March 19 marks the 13th anniversary of the U.S. “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq.
February, the month before the attack, saw by far the largest peace demonstrations in Kelowna and around the world, millions saying “no” to war.
Mark Haley, a Kelowna Peace Group member, says time has shown the peace movement to have been right—the excuses for the attack were false and the predicted murder, mayhem, destruction and misery followed-only much worse than anyone could have imagined.
Those who called for military action were proven wrong, says Haley. In addition to the loss of thousands of lives and infrastructure destruction, an expanding number of “failed states” including Afghanistan and Libya were swept up into the ensuing chaos. he noted.
“An Iraqi general Ali Jameel was asked recently after the ‘liberation’ of Ramadi from Daesh (ISIL), ‘When will the people be able to return to their homes?’ ‘Homes?’ he said. ‘There are no homes.’ Rubble, no electricity, no water, no resources to rebuild—this is the foreign policy of the one per cent enacted largely from 30,000 feet,” Haley said.
“Now we have a newly elected government and MP who promised to end Canada’s “combat role’ instead expanding it. Yes the planes were withdrawn. The U.S. military planners told Trudeau: ‘Look, we have enough planes; we need more boots on the ground.’ Canada complies.
“Trudeau said the deployment will last at least two years. ‘We’re not leaving…Canada is uniquely equipped to handle this job because we just spent 10 years in Afghanistan. We learned a lot of things there, according to (Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr’s) website. Really?”
The Kelowna Peace Group will stage a protest walk starting from The Sails at the foot of Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the plan being to march to Fuhr’s MP office on St. Paul Street.