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Stop the war against Iran

Bradley Hughes

January 23, 2012

The world’s most dangerous countries are preparing once again for war, and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper is out in front.

After missing out on the invasion of Iraq, Harper is missing no chance to exaggerate the threat from Iran to try to build support for another disastrous war.

“Iran is a very serious threat to international peace and security. In my judgment, it is the world’s most serious threat to international peace and security,” Harper said early in January in a Calgary radio station interview. Since it’s 1979 revolution, Iran has been involved in one war: when Iraq, with American assistance, invaded. Although Canada has been attacked by no one in this period, it has gone to war against Iraq, Somalia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya, and occupied Haiti. Harper has denied Canada’s own colonial history, which continues to produce human security crises like Attawapiskat, and is promoting one of the world’s greatest threats to planetary security: the Tar Sands.

In the same interview Harper said that Iran “is clearly trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and it has indicated some desire to actually use nuclear weapons.”

Later in January on the CBC he declared that Iran “would have no hesitation about using nuclear weapons.”

This sounds exactly like the furor that was raised about Iraq and its supposed chemical and nuclear weapons that were used as a pretext for a war that killed over a million Iraqis and found no such weapons.

Iran has a military budget that is less than two per cent of that the size of the American budget. It has also been the target of numerous terrorist attacks on its soil. In the last two years four nuclear scientists have been assassinated.

Now the US and the EU are implementing new sanctions to try to cut off Iranian oil exports. In response the Iranian regime has threatened to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, through which around one fifth of the world’s oil shipments pass. Both the US and Britain have now announced “routine” deployment of war ships to the area.

The results of the decade long sanctions against Iraq, after the US led war against it in 1991, were terrible suffering for the people of Iraq including the death of over half a million children, while strengthening the regime of Saddam Hussein. The road to democracy in Iran, or anywhere else, is solidarity with its people, not more wars.

A pan-Canadian anti-war movement involving thousands brought hundreds of thousands into the streets in 2002 and 2003. This movement was big enough to stop then Prime Minister Chretien from taking us to war against Iraq. We can build such a movement again to stop this next war.

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