We demand the end of the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan !
On 10 January 2007, George W. Bush made the announcement that the US would send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. A few weeks earlier, Stephen Harper was insisting that members of NATO should provide more combat troops in Afghanistan. This is the same dead-end recipe to "win the hearts and minds" of the Iraqi and Afghan people! The Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la guerre reject these war policies and call on the people of Quebec and Canada to participate in a Canada-wide day of action, on March 17th, against the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th 2001, while launching its "war on terror" and invading Afghanistan, the Bush administration was already intent on occupying Iraq. After twelve years of merciless sanctions which had killed more than one million people in Iraq, four years of occupation, false promises of democracy and reconstruction have only resulted in more deaths and devastation, and plunged the country into a civil war.
In October 2006, the medical journal The Lancet estimated that 655,000 people had died in Iraq following the invasion. Oil production, electricity production, and the accessibility of drinkable water are all at lower levels presently as compared to four years ago, under sanctions! According to the estimates of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), out of a total population of 26 million, 2 million Iraqis have fled to neighbouring countries and an additional 1.7 million are internally displaced persons: While many of them were displaced before 2003, increasing numbers of Iraqis are now fleeing escalating sectarian, ethnic and generalised violence. In 2006 alone, UNHCR estimates that nearly 500,000 Iraqis fled to other areas inside the country and that 40,000 to 50,000 continue to flee their homes every month.
In Afghanistan, a country which was already ravaged by 30 years of war, the situation is also very bleak after more than five years of 'allied' military occupation. According to Human Rights Watch, more than half of the Members of Parliament elected in September 2005 are linked to armed groups, guilty of past human rights violations; the illegal growing and processing of poppies has again become the main economic activity of the country (Afghanistan provides more than 90% of world heroin). According to Amnesty International, thousands of Afghans have been tortured by the US army or armed Afghan groups under its control. According to the UNHCR, there are still more than 3,000,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and approximately 120,000 internally displaced in Afghanistan. Finally, according to WOMANKIND Worldwide, after five years and contrary to media-fed illusions, it is imperative that the media, donor governments, international organisations and the Afghan government acknowledge the lack of progress in the domain of women's rights and immediately take action in key areas of education, the legal system, security services, healthcare, and livelihoods to transform paper rights to rights in practice.
Wars of conquest of the US Empire and its allies
The Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la guerre refuse to buy the deceitful message of the "war on terror" and so-called support of the Iraqi and Afghan peoples towards democracy and reconstruction in their countries. What we are dealing with is foreign control imposed by force led by the United States government and supported by Canadian economic and political elites to secure control of the resources of the Middle East and Central Asia. This is clearly indicated not only by the results achieved, but also by comparing the level of expenses committed by our countries. Thus, on 10 January 2007, while announcing a one billion dollar programme to sustain employment in Iraq, President Bush is about to request 100 billion dollars to pursue his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!
In Canada, the simultaneous announcements by ministers Peter McKay and Josée Verner of projects totalling about 20 million dollars in Afghanistan -10 million to pay police salaries, 8.8 millions for landmine removal and 1.9 million to stimulate community development in Kandahar - are mere crumbs when one remembers that Canada wastes more than one billion dollars per year to continue its war in that country...
END the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
BRING Canadian and US troops home immediately.
REJECT the Canada-US military partnership.
At the Canadian Peace Alliance Convention held in Ottawa delegates unanimously agreed to support the International Day of Action on the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In Canada we will also of course be focussing on Canada's war in Afghanistan as well as the continuing violence in Iraq.
The simillarities are striking. In fact, Canada is engaging the people of Afghanistan in a "counter-insurgency" campaign based on the Iraq model. Once again we will march to put an end to this violence.
This is the resolution that was passed.
Resolution on the March 17th, 2007 Day of action
Whereas, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan continue to cause great suffering for the people of those countries with violence increasing daily;
Whereas, the Canadian Peace Alliance opposed the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to mobilize the people of Canada and Quebec to march against the invasions;
Whereas, the position of the CPA is that the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a broader campaign, led by the United States government and transnational oil corporations, to assert control over the Middle East region;
Whereas the Canadian mission in Afghanistan under U.S. command is to prop up the Government of Hamid Karzai, a U.S.- appointed former oil executive and his warlord supporters;
Whereas the primary goal of the mission is to secure by force, a Trans-Afghan oil pipeline corridor from the Caspian Sea through southern Afghanistan and Pakistan to North American markets;
Whereas Prime Minister Harper’s decision to escalate Canadian military participation in Afghanistan is counter to its traditional peace keeping humanitarian role, resulting in a rise in Canadian casualties;
Whereas, March 17th 2007 marks the 4th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq;
Therefore be it resolved that the Canadian Peace Alliance call for a pan-Canadian day of action against the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan for Saturday March 17 2007 and urge all member groups and partners to participate in that day of action;
Be it further resolved that the CPA continue to pressure the government of Canada to immediately withdraw Canadian troops from Afghanistan;
Be it further resolved that the CPA continue to pressure the government of Canada to call for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq