Tue, Sep 10, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Labor activists stage anti-war protest outside AIT

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Anti-war activists yesterday protested outside the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) against US President Barack Obama’s threat of a military strike against Syria, accusing the plan of being based on lies.

Holding up banners urging the US to refrain from sending troops to Syria and accusing it of being imperialistic, demonstrators mobilized by the Labor Party and the Labor Rights Association protested yesterday morning, chanting antiwar slogans.

“We are here because today, the US Congress will vote to decide whether to approve Obama’s plan to attack Syria — in fact, the US is likely to attack Syria regardless of how Congress votes,” Labor Party secretary-general Tang Shu (唐曙) told the crowd.

“We are here, standing united with fellow anti-war activists in several other countries, including in Spain, France, Belgium, Japan and the US, to show our opposition to war,” Tang said.

Tang said a US invasion of Syria is not justified without authorization from the UN, especially when such a decision is likely to be made before UN investigators reach a conclusion on whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people.

“In 2003, when former US president George W. Bush launched an invasion of Iraq, he also seemed quite certain that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction,” Tang said.

“However, apparently no such weapons were found in Iraq, and the US was more interested in repairing oil pipelines in Iraq than any other postwar reconstruction efforts,” Tang said.

It was ironic that Obama, who holds a Nobel Prize for Peace, is preparing to attack another country, he said.

“This is an insult to the peace prize and to world peace,” he added.

Labor Party Hsinchu County Councilor Kao Wei-kai (高偉凱) accused the US of eyeing control of Syrian oil fields.

The US has no right to criticize the use of chemical weapons, because it was the biggest seller of such weapons, Kao said.

“Instead of invading yet another Middle Eastern country, the US should completely withdraw its troops from the Middle East,” Kao said.

A British citizen, identified only as Julian, also criticized the planned attack on Syria as “built on a lie.”

He said that it was the Syrian rebels who have used chemical weapons in the fighting, not the Syrian government.

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