FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, Sept 22, 2015
The Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War (HCSW) is pleased to announce that our anti-war petition to Canadian members of parliament to withdraw from the US-led coalition to wage war in Syria and Iraq has been signed by Green Party leader, Elizabeth May. Her response is below:
“Sep 18, 2015 —We’ve learned the dangers of shortsighted thinking from the ill-conceived military action in Libya, which made the terrorist threat across North Africa even worse. Once again, the Harper Conservatives have no clear direction, end-goal or exit strategy for the Iraq mission, which grew from a non-combat role to a combat mission on the ground, and now would include airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria.
The Green Party has been clear from the beginning: We must not engage in military operations of uncertain scope and purpose that are not in Canada’s national interest and do so little to strengthen global peace and security.
Instead, we must immediately sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty to reduce the flow of conventional arms that fuel these senseless tragic conflicts, crack down on the money flowing to ISIS and other terrorist groups, and collaborate with our allies to relieve the immense humanitarian suffering. Ultimately, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said, ‘Over the longer-term, the biggest threat to terrorists is not power of missiles, it is the politics of inclusion.’”
Elizabeth May was one of 41 MP’s to whom the petition was addressed. She is the only one so far to respond to the petition. The HCSW notes that this is not the first time Ms. May has taken an anti-war position in contradiction to the Harper government of Canada. In 2011, May was the only member of parliament who opposed Canada’s participation in the NATO regime-change operation in Libya, which was an abuse of UN Resolution 1973 (the no-fly zone), which resulted in tens of thousands of deaths of Libyan civilians, and left Libya as a failed state. We hope other MP’s will also sign and share our petition which can be found on our website at www.hamiltoncoalitiontostopthewar.ca or at:
We note the Green Party, the NDP, and the Liberal Party all voted against the Harper government’s war resolution about a year ago and that Mr. Mulcair has promised to withdraw at once from the US-led coalition in Syria and Iraq, should the NDP form a majority government on October 19.
The HCSW regards the illegal and covert western aggression against Syria (which began in 2011) to be the main cause of the massive refugee crisis of today. We urge the opposition parties to use the election foreign policy debate to push for the following:
- resumption of diplomatic relations with Syria;
- ending Canadian economic sanctions against Syria (which has been a contributing factor to the refugee crisis);
- withdrawing from the so-called “Friends of Syria” Group of countries which organized the covert war of aggression against Syria;
- promoting a resumption of the UN peace process for Syria at Geneva in order to find a political, rather than military, solution to the crisis in Syria;
- supporting the Reconciliation Movement in Syria which seeks to bring together Syrians, both in government and opposition, to work out a made-in-Syria strategy to resolve the crisis;
- supporting the current Russian initiative for a global strategy to fight terrorism.