Issue #1558 1 August 2012
Canada and imperialism’s strategy towards Syria
In the June 5 Canadian parliamentary debate on Syria, Tory, NDP and Liberal MPs proclaimed their common purpose, notably about the need to overthrow the Syrian government. Earlier that day, MPs from these parties gave unanimous consent to a motion that condemned the Syrian government for massacring civilians and that urged Russia and China to support a ceasefire that would save innocent lives.
Our parliamentarians are steeped in the legacy of imperialism’s colonial attitude to the Arab world, which allows only “appropriate” rulers. They are infused with Western imperialism’s latest malignant aspiration to re-divide the world at the expense of China and Russia.
Not once in the debate did our parliamentarians refer to the generous support for armed groups in Syria by their close, despotic friends in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The prospect for Syria is the most intense sectarian war that the West can create, with the aim of blaming Russia and China for the violence. That said, imperialism is keeping all its options open towards Syria, including military occupation.
This includes using alleged Russian and Chinese “stubbornness” to bypass the UN Security Council and directly overthrow the Syrian government. Western imperialism only follows international laws such as the UN Charter when it is helpful.
Russia and China face being demonised and made into a target of plunder for the West. Yet both Russia and China support a ceasefire; their goal is that Syrians alone decide their future, policies distorted as alleged “support” for the Syrian government.
The latest escalation in the Middle East also targets Iran, and the ruling classes in the western imperialist countries alone stand to benefit from the death and division.
The pro-war countries in the Middle East are making some serious miscalculations. Israel’s ruling circles believe they will escape with impunity and gain from a weakened Syria. But a large war that may involve nuclear weapons could wipe out millions of people and destroy cities throughout the region.
Backed by Canada and other imperialist countries, reactionary Arab states such as Saudi Arabia are feeding sophisticated arms, communication means, and intelligence to armed groups in Syria. They are leading the effort to spark a war of regime change in Syria and to create conditions for a war against Iran.
But behind this aggression is weakness, not strength. The prospects for democratic revolutionary change are growing in these societies, whose leaders calculate that overthrowing the last secular state in the Arab world will help them in their growing domestic problems.
The feedback effect of such a war, however, will put their despotic regimes and social system to a supreme test. One has to wonder about the stability and permanence of all the regimes that are launching a war against Syria, including Canada’s.
Although the West aims to drown Syria in its own blood, the political conditions in the region and the world, with a sharp polarisation around the struggle in and for Syria, may tilt the war into a far a far more serious conflagration.
Who benefits from trying to overthrow the government of Syria? A starting point in explaining the fuller picture is that wealthy Canadians have for many decades made piles of money from selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies, which in turn today are shipping piles of weapons into Syria.
Canada’s aggressive policy towards Syria actually has nothing to do with our MP’s proclaimed humanitarian concerns, which are a cover for being a partner in the US-led re-division of the cake.
Which party is the most rabid? The award might go to the NDP, because of its urging that sanctions be imposed that would punish civilians. A Tory MP defended not having such sanctions!
What importance do the MPs place on Syria for the kind of world they want? According to Paul Dewar (NDP), “The priority is not trade with Russia right now; it is about action when it comes to Syria.” Dewar is exposed as setting Russia up for trade and more serious confrontations.
What is at the root of the Syrian government’s mistakes? According to Alexandrine Latendresse (NDP), Syria’s Assad government made “a few timid attempts… to liberalise the economy and encourage the growth of foreign investments ... The results have been very disappointing ... Assad tried to get a little closer to the West and seemed to want to play the game for a while. When the Arab Spring happened, it soon became very clear that we were dealing with an unscrupulous tyrant.”
This comment more than any other explains Canada’s aggression towards the Syrian government, which is a non-sectarian alliance of the working class and national bourgeoisie of that country, operating to limit foreign domination. This is a serious crime of the Syrian government, in the eyes of the neo-liberal imperialist West.
It is not the purported sectarianism of the Syrian government that animates Latendresse’s policy, but her “noble” thirst for more control of Syria’s resources by Canadian corporations.
Latendresse omits to mention that Canada is the third largest foreign investor in Syria. Not mentioned by any parliamentarian is the use of the Arab and other regional peoples as pawns in the imperialist re-division of the world.
On every question related to Syria, Canada’s parliamentary anthill can see no farther than Washington, whose foreign policy they faithfully copy.
To sum up, Canada’s three largest parties all support the overthrow of the Syrian government. In the debate, the NDP blamed the Syrian government for the massacre in Houla, an allegation made at the time without any evidence and now contrary to clear evidence that the reactionary rebels committed the heinous crime.
Many other allegations made by MPs in the debate are without foundation, including that the UN Observer Mission blamed the Syrian government for the massacre.
The debate shows a marked departure from reality by all parties in our parliament. Behind this departure, the unbalanced demands, and the overlooked sources of violence is Canada’s corporate ruling class, eager to impose Canadian investment in Syria.
The beautiful country of Syria, already partly occupied by Israel, will be the poorer for this and many more may die. Canada’s parliament represents the warmongers, not the people who want Canada to be a voice for peace in the world.
Next article – Israel coined the term “Nakba” and is still implementing it
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