The following is Ali Mallah’s open letter to MP Guy Caron, foreign policy critic of the New Democratic Party (NDP), over the latter’s remarks on the CBC condemning Brother Donald Lafleur for attending the GFTU Conference in Damascus. Ali Mallah has been an activist and officer of both the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) for decades.
Published on Change.org, Sept 26, 2019
Mr. Guy Caron,
You were quoted in a statement to CBC News : “We are shocked by comments made by Mr. Lafleur, especially considering the treatment of workers in Syria. We do not endorse them. The NDP has often spoken strongly against slaughter perpetrated by the Syrian government and its allies. We need to bring peace to the Syrian people and ensure those responsible for atrocities are brought to justice.”
Let’s be very blunt. When you on go public mainstream media and make a such statement, Guy Caron, either you are fully ignorant about what has been taking place for the last 8+ years in Syria and/or you take it upon yourself to claim superior knowledge to more than 250 union delegates who attended the union solidarity conference in Damascus.
Your above statement and condemnation of a fine union leader whose union and who personally contributed a lot to the NDP, is beyond shameful. It is an indication of the slippery slope taken by the NDP by siding with Western interventionists and their murderous thugs in the Middle East.
We know that, since 2011, following the lies of previous Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, the NDP has supported the economic sanctions and the proxy war against Syria. We had hoped that you would get over your clouded vision and confusion by now, but apparently you did not.
Below, is part of the testimony of other union delegates who attended the same conference and expressed unquestioning support for Brother Donald Lafleur:
“…Donald had the courage to accept an invitation to the congress in Syria in order to listen, learn, see with his own eyes and try to understand the experience of fellow trade unionists in Syria and the 42 other countries represented at the conference. Unlike many others, he kept an open mind and did not accept without question the one-sided accounts and demonization in the western media and governments. Now he is under attack by those same media and governments, as well as the many, many persons and organizations that have been willingly brainwashed by the prevailing war propaganda. He deserves to heard and honoured for his efforts and solidarity, not pilloried and reviled.
And Donald learned a lot.
Syrian trade union members in Syria have for the last 8 years been standing alone in an unjust war against their nation and people. This war has brought terrorism on a scale never seen before and has deceitfully promoted the actions of terror groups as calls for freedom. It has made the peace-loving people, sacred sites, and culture into victims of international terrorism geopolitics, and hegemony administered by imperialist powers and worsened by massive economic and humanitarian sanctions. Members of Syrian trade unions have spent many cold winters either mourning the loss of loved ones or caring for many of their injured comrades.
To date over 12,000 fellow union members were either killed or injured by terror groups in the last 8 years, and the fate of over 3000 kidnapped members is still unknown. Yet none of this is ever reported or relayed in western media. Many of the workers were subjected to draconian and barbaric torture by the terror groups before they were killed, like the mutilation that happened to Issa Mahmood Hassan in Homs. Issa was a gas storage facility manager who was ambushed on his way to work and killed by armed militants belonging the so called “moderate rebels”. After severing his head from his body, they used his mobile phone to call his wife and describe in detail what they did to her husband. Other examples include the killing of railway workers while they were trying to repair the railway tracks between Aleppo and Hama in September 2011; the killing of electricians who were trying to repair electrical cables in Deir Ez-Zour and Homs and the atrocity committed in August 2012 by the so called “moderate rebels” in Al-Baba, in the North of Aleppo Province, where the rebels threw post office workers off the roof of their work building.
However, none of those incidents ever received sympathy in European Media. The massacres that were committed in December 2013 by the rebels (Jabhat al-Nusra) in Aadra
Al-Oumaliah against the GFTU workers and their family members were war crimes on a mass scale. Hundreds of workers and their families were either burnt in their homes or abducted, raped and mutilated in the streets. like Nabil Barakat (a trade union members) whose wife, three children and sister were all killed by the armed rebels…”
Mr. Caron, you and the NDP owe the victims of the imperialist war against Syria and its people a clear apology. You and the NDP owe Brother Lafleur a public apology as well.
What a shame !
Click here to read the post on Hamilton Coalition Stop the War: