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(en) Canada, Ottawa, Pamphlet of People Global Action Block*

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 30 Nov 2004 11:02:27 +0100 (CET)


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Table of Contents
1) Introduction: Become the Resistance
2) Canadian Imperialism in the Middle East
3) Corporate Canada and the Iraq War
4) Fencing the Borders
5) Stop the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees
6) Security Certificates in Canada
7) Canadian Complicity in Haiti
8) Humanitarian Imperialism: Martin's "L20"

1) Introduction - Ottawa is the "Green Zone"! Become the Resistance inside Fortress North America!

On November 30 and December 1, George W. Bush
will join Paul Martin in Ottawa for a "working meeting"
behind barricades resembling those in Baghdad's "Green
Zone." This meeting comes as the United States' military,
economic and political occupation of Iraq continues, its
violent face seen most recently in the horrific footage of
a US soldier killing an Iraqi prisoner. Like the torture in
Abu Ghraib, we can be certain that the camera has shown
only the tip of the iceberg.
In the same corner of the world, the Bush administration
has given a green light to the Sharon government to
pursue a policy of apartheid, assassination, starvation and
imprisonment against the Palestinian people.
The Canadian government, headed by Paul Martin, is
preparing a warm welcome for Bush, showing its true
colors as a willing ally to a terrorist regime.
Martin and the Liberal government are complicit in the
war-making policies of American imperialism. Canadian
involvement in the occupations of Haiti and Afghanistan
have freed up US soldiers to continue the occupation of
Iraq. Canadian weapons manufacturers benefit directly
from war-policies around the world by exporting over $1
billion to the US every year.
The war is also being fought here at home, where
state and corporate attacks on First Nations continue
unabated from the Mohawk territory of Kanehsatake
to the Shuswap land around Sun Peaks. At the same
time, racist immigration and refugee policies are
being created to police those fleeing the brutal reality
of US and Canadian policies abroad. Paul Martin's
decision to deport more than 100 Palestinian refugees
signals his eagerness to participate in this unjust and
cruel agenda.
American and Canadian imperialism is too horrific
and unswerving to be challenged by voting and peace
rallies. When the US and Canadian governments
station their troops around the world, overthrow
democratic governments in Haiti and Venezuela, push
racist immigration policies, and let big corporations
write the rules of the global economy ­ our choice
is clear: confront Bush and Martin so they can't meet
in peace.
Bush and Martin want a "smooth visit," but they
won't get one. War, occupation and torture need
to be confronted directly, especially by those living
within the "Green Zone" that is North America. Just
as people around the world struggle for life, justice
and dignity against the crushing blows of American
and Canadian policy, so must we resist from within
the Empire.
These struggles have already begun ­ at the borders,
on reserves, and in jails, factories and back allies.
Right where you are and around the world, people
are waging fights against poverty, war, occupation,
dispossession and imprisonment. Their battles and
sacrifices are an inspiration and must be remembered
as we ignite the streets in protest.
On November 30 and December 1, when Bush and
Martin meet behind barricades in Ottawa, let's seize
the opportunity to become the resistance inside the
walls of "Green Zone" North America.

2) Canadian Imperialism in the Middle East

Oil is the lifeblood of modern capitalism and a
source of enormous profits for those who control its
production. It is this simple fact that makes the Middle
East so important to US imperialism. The US occupation
of Iraq and its overwhelming support for the Israeli state
are aimed at controlling this increasingly scarce resource.
There is a widespread myth that Canada ­ in contrast to
the US ­ plays a `neutral' and `peaceful' role in the Middle
East. Nothing could be further from the truth. Canada is
central to maintaining the US occupation of Iraq and the
Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Dismantling these
occupations means tackling Canadian government and
business complicity in these oppressive regimes.
Canadian companies directly support the manufacture of
Israeli military hardware. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is
Israel's largest industrial employer and biggest exporter. Its
main area of work is the manufacture of military aircraft
and equipment. A representative of the Israeli Ministry of
Defense sits on the company's board. Canadian companies
are key suppliers to IAI ­ Nortel, Pratt and Whitney
Canada, NMF Canada and eNGENUITY are just some
of the Canadian companies that directly support and deal
with IAI. In doing so, they directly profit from Israel's
brutal policy in the Middle East. The relationship is two-
way: earlier this year, IAI supplied Ottawa cops with
nighttime surveillance devices for use on helicopters and
other aircraft.

Canadian corporations are making billions of dollars in
profit from Israel's dispossession of Palestinians. The
Canadian Highways Infrastructure Corporation (CHIC),
for example, is the leading company in the construction
of a massive 86-kilometre highway called the Trans-Israel
Highway. This highway is designed specifically to facilitate
traffic between illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank
and Israeli coastal cities such as Tel Aviv. In doing so,
this Canadian company is aiding the expansion of Israeli
settlements on occupied land and directly supporting
Israeli annexation of Palestinian villages and towns. It is
not the only Canadian company that will benefit from the
Israeli occupation ­ Raytheon Canada will be supplying
electronic tolls for the highway, from which they will
receive all profits for the first 30 years of its operation.
Canada played a direct military role during the first US-led
war against Iraq in 1991 in which over 150,000 Iraqis were
killed. Following this war, Canada supported a barbarous
embargo against the devastated country for over 10 years.
This policy of starvation ­ described politely as `sanctions'
­ led to the deaths of over 1.5 million Iraqis. Canada
played no `peace-keeping' or `humanitarian' role. It was
a direct part of the imperialist killing machine that led the
initial invasion and supported the subsequent embargo.
Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of
uranium. Sixty percent of these exports go to the US
where they end up in depleted uranium ammunition.
Following the 1991 war where close to 1 million rounds
of DU-ammunition were fired by US troops, cancer rates
in Iraq skyrocketed (600% increase in breast cancers, 500%
increase in lung cancer and 1600% increase in ovarian
cancer). Depleted uranium was widely used again in the
current invasion of Iraq. Areas in downtown Baghdad
now have radiation levels 1000 to 1900 times greater than
normal background levels. Canada is directly supplying
­ with full knowledge of the consequences ­ the uranium
that is killing Iraqis.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Canadian government
supported the current war against Iraq. Canadian
warships escorted the US fleet in the Gulf as it was firing

Tomahawk missiles at Iraqi targets. Canadian soldiers
manned AWACS aircraft to direct missiles at their targets.
Canadian officers worked at CENTCOM in Qatar, helping
with logistics. US troop transport planes used over-flight
and refueling privileges in Canadian aerospace. As a member
of NORAD and NATO ­ and more directly through its
military presence in Haiti and Afghanistan ­ Canada frees
up US troops to fight in Iraq. Without this support, the US
occupation would be much more difficult to sustain.
Canada has also provided over $300 million to assist the US
in the cost of running the occupation regime. In addition
to this financial support, RCMP officers are currently in
Jordan training thousands of Iraqis to police their people in
the interests of US imperialism. Canada has committed $10
million to this training program which must take place in
Jordan rather than Iraq because they are seen as collaborators
with the US occupation.
Now that the US occupation of Iraq is looking increasingly
unsustainable, Canada is being asked by the US to shepherd
in a corrupt regime that will rule in the interests of the
occupiers. Described as a `niche role' by Martin, Canada's
special responsibility will be to provide the fig-leaf of
legitimacy for an elections process designed to bring a US-
backed regime to power.
We cannot hide behind the supposed neutrality of Canadian
policies in the Middle East and pretend that we are
somehow less stained by the blood of imperialist policies.
Canadian big business and their government are absolutely
central to the functioning of imperialism on a global level.
With the resistance in Iraq and Palestine leading the fight in
the Middle East, we must also play our role in ending this
system.

3) Canadian Firms Soaked in Iraqi and Afghan Blood

hile Paul Martin was congratulating Canada
on "not participating" in the U.S.-led invasion and
occupation of Iraq during last spring's federal election,
a Quebec-based weapons firm sealed a deal which will
ensure that every time Iraqi or Afghani blood is shed, a
Canadian-made bullet will be one of the prime suspects.
On May 25, 2004, General Dynamics Ordnance
and Tactical Systems announced the formation of a
"multinational consortium of proven small-caliber
ammunition producers whose purpose is to respond to
the U.S. Defense Department's immediate and growing
demand for small-caliber ammunition." Members of the
consortium include Winchester, Israel Military Industries
Ltd. (IMI) and SNC Technologies, Inc. of Le Gardeur,
Quebec.
SNC Technologies (SNC TEC) is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, which
acquired the company in 1980.
SNC TEC prides itself on the production of what it
calls, with no trace of irony, IM (insensitive munition)
technology. In an age of kinder and gentler invasions
and occupations, it's nice to know that at least one of the
players is up front and honest about the brutal nature of
its product.
SNC TEC produces the tools by which murders are
committed, individually or on a mass scale. They make
over 100 types of ammunition, both for training to kill and
for killing itself. From the 5.56 mm "non-toxic improved
penetrator cartridge" (which presumably does not give
cancer to the individual whose insides are torn apart by the
bullet) to the ".50 caliber Sniper Elite and Target radar
augmented projectiles," SNC boasts of a "creative R&D
and engineering team" to fill what they call the "niche" in
the world murder market.
It is one of numerous contracts which Canadian war
firms are picking up to support current U.S. invasions,
occupations, and other illegal maneuvers under the guise of
fighting terrorism.
On September 29, Héroux-Devtek announced that its
Landing Gear Division has been awarded $22 million in
contracts from the United States Air Force for the F-16
fighter aircraft, the "workhorse" of the U.S. military which
can unload 16,000 pounds of bombs in one go.
Héroux-Devtek owns the notorious Diemaco of Kitchener,
manufacturers of a "family" of chain guns which can fire up
to 700 rounds a minute and which are currently in use in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
A company release proudly boasts of a "repair and overhaul
contract for the U.S. Air Force for ten years. The total
value of the contract is $140 million. Important design,
development, manufacturing and supply contracts were also
signed [in 2004] for new generation military aircraft with
Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin."
And more will come. At the end of September, The
World Trade Centre Montreal and the Quebec Aerospace
Association put together a trade mission to visit the head
office of the US Naval Air Systems Command (US
NAVAIR) at Patuxent River, Maryland. Their goal was
to "promote Quebec's aerospace products and services for
American defence."
This summer, Project Ploughshares reported that Canadian
helicopters were bound for Pakistan's military, despite a
Canadian military embargo against that country. They will
originate in the Bell Helicopter Textron Canada plant in
Mirabel, Quebec, and are to be used in the "war against
terror," the catch-all phrase for anything anyone wants to
get away with when a clear, legal rationale is not readily
available.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government, perhaps fearful
that a stand for peace will interfere with the domestic war
industry, abstained in August at the United Nations on
a resolution "reaffirming the central role of the United
Nations in the maintenance of international peace and
security and the promotion of international cooperation".
While some may fret about Canada's world reputation in
abstaining on such a concept, others may simply realize
Canada cannot support such resolutions when it profits off
the export of products whose sole purpose is terrorizing
civilian populations.

4) BUSH SAYS FENCE THE BORDERS, MARTIN SAYS HOW HIGH!

9/11provided the perfect excuse for Bush's
far right government to seal the borders to the poor from
Third World countries, and to begin attacks on Arab,
Muslim and South Asian communities in the US. Now,
more than 6,000 South Asian and Arab men and women
are languishing in county jails and high security prisons
on petty immigration violations or without charges at
all. Under the new registration program, all non-citizen
men from designated countries will be registered in a
government database.
When the US government said Canada had porous
borders, Martin jumped like Bush's puppy to copycat the
racism and anti-poor agenda of American immigration
policy. Deportations increased and a new immigration act
was drafted. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of
January 2002 destroyed the refugee claim system, causing
decisions on refugee claims to be made by one judge
with no chance for appeal except when an error of law
is made. At the same time, the Act raised the number of
points needed by people immigrating to Canada as skilled
workers, making it harder for those without a university
education to come here. It also made enforcement stricter,
created harsher penalties for breaking the rules, and gave
more powers to border officers to detain people.
Now, to fool people, Bush is talking about "amnesty" for
migrants, and Martin's immigration minister, Judy Sgro, is
talking the same. Don't be fooled; amnesty means employer
dependent visas, meaning that people can be removed the
moment they complain about their jobs. In the United
States this has taken the form of "guest worker visas"
whereby people are given temporary visas to work on farms.
If they try to change their work conditions, they lose their
jobs and are deported. In Canada, Sgro is talking about the
same policy for construction workers.
In any case, amnesty will come at a high price. Just like
Bush, Sgro talks about amnesty out of one side of her
mouth and about clamping down on refugee claims (one
of the few ways poor people can come to Canada) out of
the other. Sgro is talking about destroying any option for
appeal for refugees (not that any actually exists) and about
"streamlining the process." Historically, every time the
refugee process is streamlined, the acceptance rates drop
dramatically. Remember, Canada accepts less refugees than
its quotas allow every year.
Humanitarian rhetoric masks the harsh reality of American
and Canadian immigration policies. Never mentioned are
the economic and military practices that create the crises
that force people to flee to North America. Seen in this
light, Bush and Martin's immigration policies should be seen
as tools for advancing their anti-poor and imperialist agendas
both abroad and at home.

5) Stop the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees On August 21, 2004 the Coalition Against the

Deportation of Palestinian Refugees and the Palestinian Right
to Return Coalition (Al-Awda), organized an evening of music
and song performed by Al-Awda, a folkloric musical group from
Palestine, at Concordia University. The event was one of the rare
times that musicians from 1948 Palestine and the Golan Heights
performed in North America. The following speech was made at
the event.
My name is Ahmad Mustafa. I am a member of the
Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees
and I am a Palestinian refugee who has lived in Montreal
for three years. I would like to begin by speaking about
a term I use to identify myself: "Palestinian refugee." I
use this term even though Citizenship and Immigration
Canada has refused my refugee claim and denied me
refugee status in Canada. Yet I continue to use this term
because there is no other term by which to identify myself,
since I am a Palestinian with neither Palestinian citizenship
nor a Palestinian passport, since I was born as a refugee in
Lebanon. Palestinians have lived in Lebanon as refugees
for three generations. So whatever Immigration Canada
says, I will continue to identity myself as a Palestinian
refugee.
Many of you have heard about the Coalition Against the
Deportation of Palestinian Refugees and have participated
in our demonstrations and activities. The Coalition
started in January 2003, and was built on the initiative
of Palestinian refugees who decided to resist and fight
the unfair, ignorant and racist decisions of Immigration
From the beginning, the Coalition has been building a
political basis for our fight, and many Canadians have helped
us. People from the Palestinian community in Montreal
and throughout Canada have encouraged us to continue
our work. We work to educate the public of Montreal,
Quebec and Canada about the troubles and the struggles
faced by Palestinian refugees in Canada. We have gained
the support of many human rights organizations, labour
unions, community groups and some political parties for our
demands, which are 1) stop the deportation of Palestinian
refugees, and 2) regularize the status of all Palestinian
refugees in Canada.
Some people think these demands are unrealistic, but for
us, the people suffering this life of statelessness, we think
that these are demands of justice and this is why we are
fighting.
We have had difficult moments throughout our struggle,
although we have also had victories. In October 2003, a
Palestinian refugee who was refused and living underground
because of his choice to remain in Canada instead of going
back to a refugee camp in Lebanon, was deported.
His name is Ahmed Abdel Majeed and he was arrested,
detained and deported by Citizenship and Immigration
Canada. Ahmed was detained at the Laval "Immigration
Prevention Center" for 48 hours and deported to the
United States, where he was jailed for a couple of weeks
and eventually deported to Lebanon. Ahmed is now in Ein
El-Helway, a refugee camp in Southern Lebanon, where he
has lived the majority of his life, trying to leave for a chance
to live with full human rights and respect.
Another Palestinian refugee in the Coalition, who won
a victory against Immigration Canada, was Osama Saleh,
a refugee from Tulkarem in the Occupied West Bank.
Osama's deportation date was scheduled for April 2004.
The Coalition, with support from many people in Montreal
and throughout Canada, worked to stop the deportation.
One day before his deportation date, a Federal Court judge
stopped the deportation. Osama will now have another
Federal Court hearing in November 2004.
The struggle of Palestinian refugees in Montreal and
throughout Canada continues. There are more than 40
Palestinian refugees in Montreal working with the Coalition
and who are waiting for their deportation orders. These
refugees are living with the stress of opening the mailbox
each morning, fearing their deportation letter, which would
force them to leave the country.
There is also a Palestinian family which has been living in
a church since January 2004. They are all in their late 60's
and represent the first generation of Palestinian refugees
who were forced to leave Palestine for Lebanon in 1948.
They lived through the Lebanese Civil War, the misery of
the refugee camps, moving from one camp to another for
their security and at this stage of their lives chose to come to
Canada to be recognized as human beings.
They were refused and set-to-be deported in January 2004.
However, they chose to stay because they have nowhere
to go. Their home was destroyed in Lebanon. Refugee
camps are built to be temporary, which is why they came to
Canada, to find a home, a place of protection. Canada failed
to provide them protection so the Notre Dame de Grace
Church provided it and they have since been living in the
church basement. We hope that the Ayoub family will be
able to leave this situation soon.
To finish I want to say that the Palestinian struggle is
not only in the occupied territories, where people are
suffering the curfews, the assassinations and where the wall
of hatred is being built. Palestinians are suffering inside
Palestine, throughout the Middle East and in Canada. Here,
Palestinians are suffering as they struggle against deportation
to the hottest zones in the world, the occupied territories
and the refugee camps. You have supported us throughout
this campaign and your support is needed more than ever.
For more information on the:
Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees:
514.591.3171
refugees@riseup.net
http://refugees.resist.ca

6) Security Certificates: This is Canada

On May 21, 2003, Montreal resident Adil Charkaoui
brought his pregnant wife to her gynaecologist, dropped
her at a cousin's and began to head towards the University
of Montreal, where he was taking a Masters degree in
teaching. In the middle of the highway, he found himself
surrounded by police and summarily arrested. With great
media fanfare, but no evidence, he was declared a threat
to national security. He has been imprisoned ever since
without charges and on allegations that neither he nor his
lawyer are allowed to see.
Charkaoui is one of Canada's Secret Trial Five, five
Muslim men whose lives have been torn apart by
accusations they are not allowed to fight in a fair and
independent trial. Three men are imprisoned in Toronto:
Mohammad Mahjoub, a refugee from Eygpt who has
been in prison since June 2000; Mahmoud Jaballah, a
refugee from Egypt who was arrested in August 2001, and
Hassan Almrei, a refugee who has been facing deportation
to Syrian torture since October 2001. The fourth man,
Algerian refugee Mohamed Harkat, was arrested in
Ottawa in December 2002.
All five men were arrested under "security certificates,"
a measure of the Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act (IRPA) which has been described by Amnesty
International as "fundamentally flawed and unfair." They
are in prison without charges on secret evidence and face
deportation to their countries of origin, even if there is a
substantial risk of torture or death.

The Security Certificate is a tool that has been put
to use in the post-9/11 climate of racist hysteria
around "national security" to attack Muslim and Arab
communities, migrants and civil liberties. "National
security" is endangering all of us. With C-36, the Anti-
Terrorism Act, similar violations of rights are extended
to all citizens and more arbitrary powers are put in the
hands of police and security forces. The historical parallels
are clear: Japanese-Canadians interned and deported from
Canada during World War II; and the "red scare" of the
McCarthy era. These should stand as warnings to us.
We are asking the Ministers to:
1) immediately release all five men;
2) if any case against them actually exists, let them fight it
in a fair and independent trial;
3) guarantee that they will not be deported;
4) cease using Security Certificates and re-write the
security provisions of IRPA in compliance with the
constitution and the Charter, the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention against
Torture;
5) stop the racist scape-goating of Arab and Muslim
communities and the attack on civil liberties in Canada.
FOR MORE INFO, SEE
www.adilinfo.org
www.homesnotbombs.ca
www.zerra.net/freemohamed

7) Canada: Complicity in History and Hiti
Canadian foreign policy h as always been
subordinate to either British Imperial policy (1867-
1939) or American Imperial policy (1939-the present).
The fundamental means by which this incorporation has
occurred has not really changed. The one word that people
use to describe this phenomenon is complicity.
As the historian C.L.R James wrote in 1938 in his history of
revolutionary Haiti, The Black Jacobins:
Ours, too, is an age of propaganda. We excel our
ancestors only in system and organization: they lied
as fluently and as brazenly.
The lies that Paul Martin tells his citizens today are no less
fluent or brazen then were his father's forty years ago, just as
the lies of George Bush are no different than his fathers.
Paul Martin Sr., Lester Pearson and others stood complicit
by enabling their friends to become filthy rich as millions
of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian corpses piled up.
They also stood silently while the US unilaterally invaded
the Dominican Republic in 1965, killing thousands and
smashing hopes for true democracy.
In 1973, Prime Minister Trudeau waited only 18 days
before his government officially recognized the murderous
Pinochet military junta that overthrew Salvador Allende
on 9/11/1973 and proceeded to round up, torture and
slay thousands of Chileans. Everyone including Trudeau
knew that this was a "dirty" CIA affair.
Brian Mulroney committed Canadian soldiers to the first
brutal war on Iraq; he and subsequent PM's remained silent
on the issue of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children
dying due to US and UK-led economic sanctions. We can
only assume that, like Madeleine Albright, this massive loss
of human life was "worth it."
In 1999, Jean Chretien, Lloyd Axworthy and Art Eggleton
were charged with having committed war crimes for their
role in the 75-day NATO bombing campaign of Kosovo
by a war crimes tribunal made up of esteemed attorneys.
Luckily, pro-NATO jurist, Louise Arbour, sat on the
World Criminal Court bench and was persuaded not to
give credence to these airtight charges.
Evading justice and doomed to repeat history, Jean
Chretien soon thereafter beat his old friend Trudeau by
10 days when he committed Canadian soldiers to the
War on Afghanistan as part of George Bush's "War on
Terror." With this gesture, Canada joined the "coalition
of the willing."
While Chretien and the Liberals were debating the pros
and cons of warmongering in Iraq, they were also plotting
the overthrow of Haiti's Jean Bertrand Aristide with the
US and France. MP Denis Paradis blabbed to reporter
Michel Vastel that a "Kosovo-style" model of trusteeship
was being considered for Haiti in January 2003, one full
year before Haiti's 200-year anniversary of independence,
and one year before the coup was pulled off.
Funny that we should learn, nine months after the coup,
that members of the CIA-backed and al Qaeda-connected
Kosovo Liberation Army are in Haiti on the US taxpayers'
dime, advising on how best to incorporate former soldiers
of the army that Aristide disbanded with near-universal
support, into a "retooled" Haitian police force. And who
are the ones working most closely with this new police
force? 100 members of Canada's RCMP, whose chief,
David Beer, is overseeing the entire UN policing mission
in Haiti.
An estimated four thousand Haitians have been murdered
since February 29th; thousands more have fled or are in
hiding. Attempts to flee the island by boat are thwarted by
a US led "Berlin Wall of Coast Guard Cutters." Anyone
caught fleeing the island, so as to avoid a repeat of the
crisis of 1991-94, is returned in violation of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
By reading the corporate media, of course, one surmises
that Haiti is merely mired in the same misery, chaos and
savagery that it always has been. The stories of many of those
killed, many of those who are internal refugees, who are
political prisoners, or have been beaten, tortured or raped,
can be found online quite easily, but they cannot be found
in the master narrative that most Canadians consume and
internalize.
Complicity in Haiti is easy for Canada, just as its transition to
an overt predatory state has been since 9/11. This is because
"Canada" is synonymous with "predator." First Nations
people will surely attest to this.
This future is of course subject to change. No Haitian knew
exactly how they were going to end slavery on their island,
as slavery had not yet been ended anywhere. Yet they
owed it to themselves, to their ancestors, and to the untold
numbers of indigenous peoples who had long since been
eradicated from their island by genocidal conquistadors,
to achieve their freedom by any means possible. If ending
slavery could be achieved 200 years ago it can be achieved
today. Not much, other than "system and organization" has
changed to prevent this from happening again.

8) Paul Martin and the "Responsibility to Protect"

Martin pushed a "new global doctrine" at
the APEC conference in Chile in late November 2004.
He wants to create an "L20," a group of 20 "Leaders"
from the world's countries to intervene in other countries
at will. This is called "the responsibility to protect," and
Martin thinks it necessary because of the "the absolute
nonsense of having to discuss - when people are losing
their lives - having to discuss legal terms."
"I must say," he added, "Bush was very sympathetic."
No doubt Bush was sympathetic. Martin's "responsibility
to protect" does not, after all, include any protection for
the 100,000 civilians who have already died under US
occupation in Iraq; nor for the thousands of Haitians
who are being slaughtered by the forces installed by
the US-Canada-French coup against the democratically
elected president of that country; nor for the thousands of
Palestinians who have been killed by Israel over the past
several years. Martin would probably say that trying to
protect these civilians from Canada and its `friends' in the
world is "absolute nonsense."
And yet there is an urgent need to protect those civilians
from the well-armed, well-trained and well-funded
military machines that are assaulting them in brutal ways.
If Martin isn't interested in protecting them, what is the
agenda behind this L20?
Martin and Canada's elites badly wanted to join Bush
in Iraq. They were disappointed that the war was too
unpopular globally and domestically for them to join, though
they tried to make peace with the US by providing military
support in Afghanistan, Haiti, and elsewhere in the Middle
East. What the US wants from Canada, now and historically
(for example, during the US invasion of Vietnam), is good
cover.
The US was unable to get the United Nations to sign on
to its invasion, occupation, and mass murder in Iraq. It was
unable to get all of its NATO allies to join. Instead it created
a "coalition of the willing," which was a very thin cover. A
specially selected L20, though, would provide a better cover
story for future interventions by the US, and a better name
than "coalition of the willing." Like past interventions, ones
taken under the banner of the L20 would be done for imperial
reasons ­ credibility, oil, control - and justified in terms of
"human rights," "humanitarianism" and "liberation," while all
they will bring are violations of human rights, destruction of
human beings and empire.
By repackaging the "coalition of the willing," making it
permanent, and putting a "humanitarian" face on it, Martin
is looking for a role for Canada in American imperial
interventions.
But the world doesn't need an L20. The world needs the
richest and most powerful countries to stop attacking and
plundering the poorest. If Martin is feeling a "responsibility
to protect," he could start by protecting Haitians and Afghans,
indigenous people and refugees in Canada, from himself and
his own government. He could then have a chat with the
US about withdrawal from Iraq and with the US and Israel
about withdrawal from Occupied Palestine. Perhaps then his
L20 could intervene to protect the Iraqis from the US, or the
Palestinians from Israelis?
-----------------------------------
This pamphlet was created by the People's Global Action Bloc.
Our Hallmarks Include:

1. A very clear rejection of capitalism,
imperialism and feudalism; all trade
agreements, institutions and governments
that promote destructive Globalization.

2. We reject all forms and systems of
domination and discrimination including,
but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and
religious fundamentalism of all creeds. We
embrace the full dignity of all human beings.

3. A confrontational attitude, since we do
not think that lobbying can have a major
impact in such biased and undemocratic
organizations, in which transnational capital
is the only real policy-maker.

4. A call to direct action and civil
disobedience, support for social movements'
struggles, advocating forms of resistance
which maximize respect for life and oppressed
peoples' rights, as well as the construction of
local alternatives to global capitalism.

5. An organizational philosophy based on
decentralization and autonomy.

For more info:
Toronto: http://www.en-camino.org/bush
Ottawa: http://www.pgablocottawa.net/
Montreal: http://clac.taktic.org/index.php


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