Biden Not Welcome in Canada!
For Your Information
of U.S./NATO-Led Aggression and War
March 16, 1993
March 24, 1999
March 19, 2003
March 18, 2011
March 26, 2015
Biden Not Welcome in Canada!
The Prime Minister of Canada's Office has announced that the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will be visiting Ottawa March 23-24. Biden's visit coincides with the 24th anniversary of the criminal bombing and war of aggression waged against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by NATO countries headed by the U.S., with the active participation of Canada, which began March 23, 1999. It coincides with the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, which was preceded by killer sanctions that caused the deaths of 500,000 children, which then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said was "worth it." March 19 also marks the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Libya, led by Canadian bombers on behalf of the U.S./NATO "coalition of the willing." These events underscore the kind of democracy, human rights and rules-based international order the U.S. and Canada are foisting on the people of this country.
The statement that Canada and the U.S. are "reliable partners in the defence of democracy, human rights and respect for international law and the rule of law" is clearly contradicted by the war against Yugoslavia waged by U.S.-led NATO. This was done to circumvent the UN Security Council so as to bypass the veto power of both Russia and China which opposed the use of force against Yugoslavia. In fact, NATO's war of aggression at the time violated its own founding charter, the "Helsinki Final Act" of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Charter of the United Nations. It served as a precedent for officially renouncing adherence to international law and announced NATO's intention to carry out global wars of aggression and occupation in the name of a "rules-based international order."
Subsequent and current aggressive policies in the name of human rights and rules-based international order include the eastward expansion of NATO which threatens Russia to isolate and crush it, arming Ukraine in the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia; provocations carried out against China by arming Taiwan, sending warships through the Strait of Taiwan, and officials to Taiwan in violation of the agreed-to one-China policy. In a similar vein, on and around the Korean Peninsula, increasingly provocative U.S. military exercises are being held in conjunction with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea and Japan which threaten the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
These many international destabilizing activities to advance the U.S. striving for world domination include illegal sanctions regimes, and the continued blockade against Cuba, which are criminal acts by the U.S. that Canada is appeasing. It includes as well attempting to suppress the struggle of Haitians for control of their own sovereignty and their right to be, in the name of "supporting the people of Haiti;" not stopping the genocide of the Palestinian people; and organizing and supporting coups d'état in Latin America, too numerous to mention. Meanwhile, warmongering and hysteria spread by so-called intelligence agencies about "foreign interference" in Canadian elections are all unacceptable activities.
All indications are that mass murder and a culture of violence have taken over in the United States, arising from an increasingly brutal and racist anti-social offensive at home and the U.S. imperialist dictate of "might makes right" abroad.
Bush's "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists" now takes the form of "Either you are with NATO with its 'democracy,' 'values' and 'rules-based order,' or you are with the 'autocratic regimes.'" We do not adhere to such "offers that one cannot refuse." The world does not revolve around such desperate ultimatums.
Canadians oppose U.S. and NATO dictate in Canada. Under the guise of "partnership" and "friendship," this has given rise to open calls to "put Canada on a war footing" and has led to the further integration of Canada into the U.S. war machine. Among other things, this includes the signing of agreements such as the "Roadmap for a renewed U.S.-Canada partnership" which puts Canada's human and natural resources, including critical minerals and hydro power, at the disposal of U.S. hegemonic and militarist plans. In the name of human rights the social and natural environment are violated. Nobody discusses the consequences for Canadians, Quebeckers and Indigenous Peoples, all of whom are considered to be expendable.
Joe Biden presides over a failed foreign policy and the Government of Canada stands condemned the world over for supporting it. The peoples of the world are striving for peace and the peaceful settlement of conflicts between countries and peoples through political agreements. They reject threats, blackmail and the use of force, provocations and brinkmanship and wars of aggression, such as those conducted by the U.S./NATO alliance and their "coalitions of the willing" in the name of "rules-based international order." Canadians and Quebeckers in particular reject the Canadian government's integration of Canada's economy into the U.S. war machine, and a foreign policy set by the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. It is on this basis that we say:
Joe Biden Is Not Welcome in Canada!
Get Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!
Not a Single Youth for Imperialist War!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
CONTACT YOUTH FOR DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL
For Your Information
On March 9, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will visit Canada March 23 to 24 "to continue working closely together to strengthen trade ties, create good jobs, grow the middle class, and drive economic growth that benefits everyone on both sides of the border." The press release added that they "will also continue to increase collaboration on defence and security, climate action, and immigration.
The press release says:
"With the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement as the foundation, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden will underscore the importance of our mutually beneficial economic relationship to bolster competitiveness and build resilient supply chains, including on critical minerals -- the building blocks for the clean economy. They will also discuss the progress made under the February 2021 Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership to advance bilateral cooperation on shared priorities including taking ambitious climate action and advancing countries where no one is left behind.
"Keeping North Americans safe from new and emerging threats requires a coordinated response. During the visit, the Prime Minister and the President will highlight ongoing cooperation on continental defence, including NORAD's key role in defending North America. They will also advance cooperation in the Arctic.
"Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden will also continue to cooperate on global issues of mutual interest including continuing their unwavering support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia's war of aggression and advancing solutions to the broader global impacts of the war like food and energy security. They will also continue to support the people of Haiti and Haitian-led efforts to address the ongoing crisis. The leaders will further commit to advancing our countries' shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, including national security, economic prosperity, respect for international law and human rights, democratic values, public health, and protecting our environment."
It concluded with the usual mantra which says:
"Canada and the United States are steadfast partners in upholding democracy, human rights, and respect for the rule of law, and we will always work together to defend these shared values in our countries and beyond."
Trudeau said: "Canada and the United States are allies, neighbours, and most importantly, friends. As we face increasing global uncertainty, we will continue working together as we defend our continent and our shared values, create more opportunities for people and businesses on both sides of the border, and build strong economies as reliable suppliers as we move toward a net-zero world. I look forward to welcoming President Biden to Canada."
During his visit, Biden is scheduled to make an address to Parliament.
In February 2021, Trudeau and Biden launched the "Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership," which, they claim "lays out an ambitious framework to grow our economies, strengthen the middle class, and build a healthier future."
In 2021, they established the "Canada-U.S. Supply Chain Working
Group" which strengthens bilateral supply chain security and
resilience and reinforces our deeply interconnected and mutually
beneficial economic relationship.
Among the "Quick Facts" listed at the end of the press release
were the following:
"Canada and the United States work closely in multilateral fora, such as: Arctic Council, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), G20, G7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization of American States (OAS), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organization (WTO)." No mention of NORAD.
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."
U.S./NATO-Led Aggression and War
March 16, 1993
March 16, 2023 marked the 30th anniversary of the killing of 16-year-old Somalian Shidane Arone by Canadian soldiers, members of the Airborne Regiment which was corrupted with known racist elements. The latter had been sent to Somalia as part of a "humanitarian mission." It was later revealed to be George H.W. Bush who "invited" then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to join the U.S.-led "relief mission." Political and military officials of that time subsequently revealed that Canada's actual motivation for participation was to redeem itself with a high-profile mission to remove the memory of its minor role in the Gulf War.
Horrific "trophy photos" were shown of Canadian soldiers with
Shidane, who had been subjected to torture and multiple
indignities, followed by yet more similar videotapes showing
Airborne soldiers taking part in disturbing and racist
initiation rites. These criminal and inhuman acts and the way
they were dealt with by Canadian officials starkly revealed how
the official racist outlook informs all the practices of Canada
and its institutions.
That was 30 years ago and to date Canada refuses to carry out required modernization and renewal on any front which concerns abandoning the colonial state structures imposed by an Act of the British Imperial Parliament in 1867.
A commission was set up to inquire into the "incidents" in Somalia as the atrocities were called. Observers at the time noted that the real aim of the inquiry was to establish a "near-impossibility of finding absolute answers" for the horrific crimes. The Canadian state summoned all its assets to bury the truth of what took place in Somalia and of the racism which imbues the armed forces. The commission itself stated in its 2,000-page report that the status quo was not enough and that sweeping changes were needed "to recapture lost faith in the Canadian Armed Forces and to restore honour to Canada's traditional role as international peacekeepers."
The fact is that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien shut the hearings down at the end of 1996, before the inquiry had a chance to complete its work, stating that Canadians had lost interest in the "Somalia Affair." The Commissioners had not yet had the chance to hear critical witnesses or probe some of the most fundamental questions in the events. They did not even have time to consider the case that had alerted and outraged the Canadian people in the first place, the torture and killing of Shidane Arone.
On this occasion, we pay tribute to the memory of Shidane Arone and all those who are victims of atrocities committed by Canadian armed forces. Shidane's name was inscribed by anti-war activists on the monument in Ottawa in front of the Art Gallery, contiguous to the U.S. Embassy, which honours Canadian peacekeepers. It took years for the people in charge of the National Capital Commission's property to rub it out. This name, Shidane Arone, should be inscribed there permanently.
March 24, 1999
On March 24, 1999, bombs started raining down on Belgrade as NATO commenced its criminal attack on Yugoslavia. Using the pretext of a humanitarian intervention, the United States and the big powers of Old Europe, especially Germany, France and Britain, joined by Canada and all NATO members at that time, engaged in an air war and wanton destruction.
More than 80 per cent of NATO's bombardments were directed at civilian targets, residential areas, workplaces, clinics and schools. More than 50,000 rounds with depleted uranium created long-term health problems and contamination of the environment. The bombing of chemical production facilities contaminated both the population and the environment, while the use of cluster bombs and mines have continued to kill and maim people years later. Even the Embassy of the People's Republic of China was bombed, killing two embassy staff.
The war of aggression against Yugoslavia served as a precedent for obliterating international law. NATO violated its own founding charter, the Helsinki Final Act of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Charter of the United Nations in launching this war. Yugoslavia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, guaranteed by the UN Charter, was ignored and blatantly bombed away in the case of this United Nations founding member state.
Canada's "contribution" to the commission of these war crimes in the former Yugoslavia was substantial. At that time it held the Chair of the United Nations' Security Council, to which no country submitted any resolutions to get approval for the bombing of Yugoslavia. It participated in a grand way in the staged pretexts of a humanitarian crisis used in an attempt to legitimate by-passing the institutions, such as the UN, established in the post-war period. Canada itself contributed 18 CF-18 Hornets and ground crews for the sorties. Canadian planes flew 682 sorties at an estimated cost of $54.5 million, dropping a total of 530 bombs, of which 361 were laser guided. Just weeks prior to the war, Canada bought an emergency supply of 300 bombs from the U.S. military. Canadian pilots carried out 10 per cent of the bombing raids. This was Canada's role in NATO's "humanitarian intervention."
Canada at the time was pushing and making a lot of noise about then Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy's "human security agenda," the content of which was picked up by NATO to suit its purposes for future interventions, and became its "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine.
NATO's war against Yugoslavia marked its first open military engagement since its formation but this is not all. It was a definite turning point in the commission of crimes against humanity which switched from covert actions to open violations of the international rule of law. For instance, it marked the first non-covert attempted assassination of a head of state in Europe. The military bombing of the radio and television studios in Belgrade, repeated on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, gave rise to the NATO doctrine that any journalist, media worker or media outlet who is not working for NATO is an enemy propagandist and a military target. Since this assault on freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of conscience, the number of journalists and press photographers killed in action has spiralled.
In spite of all the pretexts used to justify the war and the wanton destruction it caused, NATO used the war to proclaim its intention to carry out global wars of destruction and occupation and, subsequently, regime change. The aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan and the global "war on terror" launched after 9/11 provide ample proof of NATO's "humanitarianism."
The plans for a "Greater Middle East," the interference in Sudan, Tibet and the Caucasus, campaigns against Zimbabwe, Cuba, Somalia and Lebanon, the subsequent destruction of Libya, aggression against Syria as well as constant threats of war directed at Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the acts of aggression and sanctions against Venezuela as well as engineering coups d'état against Haiti, Bolivia, Honduras and Peru, amongst others, and the U.S.-proxy war against Russia using Ukraine all show that the "new world order" based on achieving U.S. striving for domination by using force, has left a sea of devastation and human misery in its wake. The path NATO set in Yugoslavia violates the UN Charter and international rule of law which are based on renouncing the use of violence to sort out conflicts between nations.
Indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets by NATO included the Serbian Ministry of the Interior (left) and Serbia Radio Television.
The criminal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, as is the case with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the assassinations of their leaders and regime changes, failed to unite the U.S. bureaucracy. Factional fights have intensified manifold and the U.S. is on the verge of open civil war at home while it intensifies its warmongering and preparations for a war on a massive scale abroad. What are called liberal democratic institutions no longer function to sort out differences within the ruling class. The more the rulers rule by decree, the more they claim they are defending democracy, human rights and what they call a rules-based order.
Canada has succumbed lock, stock and barrel to U.S. demands to integrate the Canadian economy and resources into U.S. war production and devote more and more resources to NATO, the militarization of culture and life and to criminalizing opposition to this both at home and abroad. The U.S. brooks no negotiations of any kind, even within the NATO bloc. It is holding massive war exercises in the Asia Pacific and other places to make sure the armed forces of every country are integrated under U.S. Command as has been achieved in the case of Canada, Poland, and the Italian Special Forces amongst others. It demands that countries pay for the upkeep of U.S. bases and forces on their territories, and that these forces be permitted to act with impunity through so-called Status of Forces Agreements signed with countries such as south Korea and Japan. All of it is done in the name of peace, freedom and democracy and shows the peoples the dangers which lie ahead and the need to not only get their countries out of NATO and to dismantle it but to fight to make all countries zones for peace.
Clearly, the tragedy unleashed with the brutal and criminal bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 in the name of "human security" and "humanitarian" pretexts, was just the beginning of the crimes we have witnessed the U.S. and its NATO war alliance commit since then.
All efforts must be made to smash the attempts of the
imperialists and their spokespersons and agencies within each
country to disrupt the unity of the people against wars of
destruction and regime change. All those desiring peace are
called on to unite in action to give rise to anti-war
governments which do not permit these crimes against humanity.
All official open and covert means used to cause disruption of
the peace movement and spread disinformation so that the people
cannot bring the power of their numbers and organization to bear
and which spread disinformation must be foiled.
1. In his book The Globalization of NATO (Clarity Press, 2012), Madhi Darius Nazemroaya points to the significance of the Yugoslav war for NATO.
"Yugoslavia was a turning point for the Atlantic Alliance and its mandate. The organization moved from the guise of a defensive posture into an offensive pose under the pretexts of humanitarianism. Starting from Yugoslavia, NATO began its journey towards becoming a global military force. From its wars in the Balkans, it began to broaden its international area of operations outside of the Euro-Atlantic zone into the Caucasus, Central Asia, East Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian Ocean. It has virtually turned the Mediterranean Sea into a NATO lake with the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, while it seeks to do the same to the Black Sea and gain a strategic foothold in the Caspian Sea region. The Gulf Security Initiative between NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council seeks to also dominate the Persian Gulf and to hem in Iran. Israel has become a de facto member of the military organization. At the same time, NATO vessels sail the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These warships are deployed off the coasts of Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen as part of NATO's objectives to create a naval cordon of the seas controlling important strategic waterways and maritime transit routes.
"[...] NATO has clearly played an important role in
complementing the U.S. strategy for dominating Eurasia. This
includes the encirclement of Russia, China, Iran, and their
allies with a military ring subservient to Washington. The
global missile shield project, the militarization of Japan,
the insurgencies in Libya and Syria, the threats against Iran,
and the formation of a NATO-like military alliance in the
Asia-Pacific region are components of this colossal
geopolitical project. NATO's globalization, however, is
bringing together a new series of Eurasian counter-alliances
with global linkages that stretch as far as Latin America. The
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have been formed by
Russia, China, and their allies as shields against the U.S.
and NATO and as a means to challenge them."
Ottawa, March 28, 1999
Montreal, April 3, 1999
Ottawa, April 4, 1999.
Toronto, April 17, 1999
Windsor, April 17, 1999
to the children killed by NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia,
Tasmajdan Park, Belgrade, Serbia.
March 19, 2003
The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was carried out following an organized campaign of deception by the U.S. which sent its Secretary of State, Colin Powell, to theUN Security Council to introduce bogus evidence as "proof" the government of Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This spectacle was meant to embroil the world in a fraudulent debate about the threat Iraq supposedly posed to the security of the world at a time the U.S. was preparing its "shock and awe" campaign of terror to seize the country by force. In its bid to destroy Iraq and take over the Middle East the U.S. never received the approval of the UN Security Council.
On March 20, 2003, the U.S., with a "coalition of the willing" comprised of the UK, Australia and Poland, initiated its second war against Iraq with a merciless "shock-and-awe" bombing campaign. The U.S. said that they would be met by millions of Iraqis coming out into the streets and hailing those who "liberated" them from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. This did not happen.
The resistance movement was already at a high level against the brutal UN-approved sanctions regime which had killed thousands of Iraqis, including some 500,000 children, and destroyed civilian infrastructure. Following the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad, the resistance to U.S. aggression intensified and the U.S. then invaded with ground forces. Unspeakable crimes were committed during the U.S.-led war and occupation including gratuitous killings and then torture and covert operations for which the Bush administration became infamous. All of it destroyed Iraq, known as one of the cradles of civilization, and led to a period of profound instability there and in the region -- with more wars against the peoples, occupations, assassinations and crimes against humanity resulting in civilian casualties of untold proportions -- which is still not resolved.
The profound instability in Iraq and the region continues to cause havoc but the U.S. imperialists and their NATO allies and media shed no tears. In fact, today what was carried out covertly at the time of the Second Iraq War has become overt praise for U.S. and NATO-inspired and financed assassins, mercenaries, colour revolutions, coups d'état, regime change and disinformation campaigns on a scale hitherto unknown. The lies and disinformation told today about events in Ukraine make the lies about weapons of mass destruction, as outrageous as they were, look lame.
As took place when they invaded Iraq 20 years ago, today the U.S. and its allies, including Canada which is amongst the most warmongering countries, continue to blame their crimes on others and crow that they are liberators who defend freedom, democracy and peace.
Referring to the impending all-out U.S. war against Iraq, on March 17, 2003, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced that "If military action proceeds without a new resolution of the Security Council, Canada will not participate." There was no UN resolution, only massive U.S. imperialist disinformation about weapons of mass destruction, the "evil Saddam Hussein" and the sacred U.S. dedication to the cause of peace, freedom and democracy.
Montreal anti-war demonstration, March 22, 2003.
Huge anti-war demonstrations took place in Canada (250,000 people participated in one action in Montreal) and around the world. While Canada did not send ground forces, it had ships, planes and 1,000 military personnel in the Persian Gulf area. It maintained a liaison team at U.S. battle headquarters in Qatar and its ships and planes continued to co-operate with U.S. forces in the area. Canada also committed to sending 3,000 Canadian soldiers to replace U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan during the summer so that they could be freed up and rerouted to the Middle East. These measures, taken under the cover of the "war on terrorism," ensured that what constitutes terrorism and its causes were not discussed.
The U.S. imperialist campaign against terrorism targeted all resistance movements to state terror and all countries which refused to submit to the U.S. dictate. In the U.S., Canada and elsewhere, people were imprisoned under unjust security processes which kept them under indefinite detention on the basis of unproven allegations, suspended all civil rights and deported some to U.S. and other torture locations.
Mercenaries were employed to carry out black ops -- criminal activity which today is done in broad daylight. Torture sites – used by the U.S. to escape being held to account -- became notorious, such as the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay.
Ottawa demonstration, March 22, 2003.
Sanctions Imposed on Iraq Following Gulf War
The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq in 1990, after Iraq was goaded into a war with Kuwait. This war was followed by a U.S.-led military "coalition of the willing" waging war on Iraq, known as the First Gulf War, which was conducted under a UN resolution authorizing the use of force.
Prior to the imposition of sanctions, Iraq had a relatively high standard of living, including a range of social services to provide for the people's well-being.
As living conditions in Iraq deteriorated because of U.S. sanctions, the U.S. government and monopoly media spread the disinformation that this was due to the misappropriation of funds from the sale of Iraqi oil for humanitarian purposes by the government of Saddam Hussein. This was used to justify further U.S. intervention, as it was claimed by the U.S. and others that the Iraqi people were suffering under Saddam Hussein and needed to be liberated.
The sanctions caused the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children besides many other and the destruction of the systems of health care and education, and other infrastructure. In 1996, then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, when asked about the losses of the children, replied that "we think the price is worth it." It is clear that the use of sanctions as a weapon of war by the U.S. imperialists and its allies aimed to bring a country to its knees in submission to U.S. dictate and later provided justification for war, alongside the lies about weapons of mass destruction.
Sanctions against Iraq were finally largely lifted in May 2003 after the destruction from the war reached proportions beyond what even the U.S. disinformation could blame on others. The notable exceptions were sanctions which gave the U.S. and UK control over Iraq's oil revenue which were not removed until December 2010. Sanctions requiring five per cent of Iraq's oil and natural gas revenue to be paid to Kuwait as reparations were lifted in 2013. Iraq's payment of reparations to Kuwait, via a 1991 UN Security Council Resolution, concluded in December 2021 with the final payment of a total of U.S.$52.4 billion having been made.
In an April 2021 interview, Denis Halliday, a former UN Assistant Secretary General and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq spoke about the nature of the sanctions and the conditions in Iraq in the years prior to the 2003 war. Halliday resigned from the UN in 1998 in protest of the Security Council's refusal to lift the sanctions.
Q: Twenty years after you resigned from the United Nations, the United States is now imposing similar "maximum pressure" sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and north Korea, denying their people access to food and medicines during the pandemic. What would you like to say to Americans about the real-world impact of these policies?
Denis Halliday: The sanctions imposed by the Security Council against Iraq, led very much by the United States and Britain, were unique in the sense that they were comprehensive. They were open-ended, meaning that they required a Security Council decision to end them, which of course never actually happened – and they followed immediately upon the  Gulf War.
The Gulf War, led primarily by the United States but supported by Britain and some others, undertook the bombing of Iraq and targeted civilian infrastructure, which is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, and they took out all electric power networks in the country.
This completely undermined the water treatment and distribution system of Iraq, which depended on electricity to drive it, and drove people to use contaminated water from the Tigris and the Euphrates. That was the beginning of the death-knell for young children, because mothers were not breast-feeding, they were feeding their children with child formula, but mixing it with foul water from the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.
In addition, these conflicts introduced a new weapon called depleted uranium, which was used by the U.S. forces driving the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. That was used again in southern Iraq in the Basra area, and led to a massive accumulation of nuclear debris which led to leukemia in children, which took three, four, or five years to become evident.
When I got to Iraq in 1998, the hospitals in Baghdad, and also of course in Basra and other cities, were full of children suffering from leukemia. Those children, we reckon perhaps 200,000 children, died of leukemia. At the same time, Washington and London withheld some of the medicines and treatment components that leukemia requires, again, it seemed, in a genocidal manner, denying Iraqi children the right to remain alive.
So I think the United States and its population, who voted these governments in, need to understand that the children and the people of Iraq are just like the children of the United States and England and their people.
We kill people with sanctions. Sanctions are not a substitute
for war -- they are a form of warfare.
(TML Archives; "We Kill People with Sanctions: An Interview with Denis Halliday," Nicolas J.S. Davies, Progressive Magazine, April 29, 2021.)
Montreal, March 22, 2003
Toronto, March 30, 2003.
Halifax, October 25, 2003.
March 19, 2011
Calgary, April 9, 2011.
NATO's criminal war against Libya was carried out in the name of the imperialist doctrine of "Responsibility to Protect." The aggression occurred in the context of what was called the "Arab Spring," in which protests took place against various governments in North Africa and the Middle East, in many cases instigated or co-opted by outside forces to engineer regime change in the service of imperialist interests.
The NATO operation, designated as a "no-fly zone" over Libya, officially took place between March 7 and October 31, 2011. War was declared shortly after the vehicles of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi and other Libyans were bombed by NATO, and Qaddafi was captured and brutally murdered by NATO militia forces on the ground on October 20, 2011. What had been described as a "no-fly zone" turned out to be a ruthless bombing campaign against the Libyan army, whole cities and patriotic Libyan civilians who took up arms to defend themselves.
After this crime, the fraud that NATO was killing Libyans to defend protestors or promote freedom and democracy was forgotten. After a 24/7 monopoly media bombardment promoting the wildest tales to justify imperialist aggression, and then lionizing the brutal activities of NATO and its allies on the ground, Libya disappeared from the news save for occasional mentions of the dysfunctional state of the country and the ongoing crimes against the people committed by those NATO put in power. These included genuine instances of slaughter of protestors which were now no cause for alarm for NATO or the U.S. and Canadian ruling circles.
Houses hit by NATO air strikes in the village of Majer, August 9, 2011.
Libya only reappeared in the news again in the context of atrocities committed against Coptic Christians by NATO-aligned forces who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as Daesh), complete with calls from Egypt and others for another military intervention in the country. No warranted conclusions were drawn by those who promoted and enabled the aggression that destroyed the Libyan state, devastated its cities and put hooligans in positions of power.
To block the peoples' opposition to aggression in Libya, U.S. imperialism undertook a total mobilization of its retinues in the media, politics, academia and NGOs – an unholy alliance which became a chorus insisting that the Libyan authorities were carrying out merciless slaughter and that genocide was impending if NATO did not launch a war. All but one of Canada's Members of Parliament supported the mission. Opposition to the war was deemed impossible. Unlike in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and other U.S. wars, imperialism was responding to urgent humanitarian needs, the people were told, while Qaddafi was portrayed as a madman. The confusion and hesitation sown among the people was coupled with a failure to take account of reality after the fact and make amends for the war propaganda in breach of the Geneva Convention.
Protest outside the London Conference on Libya, March 29, 2011, where 40 countries and organizations, including the UN, NATO and the Arab League plot war and regime change.
The reality of the situation in Libya, which was not in fact a mystery at the time it took place, was further clarified by some academic and other studies which went unreported and unheeded. A policy brief entitled "Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene," published in September 2013, by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, underscored the fraudulent pretext for the war:
"[C]ontrary to Western media reports, Qaddafi did not initiate Libya's violence by targeting peaceful protesters. The United Nations and Amnesty International have documented that in all four Libyan cities initially consumed by civil conflict in mid-February 2011 – Benghazi, Al Bayda, Tripoli, and Misurata – violence was actually initiated by the protesters. The government responded to the rebels militarily but never intentionally targeted civilians or resorted to 'indiscriminate' force, as Western media claimed. Early press accounts exaggerated the death toll by a factor of ten, citing 'more than 2,000 deaths' in Benghazi during the initial days of the uprising, whereas Human Rights Watch (HRW) later documented only 233 deaths across all of Libya in that period.
"Further evidence that Qaddafi avoided targeting civilians comes from the Libyan city that was most consumed by the early fighting, Misurata. HRW reports that of the 949 people wounded there in the rebellion's initial seven weeks, only 30 were women or children, meaning that Qaddafi's forces focused narrowly on combatants. During that same period, only 257 people were killed among the city's population of 400,000 – a fraction less than 0.0006 – providing additional proof that the government avoided using force indiscriminately. Moreover, Qaddafi did not perpetrate a 'bloodbath' in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention – including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata – so there was virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi."
"... Evidence reveals that NATO's primary aim was to overthrow Qaddafi's regime, even at the expense of increasing the harm to Libyans. NATO attacked Libyan forces indiscriminately, including some in retreat and others in Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte, where they posed no threat to civilians. Moreover, NATO continued to aid the rebels even when they repeatedly rejected government cease-fire offers that could have ended the violence and spared civilians."
In fact, the article in the journal International Security entitled "A Model Humanitarian Intervention? Reassessing NATO's Libya Campaign," clarified these matters in order to advocate for more "effective" military intervention that does not "backfire" as in the case of Libya. NATO's intervention was effective in achieving its aims, particularly the destruction of Libya's independent nation-building project, and to increase the hold of U.S. imperialism over the African continent and the Middle East.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) pointed out on the fourth anniversary of the war: "The war propaganda was so deceptive as to turn all the old terms and definitions from the 20th century into their opposite. Those terms became weapons in the hands of the imperialists to launch their aggressions and trample on public right.
"On the anniversary of the aggression against Libya it is more urgent than ever for the people to follow their own thinking and analysis of the objective conditions and not follow the emotive terms from the past with vague and distorted definitions that can suit monopoly right and imperialist war.
"Modern definitions of human rights, democracy, socialism, trade unionism and economic development can only be articulated in the fight against imperialism in defence of the rights of all, in actions with analysis to serve the people's interests in opposition to monopoly right. Even the defining of the people's interests and the struggle to fulfill those interests and control one's own destiny must be the work and creation of the people themselves and their own organizations."
Libya once had the highest standard of living in Africa and a wide range of social programs provided free of charge. The anarchy and violence and massive refugee crisis which accompanied the destruction of Libya are tragedies. The crime lies squarely at the feet of the U.S. imperialists and the NATO countries, including Canada. This destabilization spread to other countries surrounding Libya. It makes clear that the so-called human security agenda/responsibility to protect doctrine is just another brutal example of the irrational and bankrupt imperialist doctrine coined during the Vietnam War: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."
CPC(M-L) pointed out in 2011 the need to reject aggression against Libya and urged Canadians to oppose the manipulation of these events by the U.S., NATO and others who do not have the interests of the peoples of their countries and the world at heart. CPC(M-L) called on the Canadian working class and youth to lead the anti-war and peace movements to take unequivocal stands against the preparations to carry out an invasion of Libya and to oppose the attempt to get Canadians to join a bandwagon to call for the invocation of the imperialist "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine in the name of "stopping the killings" in Libya. CPC(M-L) called on the people to take an unequivocal stand against jumping on the bandwagon of providing unsubstantiated claims as a pretext to invade Libya and achieve the self-serving aims of the U.S. and other enemies of the peoples.
CPC(M-L) pointed out at that time: "No matter the high ideals
used to justify these activities, they are violations of
international law and crimes against the peace, the most serious
of all crimes on the international scale. These laws were
established following the tremendous losses in World War II, to
ensure that such a war would never again occur. The magnitude of
the crime against the Libyan people underscores the urgent need
for Canadians to take up the cause of their own political
empowerment so as to bring into being an anti-war government
that embodies Canadians' desire for Canada to be a genuine force
for peace in the world."
March 26, 2015
Rallies took place in cities across Yemen on January 7, 2023
against U.S.-Saudi aggression under the banner that "seige is
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain began bombing Yemen on March 26, 2015, after receiving U.S. authorization. An uprising had been taking place in the country, the poorest in the region, led by the Houthi rebel group. In late January 2015 the U.S.- and Saudi-supported Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi had been forced to resign due to the uprising and mass protests against his policies. The resistance forces of the Yemeni people, known as the Ansarullah movement, established a Supreme Revolutionary Committee to assume the presidency. Mansour Hadi retreated to Aden a month later and withdrew his resignation.
The U.S.-Saudi operation began with the deployment of 100 fighter jets, while 150,000 soldiers stood by to invade. Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, in a televised speech, described the Saudi-led operation as a "despicable aggression."
"What do they expect us to do, surrender, announce our defeat and act like cowards? Absolutely not. This is not how the honourable Yemeni people think. We will fight back. All 24 million Yemenis will stand united and face that despicable aggression," al-Houthi said. He added, "If any army tries to invade our country, we will prove that Yemen will be a grave for those who invade us."
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada released a statement March 27 from Rob Nicholson, then Minister of Foreign Affairs. It stated that "Canada supports the military action by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Cooperation Council partners and others to defend Saudi Arabia's border and to protect Yemen's recognized government at the request of the Yemeni president."
The Canadian government put the blame on the Houthis and their supporters in Yemen: "We strongly urge the Houthis to immediately halt their provocative military actions, and we urge all parties to return to negotiations.
"Canada continues to stand by the Yemeni people during this difficult and uncertain time," said Rob Nicholson.
Canada's Support for Saudi Arabia's Crimes in Yemen
Protests in Yemen, January 7, 2023.
Canada is fully complicit with the crimes committed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
Since the war began, Canada has shipped billions of dollars of arms to Saudi Arabia. A May 2022 report from Global Affairs Canada informs that Canada exported more than $1.7 billion worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia in 2021, an increase from $1.3 billion in 2020, the Middle East Eye reports. It goes on to inform that "The report marks the 10th year in which Saudi Arabia has been Canada's second-largest purchaser of military equipment." Whatever humanitarian aid Canada provides to Yemen is a pittance relative to both these amounts and what the Yemeni people actually need due to the war being waged against them.
After a diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia, Canada implemented a moratorium on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. However, "The moratorium on weapon sales to the kingdom concluded in April 2020 [...] The move followed a review by the Canadian government of weapons sales to the kingdom, which concluded there was 'no substantial risk' such transfers of military goods were 'used to commit or facilitate violations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, or gender-based violence."
A 2021 report by Amnesty International Canada and Project Ploughshares stated, "There is persuasive evidence that weapons exported from Canada to KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia], including LAVs [light-armoured vehicles] and sniper rifles, have been diverted for use in the war in Yemen." Canadians and Quebeckers have long denounced Canada's arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) describes the current situation in Yemen as "one of the world's largest humanitarian crises. It informs:
"A staggering 21.6 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance in 2023, as 80 per cent of the country's population struggles to access food, safe drinking water and adequate health services. Multiple emergencies have pummeled the country: violent conflict, an economic blockade, currency collapse, natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic." The UNPF also notes the greater impact that all these problems have on women.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commission on Refugees informs, "Nearly 6 million Yemenis have been displaced from their homes since the beginning of the crisis, including 4.3 million internally displaced people inside Yemen."
The UN Development Program, in 2021, estimated the number of deaths due to the war by the end of that year would reach 377,000. Nearly 60 per cent were caused by indirect impacts such as lack of safe water, hunger and disease, with the remaining 150,000 deaths actually caused directly by fighting in the war it said.
The conditions leading to these hundreds of thousands of deaths are dire. News reports inform that the war on Yemen claims the lives of 80 newborns every day. Some 39 per cent of babies are premature, a significant increase compared to the period before the start of the war. The use of prohibited weapons was cited as one of the reasons for this trend.
Yemen's medical centres are in need of some 2,000 incubators. A blockade imposed on Yemen by Saudi Arabia has worsened the short supply of medical materials required by the Yemeni people. Malaria cases have doubled, from 513,000 in 2015 to 1,100,000 in 2019. During that period malaria and dengue fever claimed the lives of more than 260,000 Yemenis.
In September 2022, Yemen's al-Masirah television network reported the Ministry of Public Health and Population had confirmed the Saudi-led blockade had raised acute malnutrition cases to more than 632,000 children under the age of five and 1.5 million pregnant and lactating women. "The siege and intense bombardment with prohibited weapons caused a high rate of congenital abnormalities and miscarriages, with an average of 350,000 miscarriages and 12,000 malformations," it said. According to the ministry, the siege led to an eight per cent increase in premature births compared to the situation before the war.
The blockade has also increased the number of cancer patients by 50 per cent. The figure showed 46,204 cases registered during the year 2021.
Most of those killed by the war's indirect effects were "young children who are especially vulnerable to under- and malnutrition."
The ministry also said the Saudi-led war had destroyed 162 health facilities completely or 375 partially and put them out of work.
For all of its posturing as a defender of human rights and women's rights, Canada has remained silent about the crimes being committed against the Yemeni people. Moreover, Canada, along with others, bears responsibility for the terrible crimes committed against the Yemeni people in this war, through the billions of dollars in arms it has provided to Saudi Arabia. This is the actual content of the Canadian government's March 2015 commitment to "stand by the Yemeni people during this difficult and uncertain time."
Despite Canada's complicity, conditions for the end of the
U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen are being created at this time. It is
reported that significant progress was achieved in direct talks
between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis in January. Meanwhile, an
agreement was reached by Iran and Saudi Arabia in Beijing on
March 10 to reestablish diplomatic ties, during talks
facilitated by China. The Houthi rebels are said to receive
support from Iran, thus this agreement would also contribute to
negotiations to end the war.
(TML Archives, news agencies)
January 7, 2023 rally in Yemen against the blockade.
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