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Author Topic: Canada's "Open Secret": Deep Complicity in the Iraq War
Richard Sanders
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1131

posted 15 February 2008 04:17 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yesterday, the Babble moderator abruptly closed down the discussion:
U.S. report says Canada did help in Iraq war

So, I am restarting it here.

Coincidentally, just a few hours before the discussion was terminated, I had sent the article (appended below) to the email list of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT).

The article gave the URL link to the Babble discussion on Canada's role in Iraq and encouraged people to contribute to the debate.

Here's the article:

Canada's "Open Secret": Deep Complicity in the Iraq War
By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!
Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade

A Canadian Brig. Gen., Nicolas Matern, has just arrived in Baghdad. This former commander of Canada's Joint Task Force 2 counter-terrorism unit is the deputy commander of the US 18th Airborne Corps and he now reports to Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin III, who leads the 170,000-strong Multi-National Corps-Iraq. Its primary task is to conduct "offensive operations to defeat remaining non-compliant forces."

Matern is the third Canadian Forces (CF) general to help lead a command group overseeing the U.S.-led war in Iraq. His predecessor, CF Maj. Gen. Peter Devlin was the Deputy Commander General of the Multi-National Force-Iraq since December 2006.

Prior to Devlin's posting, which started in January 2004, CF Maj. Gen. Walt Natynczyk commanded ten brigades totalling 35,000 troops stationed throughout Iraq. When Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson gave Natynczyk Canada's Meritorious Service Cross, her office extolled his "pivotal role in the development of numerous plans and operations [which] resulted in a tremendous contribution to...Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and...brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada."

It may come as a surprise to most Canadians­including many peace activists in this country­that Canada is even involved in the Iraq war. Even more shocking may be the news that the provision of top CF personnel to command posts in Iraq is but one example among many contributions that the Canadian government has made to this US-led war.

Unfortunately, the Liberal government's 2003 pretence that Canada was opting out of participation in Iraq has been repeated so many times that it has become accepted as the truth. Even when presented with multifarious examples of Canada's complicity in this war, some Canadians are loath to believe it. The fact that the Canadian government has been a major player in the Iraq war since its very inception, also directly contradicts the powerful national myth that Canada is a global force for peace.

This Canadian myth has taken on the appearance of a state religion and some of its faithful adherents demonstrate a strong reluctance to question it. This is evident in Rabble's online "leftwing discussion forum" (called Babble) where a debate has raged since the publication of an earlier version of this article appeared in Vancouver's Common Ground magazine (February 2008).

To read and/or join the discussion about Canada's role in the Iraq war, please click this link.

U.S. report says Canada did help in Iraq war

While many Canadians, even some on the "left," have difficulty accepting the reality that Canada is deeply engaged in the Iraq war, this fact was admitted early on by then-U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci. On March 25, 2003, during the "shock and awe" bombardment of Iraq, Cellucci gratefully acknowledged to members of the posh Economic Club of Toronto, that "ironically, Canadian naval vessels, aircraft and personnel...will supply more support to this war in Iraq indirectly...than most of those 46 countries that are fully supporting our efforts there."

Although Cellucci's statement merely scratched the surface of Canada's initial "support" for the Iraq war, at least he let the cat out of the bag. As then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had explained a week earlier, "We now have a coalition of the willing...who have publicly said they could be included in such a listing.... And there are 15 other nations, who, for one reason or another do not wish to be publicly named but will be supporting the coalition."

Canada was, and still is, the leading member of this secret group, which we could perhaps call CW-HUSH, the "Coalition of the Willing to Help but Unwilling to be Seen Helping."

The plan worked. Most Canadians still proudly believe that their government refused to join the Iraq war. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some of the ways in which our government joined the fray:

Protecting and Supporting the Coalition Navy:
Thirteen hundred Canadian troops aboard four of Canada's multibillion dollar warships escorted the multinational fleet, including US aircraft carriers, through the Persian Gulf and right up to the shores of Kuwait, thus putting them safely in place to bomb Iraq. Besides performing such "force-protection operations," Canadian frigates also contributed vital "fleet-support" functions to coalition warships.

Leading the Coalition Navy:
Canadian Rear-Admiral Roger Girouard commanded Coalition Task Force 151, leading 20 warships from six countries during the "shock and awe" bombardment of Iraq which killed thousands of innocent people.

Providing War Planners:
At least two dozen Canadian war planners working at U.S. Central Command in Florida were transferred to the Persian Gulf in early 2003 to help oversee the war's complicated logistics.

Helping Coordinate the War:
Canadian military personnel, working aboard American E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System warplanes, helped direct the electronic war by providing surveillance, command, control and communications services to US warfighters.

Providing Airspace and Refuelling:
Countless U.S. warplanes carrying troops and equipment have flown over Canada, to and from the Iraq war. With as many as two or three such flights a day and carrying about a thousand US troops to battle, many such warplanes were allowed to refuel in Gander, Newfoundland.

Providing Air Transport:
At least three Canadian CC-130 military transport planes were listed by the U.S. military as helping supply coalition forces during the Iraq war.

Freeing up U.S. Troops:
Canada's major role in the Afghan war has freed up many thousands of U.S. troops for deployment to Iraq.

Providing Ground Troops:
At least 35 Canadian soldiers were directly under U.S. command, in an exchange capacity, on the ground, participating in the invasion of Iraq.

Facilitating US Weapons Testing:
Two types of cruise missiles (AGM-86 and -129) and the Global Hawk (RQ-4A) surveillance drone, used in Iraq, were tested over Canada.

Depleted Uranium (DU) Weapons:
Canada is the world's top exporter of uranium. Our government pretends that Canada's uranium is sold for peaceful purposes only, but absolutely nothing is done to stop the U.S. from using DU in their weapons. America's A-10 Wart Hog warplanes have fired DU munitions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, while each cruise missile contains three kgs of DU ballast.

Providing RADARSAT Data:
Eagle Vision, a U.S. Air Force mobile ground station which controls Canada's RADARSAT-1 satellite and downlinks its data was used from the start of the Iraq war. Since December 2007, RADARSAT-2 data has also been available to US warfighters in Iraq.

Diplomatic Support:
Then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien supported the right of the U.S. to invade Iraq, although Kofi Annan said it was an illegal occupation. Chrétien "urged Canadians...not to criticise the US for attacking Iraq," saying that to do so "would comfort Saddam Hussein."

Training Iraqi Police:
Canada has spent millions sending RCMP officers to Jordan to train tens of thousands of cadets for Iraq's paramilitary police force.

Training Iraqi Troops:
High-level Canadian military personnel joined the NATO Training Mission in Iraq to train the trainers of Iraqi Security Forces who are on the leading edge of the U.S. occupation. A Canadian colonel, under NATO command, was chief of staff at the Baghdad-based training mission. Canada was the leading donor to this centre, providing an initial $810 thousand.

Funding Iraq's Interior Ministry:
Canada provides advisors and financial support to this Ministry which has been caught running torture centres. Thousands of its officers have been withdrawn for corruption, and it has been accused of working with death squads that executed a thousand people per month in Baghdad alone during the summer of 2006.

Military Exports:
At least 100 Canadian companies sold parts and/or services for major weapons systems used in the Iraq war. For example, Quebec-based SNC-TEC sold millions of bullets to the U.S. military forces occupying Iraq. General Dynamics Canada, in London Ontario, sold hundreds of armoured vehicles to the US and Australia. Between October 2003 and November 2005, these troop transport vehicles logged over 6 million miles in Iraq. And, Winnipeg's Bristol Aerospace sells cluster-bomb dispensing warheads used by US aircraft in Iraq.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investments:
The CPP forces working Canadians outside Quebec to invest their pension money in hundreds of military industries, including most of the world's top 20 weapons producers. These CPP investments include the leading prime contractors for virtually all the major US weapons systems used in Iraq.

So, the next time a proud fellow citizen tells you that Canada didn't join the Iraq war, refer them to this article and then remind them of Mark Twain's famous qwip:

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

For more information, on the myth of Canada's role as a global peacemaker, read Press for Conversion! and visit the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade ([URL=http://coat.ncf.ca ]COAT[/URL]) website.

To view COAT's online slideshow about Canada's hypocritical role in the Iraq War, click here.

The URL for this article is:
http://coat.ncf.ca/articles/links/Canada_in_Iraq.htm

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 15 February 2008 04:24 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[deleted - all is well]

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
the grey
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posted 15 February 2008 04:54 AM      Profile for the grey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Pretty dramatic characterization ...

To be expected, considering that he's turned continuing to do the same things Canada would have been doing even if there wasn't a war in Iraq into "deep complicity".

Our fleet commitment, in particular, predates 9/11, let alone the Iraq war. Ongoing exchange arrangements aren't "deep complicity". Air travel over Canada isn't even "complicity".

Cruise missile testing? You're actually trying to argue cruise missile testing is "deep complicity"? Give me a break. The reason people are resisting your argument isn't because they have "a strong reluctance to question" Canadian non-involvement; it's because you're trying to make a mountain out of a mole-hill, and turn next to nothing into "deep complicity".

I look at every one of the facts you cite, and say, "yeah, I knew that, but none of that is direct support for the invasion of Iraq, let alone 'deep complicity'." We still said, "No," and 35 troops on exchange doesn't change that.


From: London, Ontario | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
adam stratton
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posted 15 February 2008 05:15 AM      Profile for adam stratton        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Air travel over Canada isn't even "complicity". the grey

It is enabling aggression especially when Canada refused to join out of conviction that a wrong is being committed.

I call it aiding and abetting.


From: Eastern Ontario | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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Babbler # 1131

posted 15 February 2008 05:36 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As documented in previous discussion, Task Force 151, with 20 warships from 6 countries (including 4 Canadian frigates) was led by a Canadian.

It's mission was to protect and give support to allied warships, including US aircraft carriers.

Canada led them right through the entire Persian Gulf and to the very shores of Kuwait in March 2003.

What did they do then, give candy to Afghan children?

No, they bombed the heck out of Iraq.

They executed the horrific "shock and awe" bombardments of Iraq that killed tens of thousands of innocent people, including children.

Sorry, but that IS deep Canadian complicity. Face it.

If someone was driven to your neighbour's house by guys with guns and then somebody else in the car actually fired the shots that killed your neighbour's family, I would say that the drivers with guns were deeply complicit in the crime.

Wouldn't you?

If these murderers came to you and said, hey, can we cut through your yard, it's the fastest way to get over there where we want to kill a your neighbours, would you let them cut through?

If so you'd be an accomplice to the murder.

Would you say, sure, but first let me feed you,
let me give you some weapons to take over there,
do you need anybody to help you over the fence?
do you want to cut back through here on your way back from the job?
can I send my kids along to help you?
do you need help planning the murder, or carrying it out, or covering it up?

And, if they didn't thank you for all this help or for facilitating the testing of their weapons in advance, would you feel slighted?

They should at least thank you.

Actually they did thank us. Read the Cellucci quote. Read the Powell quote.

Canada didn't want to be thanked because we wanted to keep it a secret.

Wouldn't you?

But you will perhaps argue that it is unfair to compare the the role of accomplices in the murder of a family (even your neighbour's family) to complicity in the war against Iraq.

Mass murder of thousands is so much worse. the principle is just the same however.

And there were hundreds of Canadian sailors on the 4 frigates that "protected" US warships and refurbished them on their way to the spot where they massacred so many innocent people in Iraq.

So don't make it sound as if Canada only handed over 3 dozen soldiers as fodder to the US war in Iraq.

Don't forget the two dozen warplanners either.

Warplanners are significant people in a war.

So are deputy commanders. Canada has provided three of those, so far.

And it is totally irrelevent that Canada's naval commitment started before the Iraq war. The point is that our support for the Afghan war was immediately transformed into a commitment to support the Iraq war.

Ask Cellucci or Powell, they know and appreciate what Canada did and is still doing to support this war.

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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Babbler # 8273

posted 15 February 2008 03:31 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by the grey:
Our fleet commitment, in particular, predates 9/11, let alone the Iraq war. Ongoing exchange arrangements aren't "deep complicity". Air travel over Canada isn't even "complicity".
Some babblers like to think that Canada's complicity in the Iraq war is something that just happened all by itself, on account of the previous long-time intertwining of Canada's armed forces and defence production industries with the US military-industrial complex.

But Canada had ample opportunity to end that intertwining once it had become clear the US was going to attack Iraq, but it failed to do so. No arms shipments were suspended or cancelled, no troop deployments were withdrawn, no personnel exchange agreements were terminated.

And it was not through inadvertence or inaction that Canada's extensive support and cooperation with the US war machine was allowed to continue throughout the war. It was a conscious policy of the Liberal government to allow Canadian personnel under allied command to carry on with their assignments in furtherance of the War on Terra, including the Iraq war. Canada's own Operation Apollo, launched shortly after 9/11 as our "contribution" to the War on Terra, was continued right through the initial war on Afghanistan, and right through the war on Iraq, until five months after Bush had infamously declared "Mission accomplished."

Far from opposing the attack on Iraq, Canada materially aided and abetted it. The Liberal government could have done something similar to what another ally, Turkey, did initially. Turkey refused to allow United States forces to use Turkish air bases as launching points for air attacks on Iraq; they also refused to allow the movement of American ground troops through their country.

What did Canada do? Well, I don't need to repeat what Richard has amply documented; suffice it to point out that Canada did nothing to hinder the free movement of US warplanes and troop carriers over our soil, through our air bases, and didn't withhold a drop of aviation fuel, a single bullet or bomb or armoured vehicle, etc., all the while pretending that it had decided not to participate. Meanwhile it kept sending Canadian ships to the Persian Gulf, long after the start of the "shock and awe" campaign against Iraq: HMCS Montreal, HMCS Winnipeg, HMCS Regina, HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Fredericton, and HMCS Calgary all were deployed during 2003 in support of US criminal activities.

[ 15 February 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 15 February 2008 04:28 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:
Yesterday, the Babble moderator abruptly closed down the discussion:
U.S. report says Canada did help in Iraq war

Just a small interjection about babble netiquette:

  • The thread was started in 2003.
  • It was restarted on February 5 and closed down for length nine days later. I wouldn't call that abrupt by any standard.
  • Closing threads for length is done as a courtesy to those with dial-up internet access.

Carry on.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 15 February 2008 09:18 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Abruptness has nothing whatsoever to do with how long ago the thread was started, or revived.

Abrupt = sudden or unexpected.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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Babbler # 1131

posted 18 February 2008 05:25 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's a letter from the Canadian organization "Lawyers Against the War" sent to PM Chretien, Foreign Affairs minister Graham and Defence minister McCallum on April 02, 2003:

Dear Sirs;

On January 23, 2003 Lawyers against the War wrote to you stressing the grave implications of Canada’s participation in an illegal war against Iraq.

As you are well aware, this horrifying assault on the land and people of Iraq has not been authorized by the Security Council of the United Nations, as any honest reading of Resolutions 1441, as well as 678 and 687, will show. Nor is it within the narrow confines of the right of self-defence, which permits neither “pre-emptive strikes” nor "regime change". Thus, this war violates the most fundamental principles of international law, as well as the Charter of the United Nations, a treaty binding on the US, the UK and Canada.

According to the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal, such a war constitutes “the supreme international crime.”[1]

Furthermore, every act of violence committed in the pursuit of such a war is itself a crime. In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, Chief U.S. prosecutor before the Nuremberg Tribunal:

Any resort to war--any kind of war--is a resort to means that are inherently criminal. War inevitably is a course of killings, assaults, deprivations of liberty, and destruction of property. An honestly defensive war is, of course, legal and saves those lawfully conducting it from criminality. But inherently criminal acts cannot be defended by showing that those who committed them were engaged in a war, when war itself is illegal. The very minimum legal consequence of the treaties making aggressive war illegal is to strip those who incite or wage them of every defense the law ever gave, and to leave the war-makers subject to judgment by the usually accepted principles of the law of crimes.[2]

During the first week of this war more than a thousand Iraqis were killed, and not just soldiers but civilians, too-- men, women and children. This relentless slaughter is, legally and morally speaking, murder. It is the deliberate killing of human beings without lawful justification or excuse. The absence of any lawful justification is a direct result of the absence of any moral justification.

Under the National Defence Act, the Canadian government has no right to order our forces to participate in any war except

(a) by reason of an emergency, for the defence of Canada; or

(b) in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter, the North Atlantic treaty or any other similar instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada.[3]

Not only is the invasion of Iraq not an action undertaken pursuant to the NATO Treaty, even that treaty is expressly subordinated to the Charter of the United Nations. The relevant parts of the NATO treaty are as follows:

[Preamble]: The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.

Article 1: The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the united Nations.

Article 7: This treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.[4]

Like most Canadians, we were relieved when your government declared it would not participate in this war without a Security Council resolution specifically authorizing the use of force. However, it is increasingly apparent that this laudable declaration is subject to unacceptable exceptions. It is clear that, by reason of your decision, Canadian troops and ships are now participating in this illegal war.

You have said that you do not want to give comfort to Saddam Hussein, but your aid and comfort to the American forces is implicating Canadians in a horrible crime. We cannot stand by and allow this to be done, in violation of both Canadian and international law.

We feel bound to remind you that your material support for this war has no lawful, let alone moral, justification or excuse; it is, therefore, nothing short of the aiding and abetting of murder, as well as a host of other grave crimes against person and property punishable under the Canadian Criminal Code.

As you know, responsibility under Canadian criminal law is personal. There is no exception for government officials, be they Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers or Defence Ministers. As you also know, Canadian courts have jurisdiction to punish such crimes to the extent that significant elements of them -- such as decisions on the assignment of Canadian troops -- take place in Canada or on board Canadian vessels.

Furthermore, the massive bombing of cities and towns is a systematic violation of the Geneva Conventions and violates the Rome Statute and the Canadian Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

Therefore, we implore you to withdraw Canadian troops and ships from the invasion of Iraq and stop implicating yourselves and Canada in this appalling criminal enterprise.

Should further clarification of anything in this letter be required, we would welcome the opportunity to provide it to you, preferably in person.

Sincerely,

Gail Davidson and Michael Mandel[5] on behalf of Lawyers against the War


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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Babbler # 5594

posted 18 February 2008 10:55 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And then there was Gerald Bull, Canada's Dr. No wannabe. His weapons manufacturing plant straddled the border between Quebec and Vermont, apparently to avoid the watchful eye of the feds in both countries. And that reminds me to tell everyone to remember not to forget your fishing liscence when doing just that in Northern Ontario, or else park rangers will be on you like maple sugar on a beaver tail.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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Babbler # 1131

posted 18 February 2008 12:27 PM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A couple of extra details on Canadian support

On March 20, in Prime Minister Chrétien's first public statement after the air war officially began, Chrétien said in the House of Commons that:

"It was the Americans' privilege and right to make the decision that they made. We respect that… Of course, I hope that the Americans will do as well as possible."

Hmmm.. Does that sound like unequivocal opposition to the war, or a principled denunciation of the war?

No, that is was typical Liberal diplomatic support and cheerleading for US war effort.

And, in the same speech, Chrétien said (as I reported earlier):

"At this point, I think there is no use debating the reasons why some people think war is necessary and some people think it is not. We should not say anything that would comfort Saddam Hussein."

Hmmm.... I guess that means an actual physical protest, or a nonviolent direct action to get in the way of Canada's support for the US war effort, would be frowned upon. I guess our fearless leader would have felt that such protesters should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, even if he had to throttle them himself.

Bravo Liberals, you really stood up to those warmongering Americans!


Now some extra details on those pesky little overflights and refuelling stops that have been put down as so trivial and insignificant by some members of this forum.

Many US warplanes en route to Iraq were flying through Canadian air space on their way to the Iraq war. Although his may not seem significant to some it was one of the things that the US had specifically requested from members of the “Coalition of the Willing.”

Some countries gained entry into this criminal gang merely for letting the US fly over their country.

Canada went one step further in that category of support. US aircraft carrying many thousands troops to Iraq were allowed to stop in St. John's and Stephenville, Newfoundland.

The purpose of these stopovers was for refueling and crew changes.

Here's a quote about the refuelling:

“In recent weeks, as the U.S. has used Newfoundland as a refueling stop for military flights en route to the Middle East. ‘We've been getting roughly 2 or 3 U.S. flights a day, with probably 1000 troops coming through each day,’ said Gary Vey, CEO of the Gander Airport Authority”
(Ottawa Citizen, March 22, 2003).

A thousand US troops per day!

I would say that in itself was significant act of complicity in this criminal war.

[ 18 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 18 February 2008 02:26 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jean Chretien:
quote:
It was the Americans' privilege and right to make the decision that they made. We respect that… Of course, I hope that the Americans will do as well as possible.

Bob Rae:
quote:
It was historically the policy of the government of Canada that there was no legal justification for the invasion of Iraq... and it's for that simple reason that we did not join in it, just as we did not join in the war in Vietnam.
Thanks to jeff house for drawing that lie to my attention.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 18 February 2008 02:37 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada didn't send troops to invade Iraq or Viet Nam. I agree that Chrétien and Martin and Trudeau and Pearson and all the rest were shameless collaborators of U.S. imperialism on a huge variety of fronts - Cruise missile testing over Canadian territory comes to mind, and the Chrétien-initiated invasion of Afghanistan, and so many others that Richard has capably documented.

But Canada had a choice of joining in the U.S. invasions of Indochina and Iraq, or not. Unlike many other countries, Canada did not join in those invasions. I have a hard time treating these historic decisions as being some minor events. Yet that's the message I'm getting here.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 18 February 2008 04:14 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
Unlike many other countries, Canada did not join in those invasions.
The evidence says otherwise.

There are more ways of joining in a war than sending ground troops to invade.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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Babbler # 1131

posted 19 February 2008 01:04 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ten thugs beseige a man in a dark ally to steal his gas money. The man is killed, the alley trashed, and several innocent bystanders are maimed or killed in the process.

It was all in a days business for this well-established gang of thieves and murderers.

It was a carefully planned attack using a wide array of weapons from brassknuckles to clubs to guns.

The attackers acted in concert having worked out very carefully in advance all of the myriad of details that had to be worked out to make the attack a success.

They needed to plan such things as who would provide the various weapons, where they would stay before and after the attack, who would provide the get away vehicles, who would drive these vehicles, who would drive shot gun to protect their convoy, whow would fill their vehicles with fuel, who would stand at the end of the alley to alert them if someone came along to assist their victim while they were attacking him, who would arrange the allimportant liaison with the police, and so many other important details.

It was a lot of work but the gang had done it so many times before and they knew each other and their skills so well that it wasn't difficult for them and it went smoothly.

They got away with the crime.

However, let us imagine that they had been brought to a fair trial. Yes, this is a preposterous idea. This gang has never been tried. Everyone knows they are criminals but they always get away with their crimes.

At our imaginary trial, the lawyers and supporters of one of the thugs claim that their client had not take part in the attack.

Yes, they admit that he was there in the ally, yes, he had worked with the thugs in advance, yes, he had assisted them in their planning, and had driven the vehicles to get the gang to and from the scene of the crime, yes, he had protected the other thugs from attack and yes, he had worked closely with the police to ensure that they would not be prosecuted and, they admitted, yes, their client had actually taken part in various aspects of the execution of the attack.

(And, they also admitted that their client had, on a previous occasion, taken part in another attack against this same man when they had previous been worked in concert with this same same gang.)

"Then how can you say that your client is not guilty?" asked the judge.

"Because we have statements made by our client proving that fact," say the thug's lawyers.

"Statements? What are those statements?" asks the judge.

"We can prove that on numerous occasions our client stated publicly that he had not joined in this particular attack."

"Our client has frequently stated, on the record, that he had decided not to be involved."

"This is well known. You can ask anyone. Everyone knows that our client has stated repeatedly that he stayed out of this attack. Everyone knows that he says he was not involved."

"This fact has been reported far and wide, it has been in the papers, on TV, the radio and it is a widely known FACT!"

"Our clinet is innocent and this is a kangaroo court. We demand our clients immendiate release and we demand an apology and we demand that anyone saying he is guilty be held responsible for their irresponsible and libelous comments."


Now, we are the judges here. It is up to us to decide whether this thug was involved or not. Whether he is guilty or not. Whether his lawyer is part of the conspiracy or just a hopeless dupe.

What should we say to such preposterous statements by the attorneys for this thug?

This thug will never go to jail, he will never be punished. He and his gang have benefitted from their crime. They stole the things that they wanted. They got away with it. Crime does pay.

They are too powerful to prosecute.

Anyone pointing out the facts of their client's involvement in the crime will be lambasted and belittled and accused of distorting the facts.

However, by declaring that the thug is indeed guilty of the crime, they have freed themselves. Gone are the mental cages and cultural myths that imprison in their thoughts and pen in their understanding of reality.

So, although they may suffer indignities and accusations, they know that they have freed themsleves from a ridiculos myth. This is liberating.

They know who the real criminals are, and that the thug who was so deeply involved in the crime, but SAYS he wasn't, is still just as guilty of deep complicity the crime, regardless of his lies and the resulting public perception of his innocence.

And, very importantly, they can decide not to trust this thug again.

And, they can decide that they will not vote for him again. (He is in the habit of running for either mayor or police chief, and he often wins.)

And, more importantly, they can try to set the record straight so as to prevent others from continuing to empower this thug because they have been deluded into thinking that he is innocent.

Or, they can do the easiest thing:

They can continue the farce. They can continue to cover up our thug's involvement in this crime and say he "did not join" in this attack.

It's up to them. They must assess the evidence and judge for themselves.

[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 19 February 2008 04:01 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:
Many US warplanes en route to Iraq were flying through Canadian air space on their way to the Iraq war. Although his may not seem significant to some it was one of the things that the US had specifically requested from members of the “Coalition of the Willing.”

The more I read of your material, the less convinced I am that there even progressive Canadians are going to get up in arms about Canada's complicity in the war in Iraq.

The U.S. desperately needs public support for its wars of aggression, even from those who can materially contribute next to nothing.

That's why the White House actually lists forty-nine (49) countries on its website as members of the "Coalition of the Willing", even though only four of them (U.K., Australia, Poland, and Denmark) contributed troops to Iraq.

Canada is not one of the 49. Nor are many other traditional U.S. allies.

You consider that to be a secret understanding about multi-layered roles of complicity. I consider that as a major victory for the peace movement, which saw millions worldwide, and hundreds of thousands in Canada, take to the streets - as well as other factors.

Your information gathering is important, but your apparent determination to minimize the difference between Canada's avid participation in the Afghanistan invasion and occupation and its refusal to participate in the Iraq invasion and occupation is confusing at best and very counterproductive at worst.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
adam stratton
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posted 19 February 2008 04:41 AM      Profile for adam stratton        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Contributions from Coalition member nations range from: direct military participation, logistical and intelligence support, specialized chemical/biological response teams, over-flight rights, humanitarian and reconstruction aid, to political support.

Forty-nine countries are publicly committed to the Coalition, including (...)


unionist,

1) Canada's assistance (over-flights, for example) does meet the definition 'membership' in the Coalition of the Willing.

2) There are countries that publicly committed and others that are not pubicly committed.

Canada, in light of the facts was a member of the latter category. (I should add that our contribution has been a tad more than, say, Rwanda's). Don't you agree ?

[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: adam stratton ]


From: Eastern Ontario | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 19 February 2008 06:48 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Canada is not one of the 49 ["members of the "Coalition of the Willing"]....
You consider that to be a secret understanding about multi-layered roles of complicity. I consider that as a major victory for the peace movement..."

Cellucci admitted that Canada was contributing more than most members of the "Coalition of the Willing." Despite this admission, most Canadians remain ignore of our role in Iraq. It is a major struggle to get the word out about Cdn complicity.

Powell admitted that there were 15 countries that were contributing but that didn't want to be recognized as contributing. Shhhhhh!

How is it in any way a "major victory for the peace movement" that the Canadian government pretended that it wasn't going to join the war and then turned around and played a major role in the war and then kept that complicity largely a secret for the past five years?

That is a "major victory" for the Liberal Party PR machine!

That is a "major victory" for the those who want the Liberals to be seen as a party that opposed the war when it actually supported it in numerous significant ways!

Yeah, vote Liberal!

That is "major victory" for those who want to keep Canadians in the dark!

That is "major victory" for hypocrisy!

If there was a Nobel Prize for Hypocrisy, Canada would win it hands down.

This hypocrisy was not "a major victory for the peace movement."

And yet "unionist" says then my efforts in exposing this hypocrisy are:

"confusing at best and very counterproductive at worst."

Rather than criticising the Liberal duplicity, those who try to expose it get criticised.

This is very rich in irony.

[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 19 February 2008 06:58 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
The U.S. desperately needs public support for its wars of aggression, even from those who can materially contribute next to nothing.

Since Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the USSA has bombed over 21 countries and invaded dozens of countries. In what way have our stoogeocrats in Ottawa opposed any of it besides signing the dumbest free trade agreements guaranteeing the vicious empire that we would never dream of curtailing Canada's numero uno oil and gas exports to that country?

Richard Sanders has listed dozens of ways our stoogeocrats in Ottawa have kowtowed and played subserviant roles to and are guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal empire over several decades of phony majority rule and sharing power between the two old line parties in this frozen Puerto Rico. Liberal, Tory, it's the same old story, and there's not a ray of sunshine between 'em.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 19 February 2008 07:30 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:
Despite this admission, most Canadians remain ignore of our role in Iraq.
And because of the complicity of the media and the parties of the "left", Canadians can be forgiven for their ignorance.

What is unforgivable is for supposedly progressive Canadians, when made aware of the facts, to join in on the deception of the public as to Canada's supposed "neutrality" or even "opposition" to the Iraq war.

It's myth-mongering at its worst.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 19 February 2008 08:20 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Amen
From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 19 February 2008 02:28 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
And because of the complicity of the media and the parties of the "left", Canadians can be forgiven for their ignorance.

Ya, no more warmongering Liberal plutocrats.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 19 February 2008 07:11 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:

That is a "major victory" for the Liberal Party PR machine!

That is a "major victory" for the those who want the Liberals to be seen as a party that opposed the war when it actually supported it in numerous significant ways!

Yeah, vote Liberal!


Your baiting style detracts from the value of your research. What don't you just give that up, please, it's immature and unimpressive.

I disagree with your assessment of what is a victory and what is a defeat for the peace movement. If you can't handle that disagreement without name-calling - well, keep trying.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 20 February 2008 08:20 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry, but when the successful Liberal government PR campaign — that was clearly designed to deceive Canadians by covering up the government's role in the Iraq war — was described as a "major success for the peace movement," I could not help but become a bit sarcastic.

I readily admit to this crime of sarcasm.

Actually, sarcasm can be a serious health hazard. It can cause much stress for those engaged in my profession. (I'm an antiwar researcher/writer.)

As such, sarcasm is — in fact — an occupational hazard for which I should rightly receive copious amounts of government compensation. But alas, being self-employed, I cannot even dream of receiving such payment for this workplace hazard.

I also confess that my recent bout of debilitating sarcasm (which, you are correct, is a serious impediment to my writing abilities) was brought on when I read that my serious efforts to expose Canadian complicity in Iraq War were said to be "counterproductive" to the peace movement.

This is the same peace movement that has supposedly benefitted so greatly from the previously-mentioned "major success" of having the Canadian government proclaim that it wasn't involved in the Iraq war, when in fact it was (and is) a significant participant.

I should perhaps join a Canadian union that does all of the following:

(1) manufacturers weapons systems for use in the Iraq war,
(2) criticises the Iraq war,
(3) congratulates the Canadian government for not joining the Iraq war,
(4) encourages Canadians to vote strategically (for the Liberal Party).

Then, I might be able to receive workers compensation for the debilitating disease with which I am afflicted, "repetitive sarcasm disorder."*

* I am surprised to find that the Google search engine finds no reference, not even one, to the phrase "repetitive sarcasm disorder." I would therefore like to claim credit for the creation of this new term, if not for the discovery of a new health disorder. No doubt, my check for this is in the mail, along with my "workers' comp" payment.

[ 20 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 20 February 2008 11:57 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An article by Anthony Fenton in the New Socialist (Fall 2007) is now online.

The article is called: "Canada in Iraq: Dedication to the war of terror."

Here's a taste:
"There is growing (but still insufficiently
organized) opposition to Canada’s role
in Afghanistan, and there is a growing
network of Haiti solidarity activists. But
little attention is being paid to Canada’s
role in Iraq. A look at the readily available
facts shows that Canada is complicit in
Iraq and that vocal and explicit opposition
to this is necessary."

Fenton concludes by saying:
"The extent of Canadian complicity
in the most horrific and brutal military
intervention in this young 21st century
is probably far greater than we realize.
By acknowledging this and incorporating
this understanding into a broader
anti-war strategy, the Canadian Left will
take an important step forward in the
protracted confrontation over Canada’s
increasingly ugly role in the world."

Download the magazine containing this article


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 20 February 2008 01:50 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From Fenton's article:
quote:
The day after Cellucci’s comments were publicized, Canadian officials disclosed that Canadian soldiers were in Iraq serving on exchange with British and US units. At the time NDP leader Jack Layton called for the withdrawal of Canadians from Iraq and said “that Canadians are complicit as a result, and our government is complicit.”

Later in 2003, when it was announced that MG Devlin’s predecessor Brigadier-General Walt Natynczyk “will become one of the most senior officers of the coalition force fighting in Iraq,” Layton proclaimed, “That’s quite shocking ... When it comes to having someone in charge of thousands and thousands of troops in a war which is illegal and should never have happened ... this makes us complicit in the unilateral philosophy of George Bush and his administration.”


How very counterproductive of him!

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 21 February 2008 02:36 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, very counterproductive indeed! It undermines the basic NDP position that it had won a major victory for the peace movement by pressuring the Liberal government to keep Canada out of the Iraq war.

"Canada made the correct decision on helping George Bush invade Iraq. We said no – and Jack Layton and the NDP played a big role."

"Only the NDP consistently said Mr. Chrétien was right on Iraq."
[Jack]

"We kept Canada out of the Iraq War together."
[Jack speaking to the CLC convention]

"Canada refused to participate in George Bush’s War in Iraq."
[Jack's speech to the NDP Federal Council]

The weirdest offshoot of this myth-promoting NDP position was that if voters wanted to support Liberal PM Chretien, they should vote NDP.

"If you think Jean Chrétien made the right call on Iraq, vote for the NDP that supported him."
[Jack]

Now if we are looking for something truly counterproductive, I think we've found it!

The Liberal response was no doubt to smile and say:
"Why not just eliminate the NDP middleman, and vote Liberal in the first place. We'll give you all the phoney peace victories you apparently want."


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 21 February 2008 03:55 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think Canada exporting natural resources south of the border is a huge assistance to U.S. worldwide aggression and domination.

In fact, my research indicates we were already engaged in such exports while the U.S. was invading Vietnam, bombing Cambodia, blockading Cuba, persecuting gays and lesbians, maintaining one of the world's highest rates of capital punishment, and denying essential health to millions of its citizens.

The conclusion is clear: Individual Canadians, through their wilful blindness in electing one pro-U.S. Canadian government after another, are personally complicit in all acts of U.S. aggression and repression. I am actually - right this moment - feeling intense guilt pangs, just to the left of the solar plexus, for the very existence and persistence of the capitalist system everywhere.

Next to these monstrous crimes of which Canada stands condemned and convicted, it is truly difficult to imagine what point there is to mobilizing public opinion (for example) for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Sure, the soldiers will come home - but the remaining U.S. and NATO troops may still be munching on Nanaimo bars and tourtières, so what the hell will we really truly have accomplished?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
triciamarie
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posted 21 February 2008 06:37 AM      Profile for triciamarie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not to mention Agent Orange.

If the pacifist Mennonite production workers in Elmira, Ontario had been given the knowledge that they were manufacturing chemical weapons for US troops in Vietnam, they would have walked out. Production would have been affected. The public would have been alerted to Canada's complicity.

Bricks may have been laid along an alternate path for Canada - US relations.

The difficulty with Afghanistan and Iraq currently is that people can't tell them apart. The vaunted party line is that Canada stood up to the US on Iraq, so therefore, what we're doing in the region must be peacekeeping, or peacemaking -- not fighting a US proxy war, and those who say so are probably just anti-capitalist US-haters. The thinking is, it's a tragedy that our soldiers have to die for this but we are maintaining our proud Canadian role in the world.

[ 21 February 2008: Message edited by: triciamarie ]


From: gwelf | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 21 February 2008 08:24 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
Sure, the soldiers will come home - but the remaining U.S. and NATO troops may still be munching on Nanaimo bars and tourtières, so what the hell will we really truly have accomplished?
Not just Nanaimo bars and tourtières, of course, but helicopters, tanks, and other armaments. Meanwhile, you'd be breaking out the champagne and congratulating the Canadian government on its commitment to world peace.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 21 February 2008 08:26 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by triciamarie:
The difficulty with Afghanistan and Iraq currently is that people can't tell them apart.

Really?

quote:
The vaunted party line is that Canada stood up to the US on Iraq, so therefore, what we're doing in the region must be peacekeeping, or peacemaking -- not fighting a US proxy war, and those who say so are probably just anti-capitalist US-haters.

So, if we just keep bringing forward more examples of Canadian complicity in Iraq - Canadians will connect the dots and demand that we get out of Afghanistan?

Hmm, gotta think that one over.

Wait a sec - every poll I've seen says Canadians want out of Afghanistan already. It's only the Conservatives and Liberals that haven't figured that out.

Now I'm really confused.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 21 February 2008 08:36 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
...it is truly difficult to imagine what point there is to mobilizing public opinion (for example) for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The point? It's certainly not to save a handful of Canadian lives, or to "support the troops".

It's to end an illegal military intervention in a civil war, in support of a corrupt neoliberal regime, and to expose our government's role in extending the long arm of imperialism on Afghanistan and around the world.

I think it's more important to mobilize public opinion around those truths than around myths and lies of the Canadian ruling class as a benevolent force for world peace, proudly abstaining from the imperialist "war on terror".


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 21 February 2008 08:45 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
I think it's more important to mobilize public opinion around those truths than around myths and lies of the Canadian ruling class as a benevolent force for world peace, proudly abstaining from the imperialist "war on terror".

Yeah, I agree, but that's not the dichotomy. Can't we mobilize people against Canada's participation in the Afghan war and occupation without praising Jean Chrétien or perpetuating mythology about Lester Pearson?

More importantly, is it really not essential to spend more time and effort getting Canada to quit the Afghan war than in calling on people to hit the streets to fire some guy called Natanczyk or whatever???


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 21 February 2008 09:00 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
Can't we mobilize people against Canada's participation in the Afghan war and occupation without praising Jean Chrétien or perpetuating mythology about Lester Pearson?
I happen to think we can mobilize against the Afghanistan war and at the same time condemn Jean Chrétien and debunk the myths about Lester Pearson.

Some people, however, think that's very counterproductive.

I think these are all complementary strategies for the anti-imperialist left.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 21 February 2008 09:08 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
I happen to think we can mobilize against the Afghanistan war and at the same time condemn Jean Chrétien and debunk the myths about Lester Pearson.

Some people, however, think that's very counterproductive.

I think these are all complementary strategies for the anti-imperialist left.


All right, all right, all right - I agree.

I've been arguing some point to death until I realized that I don't really agree with my own point.

I think what stuck in my craw was when Richard didn't seem to care about the role played by McLaughlin and the NDI and various ideologues, essentially saying: "That's not my project!", and then harping on about the "Liberals" - who of course were pro-U.S. warmongers all along, as Afghanistan showed clearly. I didn't like the partisan flavour to his comments, and I still don't.

But that got me making an argument I don't really believe in.

So there. You're right, I'm wrong. How much do I owe you?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
triciamarie
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posted 21 February 2008 09:26 AM      Profile for triciamarie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Wait a sec - every poll I've seen says Canadians want out of Afghanistan already. It's only the Conservatives and Liberals that haven't figured that out.

So this would apply predominantly to the ones who "support our troops", i.e. those that Harper is playing to and counting on to elect his next government.

I do run into a lot of confusion though even with people who don't like to see us over there. People know that Canadian soldiers are dying and most of us realize it's in Afghanistan. But a lot of us have no idea what it is we're even supposed to be doing there, except that it's in context of the same, vague, middle east /terrorism problem wherein Chretien said no to Bush on Iraq. That is a contradiction and I think on a very basic level it finds some resolution in that comfortable, durable old informing myth of Canadian neutrality.

That's sort of the picture I get from talking to people, deep in social conservative territory where I live and work. Not sure how much of that would be captured in the polls but it makes me nervous because all it would take is a few good atrocity stories and a lot more of us could end up voting to support our troops. But if it were to become clear that there is currently Canadian involvement in Iraq, that would solidify an "anyone but Harper" vote in the next election. He'll go down in flames with Bush. Could be a Bob Rae scenario.

Interesting that the Bloc is now putting it out there that they are the only party that can effectively represent the interests of Quebecois on Afghanistan. I think they're right and I believe our military involvement anywhere in the world is a national issue for Quebec, given the high proportion of Canadiens francais in the armed forces.


From: gwelf | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 22 February 2008 11:30 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

All right, all right, all right - I agree.

I've been arguing some point to death until I realized that I don't really agree with my own point.

I think what stuck in my craw was when Richard didn't seem to care about the role played by McLaughlin and the NDI and various ideologues, essentially saying: "That's not my project!", and then harping on about the "Liberals" - who of course were pro-U.S. warmongers all along, as Afghanistan showed clearly. I didn't like the partisan flavour to his comments, and I still don't.

But that got me making an argument I don't really believe in.


Unionist's has made a powerful admission here and it needs to be acknowledged and appreciated. It isn't easy to admit that one was wrong.

It is also an important lesson about the value of argumentation.

Sometimes it is only when we are forced to actually argue our position that we realise that our ideas are inaccurate, contradictory or untenable.

I think that sometimes we can be drawn along to argue something because we want to side with others in a public debate, or side against certain others, or because there is something in the style of the person you are arguing against that sticks in your craw even though you actually agree with them on the point at hand.

As for my flaws, it seems that it may have appeared that I was antiLiberal.
Gee, how could anyone get that idea?

As for the NDP, Unionist said I should have included a critique of the role played by NDP luminaries in certain aspects of the Iraq occupation.

I then merely explained that my article focused on the Canadian government's military role in the Iraq war.

I strongly agree that we need to examine the NDP luminaries's roles in the "democracy promotion" dimensions of the Iraq occupation.

I didn't include that stuff in my article for the same reason I didn't include Canada's general industrial contributions to American capitalism.

I believe it is better to be as focused as possible and to examine the best examples of the problem at hand, namely -- in this case -- Canadian military participation in Iraq.

This focus is necessary in this case because it was this military participation that our government was vehemently denying while so much blatant evidence was available to the contrary.

I do think it is particularly important for the left to examine the current NDP leadership's statements which bolster the Canadian government's lie that it did not join the Iraq War.

That is exactly why I went on in subsequent postings to present evidence on the current NDP leadership's position and to strongly critique that position.

I have also emailed my article on Canada's role in Iraq -- and my Babble critique of the NDP position -- to all NDP MPs.

Anyhow, I'm truly sorry if I had any role in prolonging Unionists' painful conversion to the straight and true path. I'm glad we're all on track now on this issue. Let's proceed by taking the mythical bull by the horns and wrestle it down, or get gored to death in the process.

But more importantly right now, let's have a round of applause and offer our thanks to Unionist for his honest admission.

And, for once, I am not being sarcastic. (Really!)

[ 22 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slumberjack
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posted 22 February 2008 12:29 PM      Profile for Slumberjack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
So there. You're right, I'm wrong. How much do I owe you?

No, you were right all along, just loosing sight of the end game momentarily. I agreed with Richard as well, but took issue with several aspects of his commentary. It doesn't mean the obvious truths become meaningless, only common ground.


From: An Intensive De-Indoctrination, But I'm Fine Now | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 22 February 2008 01:12 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:

I do think it is particularly important for the left to examine the current NDP leadership's statements which bolster the Canadian government's lie that it did not join the Iraq War.


I think it's great that you're uncovering the stoogeocracy's under the radar role in Iraq. But Canada was always complicit with American imperialism in general. We've had an NDP MLA's wife sue the CIA and Washington over illegal and immoral mind control experiments performed in this country with tacit approval of the old line parties in government at the time. US imperialism and the dirty rotten things they've done are not news to the left in Canada. The NDP just doesn't have the resources to focus on attacking Canada's long-time largest trading partner in crime. I think you should focus on exposing those in power and politicos who've made all of the high level decisions in Ottawa not the fourth political party and effective opposition NDP with 30 seats and deserving of 55 if our's was a modern democracy. I never shoot at fawns or yearlings when hunting deer because it's just not good sportsmanship besides other things. Keep your eyes peeled for the buck in the brush, Richard.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 22 February 2008 01:34 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I think it's great that you're uncovering the stoogeocracy's under the radar role in Iraq. But Canada was always complicit with American imperialism in general. We've had an NDP MLA's wife sue the CIA and Washington over illegal and immoral mind control experiments performed in this country with tacit approval of the old line parties in government at the time.
That's no reflection on the NDP. She was a personal victim of the experiments who just happened to be married to a politician.
quote:
US imperialism and the dirty rotten things they've done are not news to the left in Canada.
But Canadian imperialism always seems to come as a great shock to some of the "left" in Canada. They have such a hard time imagining that Canada might actually be giving material aid and knowhow to support the Iraq war, even when confronted with the smoking-gun evidence.

Their eyes are blinded by crude nationalism.

quote:
The NDP just doesn't have the resources to focus on attacking Canada's long-time largest trading partner in crime.
If they have the "resources" to congratulate themselves on having persuaded the Liberals to stay out of the war in Iraq, they have the resources to tell the truth about Canada's real role in assisting the US in the war.

It's not a matter of resources. It's a matter of peddling mythology as truth.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 22 February 2008 01:46 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:

It's not a matter of resources. It's a matter of peddling mythology as truth.


No, Jack Layton and the NDP were successful in lobbying the weak and ineffective Liberal stoogeocrats in preventing Canadian soldiers being sent to Iraq. Period. That's a fact.

Here's an alternative: Start up your own political party and decide how much of your time and precious resources should be spent on exposing the military-industrial complex. It's a very large issue, and Richard is chiselling away at the tip of an iceberg. I think it's great, but do I think this issue is going to move Canadians to vote against the stoogeocracy in large numbers? No, but Canadians should be made aware of it anyway. The NDP can't be focussed on running down every story on Can-Am imperialism and expect to remain the fourth political party and effective opposition in Ottawa.

[ 22 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 22 February 2008 02:10 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
The NDP can't be focussed on running down every story on Can-Am imperialism and expect to remain the fourth political party and effective opposition in Ottawa.
Such lofty ambitions! To remain the fourth political party! My head is swimming at the thought.

The duty of the opposition is to oppose. This includes exposing the government's complicity in the unpopular Iraq war.

If you think that won't win votes, well, maybe you're right. But why should the NDP be constantly guided by political opportunism rather than telling the truth?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 22 February 2008 08:19 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The CCF-NDP have pointed j'accuse fingers at everyone from Adolf Hitler to Brian Mulroney to the Libranos to George Bush over the years. They're all the same guy just different faces. The NDP have learned several things since, and one of them is that we need electoral reform and democracy in general. People just aren't listening to politicians anymore, and the large minority who do vote in the government tend to search high and low for reasons to vote Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat. Any lame reason will do. Smart lefties either vote Kucinich, NDP, Nader, Marxist, or not all. Voting is a lesson in frustration for the large majority of FPP voters in North America because our dated electoral system is a charade favouring an all-powerful plutocracy. And if you think you have a plan to win this political shell game, then by all means, start your own left-wing party and get us to the promised land asap.

Anyway, I think the more MP's a party has elected, the more funding the party receives for research. The NDP is the fourth political party and should be third if advanced democracy was the rule in this Northern colonial outpost. But we're stuck with an absolete, vote-distorting FPP system scrapped by over 70 countries decades ago.

[ 22 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 23 February 2008 04:25 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A few points re: what Fidel is saying:

(1) NDP bashing: 99% of my work time is spent opposing the war machine and what Fidel calls its "stoogocrats" (who in Canada work for and support the two big parties). The other 1% of my time is split betwixt a number of things, only one of which is critiquing the NDP. As an NDP member, I have a right to try to influence my party, and ocasionally to do it publicly. The "influence operation" here is to try to help them/us change an incorrect policy that undermines their/our efforts. Therefore the purpose of the change is to help them/us win more seats. Most Canadians are against the War in Iraq. If it became clear that the NDP was really opposed to the war, whereas the twofaced Liberals only give lip service to that opposition, then the NDP would gain more votes.

(2) Resources: The NDP has a million times more resources than we do. The information about Canada's role in Iraq is readily available. My first article on the subject was published in the Globe and Mail in March 2003! So, how hard should it be for the NDP to figure out that the Liberals were lying. I think they knew this but thought it better to score political points by saying they helped sway the Liberals to their (supposed) decision to refuse support for the war. And, the Iraq war is not just any old story that the NDP should or shouldn't follow, it is a HUGE story.

(3) Wife: She was an NDP MPs wife, not an MLA's wife. Her name was Velma Orlikow and her husband was David.

And here's a related one for you trivia buffs: Mila Mulroney's father (Dr. Pivnicki) worked with Dr. Ewen Cameron (the CIA-paid, mind-control mad scientist) on related MKULTRA projects!


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 23 February 2008 04:40 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:

(3) Wife: She was an NDP MPs wife, not an MLA's wife. Her name was Velma Orlikow and her husband was David.

We knew her as Val Orlikow - that's what Dave called her anyway. It was such a tragic situation.


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Fidel
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posted 23 February 2008 06:43 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:
(2) Resources: The NDP has a million times more resources than we do.!

I was under the impression that annual research budgets for federal parties are proportional to and increase with the number of MP's a party elects, but don't quote me. Funny that we don't elect MP's proportionally though. So I'm thinking that if someone wants to start a new anti-war, anti-USSA party and try to get a minimum number of MP's elected in achieving party status with associated research budget, I think it would be a great idea. All the power to them, I say.

And you're right, David Orlikow was an NDP MP. It's all there and more in the "dirty rotten" link above and more. Iraq is but one of dozens of dirty wars our largest trading partners in crime have waged on poor countries from last century to this one. Your revelations concerning Canada's aiding and abetting the vicious empire in Iraq is certainly news to me. But it's nothing new to the overall picture and scheme of things, imo, Richard. Canada is just a northern colony, a repository of unparalleled natural wealth for corporate America to raid at will. I am not under the illusion that our's is a sovereign country separate and distinct from a large and powerful republic to the south of us. We don't even have a national dental officer let alone a made in Canada national energy plan.

Perhaps Canadians are as misled today as they were about Ottawa's compliance with an immoral war in Vietnam in the 60's and 70's. Do they even care to know? Are they listening, do you think? I think the NDP is fighting for something even more basic to democracy than exposing Ottawa's long-time colonial outpost role within a vicious empire.

[ 23 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 23 February 2008 08:33 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And this is 110 percent old line stoogeocracy complicity in the Iraq-Afghanistan wars of conquest, not Canada's and definitely not the fourth party ie. effective opposition NDP party.

I just thought we should make it absolutely clear as day as to exactly which two old line party stoogeocracies were in power or sharing power with the other at any given time of complicity to the vicious empire's imperial ambitions, whether we're talking about this century or the last one. Pressuring the Libranos into not sending Canadian troops to Iraq is not complying with imperialism.

[ 23 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 24 February 2008 04:13 AM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Pressuring the Libranos into not sending Canadian troops to Iraq is not complying with imperialism.

I agree with Fidel up to his last line, which--if I understand correctly--I think reveals the myth trying to rear its ugly head again.

Surely by helping to cover up the government's complicity in that war, the NDP *is* complying with imperialism, isn't it?

In reality the Liberals actually *did* send troops to the Iraq war. (And, I believe at least five Canadian soldiers died while fighting there. Perhaps more since then. They don't get that much media time. Wonder why...)

And what about all the CF personnel aboard Canadian warships that protect the US warships like those massmurdering aircraft carriers etc? Don't we count them? And the CC-130 crews? and the AWACs guys? and the warplanners etc? And the generals that help order all the tens of thousands of US and British troops around? Perhaps all those Canadian CF personnel don't count as "troops." Perhaps because most of them didn't have their "boots on the ground."

Sure Canada could have sent *more* troops than we did, but we couldn't properly fight *two* US-led wars simultaneously now could we?

The Canadian government knows well the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu (5th century BC?)

In chapter one "Laying Plans" (verse 18-19) Tzu said:

"All warfare is based on deception."

"Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;
when using our forces, we must seem inactive.


"Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable"

Every Canadian comedian seems to feel it is necessary to have at least ten jokes in their repertoire ion order to help Sun Tzu out on this one. They bolster the myth that Canada's military is poorly equipped, underfunded and constantly needing a few extra billion dollars just to keep up with Liechtenstein. This is such BS. Canada is about 10th out of 200 countries in terms of how much money we actually give to our military. They distract us by looking at military spending as a percent of GNP etc. which would mean Israel spends more on their military than the US does. The US in fact spends as much as all the world's countries combined.

"when using our forces, we must seem inactive."
Example: Canada has been actively participating in the Iraq war from the start but pretends to have been uninvolved, and to still be "inactive" there. ie., we never sent troops and decided not to join, we stayed out, our hands are lily white.

Now some will argue that Sun Tzu meant that these deceptions were to be aimed at tricking the enemy, whereas these deceptive myths that I am talking about are used to deceive the Canadian public.

However, the Cdn public is the biggest potential enemy of our military. The public is afterall paying for the military and elects the politicians who hold the purse stings and tell the military where to go and what to do.

Therefore the public (including, of course, the public that belongs to the "left") is the target of deception campaigns too, as was made clear by that Canadian military-funded "influence operations" document that I quoted from in the last thread.

[ 24 February 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 February 2008 05:57 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Sanders:

In chapter one "Laying Plans" (verse 18-19) Tzu said:

"All warfare is based on deception."


I think if we were able to prove the NDP willingly deceived Canadians about any of those things, Richard, then maybe it could be said that the fourth political party in Ottawa played an accidental, minor role. I really don't think you'd be able to prove that even was the case.

It's not for lack of trying, but the NDP can't even find out what Canadian colonial administrators of the North American shadow government actually do with detainees in Afghanistan. Are we handing them over to USSA Central Army? Are they being sent to Gitmo Bay, Cuba for interrorgation and routine torture? And this is a war which Canada is directly involved in officially. I think the NDP is on the outside looking in on this and many other issues concerning Canada's subserviant role to US imperialism around the world. And I think the old line party stoogeocrats in power and sharing power in Ottawa for the last 140 consecutive years in a row without a break inbetween have witheld even more information than just that from the NDP and Canadian public over the years. Volunteering Canadian citizens for CIA mind control experiments, whether it was supplying a US shadow government with troops or Canadian technology, or allowing the Yanks to test nerve gas, agent organge-purple on Canadian citizens or whatever the case may have been at any given time since we helped out with the military-mercenary army invasion of Russia from 1919-1923 through to playing lap dogs to the USSA throughout a vicious cold war.

[ 24 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 February 2008 06:06 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
And I think the old line party stoogeocrats in power and sharing power in Ottawa for the last 140 consecutive years in a row without a break inbetween have witheld even more information than just that from the NDP and Canadian public over the years.

So, it's because the poor NDP couldn't get any "information" about what was happening in the world that Jack Layton unilaterally cancelled the call to get Canada out of NATO, right?

Can't blame him - the Liberals and Conservatives wouldn't tell him what was going on!!

You see, Richard, the story of the Canadian government's complicity in imperial marauding is not just a story of the "government" - and just focussing on that aspect may mislead, because it doesn't address the root causes which maintain similar policies regardless of change of government.

It's the entire Canadian political class which is complicit. Only individuals, from time to time, raise their voice, but sooner or later they are suppressed. Remember Svend?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 February 2008 06:12 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry, unionist, but this doesn't overrule the need to exercise democracy in Ottawa for the first time in 140 years. We change our underwear and socks everyday. Imagine the stench in Ottawa after 14 decades in a row of the same-old same-old.

I'm sure that if and when Richard can pin any of the blame for Canada's ongoing stoogeocracy and their compliance with USSA's imperialism, then we will be the first to know. I find it odd that someone believes Canada is suddenly compliant with USSA imperialism just since 2003 or so.

We've had colonial administrators in Ottawa for a lot longer than since just 2003, Richard.

[ 24 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 February 2008 06:17 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I'm sorry, unionist, but this doesn't overrule the need to exercise democracy in Ottawa for the first time in 140 years. We change our underwear and socks everyday. Imagine the stench in Ottawa after 14 decades in a row of the same-old same-old.

It may take the NDP in power federally to wake you up. Rae didn't, Doer doesn't, Calvert and Romanow and Blakeney and the rest...

If they can be so inconsistent in opposition, expect a clone of the Democratic/Liberal Party once they're in power.

UNLESS..., maybe, people stop blindly praising them every time they come up with a newly-hatched neo-con policy, and ONLY praise and encourage them when they do the right thing.

In short, Fidel... even though I love you... I blame you and other cheerleaders like you. Layton can support the Clarity Act, decide NATO just needs to be "transformed", call for tax cuts, say Afghanistan needs to be "debated" (as he did for the first 2.5 years of his leadership), support "tough on crime" and anti-youth social con measures, whatever - without a peep from the cheerleaders.

That's why I call them the "false friends" of the NDP. A true friend whispers a warning when s/he sees you marching off the cliff.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 February 2008 06:20 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whether it's a Liberal, Librano, or Conservative Party stoogeocracy licking Crazy George's combat boots, they've got to be cleaned out of Ottawa as an excercise in Democracy.

Ottawa's stoogeocracy is a lot older than 2003 and the Iraq-Afghanistan quagmire. This is par for the course for the stoogeocracy in Ottawa.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 February 2008 09:14 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

It may take the NDP in power federally to wake you up.


It's too late for some I suppose. We could never change old line party loyalties of the large minority of voting Canadians electing phony-majority and now phony-minority coalition stoogeocracy decade after decade.

Canadians need electoral reform first and foremost in order to clean the smiling white Liberals from power in Ottawa before we can even think about democracy in this frozen Puerto Rico. It would be a glorious day for democracy.

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close,like brothers
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Chorus
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever

[ 24 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard Sanders
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posted 25 February 2008 03:54 PM      Profile for Richard Sanders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I think if we were able to prove the NDP willingly deceived Canadians about any of those things, Richard, then maybe it could be said that the fourth political party in Ottawa played an accidental, minor role.
[ 24 February 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


I think my post must have been confusing. I'm sorry.

I agree that the NDP have played, at the very worst, an "accidental" or "minor role" in lending some limited support to the whole mess, by the mess, in this case, i mean the myth that Canada didn't join the war in Iraq, just as it lent credence to the myth that Canada din't join BMD.

The NDP leaders/policymakers didn't start these myths, though it seems that they fell for them.

I believe that NDPers, like everyone else in Canada, are subject to the same kinds of prevailing PR, propaganda and mythology that everyone else is subject to.

So many Canadians love to imagine the peaceloving qualities of our country, its government and people.

And of course this war-serving mythology, like so many other practical and psychological and logistical aspects of Canada's role in war and injustice have been going on since as long as there has been a Canada, or Canadians. I never said that Canadian duplicity, complicity and warmongering started in 2003. That would be just silly.

Surely we do have to be as aware as possible of how our own own actions -- or the actions of our friends and colleagues -- may be contributing to the "evils" that we deplore and rant and organize against.

This doesn't mean that we can ever be perfect. We can't help in this society to contribute to "evil" by buying certain products for instance, that are made by folks working for near slave wages. We presumably try to avoid such purchases, but we are all complicit in the "evils" that we hate, wherther we admit it or know it or not.

But when we buy some product with dubious origins surely we are not as culpable as the factory owner who started the whole operation, makes millions off it, buys the politicians who outlaw unions, or rents the thugs to beat up the unionizers, and dumps the toxins in the ground, etc etc..

However, that said, we still shouldn't buy the damned product, or support the deceptive myth, because to do so does helps to continue the business we are against and surely the more of us who say no and refuse to go along with the system, the better.

Similarly, if we -- or a party we vote for -- has a view or policy that wittingly or not supports some greater "evil" we should try our best to draw attention to the contradiction so that our friends and colleagues can do likewise. Perhaps then the party or its members at least might change and some positive effect may result. What else can we do?

Frankly though I just don't really get the argument going on between Fidel and unionist. I find I am agreeing with the main points being made by both "sides."

So... can't we all just get along, at least for the sake of some common task? I know there's a ton of common ground under us here, so rather than have us always looking for whatever little divisions or cracks there may be between us can't we instead just find some big ugly boulder that we can all agree should be pushed, and just get down to the hard work of pushing it? One boulder that I thought we could try to put our shoulders into and get rid of was this silly myth that Canada didn't join the Iraq war. It's an easy target, and in pushing at it we can expose other stuff along the way, stuff that unionist was wanting us to look at like the complicity of some lefties in the "democracy promotion" business in Iraq and like Fidel is wont to point out, the long history of Canadian complicity in warmongering. These are all noble obstaclesbut I just figure that when we are pushing against some obstacle it shouldn't be too big, or too slippery or too amorphous that we keep falling down all over ourselves, stepping on our own toes and arguing with each other about where the business end of the dang thing is to push on.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 25 February 2008 07:07 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I get the feeling this issue draws some parallels with prior NDP crusades, like the 1988 and '93 elections fought against FTA, GST and expanded trade talks with Washington. The popular vote in those two elections revealed that a large majority of Canadians voted against Brian Mulroney and for Chretien's anti-Mulroney Liberals. And it was a disappointing lesson in frustration both times. I have a strong feeling that focussing on anti-USA imperialism in Canada would be putting too many eggs and resources in one basket. Canadians have said they prefer minority government in Ottawa at the polls in 2006 and more recently by a national opinion poll.

I think what Canadians want and perhaps don't fully realize it yet is electoral reform. But would our two old line parties in Ottawa even trust Canadians with a national referendum on electoral reform, and with what would be just the fourth national referendum since 1898 ? That issue is high on the NDP's wish list in Ottawa.

But so far, the two old line parties are content with propping up each other on minor, less talked about issues in the news media, like: federal budgets, U.S.-style law and order, selling Canada's environment to Exxon-Imperial, and waging war in the Middle East and Central Asia. And when Dion or Harper do say something, the Liberal news media hang on their every word as if indulging in manna from heaven.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 01 March 2008 10:12 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced on February 29 that Canada will be next in the rotation to lead Combined Task Force 150, a naval coalition task force currently operating in the Middle East, from June until September 2008.

This deployment includes three Canadian warships and more than 850 sailors, soldiers and airmen and women. They will be assigned to "monitor shipping, and help detect, deter and protect against unauthorized activity."

Essentially this means acting as pirates in international waters, intercepting vessels, boarding, and searching them, with no legal authority whatsoever.

HMCS Iroquois, a destroyer, will act as the command platform for the task force. HMCS Calgary, a frigate, and HMCS Protecteur, an auxiliary oil replenishment ship will round out this fourth rotation of Operation Altair, "Canada’s contribution to the maritime portion of the global war on terrorism."

These ships will be replacing HMCS Charlottetown, which was sent to the Persian Gulf last November, to operate with the USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group, conducting "surveillance patrols" and "maritime interdiction operations".

-- Dept. of National Defence sources


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 13 June 2008 12:08 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Meet Canada's new Chief of Defence Staff:

With Harper's plans for more aggressive warfare in support of US world hegemony, this guy's experience in running the show in Iraq will come in real handy.

Natynczyk commanded ten brigades totalling 35,000 troops stationed throughout Iraq. When Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson gave Natynczyk Canada's Meritorious Service Cross, her office extolled his "pivotal role in the development of numerous plans and operations [which] resulted in a tremendous contribution to...Operation IRAQI FREEDOM..."

[ 13 June 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 14 June 2008 07:45 AM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great, not only a war monger, but an amerilackey as well. Where are the Dallaires in our forces.
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
contrarianna
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posted 14 June 2008 07:25 PM      Profile for contrarianna     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
Meet Canada's new Chief of Defence Staff:

Natynczyk commanded ten brigades totalling 35,000 troops stationed throughout Iraq. When Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson gave Natynczyk Canada's Meritorious Service Cross, her office extolled his "pivotal role in the development of numerous plans and operations [which] resulted in a tremendous contribution to...Operation IRAQI FREEDOM..."



Ah yes, I almost forgot, "Operation Iraqi Freedom". what a proud role for Canada---more medals please!

"Operation Iraqi Freedom". It somehow has a pleasanter ring than.. oh, say, "Operation Slavery, Slaughter, Deceit, Coerced PERMANENT Occupation and Imperialism"

======================
Published on Friday, June 13, 2008 by Inter Press Service
"Bush Pledges on Iraq Bases Pact Were a Ruse
by Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON - Two key pledges made by the George W. Bush administration on military bases in its negotiations with the government of Iraq have now been revealed as carefully-worded ruses aimed at concealing U.S. negotiating aims from both U.S. citizens and Iraqis who would object to them if they were made clear.

Recent statements by Iraqis familiar with U.S. demands in negotiations on the U.S.-Iraq “strategic framework” agreement have highlighted the fact that administration promises that it would not seek “permanent bases” or the use of bases to attack Iran or any other neighbouring countries were deliberately misleading. The wording used by the Bush administration appears to have been chosen to obscure its intention to have both long-term access to Iraqi bases and complete freedom to use them to launch operations against Iran and Syria....."
Canada's Master


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