STATEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF PEOPLES’ STRUGGLES (ILPS)—CANADA, July 10, 2018
CANADA OUT OF NATO! JUST PEACE FOR THE PEOPLES EVERYWHERE!
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which Canada is a member state, is holding a Summit of Allied Heads of State and Government chaired by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on July 11 and 12. Prime Minister Trudeau is attending. The ILPS-Canada opposes this military alliance as it operates to defend the richest states and the global ruling class, maintain the oppressive and exploiting global system, deter peoples’ movements for liberation and just peace, and interfere in the internal affairs of many countries, causing genocide, fratricide, crises and instability. It engages in nation-destruction rather than nation-building.
Prime Minister Trudeau claims that, “For more than six decades, NATO has proven itself to be a major contributor to international peace, security, and stability – essential for economic growth and prosperity.” His government has increased military spending, adopted an aggressive stance, deepened its partnership with the US and made greater commitments to NATO.
The ILPS argues, on the contrary, NATO has been an aggressive force and a factor for instability and insecurity for most of those years. NATO is intensifying and increasing militarization. It is demanding that more of the peoples’ treasuries pay for it. This is good for arms trade, military-industrial complex, and various repressive and aggressive states. However, it contradicts principles and norms of sovereignty, social justice and human rights and the just aims of peoples’ movements fighting for their liberation.
NATO is an alliance of 29 states in Europe. Based on the North Atlantic Treaty signed in 1949, it was constituted as a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
The role and function of NATO has been evolving to meet the developing political and economic aims of the most powerful states and the wealthy elites they serve, with the US at the head of the pack. State-to-state conflicts absent, it was mobilized for forcefully managing political developments in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union: the UN authorized NATO interventions in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and it bombed Bosnian Serbs in the Bosnian War and Belgrade in the Kosovo War. NATO intervened in Afghanistan later, Canadian forces leading the mission.Today Eastern and Central Europe are focal points for NATO, where there are several candidates for membership including the Ukraine. The number of NATOs bases and armaments in those regions is rising, and the presence of Canadian forces there is growing. Lately, for instance, a lot of effort has been put into backing the Ukrainian state against internal dissenters in the Crimea, resulting in increased tensions with Russia. The Canadian PM states: “Leaders will also address Russia’s aggressive and illegal actions, and Prime Minister Trudeau will reaffirm Canada’s support for Ukraine.”
Clearly, NATO does not operate only in case of a real threat or attack against its member states. News casts have broadcast its aggressive language with terms such as “pre-emptive strike” and “deterrence” for years. It has circulated suspicions and speculations about its enemies. It has provoked or exacerbated terrorist activity in the name of Islamism, and continually deployed to interfere in internal conflicts, as the member states pick sides and work to sustain one faction while suppressing another. The 2018 Summit aims to increase cooperation and security measures among member states.
This is an ever-more dangerous situation for the peoples of the world. It is in the best interests to condemn NATO and the bloody state politics that supports it. The ILPS is working to support and build peoples’ movements for just peace, sustainable economic security, social and national liberation, and human rights. We call for solidarity and unity among the peoples and more cooperation in struggles for our common aims. This is what must be done to enhance peace and security in the world.
Canada, out of NATO! Oppose militarization and aggression!
Just and Lasting Peace!