Canada’s announcement that it will not participate in U.S. military action

WARonIRAQheader

Commentary, The Marxist-Leninist Daily, 18 March 2003

Protest against the deployment to the Persian Gulf of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

Protest against the deployment to the Persian Gulf of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

SPEAKING in the House of Commons as it reconvened March 17 after a two week break, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien stated that “Canada will not participate” in the U.S.-led aggression against Iraq. At the same time Chrétien stated that Canada will be part of “rebuilding” a post-war Iraq. He stated that Canada will not pull its three ships out of the region saying they are needed to fulfill this country’s commitment to the war on terror. They are essentially protecting ships of the U.S., its allies and other powers in the area, he said. He also stated that 31 Canadian soldiers on exchange with British and American units in the Gulf region will be allowed to remain with their units, but would be unlikely to see battle in Iraq.

This photo is taken on the same day that Prime Minister Chretien, speaking in Halifax, declared that Canada was not involved in Iraq. Crew and support staff load supplies aboard destroyer HMCS Iroquois on Thursday, February 20, 2003. Captain Maddison and the crew are preparing the ship for Monday's deployment to the Middle East in support of Canada's Operation Apollo. Sailors laden with supplies stream on to the aging warship as they get ready for a six-month mission in the Persian Gulf. Activity on this historic dock hasn't ceased since last Thursday when the captain and crew were told they had 10 days to prepare for the deployment. (CP PHOTO/Scott Dunlop)

This photo is taken on the same day that Prime Minister Chretien, speaking in Halifax, declared that Canada was not involved in Iraq. Crew and support staff load supplies aboard destroyer HMCS Iroquois on Thursday, February 20, 2003. Captain Maddison and the crew are preparing the ship for Monday’s deployment to the Middle East in support of Canada’s Operation Apollo. Sailors laden with supplies stream on to the aging warship as they get ready for a six-month mission in the Persian Gulf. Activity on this historic dock hasn’t ceased since last Thursday when the captain and crew were told they had 10 days to prepare for the deployment. (CP PHOTO/Scott Dunlop)

In making his announcement, Chrétien stated that “Over the last few weeks, the Security Council has been unable to agree on a new resolution authorizing military action. Canada worked very hard to find a compromise to bridge the gap in the Security Council. Unfortunately, we were not successful.” The statement and Canada’s compromise proposal at the UN indicate that by “bridging the gap” it is meant that Canada would have found a way for the majority of the Security Council to support a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq.

In a press conference held on Parliament Hill after George W. Bush’s prime time TV ultimatum, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham stated that “We do not believe the use of force would be appropriate without a clear indication from the Security Council that that point had been reached.” “That is a difference between us and our American allies,” he said. Graham stated that Colin Powell had given him advance warning of the content of Bush’s speech and that “The secretary and I had a very frank and open discussion…. The secretary pointed out what the U.S. position will be and I pointed out what the Canadian position is.” Graham said, “We agreed to disagree.” What Graham did not say is that as part of the U.S.’s last day to “give diplomacy a chance,” Colin Powell basically told Canada what to do next and Canada did it. It gave the U.S. the green light for war by agreeing to disagree on whether “that point (for war) had been reached.”

The stand of the government of Canada signifies the failure of attempts to preserve a rules-based system. It now gives the green light to the U.S. adventurist course which will raise anarchy to authority internationally. It shows that Canada’s refusal to take a stand against the aims of the U.S. to take over Iraq and instead claim that the disagreement is merely over method, does not make the government of Canada a force for peace.

Many Canadians gave a sigh of relief when they found out that Canada will not directly participate in committing the crimes against humanity which the U.S. and Britain are going to carry out. At least these crimes won’t be done “in our name.” But there is no doubt that the government cannot ignore that 80 per cent of Quebecers and 60 per cent of Canadians in the rest of the country are fighting for their own aim of world peace, security and economic prosperity for all the peoples of the world. They will never agree to sanction the U.S. imperialists’ striving for world domination. Besides anything else, such a thing hastens the annexation of Canada which Canadians will fight tooth and nail. For this reason, the government hopes to instead channel the anti-war movement in Canada into a “I am proud to be Canadian” exercise.

The Liberal attempt to present the status quo as a solution to the problems facing the UN and the peoples of the world is treachery of the first order. The future can only be guaranteed by outlawing aggression against sovereign nations in the name of “pre-emptive strike” and regime change and opposing the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the U.S. While Chrétien and Graham went to great pains in their remarks not take a principled stand by condemning the U.S. aggression, instead presenting it as a “difference of opinion” and an agreement to disagree with a “close ally and friend,” they made it clear they will seek to participate in the spoils of war.

Even as the Canadian government is differentiating itself from the United States, the representatives of the monopolies continue to push for increasingly rapid integration with the U.S. In the name of “security” of the people and of protecting the Canadian economy, calls for a common North American security perimeter will now reach fever pitch.

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s