Harper government’s motion to ‘extend and expand’ Canadian mission in Iraq

‘Fight against terrorism’ – Cover to support U.S. aggression against Syria and Iraq

Harper stated in Mississauga, “The current authorization laid open the possibility of going into Syria, though we have not done that.” He will “address those issues” when the new proposal is revealed, he said. LOUIS LANG

(March 21) – In a speech in Mississauga on March 18, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would be presenting a motion to the House of Commons the following week to “extend and expand” the Canadian mission in Iraq.

Presently, the Canadian Air Force has six CF-18 jets bombing ISIS targets in Iraq. The CF-18s are based in Kuwait along with two surveillance planes, an aerial tanker and 600 support personnel.

In addition to aerial bombing, Canada has also deployed 70 special forces soldiers in Iraq in an “advisory and training” role, working with Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga fighters located in the northern part of Iraq.

Canada’s role in support of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq is based on a motion presented to the House of Commons by the Harper government in October 2014 asking all parties to support the government’s decision to “contribute Canadian military assets to fight against ISIL and terrorists allied with ISIL, including air strike capability for a period up to six months.” Included in the motion was the condition that “Canada would not deploy troops in combat operations.”

In making the announcement, Harper did not elaborate what “extending and expanding” actually means. He went on to say that “The current authorization laid open the possibility of going to Syria although we have not done that.”

These comments have raised many questions and concerns about Harper’s intention to continue Canada’s participation in a military action for which many have said no satisfactory explanation or justification has ever been provided. To suggest, as Harper has done, that ISIS has “declared war on Canada” and Canada must support the U.S.-led coalition to protect the security of Canadians and “our way of life,” is to continue down the path of foreign aggression and war in support of U.S. imperialism, which has already given rise to countless disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. Far from making Canadians safer, the anarchy and violence of such wars cannot fail to put the whole world in danger.

Many in the media are also questioning Harper’s references in his remarks about the “current authorization” of Canada’s involvement. The latest U.S. military aggression in Iraq is not authorized by the United Nations in any form.

Any inference that the “authorization” for bombing or other military activity comes from the Iraqi government is also questionable, because the devastation and destruction of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq since 2002 has left the country split and divided into many factions. Not only are large parts of the country controlled by ISIS but the nominal central government in Baghdad is trying to rebuild the Iraqi army with the help of its Iranian allies. The northern part of Iraq is under the control of Kurdish forces, who are also fighting ISIS but with their own agenda and longtime goal of establishing an independent Kurdistan.

Harper identifies his government’s “authorization” to intervene in Iraq as deriving from the vote in the House of Commons on October 7, 2014, although it has been admitted that such a vote is not required to send troops. The government previously based its claims of the legitimacy of such an authorization on the request of the Iraqi government to participate in and provide assistance to the fight against ISIS. In that vein, the government claimed that it would not follow the U.S. in intervening in Syria due to the Syrian government’s insistence that it did not condone violations of its sovereignty under any pretext.

The justification for entering the war has now shifted towards claims of combatting terrorism to protect the safety and ”way of life” of Canadians.

The justification for entering the war has now shifted towards claims of combatting terrorism to protect the safety and ”way of life” of Canadians. And in recent weeks when asked if Canada would indeed enter Syria as part of the “extension” or “expansion” of its war participation, the line of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and the source of the war’s legitimacy was dropped by the government. Instead, Harper stated in Mississauga, ”The current authorization laid open the possibility of going into Syria, though we have not done that.” He will “address those issues” when the new proposal is revealed, he said.

Recent reports suggest that for the U.S., Canada and others in the coalition the ISIS is not the main enemy or overriding concern for being present in Iraq.

Ongoing reports from Iraqi forces have confirmed that U.S. and coalition planes have been dropping weapons and ammunition reached by ISIS forces in different locations. The latest report by the Fars News Agency, which appeared on the Global Research website on March 19, 2015, says the following; “A commander of Iraq’s popular forces disclosed that wiretapping of ISIL’s communications has confirmed reports that U.S. planes have been air dropping food and arms supplies for the Takfiri terrorists.” The agency’s source for the story was the Commander of Iraq’s Ali Akbar Battalion.

Many similar reports by Iraqi officials have surfaced over the last few months. Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Defence Committee, Haken al-Zameli, disclosed that “the anti-ISIL coalition planes have dropped weapons and foodstuffs for ISIL in Salahudin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.”

Iraqi MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the U.S. and international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month.” Gharawi added that, “[T]he U.S. is trying to expand the time of the war against ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”

Recent reports have also revealed a role played by Canada and its intelligence service in the recruitment of ISIS mercenaries. According to a detailed report in the Ottawa Citizen, March 13, 2015, Canada’s embassy in Amman, Jordan, was allegedly involved in the recruitment of ISIS “jihadists.” The report deals specifically with the recruitment and smuggling of three adolescent British girls into ISIS-controlled territory in Syria. The article states that “a foreign spy arrested in Turkey on suspicion of helping three British schoolgirls travel to Syria to join the Islamic State was working for the Canadian intelligence service.”

Canada’s Ambassador to Jordan, Bruno Saccomani, was appointed to that post last year based on his background in security issues. Previously he had been Superintendent of the RCMP before becoming security chief in charge of Prime Minister Harper’s “security detail.” During his tenure with the RCMP and the Prime Minister’s Office, Saccomani worked in close liaison with CSIS.

The role of Canadian intelligence operating out of the Canadian Embassy in Amman has been an integral part of the ongoing process of U.S.-NATO sponsored recruitment and financing of terrorists as part of its destabilization of Syria and Iraq to isolate Iran and Russia. Prior to the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, NATO and the Turkish High Command had initiated the recruitment of thousands of “Muslim volunteers” to fight alongside the “Syrian rebels.” The Turkish army housed the volunteers, trained them and secured their passage into Syria.

The so-called debate in the House of Commons next week to “extend and expand the military mission in Iraq” is a smokescreen to hide the real intent of the U.S. and Canada to continue to threaten the people of the region with destabilization and foreign occupation. A recent interview in the Washington Post with Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq, clearly shows that ISIS is not the reason the U.S. is in Iraq. In the interview, General Petraeus said, “Yet despite that history and the legacy it has left, I think Iraq and the coalition forces are making considerable progress against the Islamic State. In fact, I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran.”

Although the Harper conservatives continue to talk hysterically about the need to fight the “jihadist threat to Canada,” they cannot hide the fact that continued participation in the unjust and unlawful foreign aggression in support of the goals of U.S. imperialism to control the region and its resources is really what is behind their plans. Their immediate goal is to continue to prolong the civil war in Syria to achieve regime change, or if not that at least instability from which the country will not be able to recover. This along with prolonging the fight against ISIS in Iraq serves to bleed Iran and sabotage the cooperation of the peoples of the Middle East as part of the overall NATO drive to isolate Russia.

No amount of deception and cover-up in the House of Commons can give legitimacy to the criminal actions being planned by the Harper government against the people of Iraq, Syria and Iran. Canada must end its participation in U.S. aggression and wars! The Harper government’s extremist positions and warmongering character has lost the confidence of the Canadian people and must be defeated.

Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!

Source: TML Weekly Information Project, March 21, 2015 – No. 12

 

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