Canada and Syria - where do we stand?

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Canada and Syria - where do we stand?

I think a separate thread is needed to discuss the stand of Canadian political parties and personalities, and of activists and the movements, on the situation in Syria and the escalation of external intervention.


Thought I'd lead off with a thoughtful Facebook post by Peter Julian, in which he also quotes Jeremy Corbyn:


Peter Julian shared Jeremy Corbyn's post.

22 hrs ·

It's impossible to remain unmoved by the horrors happening in Syria and the catastrophic situation that gets worse every day. Canada must not intervene militarily, this powerful statement provides a potential roadmap.

Jeremy Corbyn

Yesterday at 6:20am ·

The US missile attack on a Syrian government air base risks escalating the war in Syria still further.

Tuesday’s horrific chemical attack was a war crime which requires urgent independent UN investigation and those responsible must be held to account.

But unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people.

What is needed instead is to urgently reconvene the Geneva peace talks and unrelenting international pressure for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.

The terrible suffering of the Syrian people must be brought to an end as soon as possible and every intervention must be judged on what contribution it makes to that outcome.

The British government should urge restraint on the Trump administration and throw its weight behind peace negotiations and a comprehensive political settlement.


I believe we should solve the situation in Syria through the United Nations. The United Nations should be enforcing of international laws and prosecuting any criminal acts being committed.

There should be also be a well thought out peace process by all parties involved in order to prevent anymore civilian causalities and cease all the current conflicts.

 I would like to see all Canadians donate clothing, materials and money to Humanitarian Organizations that will ease the suffering of all Syrians.  

Canada should allow more Syrian refugees into Canada.


I agree with Corbyn. And I think it is important to take a firm stance to Trudeau's support to Trump's belligerent action, which will only make matters worse, and kill even more innocent people. Thanks for posting that, Unionist!

Trudeau also made a very (Western) ethnocentric comment about "the civilised nations" or whatever the nonsense he spouted was. It is an antiquated idea - so-called "primitive" peoples have just as complex a world view, language and social system as those who have built cities and developed industry; moreover it is ludicrous to insinuate that Syria of all places - doesn't it have the oldest cities in the world, even older than those of China and South Asia? - is anything but "civilised" even in the narrowest (and most antiquated) sense. 

Of course there is another problem - the antiwar and anti-imperialist movement is in a shambles, and not only within the Canadian state. 


Thanks Unionist I was just going to post Peter's Facebook post on the other thread but this works for me. Peter is going up in my estimation all the time.



NDP Differences on International Policy Need To Be Debated

"There has yet to be a single question asked about foreign policy in the NDP's first two leadership debates...A party unable to debate its foreign policy is likely to support another war..."


Webgear. A noble idea, but what could possibly happen in the UN?

Given the two veto holders any action in either direction is just g0ing to get shut down.





Rally TODAY (SUNDAY) in Montréal at 15:00 (3 p.m.)  ... and in your town or city? 

De façon à permettre plus de gens de participer à cette action pour dénoncer l'agression contre la Syrie, celle-ci commencera à 15 h au lieu de 14 h. Merci.

Bas les pattes de la Syrie!
Opposons-nous aux frappes américaines!

Dimanche 9 avril

de 15 h à 17 h
Place Norman Bethune
Rue Guy et boul. De Maisonneuve O.

I'm first posting this plain text message as facebook pages and other urls are sometimes moderated, and I want the message out there NOW! I'll post the Facebook page just after. 


Facebook page for emergency HANDS OFF SYRIA rally, Montréal, Place Bethune, métro Guy-Concordia


Chrystia Freeland on Syria

"It was the right thing to do. It's time for this war to end."

And in the way it was always intended...Watch the leveraging of the 'peace' movement to that end.


The position of Canada and Minister Freeland that "it was the right thing to do", flies in the face of existing international law. Furthermore, as Canada is part of a US-led coalition involved in Syria, it too is operating in contravention of this confirmed and settled international law.

"Such participation in an armed conflict by uninvited States, supporting the use of force against a sovereign  Member State of the UN, is a violation of international law prohibiting interference in the domestic affairs of states. Thus, the US and its allies were already engaged in illegal activity against Syria even before the US conducted the 7 April attack."

What will Canadians do in response to this manifest criminality on the part of their representatives?

Why the United States' Use  of Force Against Syria Violates International Law  -  by Curtis FJ Doebbler

"The United States' use of force against the sovereign state of Syria is a prima facie violation of international law. It is an act of aggression against a UN Member State in violation of the Charter of the United Nations. 

It therefore gives Syria the right to react in self-defense or a legal justification for the use of force. It also gives any other UN Member State the right to act in collective self-defence and to support action against the US.

This is the basic understanding of the international legal consequences of the United States' use of force against Syria."



Latest from the drama teacher...

Russia Partly to Blame for Syria Attack, Solution Can't Include Assad: Trudeau

"...The way forward in Syria can't include Assad, whose recent chemical attack against his own people, were abetted by those countries - Russia and Iran - that have allowed him to remain in power, Trudeau told a news conference.

'There is no question that anyone who is guilty of the types of war crimes against innocents, against children, that Assad and his regime are needs to be held to account,' he said during a visit to Juno Beach to commemorate Canada's Second World War dead. 'We need to move as quickly as possible towards peace and stability in Syria that does not involve Bashar al Assad."

The way forward in Canada can't include Justin Trudeau...


Yes, it is one thing for Syrians opposed to Assad to say that, quite another for the leader of the elected party in a country on another continent. Have any opposition party MPs spoken up yet, whether NDP, Bloc or Greens? (Actually, the Bloc is usually better on such matters than the NDP). 


Trudeau should not be rubber-stamping Trump's military adventures:

by Thomas Woodley, president of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

Nobody would argue that the gas attack last week on the Syrian town of Khan Sheykhoun was anything but horrific and inhumane. But it’s hard to see how Trump’s recent missile strikes on an airfield of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad will do anything but aggravate an already intractable situation. Worse, the Trudeau government’s acquiescence to Trump’s belligerence weakens Canada’s position as a country, as well as the checks and balances of the UN system.


I am surprised how quickly and thoroughly Trudeau adopted the US position and rhetoric.   Makes me almost miss Jean Chretien.


Where does canada get its diplomats from because some of these have no basis in reality.  Tillerson is message give up on assad or else.  Canada supports it with on the right of history.  Personaly this messaging has zero chance of working maybe you get Putin trade one figurehead in syria for another, make a deal.  But this idea the Putin will cave to threats and Canada helpful(laughing) statements about the side of history is laughtable.  Under no cercumstance will Putin lose face across the world, threats really counterproductive becasue Putin will not lose face.  Perhaps my favortite when is the US and western countries tell the other nations they know what is in best interest of other nation.  Example Canada and US telling Russia to drop Assad.   Here is a crazy idea people living in those countries know whats is their best interest. 


Mobo2000 wrote:

I am surprised how quickly and thoroughly Trudeau adopted the US position and rhetoric.   Makes me almost miss Jean Chretien.

Exactly what I was thinking. Only, I would include John Diefenbaker, Trudeau Sr., and Paul Martin, all of whom stood up at one time or another in opposition to (or perhaps more properly, in non-blatant-collaboration with) the U.S. imperialist agenda.

Trudeau has now slavishly adopted a position that even Obama had dropped - namely, that a peace agreement hinges on the removal of Assad. Along with U.S.-trained cold warriors like Chrystia Freeland, he is pushing Canada on a dangerous path - the path of war.

I'm officially dubbing him Trudeaump.


Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

You can bet that when Trump changes his mind and decides that Assad is actually a swell guy, Trudeau will follow suit with that as well. I agree with Unionist that JT is the weakest PM in standing up to the U.S. since Pearson. Diefenbaker was defeated by Pearson largely because the Kennedys didn't like Dief defying them on the Bomarc missile issue. Pearson, on the other hand, was willing to reverse his previous stand on nuclear missiles to get that sweet love from Washington.


Unionist:   I like it, to me as well Trudeaump he shall be.

Smith:  Regarding what could happen at the UN, the Russians have a suggestion:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday his nation will seek an investigation by the United Nations into last week's chemical weapons attack, which the U.S. and others have blamed on the Syrian government, according to The Associated Press. "

Sounds like a good idea to me, what do you say?    But it might not happen, somebody might veto it.





Yeah, I read that too. I also notice it came with him saying he had a bunch of evidence about what might have gone down. Do you really think he is that much different than the Americans?

And Michael, I agree to a point, as the situation was kind of complicated. Diefenbaker really did make himself a lightning rod because of his committment to Canadian sovereignty, and his hatred of Kennedy. On the other hand, he was, before Harper, the closest we had to a Richard Nixon in the paranoid, isolated leader department.  In short , that was significant, but not the only reason why Diefenbaker went down.


Smith:   Not a difference in kind, just a difference in scale.   And the difference in scale is so vast that I don't understand the focus some people have on the "moral essence" of the Russian or American government.    I don't mean this as an accusation.  

They both are acting in what they perceive to be their own interests.   The difference is the US has far more power and has shown far more willingness to use it, with or without UN approval.  

In this particular situation the US is saying we know Assad did it, we will not try to prove it to anyone, and we will act on our own.   Russia is saying let's investigate, and we will provide the evidence we have.    If Russia were accusing the US of, say, using depleted uranium rounds in Mosul, our media would not accept it as fact, and would demand evidence.

Some people apparently see this double standard as proper because Russia is an evil dictatorship and the US is a modern freedom loving democracy.  

I view this double standard as a natural result of  "our" media trying to flatter us that the national interests set by our government are moral and altruistic (and therefore we are moral and altruistic in supporting them), while our enemies' national interests are based in greed and a desire to dominate.


Sure, but these questions of scale have no bearing on what really happened. Plenty of people assume the reichstag fire was a false flag because it was used as an excuse. In reality, it was not a false flag.

And in this case, now we have Russia calling for an investigation, with a declaration that in the other hand they have information.We shouldn't forget that in the wake of this gas attack they were the first out the gate with a narrative about it being a bombing of a munitions factory. So how can anyone claim that they are all about not leaping to judgment here, and waiting for investigators?


Smith:  Yes, both Russian and the US claim to have evidence.   There is no reason anyone should take anything either of them says as reliable.    In a rational world, there would be an inpartial investigation done where their evidence could be evaluated.   I do think it is significant that Russia has offered to allow inspectors from the UN and has offered to share it's evidence, while the US has not.   But I take that as more a function of their relative styles and levels of powers.

But it's likely all moot.   There will likely never be an investigation.   The US claims will be repeated and repeated until they are true.   3 years from now western media will drop the word "alleged" when looking back and discussing how Assad gassed his citizens in 2017, as they have done with the 2013 incidents.  



Nice article from Thomas Walkom.   He uses the word alleged.    He also uses the phrase "formidable national security bureaucracy", what others might call the deep state.  I agree with his analysis of the effect of the missile strike on Trump's image:

"For Trump, all of this chaos may make political sense. He is up in the polls since the missile attack. He has effectively spiked the guns of those who accuse him of being too close to Russia. His decision to reverse himself and attack Syria may help him repair relations with hawks in America’s formidable national security bureaucracy."



The issue of the death of the Canadian antiwar movement was raised in the Syria thread and more properly belongs here.  Perhaps a look at 'progressive' discussions of international affairs on Babble provides ample insight into why things are similarly bleak on the anti-war front. After all, you can't have a strong 'anti'-war movement, where so many are apparently 'pro'...

Canadian Peace Alliance

"The Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) is calling on all its members and supporters to oppose Canada's continued military presence in Syria. 

- NATO and its allies have and will continue to lie about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify 'humanitarian' intervention.

- The geopolitical calculations of the NATO powers and not the interests of ordinary people are always the main considerations for any military intervention..."


Trudeau Government Hasn't Ruled Out Military Role in Syria: Parliamentary Secretary

"The Liberal government isn't ruling out a military contribution in Syria, a government spokesman told the Huffington Post this week. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland repeated last week that the Syrian president 'has to go.'

'Assad cannot remain in power in Syria,' she told reporters after a G7 foreign minister's meeting in Italy. 'We do not see a future for Syria with Assad ruling the country.'

And we do not see a future for Canada with Trudeau/Freeland ruling the country. Canada already has special forces in Syria and Iraq, incidentally.


Nonsense as unfortunately Canada will do basically what the USA wants us to do.

Mr. Magoo

Whoops.  Misread.  Keep calm and carry on.


Which Side Are You On?   -

"The left has always been small...but now much of it cannot be called 'left' at all..."




What utter bullshit. A smear against Jacobin, a publication that has been exemplary among US left publications for the attention it gives to struggles in the global South and of racialised populations North and South. 


Chrystia Freeland Renews Call For Russia To Withdraw Support For Syria

"Assad is not the greatest ally to have. Do you really want to be on that side of things?"

Or the heart-eating, head-choppers of Al Qaeda, and Saudi/Qatar/Israel/USA? Mercifully, nobody but a few Canucklheads pay any attention to JT's 'super-minister'. Especially a Banderite cuckoo who thinks the Ukrainian oligarch Poroshenko leads 'the best government Ukraine has had in its entire history.'


No, one need not be an ally either of Assad or of Daesh. On the contrary. 


Why we fight in Syria


I don't know about you, but I'm not fighting in Syria. Doing what I can to mobilise against the Canadian state getting on board with US-led intervention, which is about all we can do. 


"The Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) is calling on all its members and supporters to oppose Canada's continued military presence in Syria.......

...this only confirms again why the antiwar movement in canada is impotent and miniscule......sounds like a perfect NDP type vague statement......

what should be done is that the miniscule forces still about must unite to challenge Canada before the UN for its clear violations of so many legal agreements not to mention the UN Charter...

The anti war movement as did the US Peace Alliance, must go to these countries as a delegation to inspect the reality to report back to its communities everywhere...

The Canadian Government must be charged under its own antiterrorist act for its support of terrorism...

this must be an organized concerted effort to challenge the legitimacy of the Liberal Government in preparation to have it challengesd as fraudulent under Section 3 of the Charter......

Far more in depth, the Canadian armamaent industry and its banksters must be challeneged and boycotted along with its fraudulent MSP