From Africa to Syria, Liberal ‘peace operations’ are war operations and imperialist divide and rule

The need to establish an Anti-War Government and end Imperialist Divide and Rule in the name of peace | ENVER VILLAMIZAR

 Demonstration in Ottawa, March 19, 2016 marked 13th anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Demonstration in Ottawa, March 19, 2016 marked 13th anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq.

During the 2015 federal election, the Liberals’ campaign tried to create the impression in the minds of Canadians that electing the Liberals meant that in international affairs, Canada would play a role for peace, rather than for war. However, since being elected, the Liberals have stepped up participation in U.S.-led war-making and war preparations.

160319-Ottawa-AntiWar-11crSince the Trudeau Liberals have come to power there has been a constant stream of excited gossip in the media that soon, very soon, Canada will send soldiers to Africa. No one knows yet to which countries, the monopoly journalists say, but it could be Mali, or the Central African Republic, among other countries and this is very good because people speak French there. Supposedly these will be “peace operations” but now things have changed and “peacekeeping” also involves counterinsurgency and training military and police forces. People are told they should be very glad that finally there is an opportunity for Canada to take its place again on “the world stage.”

Prime Minister Trudeau said in a statement on “National Peacekeepers Day,” August 9, “Moving forward, we will increase Canada’s support to United Nations peace operations…” The term “peace operation” is being used to fool people into believing that such interventions are to prevent or stop conflict. In fact, “peace operation” is a blanket term increasingly being used to describe whatever those using it want it to mean. It has no objective basis in international law or international affairs and has become a catch-all phrase for any military operation which the aggressors say will create peace and/or stability. Intervening in a sovereign country with military forces as was done in Haiti after the U.S., Canadian and French-led coup d’etat in 2004 – an operation that continues to this day – is called a “peacekeeping operation” by those who wish to cover up that it is to facilitate imperialist regime change and suppress any resistance to it.

In this regard, the Liberals are also trying to resuscitate the same so-called 3D approach – Defence, Diplomacy and Development – unleashed on Afghanistan to conceal their aim and suppress any resistance to U.S. imperialist domination. For example, Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan said in July that if Canada does become engaged in an African mission, potentially the army will be involved not only in peacekeeping as traditionally conceived, but also in “capacity building” – typically code for sending Canadian military and police forces to train local military and police and assist them in repressing the people – and in “controlling the spread of Islamic militants across the Middle East and Africa.” Here we can see that “peace operations” will include fighting a war against not only the nebulous ISIS but whosoever can be deemed “extremists.”

Sajjan visited various African countries in early August for a week-long “fact-finding mission,” shopping for a conflict to which Canadian troops and materiel can be deployed. While in Ethiopia, he told media, “I think we can definitely say what we used to have as peacekeeping, before, is no longer. We don’t have two parties that have agreed on peace and there’s a peacekeeping force in between. Those peacekeeping days, those realities, do not exist now and we need to understand the reality of today.”

This is being repeated by other spokespersons for “reform” to UN peacekeeping in the most self-serving fashion as they try to breathe new life into the imperialist program of presenting regime change and foreign interference as “protecting civilians” and “stabilization.”

The peoples of Africa, who won their independence in huge wars and struggles of resistance against empire-builders from the time of colonization up to the 1990s, are now facing increased dangers from the big powers and particularly U.S. imperialism. In recent years the U.S., along with France and Britain, has greatly increased its military presence and bases throughout the continent. Already these forces are participating in the open overthrow of governments that defy their dictate, such as in Côte d’Ivoire where in 2011 the President was arrested and the government overthrown by French troops.

Likewise, the U.S. and other NATO countries are violating Syria’s sovereignty, sending in warplanes and thousands of special forces. What began as an attempt to carry out regime change and failed has morphed into an all-out war to rip the country apart. The U.S. has declared an “exclusion zone” in northern Syria, a new code-word for “no fly zone” and declared to the Syrian Arab Republic that its planes and those of its allies will be shot upon “trespassing.” This is part of Sajjan’s “reality of today.” If peace is the aim, should the UN not intervene to uphold the international rule of law and block the U.S. and its “coalition” from its current war against Syria? Would this not be a stand for peace in international affairs rather than seeking a new existence by meddling in the affairs of Africa? The U.S. imperialists will not agree to peacekeeping of this nature because they are the aggressor and not interested in peace if it will not get rid of governments they target for regime change.

This is not the problem Sajjan is talking about when he says “we don’t have two parties that have agreed on peace and there’s a peacekeeping force in between them.” Sajjan is trying to justify U.S. aggression in the name of “peace,” legitimized by the United Nations.

2011.03.26.HalifaxAntiWarcropCanada under the Harper government, with the support of the Liberals, took a lead role in the U.S./NATO-led destruction of Libya. What kind of role Canada will play now and with what aim is not discussed. Instead we are simply told that involvement in UN missions or anything with the word “peace” is good, and not being involved is bad. Did the UN not rubber stamp the illegal U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after it began? Did the UN Security Council not authorize no-fly zones over Libya in the name of “protecting civilians” that ensured only NATO planes could carry out their attacks and shielded NATO-backed rebels? Did any of this lead to peace and security for the peoples of those countries or others? Canadians are not so naive as to give up their own anti-war sentiments and ignore their own direct experience when it comes to assessing the role played by the UN in such cases.

The mask is off. What Obama and Trudeau want is a UN in which the big powers, so long as they all agree or no other power tries to stop them, are able to trample the rights of other nations with impunity, based on Might Makes Right but now under the guise of “peace operations.”

Canadians rejected the fraudulent imperialist doctrine of responsibility to protect and, no sooner than it had been uttered, they also rejected the Liberals’ Responsible Conviction (which fell flat on its face and has scarcely been spoken about since). So too Canadians stand against meddling in other countries’ affairs in the name of “peace operations.”

Source: TML Weekly Information Project, August 27, 2016 – No. 33

For more information, read “Revamping Peacekeeping to Meet War Aims”

in TML Weekly, November 21, 2015.

Related reading on this website

Hands Off Africa! CTV, W5 and “Secret Warriors” should be widely denounced and condemned by everyone,” April 4, 2014


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