Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Our Military & Media Release on Iran

April 2, 2007

Our Military & Media Release on Iran

See below for more info on our policies on Canada's military and foreign policy...

Media Release - Green Party calls on government to speak out clearly against accelerating tensions in Iran


April 02/07 Green Party Leader Elizabeth May today called on the Harper government to speak out clearly against accelerating tensions in Iran and to dissociate Canada from the war games in the region.


The arrests of British military personnel by Iran are part and parcel of the continuing escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf, said Ms. May. The Green Party is asking Prime Minister Harper to spell out the connection between American military build-up in the region and the recent arrests of British forces.


“The tit-for-tat war games going on at this very volatile time and place in the world are dangerous and irresponsible. Where is Canada’s independence and leadership on this issue? This is no time to take sides. It is a time to take diplomatic action, a tool the Harper government has simply abandoned,” said Ms. May. "Foreign affairs Minister Peter MacKay should be making peace-making efforts in the region a top priority."


The Green Party acknowledged that the spectre of American military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities is becoming clear. Canada has long advocated that attacks against nuclear facilities can have catastrophic consequences on the environment and human health.


Green Party Peacebuilding Advocate, Shodja Ziaian, called on the Harper government to initiate an open and comprehensive dialogue between American, British, European and Iranian diplomats to resolve the boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Iran, and urged the Bush administration to abandon its hard-line stance against discussion. Mr. Ziaian also called on Ottawa to name a Canadian peace envoy to assist with diplomatic efforts.


Ms. May has instructed her Critic for International Cooperation, Janina Komaroff, to immediately take the initiative of contacting and exploring the coordination of a common action with European and American Green Parties in this respect.


As International Affairs consultant Jillian Skeet has noted, despite our difficulties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Canada has never completely slammed the door on contact with the Iranians or their government. This fact, combined with our diplomatic ties with the United States and the United Kingdom, and our status as a non-nuclear country, provide us with an opportunity to actively engage in diplomacy.


Mr. Ziaian further emphasized that “in Canada we have an opportunity to change the tone and restore rationality to this limited dialogue – let’s use it”.


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Contact:

Shodja Ziaian

Peacebuilding Advocate

416-987-9158

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I'd like to add a bit more background about where the Green Party stands regarding Canada's military. I respect and support our country's soldiers, and I'm proud of the Green Party's policies in this area.


The Green Party would maintain funding for the armed forces budget. We support mandating the funding of our military forces and support reallocation of resources to alternate conflict resolution, ecosystem protection, disaster relief, and strengthening of the UN.


The Green Party of Canada calls for an end to Canada’s current involvement in the NATO-led military campaign in southern Afghanistan, and advocates that Canada instead strictly confine its efforts to peacekeeping, rebuilding infrastructure, and humanitarian work to improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan. The military security aspect would strategically best be undertaken by the United Nations or other appropriate nations and Canadian troops would cease undertaking offensive military operations.


On defense policy, the Green Party of Canada is committed to the international Green pillar of nonviolence, working for a culture of peace and cooperation between states, the rejection of militarism, and the commitment to economic and social development, environmental safety and respect for human rights.


We are committed to our historic policy of promoting multilateral disarmament, peaceful resolution of conflict, military conversion, support for United Nations peacekeeping operations, and the strengthening of the United Nations through reform of the Security Council and the expansion of the role of the General Assembly.


The Green Party of Canada supports international law, the general principles of the United Nations, and the right of all countries to self-determination and democracy. We also support the key founding principle of the Organization of American States, of which Canada is a member: the right of all countries to be free from military intervention by other countries except under the United Nations Responsibility to Protect doctrine.


A Green Party of Canada government would undertake to enforce the World Court decision which affirmed that the use or threat of nuclear weapons is contrary to international humanitarian law.


A Green Party of Canada government would undertake to promote the banning of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and land mines.


A Green Party of Canada government would undertake to improve Canada's contribution to conflict resolution, and peace building.


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From the 2006 election platform:
Foreign Policy - Keeping the Peace

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Related Green Party media releases:

Canada should focus effort on relief in Afghanistan, not combat

Green Party conference to take hard look at Canada’s foreign policy

May calls on Harper to condemn military provocation in Middle East

Focus Afghanistan development on alternatives to illicit opium, says May

3 comments:

Herbinator said...

I was at a bit of a dog & pony show today which was sponsored by the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and the Institute of World Affairs. It is painfully obvious to me that we would accomplish far more good in the world if we poured Afghanistan-equivalent expenditures into countries which are ready, willing and able to grow peaceful and stable society. Afghanistan is a waste of Canadian time, money, and effort. Herbie has no time for countries or peoples constantly at strife. Work it out (without foreign imposed government) then get back to me. Green Party of Canada MILITARY policy sucks.

PS. Welcome to PB.

Cameron W said...

Hi Herbinator,

Green party of Canada military policy, according to a couple of my friends in the military, is not all bad. Could be more detailed, and that's been improving over the years and will continue to improve. Many of the above policies were adopted by the general membership in 2006.

One thing the Green Party isn't trying to do is please all the people all the time, and I'm glad, because as we all know that's impossible. What the Greens have done is put forth realistic policies that will ensure that Canada is a respected force in the world and a voice that promotes peace.

Why do you disapprove of the GPC military policy?

Thanks for the welcome! I look forward to a good hazing from the members of PB! ;-)

Cameron W said...

Here's an interesting story on developments in Afghanistan...

No way to win hearts and minds - America apologises for killing more civilians in Afghanistan

May 9th 2007 - DELHI
From Economist.com

THE American army delivered an apology and blood money on Tuesday May 8th to the families of 19 Afghan civilians killed in March by marines. As in similar cases in Afghanistan and Iraq the killings, which took place on a road near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, were discovered by journalists and initially misrepresented by American commanders. Announcing the climb-down, an American colonel in Afghanistan told reporters: “I stand before you today deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people.”

This is unlikely to prevent many more such incidents. The killing of large numbers of civilians by American forces, through indisciplined firing or as a result of their heavy reliance on air-strikes, has been a bitter feature of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq—just as it was in Vietnam. Indeed, later on Tuesday at least 21 civilians were killed in air-strikes in the southern province of Helmand, according to Asadullah Wafa, its pro-American governor. In Iraq on Wednesday, according to local security sources, an American helicopter involved in an attack against suspected insurgents killed a number of children at a primary school north of Baghdad...