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Event Reports
January 24, 2012

Public Lecture Series

The World Today in the
New Era of War & Occupation

Why Imperialists Are Starting Two
New Wars in the Middle East Against Syria & Iran?

Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)

MAWO Discusses the Roots of Imperialist Aggression Against Iran and Syria

Imperialism's latest threats of war against Iran and Syria once again became a topic of debate and discussion in the North hall of Joe's Cafe on Commercial Drive, in Vancouver, Canada. On Tuesday, January 24th Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) held the public lecture “Why Imperialists Are Starting Two New Wars in the Middle East Against Syria & Iran?”

This public lecture was the third MAWO organized to focus on the escalation of imperialist attacks on Iran and Syria in the last two months. It more deeply explored the targeting of Iran and Syria through a media manipulation campaign, an increase in sanctions, covert acts of sabotage and assassination, and an escalation of threats of war.

MAWO Co-chair Alison Bodine was the emcee of the evening, opening the lecture with 45mins of documentary and news clips from alternative and mainstream media sources. These clips were prepared by MAWO organizers in order to illustrate clearly the imperialist campaign against Iran and Syria in the media, as well as to update people regarding the latest developments in the war drive, including the latest round of sanctions on Iran imposed by the European Union earlier in the week.

Following the news clips, Alison introduced Ali Yerevani, political editor, long time social justice organizer, participant in the 1979 Iranian revolution and an organizer with Iranian Communities Against War (ICAW). Ali addressed the “why?” that has been on the minds of peace-loving people all over the world since the latest round of attacks began - why are Iran and Syria being targeted? To do this, he explored the question of Iran through a recent headline from the Economist magazine that describes Iran as “Beleaguered but Still Unbowed.” From this important concept, the latest round of attacks against Iran and Syria, both independent countries in the Middle East, is better understood. Ali went on to explain many aspects of the history of Syria, Iran and the history of their relationship together. This included the 1979 Iranian Revolution that kicked US imperialism out of Iran, and the significance of the refusal of Iran and Syria to bow-down to imperialism. He also explained the strategic importance of imperialism having puppet-regimes in Syria and Iran as they go into head-to-head competition for resources with Russia and China.

Ali's presentation led to an educational discussion between all the 2-dozen lecture participants. From a diversity of knowledge and experiences members of the audience shared their perspectives on the crisis that imperialism has created on Syria and the history of imperialist attacks against Iran. It was clear that people in the room were looking towards very recent history, with the disastrous and deadly imperialist intervention in Libya, and the continued destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, as clear examples to learn from in this period of focused imperialist attack. This discussion ended at what is the most important question facing people all over the world who don't want to see another war on oppressed people in Iran and Syria – what do we need to do?

MAWO will continue to organize educational events, antiwar cultural activities, petition drives, pickets and demonstrations against war, and invites all peace-loving people to get involved in building a stronger and more united antiwar movement.