US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group arrives in Halifax as part of Canada 150

Militarization of Canada’s ports – outrageous promotion of annexation with U.S., NATO, “interoperability” with U.S. war fleet and racist militias | TONY SEED

From top to bottom, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the USS Winston S. Churchill and the HMCS Moncton conduct what the U.S. Navy terms a photo exercise, on the way into the harbour of Halifax, June 27, 2017.

“The U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower and two support ships are arriving today,” the Halifax Examiner reported on June 28. “The Pilotage Authority says the aircraft carrier will be parked at Anchorage #1, which is just north of McNab’s Island, but I’ve also been told that the ship will be anchored south of the island, near [Canadian Forces Base] Shearwater, so we’ll see, I guess. The other ships will berth at the Dockyard,” the reporter wrote.

This is how the Trudeau Liberals outrageously celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation – with the militarization of Canada’s ports, the promotion of “interoperability” with the U.S. war fleet by the Canadian Forces, out-of-sight war exercises held offshore, an attack by thugs on a Mi’kmaq ceremony at the statue of the genocidaire Edward Cornwallis, and an invitation-only reception for the ruling elite of Nova Scotia hosted by the U.S. Consul held onboard the carrier in the harbour hailing the U.S. Fourth of July a week later.

As a reminder. although its own history opened with an anti-colonial war, it was not long before the United States itself embarked on a policy of aggression. American history is replete with wars of conquest and crimes, instances of cynical violation of other peoples’ rights and interests, and interference in the affairs of other states under all manner of pretexts.

As early as the War of Independence, the USA began to display a drive for self-aggrandizement and territorial expansion; a central American aim was the annexation of Canada, which contained several British colonies at the time. In September 1774, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia invited four delegates from Nova Scotia and issued an address “To the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec.” Within a year, it decided to invade and annex Canada. Two American armies, one led by General Benedict Arnold, invade Quebec hoping to make it the 14th colony in the simmering rebellion against the English crown. However, the Québecois are not persuaded by the American propaganda or military efforts, and a combined British force turns the invaders back before reaching Québec City on New Year’s eve. It was one of the more amazing and disastrous decisions in American history. At the peace talks with Britain, the USA, which originally consisted of 13 states, again demanded that Canada be joined to it as the fourteenth state. Expansionist theories received fresh nourishment for the argument that the Americans were on an exclusive road.

Even in this pre-imperialist era, the North American continent was the main scene of U.S. predatory wars in the 18th and 19th centuries. The U.S. expansion encountered heroic and just but sporadic resistance from the Indigenous Peoples, other neighbours who were weak militarily and economically, and European powers busy with their feuds. Within the first century of its independence, the USA widened its territory tenfold with relatively little war effort.

The annexation of Canada was a goal reaffirmed by the Anglo-American War of 1812 when American troops attempted to invade the territory of Upper Canada (Ontario) through the Niagara Peninsula, but failed.

On July 2, 1866, General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks (1816-1894) from Massachusetts introduced a bill (H. R. 754) that was passed by the U.S. Congress:

Mr. Banks, on leave, introduced the following bill: A Bill For the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia. … For the purpose of representation in the U.S. Congress, Prince Edward Island shall be part of Nova Scotia … Newfoundland will be part of Canada East (Quebec) (Source: United States Library of Congress, Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library)

The intent was that the United States would acquire all of what is now Canada.

The 1867 Confederation itself was an act of the British Imperial Parliament, in which sovereignty was not vested in the people but “the Crown” – a virtual colony. The new arrangement represented a nation-building project by the Anglo-Canadian bourgeoisie as a defence against the United States, a means to suppress Quebec and the Indigenous Peoples, and to create its own unified market for exploitation and plunder. In response, Minnesota Republican Senator Alexander Ramsey tabled a motion in the Congress on December 9, 1867, offering the Hudson’s Bay Company $46,000,000 for the northwest.

In acquiring Alaska from Tsarist Russia in 1867 for a song (the Alaska purchase), U.S. Secretary of State Seward started from the premise that Alaska was “a bridge to Asia,” (and from America to Europe) and the possession of Alaska would be a step towards domination of the Pacific Ocean. The Alaska boundary dispute, simmering since 1867, became critical when gold was discovered in the Yukon during the late 1890s and Canada wanted its own Pacific port connected to the gold fields. The dispute went to arbitration in 1903, with the American claims largely upheld as the British delegate sided with the Americans to preserve the British interest in a close relationship with the U.S.

Throughout the past 150 years of the Canadian state, the U.S. armed forces have developed extensive and detailed planning for the invasion and conquest of Canada, and organized repeated operational military manoeuvres aimed at Canada along the border on the basis of these plans. These secret plans originally identified the Upper St. Lawrence River – Kingston to Cornwall – as the most strategic point of attack on Canada. 

For example, in 1888, Prescott was identified as a key point of invasion. In 1893, the U.S. plan of attack recommended a sudden winter offensive and a crossing of the St. Lawrence to capture the Rideau Canal and Ottawa. In 1896, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy H. A. Herbert ordered Commodore Charles Gridley (of “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley,” fame in the Philippines) on a secret reconnaissance spy out Canadian defences and prepare a plan of invasion, with the mandate “to seek out 130 ships which, armed with guns and torpedoes, could seize control of Lake Erie, Ontario, Champlain and the upper St. Lawrence River.” He recommended that the attack start below Ogdensburg, near the present site of Fort Drum. This was to have been a surprise attack, even before a declaration of war, just as the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor. [1]

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most ardent adherents of this policy. As early as 1893 he revealed the plans of the American expansionists relative to Latin America, declaring: “I believe in ultimately driving every European power off of this continent, and I don’t want to see our flag hauled down where it has been hauled up.” [2] His business and private letters of this period are replete with mention of the annexation of Canada. “I earnestly hope,” he explicitly wrote in December 1895, eagerly expecting a war with Britain, “our government don’t back down. If there is a mess I shall try to have a hand in it myself! They’ll have to employ a lot of men just as green as I am even for the conquest of Canada; our regular army isn’t big enough.” [3] Roosevelt threatened military action against Canada during the 1895-96 Venezuela crisis and the 1897 Alaska border dispute. He first established the military base at Fort Drum strategically located in Upper New York State near Ogdensburg, approximately 30 miles from Canada and directly south of Montreal.

A 1924 draft of the invasion plan stated frankly:

“Blue [U.S.] intentions are to hold in perpetuity all Crimson [Canadian] and Red [British] territories gained. The policy will be to prepare the provinces and territories of Crimson and Red to become states and territories of the Blue Union upon the declaration of peace. The Dominion government will be abolished…” [4]

War Plan RED

These plans were further expanded in the secret War Plan RED of 1930, which was not a document to be confined to a drawer nor a theoretical exercise in “defence” planning. They were accompanied by the physical expansion of American military facilities along the U.S.-Canadian border, such as Fort Drum. War Plan RED was highly classified and kept secret until 1974. Its existence has invariably been trivialized, marginalized or suppressed by the monopoly media and apologetic historians of both countries.

In 1934, amendments to the plan were approved by the U.S. Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy authorizing the destruction of Halifax, Montreal and Quebec City by “Immediate air operations on as large a scale as practicable” and authorizing the immediate first-use of poison gas against Canadians in order to “increase our advantages and hasten the successful ending of the war.”

In 1934, amendments to the plan were officially approved by the U.S. Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley and the U.S. Secretary of the Navy Charles Francis Adams III . The amendments authorized the destruction of Halifax, Montreal and Quebec City by “Immediate air operations on as large a scale as practicable” and authorized the immediate first-use of poison gas against Canadians in order to “increase our advantages and hasten the successful ending of the war.” One section of War Plan RED read as follows:

“…large parts of CRIMSON territory will become theaters of military operations with consequent suffering to the population and widespread destruction and devastation of the country…” [5]

The U.S. Army and Navy War Colleges continued working on invasion plans of Canada until at least 1939. By 1940 Halifax on the Atlantic Ocean was identified as a key strategic target in order to deny British forces a naval base in the North Atlantic. 

For example, for an “Overseas Expeditionary” Force to Capture Halifax from Red-Crimson Coalition” (Red Britain, Crimson Canada), was part of War Plan Red. 

Map of War Plan RED (click to enlarge). First, the US was to send its joint Army-Navy overseas force to capture the port city of Halifax, cutting Canada off from the Royal Navy and denying the British the major naval base on the North Atlantic. The U.S. was then to seize Canadian hydro-electric plants near Niagara Falls, so Canadians freeze in the dark. The U.S. Army would invade on three fronts – marching from Fort Drum in New York to take Montreal and Quebec, from North Dakota to grab the railroad centre at Winnipeg, and from the Midwest to capture the strategic nickel mines of Ontario. (Canada and Norway possessed the world’s supply of nickel.) In parallel, the U.S. Navy seizes the Great Lakes and blockades Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific ports. War Plan Red was officially withdrawn only in 1939 and then classified until 1974.

During and after World War II, occupation has continued from within, through annexation and now “integration,” using NATO, NORAD and over 200 specific “binational” military and police agreements, the full details of which are not fully known because those are strictly guarded military secrets, but even the little that has been made public and acknowledged by historians makes it clear that today the “defence” and “security” of Canada, which is portrayed as the defence of Fortress America, operates directly under the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM).

Nevertheless, in October 1970 the Nixon administration brought U.S. troops and armoured forces to the border and threatened to occupy Ottawa and Montreal. “At least that is what Canada’s director of RCMP counter-intelligence said in 1973 to the Toronto Star. An unnamed Canadian military officer confirmed the story. There have even been rumours that the U.S. put army and naval forces on alert for the 1980 sovereignty-association referendum in Quebec.” [6]

As recently as 1983, the Pentagon designated Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, which combines an airfield and a naval berth for U.S. nuclear submarines, as a forward deployment base for the “defence” of the U.S. homeland. U.S. military forces carried out innumerable exercises within and outside the harbour of Halifax, including the rehearsal of the 1984 illegal mining of the harbour of Nicaragua (“Operation Minex”) in the Bedford Basin and St. Margaret’s Bay, which was condemned by the International Court at the Hague. Shearwater, originally established as a U.S. military base in August 15, 1918,  is also the base for the Rapid Reaction Force launched under the Harper regime.

On December 1, 2004, George W. Bush surrounded by snipers spoke in but one Canadian city – Halifax – during his sole presidential visit to Canada, to candidly assert that this is where the defence of the Homeland began. He kindly affirmed that Canadians composed “one family” with the Americans – only to be vigorously condemned by 7,000 Nova Scotians – the largest political demonstration in the history of the province – who consider Canadians to be a distinct people who reject U.S. wars of aggression.

In 2014 the Canadian-U.S. military “Exercise Stalwart Guardian” involving over 2,000 soldiers from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom was staged in the highly industrialized Niagara Peninsula near the U.S.-Canadian border from August 13–26. The Niagara Peninsula is the portion of Southern Ontario, Canada, that lies between the south shore of Lake Ontario and the north shore of Lake Erie and stretches from the Niagara River and the Welland Canal in the east to the city of Hamilton in the west. The population of the peninsula is some 1,000,000 people. The war game included a seizure of the Niagara airport and amphibious landings. [7]  Veteran military reporter David Pugliese reported in the Ottawa Citizen,

“This exercise will practice operations in urban and semi-urban areas, defence of vital points and resources, and the complex operating requirements of facing an opposing force ranging in scope from combat elements to aggressive protesters.” [8]

Yes, there is not a single day of the year that U.S. forces are not exercising within Canada.

The “tall ship”

The Chilean sailing ship La Esmeralda has also arrived once again in Halifax as part of the “tall ships” spectacle. In 2015, the Guardian, a newspaper published in Britain, reported that during the Pinochet years La Esmeralda was a torture prison:

“A series of human rights reports, including those by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organisation of American States, Amnesty International, the U.S. Senate and the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, record that in the autumn of 1973 the ship was used to detain and torture victims of the Pinochet regime, who included a British-Chilean priest, Father Michael Woodward.

“They detail how the vessel was berthed in the port of Valparaíso, following Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’état. A 1986 U.S. Senate report suggested that as many as 112 people were detained, of whom 40 were women. Rape, the use of electric shocks, mock executions and beatings were reportedly used on the ship. Also on board was Woodward, who, having been tortured onshore, was taken off the vessel for treatment at a naval hospital, but died of his injuries in transit. His remains are allegedly buried in a mass grave under a road.

“Claudio Correa, a former Chilean government official who lives in London, was held on the ship with Woodward. He told the Observer that he was transferred from a military academy to La Esmeralda where specialist teams were employed to torture its occupants over several days. ‘They tortured people with no sentiment,’ he said. ‘They were enjoying it.’

”A Facebook campaign has been set up urging people to protest against the vessel’s arrival in London and other European ports. One protester called Carolita explains that its continued use ‘reaffirms the Chilean navy’s lack of respect for human rights and lack of remorse for actions that have been condemned around the world,} adding that ‘it is unjust to expect victims to forgive and forget when the perpetrators do not express regret and remorse.’”[9]

In 1976, when the U.S. Congress tried to reduce aid to his junta, President Ford approved a $9.2 million arms sale to the Chilean air force. In gratitude, Chile sent the Esmeralda – now a so-called “tall ship” used by the navy for training – to the U.S. bicentennial celebration that summer. The Esmeralda subsequently visited the Port of Halifax on at least three other occasions in 1984 and 2000 as part of its visits to U.S. ports. The Canadian Forces routinely participate in sabre-rattling U.S. naval exercises under the pretext of “inter-hemispheric solidarity” such as UNITAS, Op Caribe, Fairwinds and Panamax in South America and the Caribbean Sea which menace any government pursuing a course that Washington deems hostile.

Psychological operation

While the Examiner aptly expressed concern about the Chilean torture ship parading as a “tall ship,” the arrival of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower, which the media present as a “floating city,” is presented as admirable. Lest we forget, a U.S. naval fleet was stationed off the Pacific coastal city of Valparaíso (Valley of Paradise) on the Chilean coast providing logistical direction under the pretext of an annual exercise code-named UNITAS, in which the Canadian navy now also participates. [10]

Can it be coincidence that on July 1st, the Canadian Dominion Day, members of the U.S. racist militia Proud Boys, notorious for their violence and anti-people stands, launched a provocation against a noble and dignified ceremony held by Mi’kmaq women against the statue of Cornwallis, the British governor who issued a notorious scalping proclamation and since then has been heroized as the so-called “founder” of Halifax? The Mi’kmaq solemnly affirmed the striving of the Indigenous Peoples of their right to be. [11] Five freely identified themselves to the monopoly media as enlisted members of the Royal Canadian Navy and the sixth, the minder, who refused to identify himself, was presumably CSIS. In his apology, rear Admiral John Newton claimed that the Proud Boys’ “values run counter to those of the Canadian Armed Forces.” Presumably these same “values” allowed their reinstatement with impunity once the dust had settled, with the exception of one who left the forces.

It is no coincidence that on the evening of July 3rd, the U.S. Consul staged an invitation-only reception for leading members of the Nova Scotia governing elite to celebrate the “241st Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America” on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. It is very distressing to many Canadians to see invitees sharing white wine and canapés included the head of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the chief of the Halifax Police and taking selfies like teens of war planes they clearly consider to be the heroes of modern American history. It brings the government no honour to portray instruments of war and conquest such as these as something to emulate.

Notes 

1. Floyd Rudmin, “Bordering on Aggression,” Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1993, page 20. 

http://peacemagazine.org/archive/v09n2p20.htm

2. The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, Vol. I, p. 313.

3. Ibid., p. 501.

4. Cited by Floyd W. Rudmin, Questions of U.S. Hostility Towards Canada: A Cognitive History of Blind-Eye Perception.

5. Richard Preston, The Defence of the Undefended Border: Plans for War in North America, 1867-1939.

6. Floyd W. Rudmin, “Bordering on Aggression,” Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1993, page 20. http://peacemagazine.org/archive/v09n2p20.htm. The article is a summary of a lecture presented on January 28, 1993 as one of Science for Peace’s Lectures in Peace Studies at the University College of the University of Toronto. The information for the lecture and for the summary comes from his book, Bordering on Aggression: Evidence of U.S. Military Preparations Against Canada, March, 1993, Voyageur Publishers, Hull, Quebec

7. Tony Seed, “Fortress America: When US troops exercise against ‘aggressive protesters’ in Canada.” Unpublished.

8. Ibid

9. Tim Bousquet, “The Shipping News: Morning File, Wednesday, June 28, 2017,” Halifax Examiner, June 28, 2017.

10. The Chilean navy formed the vanguard and strike force of the military blitzkrieg of the fascist putsch. Naval infantry began to occupy the Pacific coastal city of Valparaíso on the night of the tenth of September, as the first phase of Chile’s occupation by air, land, and sea. The United States had initiated the UNITAS naval maneouvres in 1959, precisely on the eve of the anti-imperialist revolution of the Cuban people, as an annual exercise with selected South American navies, along with forming the Conferences of Naval Chiefs of the Americas, to extend its “inter-American defence system” under the Organization of American States (OAS). It came to form a principal means to integrate the naval forces under U.S. Command and its policies and means of operation. The junta that deposed Salvador Allende boasted six graduates of the US School of the Americas (SOA), imbued with the American spirit and interest.

(Photos/graphics: U.S. Navy, Morning News, Zona Impacto) 

Original text TML Weekly Information Project, July 1, 2017 – No. 24. Expanded and revised by the author.

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