All out to oppose the ‘Halifax International Security Forum’!

Halifax, December 1, 2004: Demonstration against visit to Halifax of war criminal U.S. President George W. Bush.

Call of the Nova Scotia Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, 4 October 2009

FROM NOVEMBER 20-22, the Canadian Department of National Defence and the US-based German Marshall Fund are convening the “Halifax International Security Forum” at the Westin Hotel in Halifax. We call on all the peace-loving and anti-war forces of this city and the entire region – workers, youth, students and women – to go into action to oppose this event and the dangerous preparations for imperialist war, which it serves.

The official website of the “Security Forum” states that “today’s new dangers require new thinking and new solutions, and the Halifax International Security Forum is the new venue to explore serious policy alternatives.” The German Marshall Fund was the convenor of strategic conferences at the NATO Summits in Istanbul, Riga, and Bucharest as well as the Brussels Forums. The Forum will bring together three hundred politicians, top military brass, corporate CEOs, defence and foreign policy analysts, media pundits, New World Order academics and “officials and prominent security analysts from six continents,” indicating the claims of certain powers for hegemony in all parts of the world.

NATO, directly headed by the United States of America, is the largest and most formidable and expansionist military bloc in the history of humanity, an enormous war machine with a budget of 1,500 billion Euros, 22,000 employees and an army of 60,000 troops and two rapid response naval fleets prepared to intervene at any time. This formal military bloc has been expanded to 28 member states, with another 25 states tied to it through “partnership for peace” agreements; through other auxiliary groupings and arrangements, NATO embraces over sixty nations, a third of the those in the world, on five of the world’s seven continents.

This “Security Forum” is being convened as a component part of a far-reaching reconfiguration for NATO. The NATO Summit in April 2009 held in Strasbourg and Kehl marked the official start of the elaboration of a “new security doctrine” to replace that of 1999, introduced during the air war against Yugoslavia and the first absorption of nations in the former socialist bloc. This past July NATO announced that a “group of experts” would be convened to discuss and plan its new strategy. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chairs the group. The co-chairman is Jeroen van der Veer, who until June 30 was chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell.

The demand for this “doctrine” is impelled by the crisis of NATO itself. After eight years of occupation under the pretext of opposing “terrorism”, NATO has been unable to quell the important resistance of the Afghan people who refuse to accept their “international security assistance”, and it has been unable to convince the peoples of its member countries of the nobility of its course. The war in Afghanistan is expanding and threatening other states. From a US standpoint, which is expanding its troops, this meeting will be used to build a Canadian and European consensus on America’s “long war”.

This “new strategic doctrine” aims at justifying and facilitating the barbaric aggression in Afghanistan, as well as the expansion of the NATO bloc in its “drive to the East.” The “North Atlantic” bloc includes such “European State[s]” as Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco. The “Security Forum” itself is to gather together three hundred “officials and prominent security analysts from six continents,” indicating the claims of certain powers for hegemony in all parts of the world.

At a time of unprecedented crisis in the capitalist system, NATO is also faced with mounting contradictions and multitudinous frictions between the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Russia in the struggle for the redivison of markets, resources and spheres of influence. Whether the disunity over the assault by Georgia on South Ossetia, energy supplies, the European Army, the question remains: who is to dominate Europe? To dominate Europe is potentially to dominate the globe. The US, Britain, Germany and France all have their ambitions in this direction and they clash at every step. In light of the tensions developing between these powers, the new “strategic doctrine” is being initiated to re-align NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Pacific, Africa, South America, the Arctic, etc., to serve the struggle amongst the “allies” and against other non-member and sovereign states such as Iran, China, Russia, Korea, Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela, states which conduct an independent foreign and domestic policy, and to legalize all their actions against the peoples of the world. This “new strategic doctrine” will define and legitimize the direction of NATO for the years to come.

This is a crucial period for the NATO bloc, and hence for Canada’s foreign and defence policy as well. The ruling circles are embroiling our people in dangerous adventures abroad. The government is providing an astonishing budget of $2.5-million to fund this two-and-a-half-day “Security Forum.” The organizing of the Forum is directly linked to promotion of the Atlantic Gateway, a project designed to facilitate rapid transport and military links between South Asia, the Middle East and the USA. It is thus no accident that this “security forum” is to be held in the port of Halifax, headquarters of Maritime Command and the most important NATO military base in the North Atlantic.

It should not be forgotten that since 2000 Canada has been in the forefront amongst the NATO states and beyond in attempting to elaborate and legitimize fascist ideological concepts such as the so-called “responsibility to protect.” These concepts can be used to justify intervention and aggression against a sovereign state on their say-so and criminalize all those who stand in their way. According to the government, it is acting to protect what it calls shared “Euro-Atlantic values” and presents itself as the guarantor of sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law. This image is without any basis in principle and aimed to disinform. The act of a state allowing its territory and facilities to be used by this and blocs of other states to prepare doctrines of aggression is in itself an act of aggression.

Both Stephen Harper and Bob Rae have called for “a stronger position” in NATO. In May 2009 a Canadian warship was deployed to participate in NATO exercises in the Black Sea and Ukraine, and this week the HMCS Fredericton was dispatched to join the NATO Fleet roaming the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Canada is openly hostile to the United Nations and it is not possible to conceal that this is one of the behind-the-scenes motives for the search for new arrangements for the NATO bloc, outside the UN and directed against it. All these political, ideological and military measures underscore the anti-democratic and reactionary-aggressive character of the Canadian policy which has been subordinated to the aims of Washington. Yet, as the most recent federal elections showed, the ruling cartel of capitalist political parties which control the Canadian Parliament do not want any real discussion of their real foreign and military policy, including the global expansionist program of NATO.

And just who is to provide the “new thinking and new solutions” promised by this “security forum”? The very people who are killing and displacing Afghans and depriving them of their right to self-determination! The promoters of the use of force and domination under the protection of the colossal U.S. military and economic power. Anglo-American and European militarists such as Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and the Atlantic Gateway; US Senator and presidential candidate John McCain, advocate of the plan to replace the United Nations with a separate grouping of states called the League of Democracies; Stephen Hadley (one of George W. Bush’s National Security Advisors); several European defence ministers; NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; the Commander of NORAD; unnamed “global political leaders and leading experts on pressing strategic issues”; “the international think tank community”; “business”; “the media”, etc. All this shows that the “Security Forum” is being staged with the aim of organizing the spread of disinformation and confusion on a world scale.

The topics of the Halifax conference, including “Global Transatlanticism – Where the Allies Are,” “Securing the Seas”; “The New Great Game”; “The Laws of War: States v. Non-State Actors”, “Engagement with Bad Actors”, “North Korea”, “Middle East Peace”, “Economic and Security Crisis”, “Cyper Security” – plainly disclose that the participants in the Security Forum are issues defined by the Strategic Concept to allow the bloc to intervene anywhere on the Earth for any number of purposes.

When they resort to the medieval dictum that Might Makes Right, it is an expression of the acuteness of the inter-imperialist contradictions and that the war for the redivision of the world has being going on in all earnest. It is one thing to hold conferences, elaborate doctrines and form groupings of states but something quite different really to achieve the aims that the inspirers of these blocs and doctrines pursue. These activities in turn also sharpen the contradictions between imperialism and the peoples, which are already manifesting themselves. We must respond by uniting in action against the danger of fascism and imperialist war and ensure that the working class and people of this country are masters of their own future, the real decision makers. We call on all people of conscience in Halifax and throughout the Maritime region to organize to oppose this imperialist war conference. It must not pass!

Warmongers are not welcome in Halifax!

All Out to Oppose the Halifax International Security Forum!

No Harbour for War!

Canada Out of Afghanistan!

Canada Out of NATO!

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Filed under Atlantic Gateway / Atlantica, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

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