November 29, 2012

Discussion on strategy and tactics and the fight for peace

The following message was sent-out by a Manitoba correspondent from People's Voice Newspaper and offers the writers perspective about the current situation with some Canadian political parties and the war, as well as the importance of Syria. Rebel Youth is including the reflection for discussion and debate. Some questions to start debate, by RY, are also included.

As we wait for information about the next Gaza rally, check out the statement from the Communist Party about the situation. [You can also read the YCL statement here] The solution to the conflict must respect the working people of all nations in Israel's present boundaries, and those previously expelled.

It is important to see how the big political parties are perceiving the conflict, because it explains why no big party has called for a ceasefire. Perceptions are affecting their view of the urgency of talks to end the conflict:

  • Harper's position is openly partisan (unbalanced), dishonest (portraying the Israeli people as the only victim) and pro-war. We can't expect the bigger opposition parties to criticize Harper when their portrayal of reality is so similar.
  • The NDP's only statement this month on Gaza (read here) hides its view of who is escalating the conflict. It covers up the Israeli government's responsibility for war crimes against Gaza (breaking the ceasefire, targeted assassinations, disproportionate and illegal use of force, the continued occupation, etc).

In recent years, the NDP has supported some key UN resolutions relating to Israel, and it would have been useful to add them to this statement, showing leadership and vision for a way out.

Certainly, this is a time to pressure Israel both for a lasting ceasefire and to enter talks for a long-term solution, as noted here: "Canadians for Justice in Palestine and the Middle East laments politicians’ unwillingness to call for ceasefire."

Why Syria is important

Before getting to the Communist Party's statement about Gaza, some words about Syria where imperialism is stoking the civil conflict to monumental heights.

Imperialism is pretending it doesn't have a clue to whom it is giving weapons in Syria. These are people (many or most of whom are not Syrian) highly encouraged by imperialism's generous gifts of guns, who agree with imperialism that it was correct to boycott the Syrian elections in May and any kind of non-violent change. For now, they are motivated to agree there is only a military option to create social change in Syria, and are prepared to take many people to the grave with them believing in imperialism's professed humane intentions for Syria and its natural resources.

Compared to Netanyahu's Gaza aggression, launched while he's still piqued by Mitt Romney's loss, Syria is a bigger tipping point to a broader war against Iran (and through Iran, against Russia and China).

Implicit in the Communist Party's statement is the serious point that we need to look at imperialism's aggression in the Middle East as a whole. There is danger in emphasizing aggression against Iran and Gaza at the expense of Syria, which is also in flames and firmly targeted by imperialism.

Imperialism is continuing to plot and act against Syria, where more people often die daily than all who have died in the recent bombardment of Gaza by Israel. The last week has seen

  • more discussion of a "no-fly" zone in Syria, which would produce a worse catastrophe than Libya
  • discussion of setting up anti-aircraft artillery in Turkey to shoot down Syrian aircraft in Syria
  • sending more funds and communication equipment to the "rebels" (UK)
  • official recognition of a new unelected group of puppets who would take Syria over in the name of imperialism (Turkey, Gulf states, France, UK), much like how Karzai was appointed in 2001 to head up Afghanistan.

These are alarming and fast-moving developments, which point to the need to develop far greater awareness and action in solidarity with the sovereignty and people of Syria.


1. The author starts with the situation and perspective of the Harper Conservatives and the NDP. What are the authors main points about this question? What are the main points of the Communist Party's statement on the bombing of Gaza? What are about the YCL statement?

2. Why do you think the Harper Conservative government is taking the position it is, for Israel? What about the NDP? Why do you think the NDP chose not to mention their previous policies? Do you agree with these decisions?

3. Are the positions of the Canadian government and opposition on international issues important to consider for youth and student activists working on international solidarity? Why or why not?

4. Part two of the reflection urges greater awareness of Syria. What do you think? Why has Gaza drawn more attention in Canada that the situation in Syria? What could more solidarity and action with the Syrian people look like?

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