Justice and Accountability: A commentary for Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau 1

During an assembly to remember those killed in the Iranian Air Flight 752 Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he wanted “answers” and was looking for “justice and accountability.” My empathy stands with the families, friends and loved ones of those who died in this tragic mistake. When I really think about the accident it sickens me, then makes me angry.

But my anger is not directed at the personnel who made the wrong decision as they were and are and have been for decades living under the threat of all out war from the western powers as well as fighting a low grade asymmetric war against them for decades. My anger is directed at the whole western military-industrial-financial complex that continues to fight for global domination.

The answers, if Trudeau is really looking for them are already available. The Iranians admitted they shot it down. The individual who ordered it shot down has acknowledged responsibility for the order. The Iranian government has acknowledged responsibility. The only further answers that could become available will be the gruesome details from the black boxes indicating how the plane plummeted from the sky, information mainly good for military analysts to study the effects of the missile and political opportunists to play on public sympathies for their own ends.

Trudeau has all the answers he needs. He will indeed receive more information from which he can bleed all over the last moments of those who perished so needlessly.


It is the search for justice and accountability, a fine sentiment and a fine goal that I have a large problem with. I highly doubt that Trudeau will get to the “source” of the problem as he has indicated in previous commentaries on hostile situations in the Middle East, I highly doubt that his search for “justice and accountability” will even broach the topic of western – in particular the U.S. and Israel – aggression against Iran. It is not only Iran but extends from Pakistan west to the Mediterranian and on to Libya where the largest impact of western interests have wrought their damage.

It is my contention that Trudeau is not so much searching for justice as for retribution and revenge. Retribution and revenge can ignore all the background noise and focus singly, with blinders, on the direct act of shooting down the plane. He may obliquely blame Trump for the disaster, but that is a ‘safe’ target within the overall lack of recognition of western interference in the Middle East. “Justice”, if one is truly seeking answers will expose the whole range of war crimes committed by the U.S., Canada and other associated countries (mostly NATO) who have tried to control the greater Middle East.

Looking for justice requires looking back at precursor actions. The immediate precursor was the Iranians firing a volley of missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq. That act was a result of the previous stupidity on the U.S. military side of assassinating General Qasem Soleimani along with several other high ranking officials – who were on a diplomatic mission to discuss rapprochement with Saudi Arabia. That act had many precursors, the many including the rabid threats spewing from the mouth of Trump, and his rejection of the Iran nuclear deal which by all accounts Iran had been following. Spewing along with him are his Armageddon loving coterie of advisors Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Going back even further in time opens up the whole history of the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman empire, the Sykes-Picot agreement, the Balfour letter – and most importantly for Iran the 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected Mossadegh government mainly by the CIA with MI6 assistance because Mossadegh wanted to retain the profits from his own oil. This led to the Shah’s regime, and its eventual overthrow by the Ayatollah Khomeini which is where most U.S. histories start.

Looking for justice requires looking at Canada’s participation in all this. Canada is a strong supporter of U.S. interests domestically and with foreign affairs. Canada is a founding member of NATO and has participated in the crime of war most notably in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Canada sells armaments to Saudi Arabia, the known dispenser of Wahhabi fundamentalism that the U.S. has used to create its brand of terror throughout the Middle East and beyond. This self created terror is used to rationalize the military-industrial complex and support the oligarchy that controls the wealth in the U.S. and Canada.

In other words, looking for justice also requires looking at domestic affairs. There is much to be said about Canada’s place in the world as a colonial-settler nation, not within the scope of this presentation. Suffice to say that even with domestic actions, Trudeau’s rhetoric does not match his actions – or lack thereof.


Accountability has essentially already been addressed. The specific commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp has admitted responsibility. Arrests have been made. Accountability in its root term used financially will more than likely lead to Iran giving financial compensation, with the reminder that Iran’s finances have been seriously affected by the illegal asymmetric war applications of sanctions. Iran’s leaders have accepted responsibility. Trudeau probably intends accountability to also include criminal charges and prison or death sentences to be handed out, and in his purest dreams for the government of Iran to suddenly embrace western neoliberal militarism.

Where accountability fails is the same as where it fails for justice. Trudeau will certainly not trace the accountability back to western nations aggressive actions against Iran in particular and the Middle East in general over the past century. There will be no accountability for U.S. actions and Canada’s support for them either in the past or in the future.

The future

What is important is how “justice and accountability” will be carried forward. Will Trudeau wilfully – or ignorantly (not likely) – continue to support western military and economic aggression in the Middle East in support of U.S. intentions? Will he withdraw Canadian forces from the Middle East and quit pretending we are there are as “trainers” and “peace keepers”, although the Canadian military has tended to avoid the latter language recently? Will he continue to support Saudi war (and domestic) crimes through both the sale of military equipment and by his silence on Saudi crimes throughout the region?

As reported by an unidentified “source” for the CBC, not much will change,

“That source stressed, however, that the event won’t fundamentally change the Canada-U.S. relationship. Canada remains fully committed to the principles of the NATO mission in Iraq and continues to share the overall security objectives of the U.S., the source said.” [https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/iran-soleimani-trump-trudeau-iraq-1.5422308]

U.S. security is the control of oil to support the petrodollar. U.S. security is the military supporting U.S. corporate exploitation of the resources and labour of the world. The future is the present. Trudeau – and Canada – will continue to support the aggressive actions of the U.S. and NATO while speaking words of “justice and accountability”, spurious rhetoric in a tragic accident.

Jim Miles is a Canadian educator




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