Harper and Syria: sanctions in the service of war

Anti-war picket, Halifax, Friday afternoons

ON JULY 6, following the “Friends of Syria” meeting held in France in which Canada and other NATO members and allies participated, Canada announced it has broadened its sanctions against Syria. It has added the Syria International Islamic Bank and the Syrian National Security Bureau to its list of “individuals and entities subject to a prohibition on dealings.” It has also added a large amount of chemicals and what appears to be equipment that would be used for industrial or bio-medical purposes (e.g., HEPA filters and face-mask respirators).

In a statement, Foreign Minister John Baird first invoked human rights violations in Syria. He then used this claim to suggest Syria may be using, or might use chemical or biological weapons and used this to declare Syria a threat to international peace and security. On this basis, the Harper government provides itself with the “reason” to amend its sanctions regime. It is a repeat of the disinformation campaign about weapons of mass destruction and human rights used to prepare conditions for the criminal invasion of Iraq. It is the modus operandi of the invading countries and is opposed by peace- and justice-loving Canadians.

Baird stated: “The daily assault on the people of Syria by the Assad regime continues to throw this country into further chaos.

“Canada is horrified by Assad’s lack of respect for human life and is responding with additional measures to further isolate and increase pressure on the regime.

“Canada is imposing prohibitions against the export of goods and technology that could be used to further repress the people of Syria. As well, Canada is prohibiting the export of goods that could be used to produce chemical and biological weapons, beyond those already controlled by Canada [sic].”

In the preface to the amended regulations which put in place the additional sanctions against Syria, the invocation of Syria as a threat to international peace and security is clear:

“Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that the situation in Syria constitutes a grave breach of international peace and security that has resulted or is likely to result in a serious international crisis;

“Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to subsections 4 (1) to (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.”

All this despite the fact that Syria has not attacked any country. On the contrary, it has been singled out for interference in its internal affairs by U.S. imperialism and its NATO allies. NATO is the one breaching international peace and security with its constant provocations, as it organizes itself and its allies to openly arm, train and house armed groups against the Syrian government, and generally create chaos inside the country so no political solution can be achieved.

Oppose Canadian Participation in War Preparations Against Syria!

TML Weekly Information Project, July 14, 2012 – No. 28

Weekly Picket:
Oppose imperialist intervention in Syria and Iran!
4:30 – 5:30pm, Friday, July 20
Corner of Spring Garden Road & Barrington Street
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Filed under Media, Journalism & Disinformation, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

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