The Canadian Peace Congress unequivocally condemns the brazen aggression of the United States, Britain and France against the Syrian Arab Republic on April 14. These imperialist powers launched over 100 cruise and other missiles at three alleged but unproven chemical weapons facilities in Damascus and Homs, under the pretext of punishing Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, on the outskirts of the capital city. This military assault, without the prior approval of the Security Council, was a gross, undeniable violation of the UN Charter and international law. It has been roundly condemned by many countries around the world, and has created divisions within the NATO bloc itself.
Once again, these NATO powers – led by U.S. imperialism – arrogantly assign themselves not only the role of the ‘world policeman’, but also that of ‘judge, jury and executioner’ on behalf of all humanity. French President Emmanuel Macron incredibly argued that because these three states have permanent seats in the Security Council, their aggression was ‘legal’. One wonders if he even heard of – much less read – the UN Charter.
Once again, they have dragged out the discredited doctrine of the “Responsibility to Protect” (RoP) in order to justify flaunting international law to serve their own interests, as they did previously against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.
Once again, they claim to have “solid evidence” to back up their allegation that the Syrian government and armed forces used chemical weapons against its own citizens. And yet, these NATO powers have not provided a single shred of real evidence to prove their allegations, relying instead on photos and video clips provided by the notoriously pro-jihadist, Western-financed and directed “White Helmets” group. Indeed, this missile attack came six hours before the OPCW’s fact-finding mission arrived in Syria to begin its onsite investigation in Douma. Why was this aggression launched before this OPCW inspection? Was it to pre-empt revelations that the alleged Douma chemical attack was a sham?
Once again, Western mainstream news services act as an uncritical mouthpiece – a corporate-controlled echo chamber – for this interventionist ‘regime change’ strategy, silencing any perspective, analysis or factual revelation that challenges or contradicts the dominant discourse on the Syrian conflict.
The Real Motives for this Attack
There has been wide speculation internationally about the real motivations behind this illegal and unjustified aggression. Some suggest that it serves to distract domestic public attention from the continuing difficulties facing the respective government elites in the U.S. Britain and France, and to bolster their sagging political fortunes at home. Others argue this aggression is nothing more than another ‘fundraiser’ to justify and further increase their bloated military budgets. Still others point to an attempt to divert world attention from the most recent atrocities of the Israeli regime, killing dozens of unarmed protesters in Gaza, and injuring hundreds more.
No doubt all of these objectives played a role in spurring this attack. The primary motivation however lies elsewhere. The simple, inescapable fact is that the strategy waged by U.S. imperialism and its NATO allies, and supported by Saudi Arabia, the reactionary Gulf States, Turkey, and Israel, to overthrow the duly-elected Assad government in Syria has been an abject failure. The conflict in Syria – now well into its eighth year – was never a ‘civil war’ at all, but rather a cynical attempt at “regime change” with the intent of carving up Syria into smaller mini-states which could be more easily dominated and exploited.
As many as 400,000 have perished and millions more internally displaced and/or forced into exile as a result of this foreign-financed and orchestrated war. But the Syrian people have persevered, the jihadist terrorists (ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and related groups) have been systematically defeated, and the country’s sovereignty and independence defended. The US and its allies however refuse to recognize this reality. They are desperately searching for any pretext to maintain their ‘proxy war’ on Syria and their illegal presence inside the country (including more than 2,000 US troops and over 5,000 paramilitary “private contractors”) which clearly violates Syria’s sovereignty. Israel has stepped up its direct aggression as well, and Saudi Arabia has just offered to send its own military forces into Syria to “protect US-held” occupied territories inside the country. This is the real underlying strategy driving the propaganda ‘war’ and military attacks on Syria.
Sadly, Prime Minister Trudeau supports this aggressive and illegal attack that threatens to ignite further destruction and possible direct confrontation with Russia and Iran as well. The Peace Congress condemns this dangerous policy and calls on the Canadian government to end its support for foreign aggression, illegal occupation, and the ‘proxy’ war which has been waged for more than seven years to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria. More than ever, Canada needs an independent foreign policy based on peace, disarmament, and respect for international law, not on the promotion of war and aggression.
We further demand that Canada:
accept the will of the Syrian people to determine their own future without foreign interference in accordance with the UN Charter, and formally withdraw from the US-led military coalition in Syria and Iraq;
end the economic sanctions on Syria that punish ordinary Syrians by driving up the price of essentials, and block the flow of remittances;
reopen the Syrian embassy in Ottawa and normalize diplomatic relations with the internationally recognised Syrian government;
commit funding for the peaceful reconstruction of that once-beautiful country that has been devastated by years of foreign-imposed war; and
cancel all military contracts with Saudi Arabia – materiel which is then channelled to terrorist groups in Syria, and used in the continuing “dirty war” on the people of Yemen, and on its own oppressed national minorities
The Canadian Peace Congress conveys its internationalist solidarity with the government and people of Syria in their heroic struggle against terrorism, and in defence of their homeland. And we urge all peace-loving individuals and organizations across Canada to re-double efforts to end all foreign intervention, and to support a just, negotiated resolution ending this ghastly war, one which fully recognizes the unity, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
Hands Off Syria!
Issued by the Executive of the Canadian Peace Congress
April 19, 2018