Rather than giving peace a chance, Canada is engaging in a military first foreign policy.
- Since 2003, Canada has been endlessly at war: Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq-Syria—Canada has been or is there making war.
- Today, Canada is directy involved in two international wars—Iraq-Syria and Ukraine.
- In July, the Canadian government committed to sending troops to Latvia as part of a new NATO force to deter “Russian aggression.”
- In August, Canada voted against a UN plan to ban nuclear weapons.
- Canada continues to expand its role as an arms dealer, selling weapons all over the world, including to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States.
- Now, the Canadian government is considering joining the US Ballistic Missile Defence system.
“All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”—John Lennon
DEATH & DESTRUCTION IN SYRIA
WAR & PEACE
- On September 9, the US and Russia brokered a partial ceasefire in the multi-sided civil war in Syria.
- On September 17, the US, which wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out at all cost, led air strikes on a Syrian government air base killing more than 60 Syrian government soldiers.
- On September 22, Russia, Assad’s main ally, along with the Syrian air force, began dropping bombs on Aleppo, a main rebel stronghold in the civil war.
- Russia and the US are blaming each other for the collapse of the ceasefire.
- In the meantime, the suffering of the people of Aleppo is horrendous.
MAKING WAR IN SYRIA: 5 FACTS
- The war in Syria is in its 5th year, creating the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.
- Over 400,000 Syrians have been killed in the war.
- 8 million Syrians have become refugees, the majority of them in neighbouring countries.
- 5 million Syrians are internally displaced.
- 80% of Syrians within Syria live in poverty. 70% are without access to adequate drinking water.
MAKING PEACE IN SYRIA: 2 CONDITIONS
- All of the major parties involved in the Syrian conflict must be brought to the peace table: the US, Russia, the Assad government, rebel factions, Daesh (ISIS), the Kurds.
- We must all speak out against military interventions and help mobilize public opinion to lobby international decision-makers to work on diplomatic peacemaking.
“War is not a natural calamity like a tempest or an earthquake; war is man-made and man can prevent it.”—James Endicott
Canada is the world’s second largest exporter of arms to the Middle East and the 6th largest military exporter in the world.
Who benefits from war? Arms dealers. War is big business. Who loses? Ordinary citizens everywhere.
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicous….It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”—Major General Smedley Butler
BMD, A WEAPONS PROGRAM
The US Missile Defence system (BMD) is an anti-missile system that has been in development since the 1990s. Its stated goal is to defend against nuclear attack by “rogue” states.
It is currently located in a number of countries, including the US, the UK, Denmark, Greenland, and Romania. The US would like this system to be everywhere.
In 2005, the Liberal government of Paul Martin said “no” to joining BMD. The following were some of the reasons:
- The viability of the program is unproven.
- It would cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars.
- The name “missile defence” is a misnomer, as the system is, in effect, a weapons development program and would lead to a new arms race.
- It would not contribute to world peace or security.
These reasons still stand. The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau should also say “no” to joining BMD and start saying “yes” to working for peace.
“The deployment of BMD will not bring us one step closer to collective security and peace agreements no matter how much money is spent on it.”—Ed Lehman
TAKE ACTION FOR PEACE
PEACE IN SYRIA
- SIGN ONLINE PETITIONS
- Google “Development and Peace Syria petition”
- Google “Avaaz Protect Syrian Civilians Now”
- Google “Avaaz Protect Aleppo’s Children Now”
- LET PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU KNOW you want Canada to stop making war in Syria and to start making diplomatic peace-making a top priority: firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-995-0253.
KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE: YOU ARE INVITED
SATURDAY OCTOBER 8, 2 PM, RESEARCH & INNOVATION, ROOM 208, U OF R
A public discussion of why Canada should NOT join the US ballistic missile defence system, this event will feature three panelists: David Gehl (Regina Peace Council), Dr. Stephen Moore (Making Peace Vigil & Campion College English Department), and Dr. Bill Stahl (PeaceQuest Regina & Professor Emeritus of Luther College, University of Regina, Sociology Department).
A part of Keep Space for Peace Week—October 1 – 8—an international week of protest to stop the militarization of space, the event calls on us all to work for peace. Everyone is welcome.