Ottawa Rally

Protestors Demand "Lift the Genocidal Sanctions Against Syria!"

On March 18 in Ottawa, ahead of week of solemn anniversaries of U.S./NATO-led aggression and war and the visit of U.S. President Joe Biden, a timely picket was held in front of the U.S. Embassy to denounce sanctions against the Syrian people. Organizers denounced the media blackout which makes these sanctions and other criminal activities of the U.S. in the region unknown to the Canadian public. They pointed out that the U.S. is occupying a region which contains over 90 per cent of Syria's wheat and oil, which they literally rob from the country, while leaving the population destitute. Cases of children suffering from malnutrition are on the rise and participants in the rally did not hesitate to call what is occurring in Syria a genocide for which the U.S. is in the main responsible. They also pointed out that the occupation and sanctions can also be felt in Lebanon. The devastating February 6 earthquake which affected Turkey and Syria aggravated an already dire situation, they added.

Canada is fully embroiled in the U.S.-led foreign intervention in Syria that has devastated the Syrian people. It is thus not surprising that the government's response to the earthquake was cynically detached and devoid of compassion. As the Syrian people raced against the clock to free their friends and families from the ruined buildings, with the assistance of international rescue teams from many countries, International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said that the government would look at deploying medical and search and rescue teams, but that first "we have to conduct the assessments." Meanwhile, monopoly media busily promoted the White Helmets as playing an important role in rescue efforts. The White Helmets are part of the imperialists' private special forces on the civilian front. They reinforce the aim of regime change in Syria, operating in those areas under the control of armed groups that refuse to participate in a political resolution to the conflict in Syria, and act as auxiliaries for anti-government armed groups that are financed by the imperialists which Canada supports.

Sanctions against Syria, imposed since 2011, are part of a broader U.S.-led campaign of foreign interference aimed at regime change because Syria will not submit to foreign dictate. This campaign includes funding terrorist organizations to foment "civil war" and the deployment of the militaries of the U.S., UK, Canada and others.

Global Affairs Canada self-servingly claims that Canada's sanctions are "targeted" and that "humanitarian exceptions" are made. However, the genocidal effects of sanctions against Syria are well-documented, never mind the precedent of the 500,000 children killed in Iraq by U.S. sanctions.

Beyond taking part in the criminal sanctions regime, Canada's military has been active in the U.S.-led intervention in Syria since 2014, including carrying out airstrikes until 2016. Since March 2019, Canada has been carrying out "air support operations" for other countries, including support for U.S. airstrikes. All of this criminal activity against the Syrian people is part of what the U.S. and its appeasers like Canada call the "rules-based international order."

(Photos: TML)

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 2 - March 2023

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