Statement of the Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada April 24, 1999
1. One month ago, the brutal NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began. At that time, our Party condemned this “totally unjustified” aggression as a gross violation of international law (March 24, 1999). We noted that “this attack will only bring great harm to the peoples of Yugoslavia, and make a political settlement of the ‘Kosovo question’ more difficult to achieve; it will further destabilize the political situation in the Balkans, and could lead to a wider, even more dangerous conflict.” The CPC also denounced the chauvinist position of the Chrétien government for its enthusiastic embrace of this dangerous strategy. We urged all peace-loving and democratically-minded Canadians to demand an immediate end to NATO bombing and Canada’s participation in it, and to call for a peaceful, negotiated solution to the crisis. Everything which has ensued over the past month confirms our Party’s stand, and we reiterate today, with even greater conviction and urgency, the demand for an immediate stop to this NATO aggression.
2. With each passing day, more and more Canadians are coming to realize
the unjust character of this NATO onslaught, and the tremendous death and
destruction it is inflicting on all the peoples of Yugoslavia, including
the Kosovar Albanians in whose name this aggression was ostensibly launched.
Indeed, the people of Canada and the other NATO countries are seeing through
the heavy veil of imperialist propaganda and its campaign of disinformation.
Numerous peace, labour and other democratic organizations have now come out against the bombing and are calling for an immediate cease-fire. Anti-war coalitions are forming in large and small centres across Canada, and street demonstrations and other protests are increasing in both size and frequency.
The Communist Party welcomes these developments, and Canadian Communists will do everything possible to build a broad, united front of anti-war forces strong enough to compel the Canadian government to reverse its dangerous course.
3. Unfortunately, the NATO powers, and in particular the U.S.
Administration, are pressing ahead, regardless of the mounting death toll. The core NATO powers are escalating the ferocity and breadth of its bombing campaign, and are preparing for a bloody ground war. They have already sent commando forces inside Yugoslavia, and are provoking conflicts along the Albanian and other borders with Yugoslavia as a precursor to a full-scale NATO-led ground invasion. Such an escalation would not only worsen the tragic destruction of Yugoslavia, claiming thousands upon thousands of military and civilian lives alike; an invasion would likely also spark a wider, regional war in the Balkans and could even draw other states, including Russia, into the conflict. In other words, a NATO-driven escalation could bring the world to the edge of nuclear confrontation itself. This is the insane logic of imperialism's militarist gambit, and a critical reason why this war must be stopped now!
4. The motivation driving imperialism’s aggression has nothing to do with humanitarian concern for the Albanian minority in Kosovo province. It was precisely the onset of the NATO bombing which intensified the civil war in Kosovo, dramatically increased the insecurity of the civilian population, and gave rise to the flood of refugees. How ironic that the refugee crisis, hich was primarily unleashed by U.S./ NATO aggression, was quickly and cynically turned into the reason for launching this imperialist war. Nor is NATO genuinely concerned about resolving the national and ethnic conflict in Kosovo. Imperialism has never championed the cause of national rights and equality among peoples -- indeed, its history is replete with colonial plunder and national oppression of the peoples throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. And it continues to support national oppression today through its collusion with Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, and other repressive states around the globe.
5. The roots of the conflict in Kosovo go back centuries and are extremely complex. Even before the NATO war started, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) government promised to restore full autonomy, including language and cultural control, to Kosovo province while maintaining the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. But this was not enough for imperialism or the KLA, a right-wing nationalist and terrorist organization which was organized, financed and armed by German and U.S. ruling circles. The KLA is determined to tear Kosovo from Yugoslavia, and grab parts of the neighbouring state of Macedonia, to achieve a “Greater Albania” state in the region.
6. The real objectives of the NATO powers, and especially U.S. imperialism,
in launching this war are profoundly self-serving. One important objective
is to bring down the current government in Belgrade, a government which
(while no longer socialist in character) continues to maintain a substantial
public sector and to resist pressures from the IMF, the World Bank, and
international capital to adopt a pro-corporate, neo-liberal program.
Imperialism is also striving to complete the dismantling of FRY, replacing it with a string of small, highly unstable mini-states which it can dominate economically, politically and militarily. U.S. imperialism, in particular, has a special interest in entrenching itself in the Balkan region, both to tighten its encirclement of Russia, and also to head off any move by European capital to supplant U.S. influence through the establishment of an “all-European army” which could challenge its hegemony in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
7. Imperialism, and its “military-industrial complex,” is also using the current conflict to ignite a new -- and incredibly wasteful -- round of the arms race in the new global conditions following the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the socialist community in Eastern Europe. The demise of the next round of the START Treaty talks, and the U.S. decision to increase arms spending (including the development of the “Star Wars” system) fit neatly into this dangerous strategy. By whipping up chauvinism, it can justify a new, aggressive and expansionist role for NATO and garner public support for a new spiral in arms spending, while at the same time dividing workers and weakening working class resistance to capitalist “globalization.”
8. The most important goal of U.S. imperialism is however to use Yugoslavia as a turning point to consolidate its global role as the only superpower and to send a menacing signal to all states and all peoples that its dictates will be ruthlessly enforced through economic pressures and blackmail, and even by military means, if necessary. To this end, U.S. imperialism is prepared to gut all international law protecting the territorial integrity of states and the sovereignty of nations. Part of this imperialist strategy is the complete side-lining of the role of the United Nations and its Security Council, in favour of a return to the “law of the jungle” in which U.S. domination prevails. This is perhaps the most significant and terrifying objective of U.S. imperialism at the present time.
9. The decision of the European governments in NATO to collude with this dangerous imperialist agenda is shameful and inexcusable. That 13 of these states are currently led by social democratic or self-styled “socialist” governments, exposes the complete degeneration of social democracy into the swamp of opportunism and social chauvinism.
10. In Canada, the Chrétien government and all of the opposition parties in Parliament, including the NDP, have betrayed the cause of peace and Canada's fidelity to the principles of international law. This servile tailing behind U.S. imperialist policy will have the immediate and long-term effect of undermining Canadian sovereignty as well. Canadians must hold these parties to public account for their despicable behavior, and demand that they renounce their pro-imperialist policies in favour of an independent, made-in-Canada foreign policy of peace, cooperation and respect for international law. Such a policy must also insist on Canada’s immediate withdrawal from NATO and Norad, and the dissolution of the NATO bloc.
11. This NATO war has already exacted a high price from the peoples of Yugoslavia. It has also seriously jeopardized the future of the international community as a whole, and the cause of world peace and development. Despite the tremendous power of imperialism however, it is possible to achieve an end to the aggression. The Yugoslavian people are mounting a heroic resistance; meanwhile, anti-war movements are growing around the world, including in Canada and the NATO countries. This combined resistance, in turn, is sharpening divisions within the NATO bloc which might force it to choose a diplomatic solution, rather than a dangerous military escalation. A quick end to this “dirty war” of aggression is still possible, provided all the world’s peace forces unite and re-double our efforts. In the name of the present and the future of humanity, we have a common interest in ensuring that this great effort is successful.
Communist Party of Canada
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