Remembrance Day: The Canadian people say ‘Never again!’ Harper says ‘Again and again!’

Each year from November 9-11, the Harper dictatorship steps up its rhetoric promoting aggressive war. This will again be the case when the government makes its annual statement on November 11. The disinformation begins with euphoric reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in order to hide the fact it continued the resurrection of a re-armed Germany with the Nazi-supporting corporate monopolies restored to power, and then ramps up from there, culminating in ceremonies on Remembrance Day, November 11. Conspicuous by its absence is any reference to November 9 as the anniversary of Crystal Night when the Nazis announced to the world their intention to exterminate the Jews. The aim of the pro-war rhetoric is diametrically opposed to the collective call of “Never Again!” by the world’s peoples after World War I and reiterated after World War II. It is not to honour the war dead with a commitment to assiduously oppose aggression and war as a means to resolving conflicts so that no more lives are lost, but to provide a rationale for the Harper government’s continuing commitment to aggressive war in the service of the monopolies and U.S. imperialism.

The Harper government has an established reputation as a war government. In 2003, while in opposition, the Harper Conservatives openly supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Since coming to power in 2006, the Harper Conservatives have, among other things, expanded Canada’s involvement in one aggressive war, the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, and embroiled Canada in two further U.S.-led wars, the wrecking of Libya and the bombing of the sovereign nation of Syria under the hoax of fighting ISIS. The Harper government also unabashedly supports the Zionist regime in Israel, and does its best to whitewash the genocidal war crimes of the Zionists’ occupation of Palestine as “self-defence.” In that vein, the Harper government, which claims to oppose the Canadians going abroad to become “foreign fighters,” has no objection to the approximately 145 Canadians who have illegally enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces, because such activity serves its narrow agenda.[1]

To promote his warmongering cause, Harper has been cynically distorting events surrounding the recent tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.[2] Taking advantage of the fact that many people are disturbed by these events, Harper is using them to try to incite passions and fuel tensions, when what is required is to go objectively into the heart of the matter and appeal to all people to draw warranted conclusions and unite on that basis. The hard facts show that it is the actions of the Harper government both at home and abroad which pose the greatest danger to society at this time, not those of a few marginalized individuals. The racist targeting of mentally ill and socially displaced people in the name of high ideals is the utmost barbarism.

In contrast to the disinformation of the Harperites, Nathan Cirillo’s own partner made a public statement on November 3 which drew attention to the role played in the events by Harper’s anti-social offensive which continues to decimate Canada’s social programs. She stated:

“What we SHOULD be talking about is the dismal state of mental healthcare in our country. What that deeply disturbed man killing my boyfriend SHOULD make Canadians focus on is how we can PREVENT another event like this through more accessible and effective mental health treatment programs that target the REAL source of this tragedy.”

The pro-Harper monopoly media immediately tried to discredit her statement by calling it “emotional.”

In light of the Harper government’s fundamental disrespect for veterans in the past year, it hard to view its grandiloquence in memorializing these two soldiers with anything but utmost cynicism. How does one reconcile such high-sounding words with the government’s anti-social offensive that includes cuts to Veterans Affairs and the neglect and mistreatment of those who return from deployment with deep physical and psychological wounds? The message seems to be, the only good soldiers are the ones who either return unscathed or in body bags.

Image posted to Facebook group for Canadian Veterans Advocacy, October 25, 2014 (Click to enlarge)

In addition to its warmongering approach to Remembrance Day, the Harper dictatorship has been creating a cross-Canada jingoistic campaign which was exemplified in the 2011 Remembrance Day speech by Jason Kenney, then Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Kenney’s speech was mainly a presentation of a chronological list of wars, almost all of which, with the exclusion of the Second World War, were wars of aggression. In his list of unjust wars to “commemorate” on Remembrance Day, Kenney included the colonialist government’s crushing of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, the Boer Wars which attempted to consolidate British colonial power in southern Africa, the First World War which was mainly a war to redivide the world among the imperialist states, the Korean war which was U.S.-led aggression against the people of Korea, and the ongoing U.S.-led criminal aggression against the people of Afghanistan. This disinformation and distortion of history by claiming that unjust wars are really just wars is very deliberate.

There is no doubt that the rendering of Remembrance Day most supported by the Canadian people, including the veterans, is the honouring of the members of the armed forces who died defending the people, in order to emphasize the need for peace and to highlight the aim of humanity to put an end to aggressive war. The Canadian people are against war. But the Harperites’ Remembrance Day is in the service of war, not peace. The main aspect of its disinformation is to conflate the just anti-fascist cause of World War II – in which the world’s people, led by the Soviet Union, defeated the Nazis and their allies — with all the wars in which Canada has fought. The Harper dictatorship’s sinister aim in all this is to glorify the use of military force as a means of settling disputes in the world. While the sentiment of the Canadian working class and people, many of whose family members made the supreme sacrifice to defeat the Hitlerites and their allies, is “Never again,” the Harper government’s aim is “Again and again” in support of U.S. imperialism’s endless wars and quest for world domination.

To boot, the Harper government wants to rehabilitate the memory of Nazi war criminals by building an anti-communist monument in their memory in Ottawa.[3] It all underscores the cynical abuse of Remembrance Day and the sacrifice of those who died in the fight against fascism by the Harper government for its nefarious ends.

Today, the Harperites continue to beat the drums of aggressive war against Syria and Iraq. Six warplanes were recently sent to the Middle East. This shows that in their service to the monopolies and the U.S. imperialists, the Harperites will pursue the further pointless sacrifice of Canadian forces personnel and contribute to the slaughter of the people of any sovereign countries which the U.S. imperialists decide should be invaded. But contrary to what Harper is saying, the violation of international law abroad and the violation of rights at home through more draconian “security” laws will not make Canadians any safer. The Canadian people, who oppose aggressive war, must continue to oppose Harper’s agenda and call for disputes among nations to be settled by peaceful means. They must continue to work hard to prevent future aggressive adventures by organizing themselves to form an anti-war government. The upcoming federal election will be an excellent opportunity to put forward and act on the slogan, “Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!”

Endnotes

1. The 721 brave Canadians who died in the Spanish Civil War “illegally” fighting fascism and Nazism prior to the outbreak of the Second World War are not included in the Books of Remembrance in the Peace Tower and their sacrifice is not commemorated on federal war memorials or in Remembrance Day services.

2. The Armed Forces reported on November 10 that two of their locations have been named after the two soldiers tragically killed in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on October 20 and in Ottawa at the War Memorial on October 22.

“One of the locations of Air Task Force – Iraq (ATF-I) has been named Camp Vincent, in honour of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Warrant Officer Vincent. Likewise, the operations base of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) in Iraq is now called Patrol Base Cirillo, in honour of Corporal Cirillo, a Canadian Army Reserve soldier with The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada,” an Armed Forces press release informed.”

“The naming of Patrol Base Cirillo by members of the Special Operations Task Force — Iraq, and the naming of Camp Vincent by members of Air Task Force — Iraq, pays tribute to the loss of two Canadian Armed Forces members in recent weeks,” said Brigadier-General Michael Rouleau, Commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command.

“Camp Vincent honours a member who exemplified helping others as a member of the Joint Personnel Support Unit. PB CIRILLO honours a soldier who was standing guard protecting those who could no longer protect themselves and he sought no recognition for this service. The officers and troopers of CANSOFCOM felt an inherent link to our own identity in that sense. The naming of our PB and the air operations base honours the sacrifice of these two members and Canada’s commitment to confront threats to our nation.”

Meanwhile, in his Remembrance Day statement, Prime Minister Harper made a spurious link between the two killings in Canada and the Iraq mission and the so-called war on terror, to justify aggression abroad and the violation of rights at home: “The recent deadly attacks on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who were targeted simply because they proudly wore this uniform, only strengthens Canada’s resolve to keep fighting against those who would deny our liberties and freedoms, and who have a complete disregard for human lives.

“We can never repay the debt we owe to the intrepid men and women who paid for our freedom with their lives, but we can remember their enormous sacrifices and pay tribute to their bravery and patriotism. ‘Lest we forget.’”

3. See “Anti-Communist Crusade Promotes Cause of Nazi SS,” by Dougal MacDonald, TML Daily, May 29, 2014 – No. 57.

(Photos: TML, Canadian Veterans Advocacy, Indignants, K.J. Tarasoff)

Source: TML Daily

 

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Filed under Canada, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

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