Canada's Parliament has never authorized a military intervention in Syria

We will support the Syrian people and not the war against them!

The West, the United States leading the charge, have announced a military strike in Syria as a repraisal for the alleged chemical weapons attacks used against civilians by the government of Bashar al-Assad. Once more the most powerful western governments have presented themselves as the "international community", refusing the constaints laid down by UN consultations and proposing to resolve a political and humanitarian crisis by a unilateral military intervention. Although the prorogued Canadian Parliament is not at this moment capable to state whether Canada might participate in this war, the Harper government has straightaway aligned itself with the war hawks.

There is no military solution to a political problem

Twenty-five years of pretexts, damages called collateral but perfectly preventable, for interventions called "humanitarian", have already resulted in prolonged crises in the Balkans, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. These wars carried out in the name of democracy have shown that bombs will not resolve the crisis. They add violence to violence and inflict destruction and suffering on a defenseless civil population, and fuel a desire for reprisal and fundamentalism.

The crisis in Syria is political, complex and involves a number of actors in the country and surrounding region. The only practical means with which to resolve a political crisis are political. The community of surrounding countries must force a cease-fire, stop financially supporting the warring powers, impose international arbitration, use political pressure, etc.

By contrast, a military strike would close all channels of communication and would likely have disastrous consequences on the stability of the Middle East as a whole for years to come.

Under the auspices of the United Nations

The United Nations should be at the center of the entire peace process in Syria. A unilateral attack from the United States and its allies, including Canada's probable participation--even just for logistics--seems as though it responds more to other geo-strategic imperatives in the region, especially the Israeli-Iranian conflict. It's also a dangerous step which could bring other military powers into the conflict.

Canada must demand that all measures taken to ensure the security of the Syrian population are multi-lateral and entirely under the exclusive command and direct control of the United Nations. Every intervention must be brought under the auspices and with the mandate of the United Nations.

Clearly differentiate military actions from those in solidarity or for humanitarian aims

The international community, notably Canada, must occupy front-and-center roles for the protection of the civilian population and refugees as well as to set asside resources for the support of humanitarian agencies and social organizations that help civilian victims. It is foolish to imagine that military strikes on Damascus and zones controlled by the government won't make hundreds or thousands of new innocent victims. It is just as foolish to imagine that this conflict will resolve itself quickly or that the end of Bashar Al-Assad's regime will not have consequences, military and otherwise, on the entire region.

We can no longer be blind to this dynamic of succession in the region while the opposition on the ground, initially populist, peaceful and non-violent, is now supported in large part by reactionnary, repressive and anti-democratic militias. What would then happen to these populations that a war hoped to "liberate"?

Support the Civilians

The solution to every crisis can be found in the organization and undertaking by the population of its own destiny by way of non-governmental organizations and well-functioning social, political, democratic and economic structures. The international community should support these forces and so resist the call to such a simplistic strategy as "scorched earth."

History shows us that war does not create peace, nor does it justice, nor democracy. These values are born from a true support of the forces that promote democracy, progress, solidarity and inter-community cooperation. These same forces which, paradoxically, the Harper government is trying to systematically weaken by slashing his International Aid policies.

 

We will support the Syrian people and not the war against them!