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following articles are from the April 16-30, 2017, issue of People's
Statement by the Central Executive Committee, Communist
Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement this morning, supporting the US airstrikes,
We call on the Liberal government to oppose the
There is no proof – nor any investigation – to determine who is responsible. What is known is that the Pentagon has trained the terrorists in the use of sarin gas, and that the terrorists had stock-piled sarin gas in secret storage facilities that were bombed by government air strikes last week.
Trump’s rush to war suggests the truth is incidental – or inconvenient for the US administration, which has fought to overthrow the Assad government for years, using mercenaries and terrorists recruited and trained to do their dirty work from the most reactionary countries in the Middle East.
Now that the Syrian government is defeating the terrorists, including ISIS, Al’Nusra, and others, the
In fact the peace process was proceeding well at the international level, with peace talks including the Assad government well underway, and the war against the terrorists nearly won. For the democratically elected Assad government, the prospects of a peaceful and negotiated political solution were at hand. They clearly had no interest in derailing the peace process.
Honest people must ask themselves, who benefits from the sarin
gas deaths and the
The answer, clearly, is the reactionary states in the region which have called for a no-fly zone and US military intervention to overthrow the Assad government, and a US President and Republican administration in deep trouble at home, unable to move legislation forward in the Congress, with very low public approval ratings and mass opposition growing, including inside the Republican caucuses. Not least, Trump is in trouble because of a budget which shifts $54 billion out of social spending into spending for war.
The terrorist stock-piling of sarin gas and the
terrible deaths resulting from its release after the facilities were hit by
bombs, has created the incident that the
Trump claims that US national security interests in the region are threatened
and that this gives the
The Canadian government must be the voice of reason, and the voice of peace and a political solution, not the weak-kneed echo of Donald Trump and his crimes against the Syrian people.
We call on the labour and democratic movements and
all those peace-loving peoples across
Canadians must make it clear in every possible way – in protests on the streets, in the media, in Parliament and on the Hill, that war is not an option. The only solution is a negotiated political solution, based in international law.
- Executive Committee, Canadian Peace Congress
The April 6th U.S. missile attack on the Shayrat Military Airbase, ostensibly done in response to an alleged chemical attack on a village in Idlib province, Syria, is a blatant act of aggression. At least 14 people were killed in the missile strikes, including five soldiers on the base and nine civilians in neighbourhoods surrounding the facility.
Shayrat is one of the largest and most active Syrian
Air Force bases, dedicated primarily to fighting ISIS in central
This unilateral action, taken without any UN Security Council mandate, is an
egregious violation of international law which cannot be justified. Indeed,
The U.S. missile strike significantly escalates the ‘proxy’ war on Syria,
precisely at a time when negotiators from both the government and some of the
‘rebel’ sides are in Geneva attempting to achieve a political solution to end
the six-year long conflict. More than that, it increases the possibility of a
direct military confrontation between the leading nuclear weapons powers – the
This wanton act of war – and the accompanying justifications given by the Trump Administration – confirm without a shadow of doubt that Washington’s true objective in Syria is not to fight terrorism but rather to impose ‘regime change’ on its people, despite its hollow claims to the contrary.
The Canadian Peace Congress unreservedly condemns this aggression, and demands
such attacks cease immediately, and that the over 1,000
Canada must also declare its recognition and respect for
Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, end all military flights over Syria
(which are to refuel allied warplanes and to identify new targets), and stop
selling weapons to countries who are funding and arming the terrorists in
Syria. Not least, this should include canceling the $15 billion arms deal with
We also appeal to all peace organizations and activists, labour,
anti-imperialist and international solidarity groups, and peace-loving people
Commentary by the University of
With the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, and the current Conservative Party leadership race, bigotry and hate-based politics are on the rise, particularly with the growth of the “alt-right” - a loose coalition of “men’s rights” activists, anti-choicers, racists, anti-Muslim bigots, anti-LGBTQIA+ bigots, social conservatives and reactionaries who use “free speech” as a cover to push an agenda of hate.
“Alt-right” posters have appeared on campuses across the country, promoting
hatred towards immigrants, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized people. As the
current crises of capitalism continue to magnify the precariousness of life for
a great many people, the public’s receptivity to the message of the far-right
has also increased. While racism is by no means a
At the University of Toronto, much of the “alt-right” activity has centred around professor Jordan Peterson, a vlogger, and self-declared “professor against political correctness” who vocally opposed Bill C-16 (which adds the words “gender identity or expression" to a list of protected classes under the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code) on “free speech” grounds, and notoriously refuses to use non-binary and gender-neutral pronouns.
Shortly after Peterson came into the spotlight, a U of T campus group called
“Students in Support of Free Speech” formed to defend him. This group, along
with “Generation Screwed”, the student wing of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
(a conservative and libertarian-leaning advocacy group financed by big
business) hosted Peterson and right-wing pundit Ezra
U of T has not been the only campus downtown to prove welcome to the
Ryerson has also proven unwilling to protect its campus from anti-choice
demonstrators whose use of graphic imagery of aborted fetuses has created a
hostile environment on
Free speech does not include
hate speech, and no institution is obligated to give a platform to groups who
seek to intimidate women, LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, racialized
people, and other people marginalized by systems of oppression. The Communist
A message from Communist Party of BC leader George Gidora
Upon taking office, Christy Clark tried to distance herself from the legacy of
Gordon Campbell, starting with a temporary reduction of his enormous tax breaks
to the rich and the corporations, and the first minimum wage increase in over a
decade. But the tax breaks were fully restored after
Until recently, the Premier received a $50,000 annual stipend (on top of her salary) from the proceeds of fundraising dinners attended by big corporate contributors. Her government gives full support to the big business drive for expanded extraction and export of natural resources, while ignoring inherent Indigenous rights and strong community opposition to dangerous projects like the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, the Site C dam which will flood valuable agricultural land in the Peace River, and the Ajax open-pit mine which threatens environmental disaster for Kamloops.
The verdict is clear: despite wearing a hard hat in her glitzy TV ads, BC’s Big Business Premier Christy Clark heads a government totally bought and paid for by corporate interests.
Since the 2013 election, a few mass struggles have forced the government to
pull back for tactical reasons, and the NDP caucus in
But the NDP refuses to directly challenge the austerity policies of the
Liberals, or even to roll back
In contrast, the Communist Party of BC gives full support to movements which
defend the interests of working people, including for a higher minimum wage, a
provincial child care program, truly affordable housing, and doubled social
assistance and disability rates. We demand to restore the pre-2001 tax rates,
and to block new oil pipelines, the Site C dam, and the
Communist candidates are campaigning on a platform to win fundamental reforms
People’s Voice Editorial
This year’s Earth Day (April 22) is the first since the White House was taken over by a clique of climate-change deniers heavily funded by Big Energy monopolies. As Noam Chomsky warns, Donald Trump’s stated goal is to maximize the use of fossil fuels, end environmental regulations, and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. This strategy may signal the end of the world, Chomsky says, “even if not quite in the intended sense”.
The release of carbon stored in plants, soil, etc. into the atmosphere, through burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees, means that today's atmosphere contains 42% more carbon dioxide than during the pre-capitalist era. Extreme weather events are more common, and global surface temperatures have increased by about one degree centigrade since 1880. The 10 warmest years on record (with the exception of 1998) have occurred since 2000. Arctic ice and glaciers have shrunk markedly, and sea levels have risen 15 centimetres over the past century.
As we struggle against the capitalist agenda of austerity, cutbacks, , corporate trade deals, and militarism, the fight for environmental justice must be one of the core issues of our alternative programs. Earth Day is often an occasion for corporate interests to “greenwash” their destructive profiteering; instead, it should become a day for working people to demand a new socialist economic system, based on protection of people and the environment.
People’s Voice Editorial
Every year leading up to April 28, the annual Workers Memorial Day, statistics and articles provide ample proof of the epidemic of workplace deaths. On a world-wide scale, every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease, and 153 workers have a work-related accident. Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. An estimated 12 million people die as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment each year, nearly 1 in 4 of total global deaths, according to the World Health Organization. More than 300 million accidents occur on the job annually; many resulting in extended absences from work. The economic cost of occupational deaths and injuries, and poor occupational safety and health practices, is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product.
In many cases, capitalist profiteering is the direct cause of workplace deaths.
The most notorious example is the garment industry. The years 2012-2015 saw
some of the largest garment industry disasters on global record: the Ali
Enterprises fire in
The lesson is clear: capitalism kills, and the bosses are the culprits. But there is a cure - organized resistance in our workplaces and communities, and at the political level. Stronger trade unions and united political struggles are needed, not more PR campaigns by corporations eager to protect their sales figures.
By Paul Bentley
Without a peep from the opposition parties, the Trudeau government announced on
March 31st that it will extend
The absence of any objections, or even questions, in Parliament from the NDP is
particularly disappointing given that they had originally opposed the war. The
only political party in
When Trudeau recently backtracked on his promise to end the "first-past-the-post" system, on the excuse of protecting against the election of “extremist parties”, presumably he was concerned that he might face hard questions from socialist parties.
Questions like these: "Wouldn’t the Billion dollars you are putting into a dirty oil war be better spent on mental health”?
“Hundreds of soldiers died in the war in
“How do you explain CBC reports that a “special forces officer, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said the nature of the Mosul offensive had meant Canadian troops often found themselves in situations where they were required to fire?”
In fact, Trudeau’s introduction of a “Discussion Paper” on Parliament Hill in which he proposes that he should only have to attend Question Period once a week and get Fridays off, suggests that he really doesn’t want to face any questions in Parliament at all!
The gall which Trudeau has shown recently, however, is not limited to matters of Parliamentary procedure. The corporate media’s compartmentalization of the news, designed to disguise the increasingly aggressive nature of Canadian foreign policy, is exposed when the extension of Operation Impact is seen in the context of other recent military moves.
In addition to previously announced plans for the deployment of “heavily armoured” Canadian troops to lead a NATO contingent in Latvia, Canada confirmed on March 25th that its air force will also be deployed in Iceland and Romania to “defend against Russian aggression”; and, on April 3rd, Canada’s right-wing Ukrainian nationalist Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, met with Ukraine Defense Minister Stephen Poltarak to finalize details of the new Canada-Ukraine Defense Cooperation Arrangement.
According to the CBC, Poltorak says his government views the new co-operation agreement as a step towards eventually getting on the automatic firearms country control list, which would allow Canadian exporters to sell the country so-called prohibited weapons: "I do hope this agreement will serve as the foundation for the future dialogue on the possibility of this sort of assistance to Ukraine", Poltorak said.
The anti-Russian sentiment behind Freeland’s policy in Eastern Europe is also
implicit in her aggressive remarks regarding the chemical weapons catastrophe
We might be surprised that Trudeau, famous for his mockery of former Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper’s desire to “whip out our CF-18s and show how big they are”; would support Freeland’s aggressive foreign policy designs.
Perhaps Trudeau is just trying to find a way to appease Trump’s bellicose
On the other hand, if personality inflects politics we might speculate that
Trudeau, “le petit” is turning out to be just like his father. Canadians still
have very mixed feelings about how Pierre Trudeau, in response to the
kidnapping of a minor politician in Quebec, proclaimed the War Measures Act and
rolled the tanks into the streets of
By Sean Burton
About thirty people gathered in front of
In October 2016, dozens of indigenous people representing Labrador's Innu,
Inuit, and Metis along with non-indigenous
supporters, occupied the
In the context of widespread aboriginal resistance to environmental exploitation and the struggle against colonization, Justin Brake decided this event was vital to be covered. Brake was in the thick of events at the site and followed the land protectors, as they came to be known, as they occupied offices of crown corporation Nalcor. His coverage of the events was live-streamed on the Independent's social media pages and widely shared.
During the aftermath of the demonstrations, the provincial government placed a temporary hold on the project and met with some community leaders in an attempt to alleviate concerns, but the RCMP announced that it would press charges against a number of people at the site, including Brake. Twenty-eight people in all were charged in connection with violating a court order for protesters to stay off the site as well as "mischief over $5000".
At the Corner Brook rally, Brake was defended by local CUPE representative Ernest Greene, Janice Kennedy of Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women, Sophia Descalzi of the Grenfell Campus Student Union, indigenous artist Melissa Tremblett, Mi'kmaq elder Calvin White, and Michael Martin, a former journalist, Labrador South MHA and creator of the Labrador flag. Martin characterized Canada today as undemocratic and ruled for the interests of rich oligarchs, and said that journalists like Justin Brake must be allowed to do what they do in order to combat social ignorance.
Brake emphasized that he did what any proper journalist should in order to get the story. In his words, "Canadians have a right to know in order to be informed citizens."
The charges against Brake represent a disturbing precedent that can do great harm to journalism in this country. Indeed, comments from Nalcor's lawyer get to the heart of the matter. At court proceedings in February, lawyer Chris King stated, "Journalists have no greater right to trespass on private property than any other individual and a journalist certainly has no greater right to defy a court order ... than any other individual."
If that is so, what is to stop similar arguments from being made against
journalists in the future? How could a journalist even pursue a story like this
if it means facing criminal charges? It is especially important to remember the
context: this was an act of civil disobedience by aboriginal peoples in defence of their land and human rights against a crown
corporation and provincial government that use
For his efforts, Brake was nominated for the province's Human Rights Award in December 2016. Organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, the Canadian Association of Journalists and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) have voiced support, with CJFE director Tom Henheffer pointing out that considering the RCMP's history of brutality towards indigenous protests, it is necessary for journalists to be on hand to observe.
A legal defence fund has been created to support
Brake, who must travel to
For the first time, the RCMP has confirmed it deployed IMSI-catcher phone surveillance devices — commonly known as Stingrays — dozens of times in recent years to identify and locate suspects in criminal investigations. The admission on April 5 comes after years of secrecy about the use of the mass surveillance tools. Even serious criminal charges have been dropped to keep the devices a secret.
A recent CBC News investigation found Stingrays in use in downtown
“Canadians have been demanding answers about Stingray cell phone surveillance
for years, and it’s a pity it took revelations about Stingray use in
Tribe continued: “How many innocent Canadians have had their private cellular data captured by the RCMP’s use of Stingrays over the past 10 years? Has any of that data been retained? Have these devices ever been deployed to monitor a political protest or demonstration? Is mere suspicion of wrongdoing enough to justify the use of Stingrays, given the serious privacy implications for law-abiding citizens? It’s also clear that the use of these devices has been going on for years, presumably with the knowledge of Public Safety Canada, despite authorization from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada only being granted this week.”
Among the key points from the RCMP statement are:
The RCMP says it has a total of 10 surveillance devices in its possession, and 24 technicians trained and authorized to deploy them. The devices have been used “scores of times” in recent years, including 19 times last year and 24 times in 2015. The RCMP also said other police forces own and use them too but didn’t name these police forces.
The RCMP used to apply for a general warrant to deploy Stingrays. But for one period of about four months, it did not apply for a warrant for their use at all, based on advice from the Department of Justice.
The force currently applies for a Transmission Data Recorder Warrant to permit its use of Stingrays. Such a warrant can be granted based merely on “reasonable grounds to suspect” an offence has been or will be committed, rather than the stronger “reasonable grounds to believe”.
While the RCMP is tracking the number of warrants it applies for, it is not obliged to report this to Parliament.
These devices can interfere with other mobile phone signals and even interfere with the ability to dial 911 in older phones. As a result, the RCMP says it tries to use the devices only for a few minutes at a time, to minimize unintended disruptions.
Over 45,000 people have signed an online call to implement safeguards to protect innocent individuals from Stingray phone surveillance, at StopStingrays.org
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of
These acts and threats of war and aggression against sovereign states are
completely outside the rules of international law, and are a threat to peace
and security on a global scale. The
Nuclear tests by DPRK are the result of a relentless US campaign against
It is the US that has prevented all efforts at reunification of North and South
Korea through a negotiated political solution to the 1953 ceasefire agreement
that has maintained a state of war between north and south ever since. Regime
change has been the US motivation since the end of WW II, based on its Cold War
determination to dominate the region and “roll-back Communism” in south-east
Asia, in Vietnam, China, and in Europe. Today, the overthrow of sovereign
governments in south-east Asia is a key part of the
When President Trump calls on “the civilized world” to act against DPRK, he
means imperialism and the biggest global corporate interests in the world. He
means NATO and the military forces of the
It’s in this context that the DPRK is testing its nuclear capacity. An end to
US threats of regime change and invasion, and negotiations leading to a
political solution are the only way to de-escalate growing tensions and to
achieve peace and disarmament in the region.
Parliament, and the government of
The Communist Party calls on the Canadian government, on Parliament, to oppose
US threats and aggression against DPRK and
Statement by the South African Communist Party on the growing political crisis in the country following a cabinet shuffle in which President Jacob Zuma removed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, an SACP member who has been a prominent figure in efforts to eliminate corruption in the government.
The Political Bureau of the South African Communist Party met in Gauteng today [March 31] in the context of the deep crisis into which the reckless actions of President Zuma have once more plunged our ANC-led movement, our hard-won democratic institutions, and our country in general.
The recall from an overseas trip of comrades Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas while
on a promotional tour in
This recklessness has provoked widespread concern and anger within the ANC itself, and across all sectors of our society. We have reached a decisive moment in which, in the considered view of the SACP leadership, Zuma must now resign.
The coincidence of the dramatic cabinet events with the desperate application
this week in the
The timing of Zuma’s cabinet reshuffling and the deepening banking troubles faced by the Guptas is not, therefore, fortuitous. Once more it lays bare a disturbing reality. Increasingly our country is being ruled not from the Union Buildings, but from the Gupta family compound. More and more, critical ANC decisions are being decided not by elected and collective structures in Luthuli House but in Saxonwold.
In the coming days the SACP will be meeting with our provincial structures, all our alliance partners and a wide range of social movements and formations. It is imperative that popular anger is mobilised and organised in constructive ways that unite South Africans of all persuasions and backgrounds in the defence of our country’s interests.
This is not a struggle against an individual. This is not a factional struggle. It is a struggle against a network of parasitism and patronage in defence of our hard-won democratic sovereignty. Let us roll back corporate capture of the state! Let us call for the South African passports and residential rights of the Guptas to be revoked immediately! Let us call for the sacking of General Ntlemeza, an ex-Transkei security policeman, who many allege tortured our own comrades. Let us demand progress on the numerous stalled prosecutions and investigations. What has happened to the civil and criminal prosecutions recommended in regard to the Nkandla scandal? Let us ensure that the dodgy Tegeta deal is exposed. Let us insist that those involved in the whole-sale ripping off of the public broadcaster, the SABC, and of key State Owned Corporations, including PRASA, Eskom, DENEL, and SAA are brought to book. Mainstream corporate outfits like Allan Gray and the Ruperts; Remgro must own up to their profit-driven collusion with Cash Pay Master Services, Net1, and Grindrod in the exploitation of vulnerable social grant beneficiaries. Politicians and officials who have benefited from back-handers in all of this must be exposed.
Inevitably, SACP members who serve in executive positions in government are now being asked if they will resign. The PolitBuro’s instruction to these comrades is: Remain at your posts. This is not because there is any individual entitlement. You are serving in various capacities because of the support you enjoy across the ANC movement, because of your struggle credentials, and because of your performance in government. You have a responsibility to serve a massive constituency and the country at large - now more than ever. If you are fired at the behest of the Gupta network because of the SACP’s stand on these matters - so be it.
- See more at: http://www.sacp.org.za
By Lamiat Sabin, Morning Star
The British Labour Party and trade unions have warned Prime Minister Theresa May against seeking to use EU exit negotiations as an excuse to ditch laws that protect workers, consumers, and the environment as she kick-started the two-year separation process.
The Labour Party’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer attacked former Tory work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith following his call for a “radical root-and-branch” review of EU regulations.
Starmer said these “costly” regulations hated by right-wingers included basic workers’ rights, adding: “It is increasingly clear that rights and protections are seen by many senior Tories, including the Cabinet, as an ‘expensive’ luxury that British workers and consumers can do without. That is why one of Labour’s six tests for the Brexit deal is that it defends hard-fought-for rights and protections and doesn’t lead to a race to the bottom.”
Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said leaving the EU must not become “an excuse for diluting people’s already meagre rights at work,” but said the left should “set its sights on the opportunities the negotiations present.”
Referring to the section of the Lisbon Treaty that allows for unilateral EU exit, Griffiths said, “Triggering Article 50 opens the way to progressive policies outside the EU to control capital, raise public funds for infrastructure investment, enforce equal rights for migrant workers, and radically cut or abolish VAT. Such policies would remain unlawful if we stay in the single market.”
The government must also not lose sight of the three million EU nationals who
Groups reminded May that she has to resist using people as “bargaining chips” in upcoming negotiations with 27 other EU nations.
Frances O’Grady, secretary general of the Trades Union Congress, Britain’s
largest labour federation, said: “The best deal will
guarantee that hardworking Brits keep their hard-won rights at work – and that
in the years to come they won’t miss out on protections that Dutch, Spanish,
and German workers get. The best deal has to protect good jobs, with decent
wages, by keeping our trade free from tariffs and unnecessary bureaucracy. And
it has to end the disgraceful uncertainty for workers from other EU nations
who’ve made the
But Trade Unionists Against the EU’s Doug Nicholls saluted what he characterised as “a great day” for workers in
Stand Up to Racism condemned the government for not making rock-solid promises over the residency rights of EU citizens whose families may be separated and whose jobs could be lost.
German national, teacher, and resident in Britain for 28 years Ulrike Schmidt told the anti-fascist group that her 81-year-old EU citizen father has already been questioned by border control officials as to how long he intended to stay in Britain and whether he wants to work here.
She said, “I wonder how many vulnerable people are getting targeted even before
Global Justice Now said that efforts should go into preventing the Prime Minister from having an “unprecedented” carte blanche to “pick and choose” from existing EU laws.
The group’s director Nick Dearden said, “We don’t have the luxury of sitting around and lamenting the fact that Theresa May has triggered Article 50. Using ‘Henry VIII powers’ could mean ministers making significant changes to important legislation without parliamentary approval – something which many countries would deem unconstitutional.”
By Stephen Gowans, April 8, 2017
Since the mid 1950s, the United States has tried to purge Damascus of an Arab nationalist leadership which has zealously guarded Syria’s freedom from US domination and follows an Arab socialist development path which is at odds with the global free enterprise project advanced by Washington on behalf of its Wall Street patron.
Until now, Washington has refrained from directly attacking Syrian forces, though it has intervened militarily in Syria to hold the Islamic State in check so that the militant group remains strong enough to weaken Syrian forces but not so strong that it captures the Syrian state.
This limited Islamic State-directed US intervention in
The United States contemplated direct military intervention in Syria in 2003, as a follow-up to its invasion of neighbouring Iraq, but found that its resources were strained by efforts to pacify Afghanistan and Iraq and that other means of regime change would have to be pursued.
In place of a muscular boots on the ground strategy,
By the spring of 2012, sanctions-induced financial haemorrhaging had “forced Syrian officials to stop providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country.”
By 2016, “US and EU economic sanctions on
Veteran foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn wrote that “the US and EU sanctions” resembled the Iraqi sanctions regime, and were “an economic siege on Syria”—a siege it might be recalled that led to the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi children, according to the UN, a death toll greater than that produced by all the weapons of mass destruction in history. Cockburn surmised that the Syrian siege was killing numberless people through illness and malnutrition.
On top of its merciless campaign of economic warfare,
In 2012, the US Defense Intelligence Agency reported that the insurgency was
Islamist, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Islamic State’s
forerunner, and that Western powers and the kings, emirs and sultans who
preside tyrannically over Gulf oil states, were the backers. According to the
The Shayrat Airfield attack was presented for world opinion as a response to Syrian forces allegedly gassing civilians at Khan Shaykum on 4 April. The allegations were levelled by blatantly partisan sources.
One source was the White Helmets, which bills itself as a neutral civil defense
outfit, but is in reality funded by governments entangled with
Significantly, no one even remotely impartial has investigated the allegations to determine whether (a) chemical agents were indeed used, (b) whether they were used deliberately, and (c) who used them? The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons refuses to weigh in on any of these questions until an investigation has been completed, the only sound course of action.
All the same, Washington and its lickspittle allies, exuding colonial arrogance, immediately pronounced in Olympian fashion that the accusations were beyond dispute, an outcome which was hardly surprising given that the Western champions of neo-colonialism share with the White Helmets and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights a common goal of overthrowing Syria’s Arab nationalist government. Washington can always be counted on to publicize any calumny against its Syrian enemy, no matter how untenable.
Despite assurances that a gas attack had been undertaken at Khan Shaykum on 4 April, and that Syrian forces were
responsible, the United States, France and Britain, if they, were not
themselves implicated, could have had no certain knowledge of this, since these
matters take weeks of on the ground investigation to offer sound judgment, and
even then the question of attribution—that is, who did it?—is often
unanswerable. The reality, of course, is that Western powers have no idea
whether the accusation is valid but seized the opportunity to claim it was to
establish a pretext for military action in furtherance of the
Mainstream journalists also rushed to judgement in advance of even the barest resemblance of an impartial investigation, their assessments aligning with the assessments, sans evidence, of their own governments.
On top of being predicated on an untested allegation by unquestionably partial
But the point is academic.
The United Sates has already amassed a sizable record of crimes in Syria, and an even more sizeable record in the larger Arab world, not the least of which crimes is the intrusion of US military personnel on Syrian soil, an act of war itself.
As a military colossus, the
The White House is able to violate US law without punishment by eliciting at least the passive acceptance of the US public and its representatives for its wars of aggression; accordingly, with the Congress and the US public on side, there’s no one to hold the White House to account before the US constitution.
White House efforts to secure the acquiescence of the public, if not its jingoistic support, are facilitated by the measures the Pentagon takes to limit US troop casualties, so that no matter how devastating US military operations are for the victims, the US public is not inconvenienced or traumatized psychologically by an accumulation of US combat casualties.
Equally helpful from the point of view of mobilizing support for war in
Moreover, witness how easily
Demonizing targets—often by accusing them of having, using, or intending to use
either falsely classified or genuine weapons of mass destruction—creates, from
the vantage point of the public, a moral obligation for the
(The conclusion of Gowans’ article, plus extensive footnotes, can be found at https://gowans.wordpress.com/)