’s preferred party of government, is strongly supporting the US plans to attack Syria. Speaking last week, Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Marc Garneau said the Conservative government was right to pledge support for US military action against Syria even if taken without UN sanction.

Earlier, former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, former Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, and former Cabinet Minister and UN Ambassador Allan Rock had all asserted the right of Western countries to invade states and overthrow governments in the name of averting humanitarian disasters. All three boasted about the role Canada has played in developing a new political cover for imperialist intervention by promoting the so-called “responsibility to protect”—the ruse used by the US, France, Britain, and Canada to provide a rationale for the 2011 NATO attack on Libya, an attack that continued until Gaddafi was overthrown .

The Official Opposition New Democratic Party has, for its part, lent its full support to the US-orchestrated campaign to justify an attack on Syria in the name of policing the ban on the use of chemical weapons. Its only proviso has been that the UN inspectors should be allowed to file their report before any attack is launched. Canada’s social-democrats have repeatedly facilitated Canada’s participation in imperialist wars, including supporting NATO’s 1999 war on Yugoslavia, the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the 2011 NATO war on Libya.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/09/05/cana-s05.html

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Now from the People Of Canada

The awake people of Canada are Just as appalled as the rest of the world people at AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION LIES and DECEPTIONS once again Now its of Chemical weapons being used by Al Assad’s government against the Free Syrian Rebels (the real guilty party) as a reason to Obliterate the Country With Bombs as was done in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.etc.etc..We all Remember the WMDs lie for Iraq’s Obliteration with bombs and then Bush latter making a comedy Skit joke out of the fact that there were no WMDs to start of with ha ha ha 

What can you do?
» Send an e-mail to your MP.
Just cut and paste the “dont attack SYRIA” pic statement above and send to your Member of Parliament
A full list of MP’s e-mail addresses is
here.
» Sign the online petition
here.

– See more at: http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/No-NATO-Intervention-in-Syria.html#sthash.SMMwjQiG.dpuf

Protests across Canada against war in Syria

REBEL YOUTH FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013

Call for action
Many CPA member groups, as well as coalitions in other countries including the US, have devised emergency response plans in the event of an attack on Syria. These plans are often for a demonstration the day of, or one day following, such an attack. The CPA calls upon peace and social justice groups to devise such plans, whether or not an attack immediately involves Canada, and to continue to pressure the Government of Canada and NATO to keep their hands off Syria.
Please email details about local emergency actions to cpa@web.ca. All actions will be posted on http://www.acp-cpa.ca.


Events Listings
» Calgary
Saturday August 31st 12pm at 615 Macleod Trail SE (outside the U.S consolate building),Calgary
Facebook link
» Edmonton
Edmonton: No to War on Syria! No to Western Military Intervention!
Information Picket
Saturday August 31, 4:00 p.m.
Meet at 103 Street and Whyte (82) Avenue, NE Corner
» Hamilton
Picket the Federal Building, 55 Bay Street North on Monday (Labour Day), September 2, from 10:30 am until noon and leaflet the annual Labour Day parade as it passes by.
For more information see: Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War
» Montreal
Saturday, Aug. 31 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, at Place du Canada, Montreal, QC.
Facebook link
» Niagara Falls
NO Military intervention in SYRIA! Rally at Minister of Defence Office (Niagara Falls)
Friday – 2:00pm until 4:00pm
Rob Nicholson’s Office, 2895 St. Paul Avenue, Niagara Falls
Facebook link
Join the LIVE FREE COLLECTIVE and Niagara Coalition for Peace on Friday, August 30th from 2pm-4pm for a rally at Canadian Minister of Defence Rob Nicholson’s office to show your opposition to US military intervention in Syria on false humanitarian grounds.
» Ottawa
RALLY AGAINST WAR ON SYRIA
Saturday, August 31, 5 PM
Human Rights Monument (Elgin at Lisgar)
March to the U.S. Embassy
Oppose the imminent US-led attack on Syria!
We must state in the strongest terms: HANDS OFF SYRIA!
Please join us with your banners and signs.
Organized by Syria Solidarity, Nowar-Paix, and the Ottawa Peace Assembly
For more information: nowar.paix at gmail.com
» Regina
Saturday, August 31, 2013
2:00am in CST
regina city hall to plaza and park
Facebook link a rally to say no to the US and other countries who want to occupy and begin bombing the country and citizens of Syria.
» Toronto
Don’t attack Syria. Say no to war.
Saturday, August 31
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
United States Consulate
360 University Avenue
Facebook link
Organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
Endorsed by the Canadian Arab Federation and Palestine House
» Vancouver
Emergency rally against an US-led attack on Syria
Saturday, August 31
2pm, Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson & Hornby)
Organized by StopWar.
Contact: stopwar@resist.ca
Facebook link
StopWar Vancouver has endorsed this call by the Canadian Peace Alliance for emergency actions. Protests will be taking place in cities and towns across Canada in the coming days.
» Victoria
The Victoria Peace Coalition is organizing a rally at the Cenotaph at the Legislative Buildings in conjunction with CAIA who already had a silent vigil planned for that date and time — Saturday August 31. 12 noon.
» Windsor
Windsor Says: Hands Off Syria!
Anti-War Picket
Saturday August 31
11 am
Corner of Ottawa St. and Walker Road, close to Market Square
Bring signs and flags. This will be a speak out and a chance for us to involve our community in opposing wars of aggression. We will also flyer people going into the Windsor Market to spread the word.
Labour Day Parade
Monday September 2
Meet at 9:15 am behind the Windsor Peace Coalition Banner
CAW 200/444 Hall, 1855 Turner Road, Windsor
Parade leaves 10 am – heading to Fogolar Furlan
Join the Anti-War Contingent in the Parade
Bring signs and flags
Windsor Peace Coalition windsorpeace@hotmail.com

– See more at: http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/No-NATO-Intervention-in-Syria.html#sthash.LvAknrBj.dpuf

 

Syria: Hundreds in Toronto protest impending U.S-led war

Many protesters at U.S. consulate express support for Syrian president Bashar Assad.

A young girl wears a T-shirt with a picture of Bashar Assad and the words " We Love You" below at a protest against U.S. involvement in Syria. They rallied Saturday at the U.S. consulate on University Ave.

RENE JOHNSTON / TORONTO STAR

A young girl wears a T-shirt with a picture of Bashar Assad and the words " We Love You" below at a protest against U.S. involvement in Syria. They rallied Saturday at the U.S. consulate on University Ave.

By: Alex Nino Gheciu News reporter, Published on Sat Aug 31 2013

Reem Sinno and her family were appalled by President Barack Obama’s announcement Saturday that he intended — pending congressional approval — to launch a military attack against the Syrian regime.

So the Syrian-Canadians joined more than 200 people at the U.S. consulate in Toronto to loudly protest the impending attack.

“I’m against the USA interfering in our issues,” said Sinno, holding a Syrian flag. “No one in the whole world likes it when others interfere in your life. They are calling the Assad regime a dictatorship. But Obama is more of a dictator than him.”

Protesters across the globe took to the streets to condemn Obama’s statement urging the U.S. to take action against Syrian president Bashar Assad’s regime. Obama said he wanted to hold the regime accountable for allegedly launching a chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people on Aug. 21.

Many of the protesters in Toronto expressed support for Assad, some even wearing T-shirts displaying the dictator’s face and the words “We Love You” below. Chants of “Syria is not the enemy, war is not the answer” and “hands off Syria” were belted out on megaphones.

“We’ve seen in recent days that it’s been a lot more difficult for Obama to mobilize the international community and public opinion to support this war,” said James Clark, an organizer with Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, which arranged the protest. “It’s because Americans and the international public are tired of these wars that have all been based on lies. The memories of the Iraq war are still fresh in their minds.”

Clark said military action could exacerbate Syria’s civil war and result in even more causalities.

“We don’t think the so-called humanitarian interventions are humanitarian at all,” he said. “Up to 100,000 people have been killed and many more have been displaced in the civil war. Militarizing that conflict or bombing innocent civilians is not going to improve the situation.”

Many protesters called for an end to foreign interference in Syria, arguing the country should be allowed to determine its own destiny on its own terms.

But some in the crowd believed Assad’s regime must be overthrown.

“You can’t have a solution without Assad being thrown out,” said Naeim Asgary, 24. “He might not have used chemical weapons, but he’s killed at least 10,000 to 20,000 innocent people. I’m from Iran; I know what the Syrian army is up to.”

Nevertheless, the Sinno family and many others were resolute in their support for Assad.

“Syria’s president is the only president in the Arab world that has not been loyal to USA or Israel,” said 12-year-old Ali Mohammed, Reem’s son. “I was born in Palestine. I have to support Syria’s president for supporting us.”

 

There is still time to stop a war on Syria
September 3, 2013
The ‘coalition of the willing’ was dealt a series of setbacks last week. In the UK, the government of David Cameron was rebuffed by the massive response from the Stop the War Coalition and by the British parliament, which voted against giving authorization for war. In the US, President Barack Obama has been trying to build a case for war, but is now waiting for congressional approval – a situation that temporarily stays his hand. Obama’s hesitation is a sign of real political weakness, and opens the door for the anti-war movement to keep up the pressure.
But time is running out. The US Congress will meet next Monday to decide a course of action.
There is a possibility that we can stop this war, but only with a huge global response. Already, there are calls for demonstrations around the world on Saturday, September 7. Following a solid anti-war response in Canada last weekend – which saw more than a dozen protests across the country – the Canadian Peace Alliance is calling on members and supporters to continue the momentum by organizing more demonstrations next weekend: on September 7, 8 and 9.
Although Canada has said that it doesn’t intend to send military support for an attack, it has provided the US government with useful political support. We must pressure the Canadian government to reverse that support, while we ramp-up our opposition to the US war drive.
The people of Syria have already suffered two years of a bloody civil war, with tens of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced or made refugees. A Western military attack would only make this situation worse. Just as we saw in the lead-up to the war on Iraq, John Kerry and other war proponents are willfully misrepresenting intelligence regarding chemical weapons in their rush to war.
We need to show our solidarity with the people of Syria and stop the US from undertaking unilateral military action under the guise of humanitarian intervention. The lives of tens of thousands more Syrians are at stake.

 

Don’t attack Syria
August 27, 2013
The Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) is calling on all its members and supporters to oppose an impending US-led attack on Syria.
Once again, a report about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction is being used to justify an intervention. We are always opposed to the use of any weapons on civilians, but as was the case with the last reports of an alleged attack, there is no conclusive proof that the attack came from the Syrian government.
Undaunted by the lack of evidence, US Secretary of State John Kerry has nevertheless declared that the US and its NATO allies will strike Syria. Any intervention by an new "coalition of the willing" will be against international law and must be opposed.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has said that Canada will be in "lock-step" with its NATO allies. Canadian officials are currently meeting with counterparts from France, the UK and the US to devise strategies for an intervention.
Regardless of what one thinks of either the Syrian government or of the opposition forces, we know from recent experience that:
– NATO and its allies have and will continue to lie about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify "humanitarian" intervention.
– NATO-led attacks, justified as a "responsibility to protect" (R2P) civilians, have resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths. The death toll from military attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya can be counted in the hundreds of thousands.
– The geopolitical calculations of the NATO powers, and not the interests of ordinary people, are always the main considerations for any intervention.
During the Vietnam War, US officials described a situation where it became necessary to "destroy the village in order to save it." As with all the recent evocations of R2P, it appears that the goal of NATO is to bomb civilians in order to save them. We must, therefore, stand in opposition to the actions of the aggressor states in NATO and call on the government of Canada to keep its hands off Syria.
Call for action
Many CPA member groups, as well as coalitions in other countries including the US, have devised emergency response plans in the event of an attack on Syria. These plans are often for a demonstration the day of, or one day following, such an attack. The CPA calls upon peace and social justice groups to devise such plans, whether or not an attack immediately involves Canada, and to continue to pressure the Government of Canada and NATO to keep their hands off Syria.
Please email details about local emergency actions to cpa@web.ca. All actions will be posted on http://www.acp-cpa.ca.

– See more at: http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/No-NATO-Intervention-in-Syria.html#sthash.SMMwjQiG.dpuf

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