Tag Archives: Jean Chrétien

The cartel parties have no remorse about Canada’s crimes after 9/11

After 20 years, they said we need to reflect

We are in the midst of the 6th federal election held since 9/11. The Chretien Liberals were in power in 2001 and it was on October 7 that the Prime Minister officially announced Canada’s participation in the so-called “war on terror,” with warships deployed from Halifax in mid-October and 40 members of the Joint Task Force, the army’s secret special forces unit being deployed in December. This was in the midst of Canada’s hosting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly which launched the justification of the operation of the NATO alliance outside of the North Atlantic in the name of ensuring the “defence and security of North America and Europe.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Canada, Canadian Forces

Flashback: The day the war broke out

Halifax, March 20, 2003. Hundreds upon hundreds of people take to the streets to condemn the U.S. invasion of Iraq the night before.

Halifax, March 20, 2003. Hundreds upon hundreds of people take to the streets to condemn the U.S. invasion of Iraq the night before.

In this article from our archives, TONY SEED chronicles the response of Haligonians – and authority – to the first day of the U.S. war against Iraq. Similar demonstrations take place in Shelburne, Wolfville and Antigonish and a silent vigil in Sydney, Cape Breton, as well as in Fredericton, New Brunswick (see below), across Canada and around the world. History shows the correctness of this just stand. The war and ensuing occupation, endorsed and supported by the Chrétien government and every daily newspaper in Canada, caused a terrible tragedy for the people of Iraq and West Asia (Middle East): the number of Iraqis slaughtered is an estimated 1,455,590 people. From reports submitted to Shunpiking Magazine and TML Daily.

(HALIFAX, 20 March 2003) – TODAY a mass democracy meeting broke out at Dalhousie University on Canada’s Atlantic coast against Bush’s barbarous war against Iraq, beginning a day of mass opposition and upheaval that swept across the nation, from east to west, continuing a wave of protest unfolding around the globe, first Oceania, then Asia, the Middle East and Europe and onto the Americas as surely as the earth travels around the sun. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Canada, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Flashback: Global Day of Action – Halifax rally condemns U.S.-led aggression against Iraq

On Saturday, March 22, over 3,000 people in Halifax again demonstrated against the war on Iraq in open sympathy with the Iraqi people

On Saturday, March 22, over 3,000 people in Halifax again demonstrated against the war on Iraq in open sympathy with the Iraqi people

From our archives: ten years ago today, Canadians massively responded as part of the powerful determination of the world’s people to condemn and oppose the Anglo-American war of aggression against Iraq. This Global Day of Action involved over fifteen million people worldwide, including over 50,000 in Toronto and over 200,000 people in Montreal – “an ocean of people against the war” – at the time the largest political demonstration in the history of Québec and larger than any demonstration in the United States.

By TONY SEED

(Halifax, March 22, 2003) – ON MARCH 22, the people of Halifax joined people across Canada and around the world to demand that the U.S.-led aggression against Iraq be stopped immediately. More than 3,000 people from all walks of life gathered at the Halifax Commons before marching through the streets of the provincial capital to the U.S. consulate. The flags of Palestine and Iraq were held high and cheered by the crowds as people chanted slogans in support of the growing global revolt against the American war machine. In the heart of the march, behind a giant Iraqi flag proudly held aloft by Iraqi Canadians, different political groups and their supporters gathered together on the basis of Unity in Action to vigorously shout anti-imperialist, anti-war slogans as one. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Cuba’s dreamcatcher role in Haiti

By the Canadian Network on Cuba

Havana, Cuba, May 5, 2010: Raciel Proenxa Rodríguez (second from left) and Isaac Saney (second from right).

ON MAY 5, 2010 a moving ceremony was held in Havana, Cuba to mark the continuing success of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC)’s Cuba for Haiti Campaign. The campaign, launched in January 2010 in response to the earthquake disaster has thus far raised nearly $100,000 to support the Cuban Henry Reeve Medical Brigade in Haiti. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Government of Canada’s foreign policy review

By SANDRA L. SMITH*

SINCE JANUARY, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) has been on the road with what it calls public consultations to get input of Canadians on the direction which Canada’s foreign policy should take. Staff at the constituency office of Foreign Minister Bill Graham mentioned that the Minister was somewhat frustrated because everywhere he goes, Canadians are only concerned with discussing the Iraq war and current affairs, specifically denouncing Canada’s duplicity as concerns the U.S. aggression against Iraq and the violation of international law. They are not addressing the questions DFAIT is posing in its review, they said. This is very revealing because it goes to the heart of the matter of this review. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

An ex-soldier speaks out: An Open Letter to Defence Minister McCallum

1 April, 2003

Dear Shunpiking,

I thought you might find this interesting given the topic of the talk of Tony’s recent radio program, “Canada’s Secret Military Record.” The attached is a letter I sent to the PM and McCallum, the Defence Minister. The references are to comments by NDP Ms. Libby Davies in the House of Commons regarding the status of Canadian soldiers serving as exchange personnel with US/UK forces in or near Iraq. The question being

(1) are these members at war?; or

(2) if not directly at war, what are there rules of engagement if they find themselves coming under effective enemy fire? In the end similar questions ­– with serious ramifications.

It is my contention, as the letter states, that the Minister of Defence, in NOT defining their role, is acting in dereliction of duty. He is ultimately responsible for setting policy, but what is the policy?

Cheers,

Will Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Sharing the burdens of empire: Canadian participation in war crimes in Iraq

No Harbour for War

By JON ELMER*

Halifax, March 20, 2003. Hundreds upon hundreds of people take to the streets to condemn the U.S. invasion of Iraq the night before.

HALIFAX (20 March 2003) – SINCE the “official” war will surely begin before this issue is off the newsstands, outlining the terror and mayhem of “shock and awe” bombing raids in a city the size of Paris is perhaps an unhelpful conjecture: it will be massive, it will be brutal and it will be deadly – “liberation” as defined by the American Empire always is.

For months now, as the diplomatic wrangling at the United Nations Security Council consumed our attention, Canada’s stance on supporting the American Empire’s adventurism in Iraq relied on Security Council approval. Chrétien said as much when he came to Halifax in late February for a $400-a-plate Liberal Party fund-raiser. On the day of Bush’s infantile “moment of truth” address to the world, Chrétien affirmed to Parliament that Canadian Forces would not be joining the massacre of Iraqis. He lied. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Canada’s announcement that it will not participate in U.S. military action

WARonIRAQheader

Commentary, The Marxist-Leninist Daily, 18 March 2003

Protest against the deployment to the Persian Gulf of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

Protest against the deployment to the Persian Gulf of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

SPEAKING in the House of Commons as it reconvened March 17 after a two week break, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien stated that “Canada will not participate” in the U.S.-led aggression against Iraq. At the same time Chrétien stated that Canada will be part of “rebuilding” a post-war Iraq. He stated that Canada will not pull its three ships out of the region saying they are needed to fulfill this country’s commitment to the war on terror. They are essentially protecting ships of the U.S., its allies and other powers in the area, he said. He also stated that 31 Canadian soldiers on exchange with British and American units in the Gulf region will be allowed to remain with their units, but would be unlikely to see battle in Iraq. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

The serious dilemma facing the UN

By SANDRA L. SMITH*

THE PRO-U.S. war camp at the UN is facing increasing difficulties. The British and Americans have been going all out to guarantee nine votes in favour of their resolution and, necessarily, no veto. The Germans, French, Russians, Chinese and Syria are guaranteed on the other side, but nobody can be sure whether or not the veto powers would use their veto. The pressure on the so-called six swing votes comprised of Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico, Chile and Pakistan is unprecedented as it is on the veto powers not to use their veto. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

‘Dialogue on Foreign Policy’: Atlantic Canadians denounce Canada’s conciliation with Iraq war

By TONY SEED

(Halifax, March 6, 2003) – THROUGHOUT ATLANTIC CANADA between March 4-6, hundreds of Canadians spoke out against the national “dialogue on foreign policy” launched by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs in January and denounced Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham for Canada’s conciliation with Iraq war preparations. So-called “town hall meetings” have been held in St. John’s, Charlottetown, Halifax and Saint John. Yet the much-advertised “dialogue” is in crisis. The indignation with and the credibility of the “Canadian position” is such that promised reports on the meetings have not appeared on the department’s own web site – despite repeated claims of “interactivity” to promote citizen involvement – since the inaugural meeting in Winnipeg in February. Similarly, reports on the “dialogue” have evaporated from the monopoly media, while the local media emphasizes Mr Graham’s arrogant lecturing and haranguing of participants as the main content of the “dialogue.” Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Waging war on Iraq: A timeline of Canadian intervention since 1990

WARonIRAQheader

By JON ELMER and VALERIE ZINK*

Protest against the deployment of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

Protest against the deployment of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

The Canadian government long ago joined this war on Iraq: for the past 12 years the Canadian Navy has been enforcing a senseless and cruel economic war on the civilians of Iraq which has cost more than one million lives. 

Fourth of a series on Canada’s involvement in the Iraq war, Shunpiking Online. Please note that the timeline ends in February, 2003 and hence does not cover the ensuing material (export of arms, provision of territory and infrastructure), military, political-ideological participation of Canada in the war against Iraq. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Canada, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

The grim reality unfolding right in front of our eyes

An overview of war preparations in Halifax and Canadian ports | TONY SEED*

Second of a series on Canada’s involvement in the Iraq war

(HALIFAX, 13 February 2003) – HOW CAN WE shut our eyes to the grim reality unfolding in front of us?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Canada, Canadian Forces, Working Class

Canadian military offers 3,000 troops to invade Iraq

UncleSam_200“Putting everything on the table” – revelations in the media concerning the extent of the preparations for war by the “military planners” of the Canadian Forces. In this regard, it may be significant to note the tactics which the U.S. is using on Canada. According to the National Post, “US military planners appear to have had it with Ottawa’s dithering, and are taking out their displeasure on Canadian soldiers stationed at the US army’s Florida-based headquarters for Middle East operations … our officers will be excluded from war games and meetings related to Iraq.” But such revelations do not explain why Canadian solders are stationed there in the first place, nor why “military planners” have capitulated to the Pentagon nor why the Canadian government should capitulate to the U.S. if its stand for peace is as principled as it claims. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Opposing the war is a matter of conscience

WARonIRAQheader

By SANDRA L. SMITH*

JaniceACTON.CdnConscienceWHAT prompted Canada to give the U.S. the “statement of support” it demanded to launch aggression against Iraq? Canadian opposition to Bush’s war is so widespread that even Liberal MPs admit that their constituency offices are flooded with calls and e-mails from their own Liberal supporters enraged by Canada’s announcement that it is prepared to join Bush’s war without UN sanction.

While these MPs claim to oppose Canada’s participation in such a war, the Canadian working class and people must be very clear that every conceivable argument is being put forward to conciliate with Bush’s war. One Liberal MP who claims to oppose going to war says it can only be justified “in two extreme cases”: if the UN is deadlocked and thereby unable to make a decision, and if there is indisputable proof that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Canada must not commit crimes against the peace! NO TO BUSH’S WAR!

WARonIRAQheader— Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), January 17, 2003 —

Scene from anti-war demonstration in Halifax on Saturday, January 18 as part of the Global Day of Action

Scene from anti-war demonstration in Halifax on Saturday, January 18 as part of the Global Day of Action

FOLLOWING the defeat of the Nazi-fascist forces in World War Two, the United Nations was founded “to maintain international peace and security,” “to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace” and “to bring about by peaceful means” for the settlement of international disputes. The UN Charter declares its founding as necessary “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” When the Nuremberg Trials took place, “crimes against the peace” were declared to be even worse than atrocities committed in the course of war. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Operation Apollo: Words of peace – deeds of war

A Researcher in Halifax

HALIFAX (October 15, 2001) – THE FORCES coming into motion against the latest US-led aggression in Afghanistan are demonstrating daily in many cities. This is bringing urgently to the fore the need to find ways of sharpening the edge of opposition so as to strengthen its effectiveness. In this connection, the New Democratic Party is playing a disruptive role. This starts with efforts to deceive those coming forward in the present anti-war movement into accepting the authority of the NDP as, at least, a parliamentary political guide, if not an actual leading force, against what the Chretien government has already done and proposes yet to do in the Bush coalition. When it comes to playing games of political deception and to ultra-opportunist betrayal of the mass movement at crucial moments, the NDP is extremely experienced and can be said to have written the playbook.

The oldest trick in the book is simply to hijack public forms and expressions of the movement for sectarian purposes. In this, the NDP has the support of the longest-established bulwarks of reaction, especially in the most Establishment wing of the mass media. Thus: on Sunday October 7, in the NATO port of Halifax, mobilization of materiel and 1,200 (of a total 2,000) personnel for the present war began. Meanwhile on its front page, a province-wide large-circulation newspaper, The Sunday Herald, reported the peace rally of the previous day. This event in the centre of the provincial capital’s downtown was accurately reported in TML as one in which denunciations of the US as the organizing centre of state terrorism, particularly throughout the Middle East, along other anti-imperialist declarations, earned the loudest and longest applause. But The Sunday Chronicle Herald reported this rally under the headline: “McDonough praises PM for resisting war mentality”, as though this event was for, or even about, the local member of Parliament. The CBC’s coverage similarly focussed on the leader of the federal NDP.

In the Halifax waterfront casino, anchoring one end of Ms McDonough’s constituency, they have a saying: “if you want to play, you gotta pay.” On October 2, McDonough openly joined the rest of the Canadian media and political elites in denouncing (as “unhelpful… exaggerated … rhetoric”) the remarks of Sunera Thobani, a former chair of the National Action Council on the Status of Women (NAC). (She had described US foreign policy as “soaked in blood.”) Since that moment, the media have presented, and granted Ms McDonough the franchise to present, her party as the “lone” opponent of Canadian participation in this present war outside of humanitarian assistance roles or a role decided by “international bodies.”

The rich have turned Halifax into a harbour for war. On Thursday, October 11, a fundraiser on the “New Politics Initiative” (NPI) staged in Halifax demonstrated the readiness of the NDP, as an agency of the rich, to try to bully into submission any actual anti-war voices not in its pay or on its wavelength. Judy Rebick, national campaigner for the NPI was debating with Maureen MacDonald, a local NDP establishment figurehead. They were carrying on in the tried-and-true demobilizing style: trading veiled insults over whose bag of tricks will be better for fooling people into becoming NDP voting cattle during elections.

An audience member had the temerity to provide actual facts demonstrating the absence of any concrete example of NDP opposition to any specific act of the Chretien government committing Canadian forces for the present aggression. In nothing flat, those who had just been at daggers drawn immediately closed ranks. Each took the opportunity to issue fulsome praise for McDonough’s “courage” in “opposing war.” Rebick singled out McDonough’s statements as a “shining moment” on a par with the NDP’s vote in the House of Commons against the War Measures Act in 1970. (The NDP did vote against it, on the third reading, after voting for it on the first two readings to expedite its passage in the House of Commons.) Anything that might tarnish its brilliance was to be set aside. Speaking as a former NAC chair, Rebick called the “gang-up” on Sunera Thobani “unfair.” She “disagreed” with McDonough’s joining the chorus against her – but then hastened to detach the matter from any realities of the current war by declaring “that debate is for another time”!

These and other facts show how desperately concerned the NDP has become to cover actual deeds of war behind words about peace.

On Tuesday, October 9, McDonough and the party’s defence critic Peter Stoffer (representing a neighbouring suburban Halifax constituency) issued a “joint statement” in which they “completely back the men and women in the Canadian military assigned to the US coalition.”

Stoffer commented: “While I would have preferred that the government act through the international body of the United Nations, I understand the decision made by the Prime Minister to deploy military personnel to the area and believe politics must be put aside and a united front must be presented in the House of Commons regarding this action.” (Brian Underhill, ‘New Democrats muster united front on war’, The Chronicle-Herald/Mail-Star, 10 October 2001)

This statement has two noteworthy features. Firstly, its signatories appear in their parliamentary capacities – as leader and defence critic. But what actually moved them to speak? Each has a large number of military personnel in their constituency, and the government has committed Halifax as its principal NATO port to be the staging area for its material commitment to this war effort.

Secondly, this “joint statement” was issued not by the NDP caucus as a whole, nor by the party’s internal governing body.

The NDP is evidently having as much difficulty obtaining unanimity within its own caucus as the US and Britain have within their coalition. Why is the NDP defence critic calling for a “united front” beyond the ranks of his own party? Could it be to paper over the deepening cracks in that caucus? Whatever the situation facing the rest of her caucus, McDonough herself blames the Prime Minister for placing her in an impossible position. On the one hand, she would like to continue to posture as anti-war in words (as federal leader of the New Democratic Party inside and outside Parliament). Now she also has to support this war, openly, in deeds (as the member from Halifax). On the day the bombing became public (Sunday, October 7), McDonough said

“she was deeply disturbed when she saw that Canada’s contribution went beyond what she had been told in private by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. She said that she had understood that Canada would limit itself to support services, but that Canadian troops are heading straight into action for an unlimited term. ‘Canada has made a commitment beyond what I understood from the Prime Minister,’ she said. ‘I was shocked.’ ‘‘ (Daniel Leblanc, ‘How do the party leaders feel about Canada’s role?,’ The Globe and Mail, 9 Oct 2001).

Clearly, she is a witting participant. Was she really all that unwilling? By her own admission, she had earlier given the Prime Minister a blank cheque. The government wrote in the amount, the Americans cashed it, and now she objects!

These are acts of out-and-out political prostitution. In line with this activity, meanwhile, the NDP has also become acutely concerned that its words of peace be in no way associated with words or deeds of an anti-imperialist character. It is trying to conceal this pro-imperialist posture and delay its exposure as long as possible. Thus, as the bombing began, Chretien briefed the other Canadian political party leaders, including McDonough. Did she use this opportunity even to demand an early recall of Parliament for an emergency debate? On the contrary:

“McDonough said Mr Chretien told her in a telephone briefing Sunday that there is no need to bring Parliament back early from the week-long Thanksgiving break for an emergency debate because the Canadian ships and planes would take 10 days to get ready to sail.” (Jeff Sallot, ‘CANADIANS HEAD OFF TO WAR: Operation Apollo mobilizes ships, aircraft and commandos,’ The Globe and Mail, 9 October 2001).

Clearly, the NDP is very sensitive to suppress even the appearance of opposition to anything the Chretien government is actually doing at the moment regarding this particular campaign of aggression.

McDonough has lately become fond of uttering the phrases “international bodies” and “United Nations” like some kind of mantra. This seems designed to suggest that she and her party stand so utterly, so profoundly, so spiritually opposed to American unilateralism that there is no need actually to spell out anything so petty as mere details or evidence of how or where they have actually been opposing it. This trick is very old and very sordid indeed: to appear so serene and so fully understanding among the people, as a cover for facilitating the people’s worst enemies in perpetrating the worst crimes against their present and future. The NDP has remained silent as the grave about continuing Canadian involvement in NATO and NORAD. The NDP has said nothing about the Chretien government’s decision to join other members of NATO invoking the “collective defence” provisions of its charter in support of the United States. The NDP has said nothing about whether it accepts or rejects the US administration’s blatant twisting of the “self-defence” clause of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter to justify retaliatory acts of aggression. The NDP has not even asked the Chretien government where it stands on this central issue of international law.

To end this war and Canada’s participation in it, what need or reason could there be for the present movement to detour into such a dark and desperate land of political prostitutes and bogus buddhas?

Source: TML Daily, October 15, 2001 – No. 185

Leave a comment

Filed under Canada, Canadian Forces