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Don’t let this tragedy be used to justify war.

Sid Lacombe

January 10, 2020

Justin Trudeau has said that Canada has evidence that Iran shot down the Ukrainian bound jetliner that killed 176 people, 63 of whom were Canadian. The US government has agreed with the assessment although the Iranians are denying it.

We don’t know what actually happened and may never know but one thing is clear - this tragedy did not have to happen. It is a direct result of US military actions which have created a dangerous situation in Iraq and Iran. The blood is on the hands of the US government. Canada, which also has troops on the ground in Iraq and has been a wiling participant in the “war on terror” is likewise complicit in the escalation of tensions in the region.

Whether it was a mistake made during the fog of war or an outright lie by one of the many parties involved, we cannot allow this tragedy to be used to justify larger war.

Donald trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani will have broad reaching effects and may result in a new war in the region. We don’t yet know what the outcome will be but this killing is a huge provocation - not just to the Iranian government but to people throughout the area who have had enough of the US government acting with impunity.


The people of Iraq and Iran have many reasons to hate the US and this just adds another item to the list. The US invaded Iraq in 2003, based on false pretences that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that they were tied to the 9/11 attack in New York. Both of those justifications were proven false but hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed as a result of the invasion. This was a war crime, plain and simple, and Trump seems intent on committing many more.

The US record in Iran is, likewise, one of brutality. The Americans were responsible for overthrowing the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 because he had the temerity to call for the nationalization of Iranian oil and gas rather than allow all the profits from those resources to be given to US and British  oil corporations. The US then installed the Shah who launched a campaign of brutal repression against his own people. The revolution of 1979 was a direct result of that meddling by the US.

And now Trump wants to pile more violence on the people of the region. He has already stated that he and his generals have drawn up plans to attack more than 50 sites in Iran including major cultural sites. This is yet another war crime.

The history of US meddling in the region has always been about the same thing - control of strategic areas and, crucially, oil reserves. And millions of ordinary people have been killed. The US sanctions regime on Iraq during the 90’s killed more than a half million people, including hundreds of thousands of children.

In 2003, the world witnessed the largest ever mobilizations against war. On February 15, 2003 more than 15 million people marched in more than 600 cities around the globe calling for an end to war.

People marched because they knew that regular people would suffer the most, as they always do.

After 19 years of the war on terror, the balance sheet is clear. Hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars wasted and a much more dangerous world.

Islamophobia has been on the rise and has become the common currency among the rise of racist and fascist forces throughout the world. Trump’s actions will only make all of this worse.

The only people who benefit from war are the rich. They benefit by making billions off of weapons sales. They benefit by increased divisions among the people and they benefit from the theft of land and resources in conquered countries.

But this can be stopped. There will be actions across Canada opposing this war in the next weeks. Join the movement and say no to war.


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