Jul 022015

Peace and solidarity, not militarism and war

As the global economic crisis continues and deepens, Western imperialist governments have escalated a comprehensive rhetorical campaign to create a new Cold War scenario in the world. The Communist Party of Canada condemns these efforts, which undermine international security and attempt to justify increasing imperialist aggression, provocation, militarism and war.

Over the past two years, the European Union and NATO intensified their ongoing eastward push, right up to Russia’s borders. This acceleration is largely in response to Russia’s emergence as a capitalist world power that rivals Western imperialism’s interests in some areas of the world. During the resulting crisis in Ukraine, the EU and NATO governments also ramped up their anti-communist rhetoric, their warnings about threats to Western values and their demonization of the Russian government. This rhetoric and related conjecture are connected to the drive for sanctions against Russia. For example, during discussions in June 2015 about renewing and expanding sanctions against Russia, a senior EU diplomat noted that the “suggestions there were troops and equipment coming across the border from Russia … all that in fact was quite useful in getting European nations collectively to grasp that now is not the time to start softening the position we are taking on sanctions.”

In Canada, Stephen Harper has repeatedly referred to Russia as “a menace to peace in Europe and elsewhere” and projected carefully crafted propaganda to justify this. During their June 2015 visit to a Canadian warship in the Baltic Sea, Harper and Defence Minister Jason Kenney repeatedly claimed that the ship had been “buzzed” by Russian fighter jets who came within 165 metres of the warship. In fact, these stories were largely fabricated and even NATO, when pressed by reporters, indicated that Russian jet flights occurred at altitudes above 500 metres and denied that any confrontation with the Canadian warship had taken place.

Millions of people in Canada and around the world are familiar with this scenario, in which events are distorted, manipulated and invented for political purposes. For 50 years after the end of World War 2, Western governments demonized the USSR and other socialist states, national liberation movements throughout the world, and communists and left activists within their own borders. This was the rhetoric of the Cold War, an intensive ideological assault that was used to justify massive military build-up, aggressive foreign policies, sanctions and intervention against peaceful countries, and attacks on labour, democratic and civil rights.

The Cold War was a disastrous period, in which imperialist states squandered public resources, weakened global security, murdered millions of people, and imperilled the very survival of humanity and the planet.

The emerging New Cold War is no less dangerous. Already, it is being used to justify increased military spending, expanded arms trade, new and larger imperialist military alliances, and outright intervention and war. It has become a large part of the ideological barrage that justifies and promotes the expansion of imperialist institutions like NATO and the EU. Part of the New Cold War is the ideological poison that depicts communism and fascism as identical totalitarian ideologies. It is the cover for anti-communist rhetoric and measures, including bans on Communist parties in some European countries, and efforts to rewrite history and erase the fact that millions of Soviet people and communists gave their lives fighting the same fascist enemy that killed 50,000 Canadians in WW2. In Canada, the Harper government’s monument to “victims of Communism” is a grotesque expression of this poison. Overall, the effect is to create a chill on anti-imperialist, revolutionary and working class political movements in Canada and around the world.

As the New Cold War rhetoric continues, the countries of the world are being pressured to align with Western imperialism against Russia. NATO is recruiting new members and forming new strategic alliances, strengthening its character as a multinational military expression of Western imperialism’s aggressive objectives.

The Communist Party of Canada calls on all people in Canada to reject the New Cold War. It is a path that leads to more arms spending, more weapons trade, more military build-up and more war. It is a path that ends with weakened global security, reduced democratic and civil rights, increased austerity and a reduced standard of living for the working class.

The people of Canada need to demand a new, independent foreign policy for Canada. This includes withdrawing from NATO, NORAD and other military alliances. Canada needs to shift away from imperialist intervention, aggression and war, toward a policy based on peace, sovereignty of states, international cooperation and solidarity.

Special Resolution adopted by the Central Committee,
Communist Party of Canada, June 13-14, 2015