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Hello KW Peace Group!
Tamara Lorincz is going to join our American and British sisters and brothers who will be taking to the streets tomorrow, Saturday, January 4 to protest the US drone attack in Iraq that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The assassination of General Soleimani has been called an act of war against Iran and is an illegal US act on sovereign territory in violation of international law and without congressional authority. This US attack threatens a further escalation to the conflict with Iran and a potential broader war in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians are protesting in the streets to condemn the US assassination of Soleimani.
In Waterloo this Saturday, Tamara is going to stand with her signs from 2:00-3:00 pm in the Uptown Public Square at 75 King Street.
Canada is complicit in this crisis – Canada has troops in Iraq and has been engaged in the US-led coalition Operation Inherent Resolve and in the NATO mission in the country since 2014. For the past five years, Canada has conducted airstrikes or has refueled US-led coalition bombings of both Iraq and Syria. There have been over 30,000 airstrikes. Our presence has NOT brought peace, stability and security to these countries.
In his statement on Friday, 3 January 2020, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne has blamed Iran and General Soleimani for aggressive actions and destabilizing the region. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has failed to honestly assess the situation – it is the United States that withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 that has escalated current tensions. It is the US that has imposed crippling sanctions against Iran and that called Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group. It was the US that started an illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003, which contributed to the rise of ISIS, and provoked a regime-change war against Syria in 2014. It is the US that is now sending another 3,000 troops to the region. Minister Champagne should have unequivocally condemned the US’s illegal attack. His statement is partial and dishonest.
Tamara urges you to stand for peace with Iran. Please call for “No War with Iran” and to demand that the US, UK, Canada and NATO get OUT of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.
In the US, Codepink, ANSWER Coalition, Black Alliance for Peace and many other groups are having a national day of action with protests planned in most major American cities. There are protests in at least 30 cities scheduled for Saturday: https://www.answercoalition.org/national_action_us_troops_out_of_iraq
In the UK, Stop the War Coalition is having an emergency protest from 2:00-3:00 pm on Saturday as well: https://www.facebook.com/events/1414906255358886/
In solidarity for peace, earth and justice,
1. Stand for Peace sometime on Saturday with a sign and take a picture.
2. Email Minister Champagne to say no war against Iran and Canadian troops out of the Middle East: mailto:Francois-Philippe.Champagne@parl.gc.ca
3. Send a tweet to President Trump no war against Iran and the US out of the Middle East: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump
4. Sign Win Without War’s petition to say “No to a War Against Iran”: https://www.change.org/p/stop-war-with-iran
Despite an intervention and occupation of Iraq since 2003, the United States has not brought peace, security and stability to Iraq. The US-led War on Terror with its drone attacks, incessant bombings, private contracted mercenaries, and brutal detention and torture programs have destabilized Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.
Since 2014, Canada has been part of Operation Impact, the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. For five years, Canada has conducted airstrikes and has done the refuelling of the US-led coalition against these two countries. There have been over 30,000 airstrikes conducted that has destroyed infrastructure and has killed innocent civilians.
NATO and Canada have exacerbated the tension in Iraq by training Iraqi forces and supporting a corrupt Iraqi government that is funded and armed by the US but is not supported by the Iraqi people. NATO and Canada have prolonged the conflict and the illegal US occupation of Iraq.
Canada has also supported and armed separatist Kurds in northern Iraq that fomented conflict with the central government in Baghdad. Canada has special forces operating in Iraq without any public or parliamentary oversight.
The US, Canada, the UK and other coalition members and NATO must get out of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East including Syria and Afghanistan. Our military interventions in the Middle East have failed. We need a peaceful, nonviolent resolution that includes a complete withdrawal of our military and reparations for all the harm that we have done. For peace in Iraq, we must withdraw our troops. For peace with Iran, we need to end the US provocations and sanctions against the Iranian state and we need to renew dialogue and diplomacy. Peace is up to us.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians flood to street to condemn US assassination: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/03/hundreds-thousands-iranians-flood-streets-condemn-us-assassination-qassem-soleimani
Assassination is an act of war by Lindsay German: http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news-comment/3550-qassem-soleimani-assasination-is-an-act-of-war
If War Breaks Out with Iran, It Won’t Be an Accident by Phyllis Bennis:
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne on situation in Iraq on January 3 : https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2020/01/statement-from-minister-champagne.html
Canada’s Operation Impact in Iraq and Syria: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/operations/military-operations/current-operations/operation-impact.html
Canada’s NATO Mission in Iraq: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/06/canada-to-command-nato-mission-in-iraq-for-a-second-year.html
Canada’s special forces in Iraq: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-special-forces-mission-iraq-kurds-1.4591107 and https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/kurdish-flag-fiasco-prompts-retreat-by-canadian-special-forces
Canada training separatist Kurdish army: https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/02/14/is-canada-training-a-separatist-army-in-iraq/
US Operation Inherent Resolve Monthly Casualty Report: https://www.inherentresolve.mil/Releases/News-Releases/Article/2025130/combined-joint-task-force-operation-inherent-resolve-monthly-civilian-casualty/
Air Wars monitoring the US-led Operation Inherent: https://airwars.org/conflict-data/page/2/?belligerent=coalition&country=iraq%2Csyria
Codepink National Day of Action for No War Against Iran & US out of the Middle East on January 4: https://www.codepink.org/01042020
ANSWER Coalition Statement: https://www.answercoalition.org/national_action_us_troops_out_of_iraq
Stop the War UK: https://www.facebook.com/events/1414906255358886/
Medea Benjamin’s excellent 2018 book “Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran” – she has led peace delegations to Iran.