Don’t Attack Syria


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Victoria joined other cities across Canada with a protest in front of the
BC provincial legislature on Saturday August 31

The Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) is calling on all its members and supporters to oppose an impending US-led attack on Syria.

See the Canadian Peace Alliance’s Statement and Call for Action. Petition below. 

CPA Statement
August 27, 2013

Once again, a report about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction is being used to justify an intervention. We are always opposed to the use of any weapons on civilians, but as was the case with the last reports of an alleged attack, there is no conclusive proof that the attack came from the Syrian government.

Undaunted by the lack of evidence, US Secretary of State John Kerry has nevertheless declared that the US and its NATO allies will strike Syria. Any intervention by a new “coalition of the willing” will be against international law and must be opposed.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has said that Canada will be in “lock-step” with its NATO allies. Canadian officials are currently meeting with counterparts from France, the UK and the US to devise strategies for an intervention.

Regardless of what one thinks of either the Syrian government or of the opposition forces, we know from recent experience that:

  • NATO and its allies have and will continue to lie about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify “humanitarian” intervention.
  • NATO-led attacks, justified as a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) civilians, have resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths. The death toll from military attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya can be counted in the hundreds of thousands.
  • The geopolitical calculations of the NATO powers, and not the interests of ordinary people, are always the main considerations for any intervention.

During the Vietnam War, US officials described a situation where it became necessary to “destroy the village in order to save it.” As with all the recent evocations of R2P, it appears that the goal of NATO is to murder civilians in order to save them. We must, therefore, stand in opposition to the actions of the aggressor states in NATO and call on the government of Canada to keep its hands off Syria.

CPA Call for action
Many CPA member groups, as well as coalitions in other countries including the US, have devised emergency response plans in the event of an attack on Syria. The CPA calls upon peace and social justice groups to devise such plans, whether or not an attack immediately involves Canada, and to continue to pressure the Government of Canada and NATO to keep their hands off Syria.

Please e-mail or call your Member of Parliament and demand that they oppose an attack on Syria. A full list of MP contact information can be found here.

Petition against military intervention in Syria
The petition below prepared by Joan Russow provides further background to share with our MPs.

COGNIZANT THAT resorting to military intervention, the US and its allies will be in violation of the fundamental purpose of the United Nations – to prevent the scourge of war
CONCERNED ABOUT the years of using various ill-conceived guises for justifying military intervention: “human security” (Iraq 1991), “Humanitarian intervention” (Kosovo, 1999), “Responsibility to Protect” (Haiti, 2004, Libya, 2011) or “will to intervene” (Mali, 2013)

AWARE THAT in May 2013 UN human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin

AWARE THAT the US has ratified the UN Chemical Conventions but has not yet completely eliminated chemical weapons, Israel has signed but not ratified the UN Chemical Weapons Convention, and Syria will only ratify the chemical weapons Convention if Israel renounces nuclear arms

AWARE ALSO THAT Canada, Israel and US have refused to adopt the Declaration on a Nuclear Arms Free Middle East

NOTING THAT 188 states have ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, the provisions in the Convention have become international peremptory norms

DEEPLY CONCERNED that the US and its allies are attempting to secure support, through Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, for an intervention into Syria, rather than invoking chapter VI- the peaceful resolution of disputes

Given the social, environmental, health, human rights, economic consequences of war, under no conditions or circumstance is war legal or just.

The following signatories oppose military intervention in Syria and call for:

  • Invoking Chapter VI – the peaceful resolution of disputes- of the Charter of the United Nations, and
  • Respecting the International rule of law including a referral to the International Court of Justice, as per the Chemical Weapons Convention
  • Increased humanitarian aid to countries aiding Syrian refugees

Add your name and send to MPs (see the link for MP contacts on the CPA link above)
For more information contact Joan RussowGlobal Compliance Research Project

An article worth reading
An attack on Syria will only spread the war and killing

Tariq Ali provides thoughtful analysis — On Intervening in Syria

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