No to the Expanded Canadian Military Mission in Iraq and Syria

Statement by the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the Harper government’s one-year extension of Canada’s participation in the latest imperialist war in Iraq, which will expand this military mission into neighbouring Syria without the agreement of the elected government of that sovereign country. This is a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter. As with previous military actions in Korea, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, this move is yet another undeclared war.

As our Party and others predicted last fall, this mission quickly went far beyond the so-called “bombing and training role” to include direct combat operations. Clearly, this extension shows that Canada is on the way to another disastrous Afghanistan-style war of occupation, ultimately costing billions of dollars and thousands of Iraqi and Syrian lives. The federal government recently claimed that the mission had cost $122 million as of February; this understated figure of about $30 million per month does not include many related expenses, but does indicate that the cost of the expanded mission can be expected to go far higher.

Predictably, the Tories call this a “humanitarian” war to “protect the women and children”. But there is overwhelming evidence that the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine has instead inflicted enormous damage upon civilian populations. The long list of R2P victims include the thousands killed in NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, countless Afghan civilians, and the million or more Iraqis dead in the wake of the 2003 US-UK invasion.

Four years after “Operation Freedom Falcon” in Libya, violent social, economic and political crises have resulted from the illegal bombing and “regime change”. As imperialism plunders the country’s energy resources, war hawks are now openly discussing a second intervention against ISIS-linked groups in that country.

In Iraq and Syria, Canadian troops are helping to further imperialism’s so-called ‘New Middle East strategy’ which aims to turn the entire region into a patchwork of weak and compliant mini-states kept in check, in part, by its local ally Israel, with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as secondary, supportive powers.

Involving Canada in the modern day crusades led by US imperialism and other NATO allies only deepens regional conflicts and humanitarian crises. The most significant terrorist threat today is posed by the U.S., British, Canadian and other governments, which have killed millions of innocent people with a vast range of deadly modern weaponry, ranging from Cruise missiles to drone bombs. These are the same imperialist powers which count the reactionary fundamentalist regimes of the oil-rich Gulf states and Saudi Arabia as close and valued allies.

It was US imperialism which encouraged and financed the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and other such groups for its own ends, only to later whip up fear and hatred against these same reactionary forces. This cynical game of switching “allies” and “enemies” brings enormous profits to the military-industrial corporations, but only death and destruction to working people.

The Communist Party of Canada rejects the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine as a cover for direct imperialist intervention and military aggression in the Middle East and other regions. We demand Canada’s complete withdrawal from NATO and US-led military interventions, starting with the expanded war in Iraq and Syria. We call upon the labour and democratic forces, and especially the anti-war movements, to step up opposition to the Harper government’s war-making, and to help win a new foreign policy of peace and disarmament, just political settlement of armed conflicts, respect for national sovereignty, withdrawal from NATO, an end to imperialist military alliances and interventions, and for universal global nuclear disarmament.

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