Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

WAGE PEACE NOT WAR

Posted by strattof on March 17, 2016

Kudos to the Trudeau government for keeping its election promise to stop Canadian bombing in Syria. But are the “sunny ways” of our new government really that much different from the Harper government’s blatant-war-mongering?

Sadly, the Liberal government is not working for peace. In fact, it is expanding Canada’s military mission in Iraq and Syria.

  • Bombing mission: A Canadian refueling aircraft and two surveillance aircraft will remain in the region to assist with the bombing campaign = deputized bombing.
  • Training mission: The size of the Canadian training mission will triple, increasing from 69 – 207. These are Canadian soldiers who will train Iraqi soldiers to kill.
  • Deadly weapons: Canada will, for the first time, provide Iraqi forces with weapons, including machine guns and mortars.
  • Endless war: The mission has been officially extended until March 2017. However, it is not scheduled to be evaluated until 2018 and has been budgeted over a three-year period = 2019.

Although the details are sketchy, the Liberal plan also includes an increase in humanitarian aid and in diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution to the conflict.

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

WHAT IS DAESH (ISIS)?

Daesh* is a direct result of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It developed out of an al-Qaida affiliate that came into existence in reaction to the American invasion. It includes former military leaders from Saddam Hussein’s army who lost their positions under the US military occupation.

Under Saddam, Sunnis held all key positions in the Iraqi government and military. After toppling Saddam, the US removed all Saddam appointees from power and replaced them with Shia politicians and military leaders. Then, after the 2006 elections, the US threw its support behind the Shia dominated government of Nouri al Malaki and its policy of Sunni marginalization. Owing to this policy, Daesh grew significantly.

Thanks also to the US, Daesh has very sophisticated weaponry. It captured hundreds of millions of dollars of US military equipment from the Iraqi Security Forces. It also has weapons supplied by the US to rebels in Syria trying to overthrow the Assad regime.

*Following the lead of the Toronto Star, the vigil is adopting the term Daesh as the most accurate and appropriate term to describe the group that calls itself ISIS. Daesh is the long-form Arabic title of the group: al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham.

FUTILITY OF WAR

Will western military operations against Daesh bring about any good outcome? Have the first 13 years of the “war on terror” had a beneficial outcome?

  • Descent into murderous chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya: Where is the promised freedom and democracy?
  • Immense human suffering: Thousands of civilians have been killed since the airstrikes began in September 2014. Many more have been injured. Whole cities have been reduced to rubble. Millions of people have become refugees.
  • Endless war in the whole Middle East region.
  • More violence, more death, more suffering, more refugees.

THE COSTS OF WAR

The costs paid by the people in the war zone are horrendous: death, injury, trauma, bereavement, displacement.

We in Canada also pay a high price:

  • 162 Canadians died in the war in Afghanistan.
  • 1 in 10 Canadian veterans of that war suffer from PTSD.
  • 62 Canadian veterans of the Afghan war have committed suicide.
  • There are also financial costs to Canadians:
  •     Afghanistan: $18 billion
  • Libya: $347 million
  • Iraq-Syria 2014 – 2015: $528 million
  • Iraq-Syria 2016 – 2019: $1.6 billion.

That’s a lot of money! It could have been spent instead on education, affordable housing, healthcare, and clean drinking water for all Canadians.

ENDLESS WAR: WHO BENEFITS?

  • War is big business. It is very profitable for Canadian arms manufacturers, making them $12.6 billion in annual revenues, approximately 50% of which comes from international sales.
  • Who loses? Ordinary citizens everywhere!

W A G E   P E A C E

  • Let Prime Minister Trudeau know you want Canada to work for peace in Iraq and Syria. Sign the enclosed postcard.
  • Give the postcard to one of us to mail or drop it in a mailbox. Mail to the Prime Minister does not require postage.

RALLY FOR PEACE: CANADA OUT OF IRAQ AND SYRIA

DATE:    MARCH 19—anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq

TIME:     1 pm

PLACE: PEACE FOUNTAIN, CITY HALL 

A gathering with songs and speakers and one clear message:

NO MORE ENDLESS WAR!

 

 

Sponsored by PeaceQuest Regina, Making Peace Vigil, & Regina Peace Council

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