By TONY SEED*
THE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been paralysed by its latest succession crisis, even as it has considerably stretched its own immediate military resources, urgently needed (especially right now) for repressing its own people, by sending a force under partly U.S. command to quell a year-long uprising in the Persian Gulf emirate of Bahrain. Meanwhile, a newly-released Congressional report advocates the United States boost the forces it already has encamped in Kuwait. 15,000 U.S. troops are already stationed in the tiny Gulf kingdom.
At this same website, a map of the current U.S. military encirclement of Iran places extraordinary emphasis (hopes?) on U.S. troop concentrations in Afghanistan ! It looks like all NATO forces still in Afghanistan are also part of this encirclement — including Canadian forces.
In this context, four initiatives by the Harper government, which calls itself “big players in NATO” and its “go-to nation”, that have passed under the radar merit attention:
(1) The establishment of a new military base in the Middle East, also in Kuwait. According to CBC, “The initial agreement runs for three years from Monday (July 11, 2011), but the agreement will automatically be renewed unless it’s formally terminated.” It was signed by Defence Minister Peter MacKay in Kuwait the week immediately after the so-called ending of Canada’s “combat mission” in Afghanistan. According to the CBC report, “A statement from MacKay’s office says the mission requires access to an airport and sea terminal to move equipment and vehicles from Afghanistan.”
Canadian military personnel are also posted to the Al Udeid US military base in Qatar.
(2) The establishment in February 2012 of a new military base in Germany. MacKy said experience of using “a logistical hub” at an American airbase in Spangdahlem, Germany, to support Canada’s mission in Afghanistan has “driven home the value of maintaining operational support hubs abroad in anticipation of future missions requirements.” The word “hub” is a Pentagon euphemism for base and “future missions” a Harper euphemism for intervention and aggression.
(3) Deployment of a Canadian arms export mission to Kuwait and the Gulf Defense and Aerospace Exhibition and Conference held from December 12 to 14, the first of its kind for the Gulf States. According to al-akhbar.com, “The target audience is young colonels, those with future potential and technical knowledge who, ten years down the line, can develop businesses with contacts and ‘friends’ made at these events.” The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) “trade mission” included General Dynamics and “senior representatives from the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Forces, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Canadian Commercial Corporation.” CADSI said in a December press release that it was its “third mission to the Middle East in the past two years after previous visits to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”
More than one quarter of the 100 companies participating in the Kuwait arms show were American. US foreign military sales this year have shot over $50 billion, a 70 per cent increase over last year, and Saudi Arabia accounts for three-fifths of the sum.
(4) The involvement of the Harper government in the arms of subversion – secret diplomacy and funding and promoting covert operations and fifth column intrigue to politically destabilize governments in the Middle East that Washington and the North American monopolies find hostile to their interests – all the while decrying “violence,” the alleged involvement of Russia and China, and calling for “peace” and “human rights.” (This will be covered in greater detail in future postings.)
The U.S. and Canadian governments are allegedly “ending the military mission” in Afghanistan but Canada is concretely involved in, according to MacKay’s office, a “mission (that) requires access to an airport and sea terminal to move equipment and vehicles.”
For its part, the U.S. is frenziedly expanding troop deployment and arms sales, deploying warships and preparing invasion plans, and unleashing a broad offensive of disinformation about the Middle East and the forces involved, including the thesis that “war is inevitable.”
These facts show that the alleged end of NATO’s current mission in Afghanistan is not an end to the war against those who resist foreign domination in Afghanistan, in neighbouring Iran and the Middle East, but on the contrary to eliminate the resistance, which the Afghan, Iranian and Arabic peoples have always shown is a lost cause from the get go.
*With a file from Gary Zatzman
HANDS OFF IRAN!
Canada needs an anti-war government!
Residents of the Halifax region concerned about the Harper dictatorship’s collusion in these intrigues can join the weekly HANDS OFF SYRIA! HANDS OFF IRAN! picket at the foot of Spring Garden Road (in front of the Maritime Centre), Friday afternoons between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m
NEXT PICKET: Friday, June 22, 2012
Organized by the Halifax Branch of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)