- For the last 14 Canada Days, Canada has been at war: Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria.
- In 2014, mere months after bringing the last soldiers home from Afghanistan, the Harper government committed Canada to military action in Iraq.
- In April 2015, the Harper government extended Canada’s military mission in Iraq for another 12 months, until March 2016, and expanded it into Syria.
- In March 2016, the Trudeau government extended Canada’s military mission in Iraq and Syria for another 12 months, until March 2017, and budgeted it over a three-year period to 2019.
- Now the Trudeau government is “actively considering” a request from NATO to supply troops to a new NATO force in Eastern Europe to deter “Russian aggression.”
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!
IRAQ & SYRIA
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 Trudeau government is not working for peace in Iraq and Syria. Instead, it is making more war.
Bombing mission: The Trudeau government has retained Canadian refueling and surveillance aircraft in the region to assist with the bombing campaign—“proxy bombing” as some have called it.
Ground troops: The Trudeau government first tripled the number of Canadian troops on the ground to a total of 600 and then increased the number again to 830. These are Canadian soldiers who train Iraqi soldiers to kill.
Military helicopters: The Trudeau government has sent three military helicopters to Iraq to support Canadian ground troops.
Deadly weapons: The Trudeau government is providing Iraqi forces with weapons, including machine guns and mortars.
FUTILITY OF WAR
Will western military operations in Iraq and Syria bring about any good outcome? Have the first 13 years of the so-called “war on terror” had a beneficial outcome?
- Descent into murderous chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya
- The emergence of Daesh, otherwise known as ISIS, in Iraq, a direct result of the 2003 US-led occupation of Iraq
- Immense human suffering: Thousands of civilians have been killed. Many more have been injured. Whole cities have been reduced to rubble. Millions of people have become refugees.
- Endless war in the Middle East region
- Violence in western countries, including Canada—which should not surprise us: How many Muslim countries has Canada inflicted violence on recently? Maybe we should eliminate the incentive for people to want to kill us!
“War begets violence and hatred that only begets more violence and hatred.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Rather than seeking a peaceful resolution to hostilities in Ukraine, Canada continues to beat the drums of war.
- In 2015, Canada sent 200 soldiers to Ukraine to train its military forces fighting pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
- In 2016, the Trudeau government reaffirmed “Canada’s contribution to support Ukrainian forces through military training and capacity-building in 2016–17.”
POLAND, ESTONIA, LITHUANIA, & LATVIA
- Earlier this month, Canada participated in a massive NATO military exercise in Poland and the Baltic states.
- Now Canada is being pressured to supply soldiers for a new NATO force in the region.
What started the conflict and tension in Eastern Europe? According to most western leaders, it was precipitated by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
It is not quite that simple. Left out of this version of events is the role of NATO in initiating the crisis.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO has been expanding eastward to Russia’s borders.
- In 1999, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic became NATO members.
- In 2004, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania joined NATO.
- NATO has also made overtures to Georgia and Ukraine.
The aim of NATO expansion is to intimidate and humiliate Russia.
NATO, A THREAT TO WORLD PEACE
- NATO has armed forces in all six inhabited continents.
- NATO has at its disposal two million troops.
- NATO states account for 70% of world arms spending.
- NATO insists on its right to employ nuclear weapons on a first- strike basis.
TAKE ACTION FOR PEACE ON CANADA DAY
- Let Prime Minister Trudeau know you want Canada to stop making war in Iraq and Syria and Eastern Europe; ●to start making diplomatic peacemaking our top international priority; and ●to get out of NATO: email@example.com or 613-922-4211.
- Send the same message to Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan: Sajjan@parl.gc.ca or 613-995-7052.
- Create a peace symbol on any surface: a sidewalk using chalk; your garden using flowers or rocks; a cake using icing. Take a photo of your peace symbol and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org You will, in return, receive a peace gift and become eligible to win a major peace prize.