Syria: The Ongoing Imperialist Drive to War and the Need for Anti-war Mobilizing

The imperialist drive to launch a military attack on Syria, which was rapidly accelerating only weeks ago, has been temporarily forced back. This is a victory for the forces of peace and solidarity, but the danger of escalation and direct intervention remain very high. The Communist Party of Canada calls on all peace and anti-war organizations to continue organizing and mobilizing to prevent aggression against Syria.

The US-led effort to blame the Al-Assad government for chemical attacks against civilians, and to use the incident as a pretext for launching direct military action, could not gain traction in the UN Security Council. These efforts failed, in part, through a combination of global public opposition, the commitments of Russia and China to block any approval for military strikes, and the rapid international isolation of the United States and the small handful of its allies, including Canada, which favoured a military strike.

In particular, the drive to direct war was forestalled by the timely proposal advanced by Russia for Syria, and approved by the Syrian government, to turn over its chemical weapons to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for destruction and for Syria to sign the Convention on Chemical Weapons. This development is a positive contribution towards reduction of militarism in the region, and removes a key US/NATO pretext to justify a direct military attack on Syria.

However, this respite also allows imperialism an opportunity to find and promote new justifications for war and the overthrow of the Syrian government. Already, the US has indicated that it is prepared to launch aggression if the Syrian government doesn’t fully comply with American interpretations of the chemical weapons turnover. The main issue is not chemical weapons, but the ongoing imperialist drive for war and regime change in Syria.

There is a real danger that the current cooling off period may have a negative effect on the peace and anti-war forces. Organization, coordination and mobilization were beginning to grow during the recent period of aggressive war-mongering. It would be a serious mistake to allow this work to be placed on hold, or even rolled back, under the illusion that the danger of war has passed. While Syria is participating in the destruction of its chemical weapons, imperialist countries and their allies – including Israel – maintain massive stockpiles of chemical, nuclear and “conventional” weapons of mass destruction, as well as land mines and cluster bombs. All of these armaments, and others, continue to be deployed in the effort to intimidate and provoke Syria and overthrow its legitimate government.

The danger of an imperialist attack on Syria continues at a very high level and it is critical that peace and anti-war activists continue to engage, organize and mobilize the public to oppose any imperialist intervention under any pretext. The United States and its allies, including Canada, advance the argument of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), which cynically seeks to provide moral and humanitarian cover for imperialist aggression. In response to this, progressives need to expose imperialism’s historical role as a purveyor of war and aggression in the quest for control of territory, wealth and resources.

All over the world, people are struggling to resist and to liberate themselves from imperialist domination, exploitation and oppression – these are heroic, courageous and just struggles that demand our active solidarity. The struggle of the Syrian people against imperialist intervention and war is one of these. The Communist Party calls on all progressives in Canada to expand their active solidarity with the Syrian people. We demand that the US and other imperialist powers, as well Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other reactionary Gulf states, cease their covert military aid and support to the Free Syrian Army and other “rebel” forces which have fomented a ‘civil war’ in Syria. We call for an international treaty, monitored and enforced by the UN, to eliminate nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction in all areas of the Middle East, including Israel. We call for the resumption of the stalled “Geneva 2” talks to bring about a negotiated political solution to the conflict in Syria, and for an end to imperialist sabre-rattling.

Hands Off Syria!

Central Executive Committee,Communist Party of Canada ~ October 8, 2013