(April 2) – In violation of international law, the House of Commons voted on March 30 to adopt a motion to support the extension of Canada’s participation in the U.S. war in Iraq and expand Canada’s bombing to Syria.
The motion received 142 votes in favour and 129 against. Thirty-two MPs out of 308 were absent for the vote (19 Conservative, 5 NDP, 4 Liberal, 4 Independent). Independent Members of Parliament and most from the opposition parties opposed the motion, while the Conservative majority in the House voted in favour.
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler did not endorse the Liberal vote against and instead abstained as he did in the first vote on involvement in Iraq. He did so on the grounds that he believes bombing Iraq and Syria is warranted according to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
Referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the motion affirms that the House of Commons “continues to support the Government’s decision to contribute Canadian military assets to the fight against ISIL*, and terrorists aligned with ISIL, including air strike capability with authorisation to conduct airstrikes in Iraq and Syria… to a date not beyond March 30, 2016.”
The House of Commons previously adopted a motion on October 7, 2014 supporting a six month mission in Iraq. Prime Minister Harper has described this as an “authorization” to do various things, though a vote in parliament is not required for the government to enter the war.
The motion states that the House of Commons continues to “support the Government’s decision to contribute Canadian military assets” rather than to authorize it. Opposition parties also voted against the previous motion and have said the government is not being honest about what Canadian forces are doing in Iraq.
Debate on the motion took place from mid-afternoon to 12 midnight on March 26, and continued March 30 at which point the government imposed time allocation procedures to limit the length of debate.
Department of National Defence statements to news agencies on March 31 said Canada will begin bombing inside Syria “shortly.” Minister of National Defence Jason Kenney has admitted on several occasions that it was the U.S. who “requested we expand our air sorties into eastern Syria.” At present there is admitted to be six fighter jets, two surveillance aircraft, a refuelling aircraft, 600 support personnel and 69 Canadian special forces involved in the operation.
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC) vigorously opposes not only the mission in Iraq but the decision to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria and to conduct air strikes inside Syria.
The decision of the Harper war government to increase Canadian participation in U.S. aggression overseas warrants serious attention. The MLPC calls on Canadians to respond to these actions which constitute war crimes by going all out to defeat the Harper government and establish an anti-war government.
The desperate striving of the U.S. for world domination is taking the world to the brink of cataclysmic world war.
An anti-war government would uphold relations of equality and mutual benefit amongst sovereign nations based on peaceful coexistence, support all peoples fighting for their rights, and uphold the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.
Basing itself on these principles and the aim of using the natural and human resources of the country to benefit the people, Canada should immediately withdraw from all aggressive military blocs and become a force for peace.
*Also known as ISIS, the Islamic State, and Daesh.
Source: Democratic Renewal, April 2, 2015 • No. 50
All Out to Establish an Anti-War Government!