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Public Lecture Series:
The World Today in the
New Era of War & Occupation

Syria and Iran Under Attack
How Should the Antiwar Movement Respond?

Co-organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
& Iranian Community Against War (ICAW)

February 7th Forum Report

MAWO Forum Discusses the Importance of Resistance to New War Drives in the Middle East!

On February 7th 2011, Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) held it’s fourth public lecture on the topic of the new imperialist war drive against Iran and Syria. These two countries are currently facing an imperialist campaign of negative propaganda, covert operations, assassinations, sanctions and the preparation and threat of a military attack. As this imperialist war drive is escalating, the question of how the antiwar movement should respond to stop another brutal war is a critical question.

The lecture started out with 45 minutes of film clips that gave a overview of the recent news coverage about Iran and Syria.

MAWO co-chairs Janine Solanki and Alison Bodine followed the videos with analysis on the imperialist aggression against these two countries and the responsibility of the antiwar movement to defend Iran and Syria against war.

Janine spoke on Syria and opened with recent quotations from US politicians regarding Syria. Comments such as “the friends of a democratic Syria” from Hilary Clinton and “We’re going to have to take measures outside of the UN to strengthen and deepen and broaden the international community pressure on Assad” from State Department spokeswomen Victoria Nuland sound dangerously reminiscent of the pre-war on Iraq rhetoric about the “coalition of the willing”. After going though how the war drive against Syria is being conducted, Janine wrapped up by emphasizing on the need of antiwar activists in Canada to act against a war on Syria, particularly as all major political parties in Canada, including the NDP, are participating in the attack on Syria.

Alison then spoke about the recent maneuverings of the US and their imperialist allies against Iran, as well as Iran’s strategic position in the Middle East, both geographically but especially in its influence of resistance against imperialism throughout the region. As the US imperialists have been engaged in trying to establish their hegemony in the Middle East through their wars, occupations, puppet governments, and military bases, none of this can be complete while Iran remains an independent country. Alison also spoke on the importance of the antiwar movement to not become confused or distracted by media manipulation against Iran. She emphasized that our role as antiwar activists is to defend Iran against war and occupation, and not to interfere in the internal affairs of the country.

A discussion followed the speakers with very eager participants who contributed their thoughts, questions and ideas. The public forum ended with closing remarks from the speakers that MAWO will continue the dialogue, discussions and public education. They emphasized that this could not be acheived without direct actions and consistent protests, until this war drive against Iran and Syria has ended.