As Canada’s top military commander Jonathan Vance announced Candian military operations will be put on pause in Iraq in light of the Iranian missile attacks that hit two US bases in the region yesterday, perhaps it would be good for us, too, to pause and reflect on the consequences involved for Canadians if our neighbours to south engage in war with a Middle Eastern power of 80 million.
First, let’s realise Iran isn’t Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, or any of the other countries America has gone to war with in the past 40 years. Iran is a massive Middle Eastern superpower with a massive military, a mass of weapons, and allies all over the Middle East, not to mention its military alliance with Russia and China, the second and third strongest militaries in the world, who all together just completed joint military drills in the Gulf of Oman. War with Iran, simply put, would be devastating, and has the potential to be much worse than that.
But before we assume this skirmish will develop into a global catastrophe, let’s look at Canada’s immediate role.
By Iran openly launching attacks against US assets in Iraq, though it was retaliatory, the US could interpret it as an act of war, and if not, by not leaving the Middle East as Iran has demanded, further attacks could take place. If the US declares war, as partners in NATO, Canada is technically obligated to do the same.
As a founding partner of the NATO treaty, which provides for mutual defence between the 28 member nations, an Iranian attack upon American forces, embassies, homeland or personnel would trigger an Article 5 Treaty obligation for Canada to engage, just as was the case after the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even though no state actor claimed responsibility.–The Globe and Mail.
The treaty’s 5th Article deals with collective defense, which according to NATO means that “an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.”
To what extent Canada would end up engaging, and in what fashion, is anybody’s guess, but as escalations keep occurring, this could mean many more active Canadian troops being deployed to the Middle East.
This is unacceptable. As was Canada’s response to the assassination of Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani, which was an aggressive act of war committed by a White House who didn’t consult one member of Congress before executing it, nor have they provided specifics for their claims of justification.
François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, released a statement outlining the nation’s official stance on the air strike.
While Champagne mentions briefly the need for “all sides to exercise restraint and pursue de-escalation,” the remainder of his official statement merely echoes the one the Pentagon released, which provided an evidence-free list of assertions to justify the killing.
Since that statement was released, many nations have condemned the actions of the US, as have American lawmakers and, to some degree, the media inside it’s own borders.
Yet here in Canada, the so-called Liberal Government posed no questions to the US for its actions, and instead just parroted the dubious allegations of a conservative White House that also tried (to their embarrassment) to tie General Soleimani in with the 9/11 hijackers.
Whether or not Soleimani was a bad person isn’t the question here. It is a fact he was a terrible man; a man of war from a fanatical theocracy known for uttering threats against other nations, such as Israel, who in the past Iran has publicly promoted the complete annihilation of. But while that is terrible, again, this isn’t the question at this point.
The question is whether or not Soleimani was a target that needed to be neutralized because of the threat he posed to America. The answer is, he doesn’t seem to have been. If he was, vague assertions with no evidence to back them up and lies about 9/11 involvement wouldn’t be necessary. Good evidence would satisfy any suspicion or doubt.
This makes the situation just like all of the other situations the western world has been sucked into after the US declares war on this nation or that because of this “terrorist” or that one: only salable to the credulous.
Yet the Canadian government seems eager to fit that moniker, and is yet to stand up to the Trump Administration and chastise it for provoking a situation that could very easily lead to Canadian lives being needlessly lost in battle, and billions of dollars being taken out of taxpayers’ pockets to fund the operations.
Canada lost 158 citizens in Afghanastan; an American war we now know through the Afghanistan papers to have been based on lies and to have never had any sort of real objective.
After the Bush administration lied about WMDs and a Saddam Hussein connection to al Qaeda, Canada, even though formally announcing non-involvement due to no UN sanction, still shelled out hundreds of millions in support, still ended up sending troops to train Iraqis and direct military operations, and faced the unlucky fortune of having its citizens look like Americans, which resulted in repeated Canadian kidnappings in the region, at least one of which never to return. We currently have 500 troops in Iraq.
Then there was the Canadian loss of lives Libya, Syria, Korea — more American imperialistic causes that were based on lies and led to disaster.
This is the point. The above mentioned nations, whose wars were devastating to all involved, and continue to be, were playtime compared to what a war with Iran could quickly spin into. There’s a reason #WWIII was trending on Twitter within half an hour of Soleimani’s assassination.
Instead of parroting neocon talking points, or lightly recommending restraint of escalation, Canada’s government should be vehemntly condemning the actions of the White House and the excuses of the Pentagon, just as France did.
We don’t need our citizens killed, injured, or even put in harm’s way because of another death-filled American regime change operation, and as a democracy, we the people, when assembled, truly have the ultimate say in what our nation supports and what it doesn’t; what it participates in, and what it condemns.
Escalating this war is the wrong move. War is to be condemned. Remember that, because right now our so-called leaders seem to be missing the picture.
As independent media, continuation of this periodical is only possible through the kind support of our readers. Become a patron by donating here, and if you can’t donate, that’s okay! You can help out greatly by simply clicking one of the share buttons below. And, hey! Don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND REPUBLISH TO YOUR SITES (with links and credit to original article).