October 30, 2004. Demonstration in opposition to the presence of warships in Montreal.
By Christine Dandenault and Claude Brunelle
Canada is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) established on April 4, 1949. It has also been a member of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) since May 12, 1958. The integration of the Canadian military into the U.S. military has been one of the characteristics of Canada’s membership in these military alliances. Despite the determined and continued opposition of the Quebec, Canadian and Indigenous peoples to any participation of Canada in such alliances and wars of aggression and occupation under the helm of the U.S. imperialists, the Canadian government continues its interventions against the peoples of the world. This translates into putting the territory, public space and public funds at the disposal of these alliances.
La Presse reported on October 21, that the Canadian government will be increasing the federal budget allocation for war based on its commitment as a member of NATO. “NATO figures show that Canada is on the verge of committing 1.45 per cent of its GDP to the military this year. This not only represents a significant hike from last year’s 1.29 per cent, but the largest share of the GDP for defence in a decade.
“It also exceeds the Liberal government’s original provisions, set out in the 2017 defence policy, to spend 1.4 per cent of the GDP on the military by 2024-2025 – the year NATO members were to reach the two per cent target.” Continue reading →
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?
“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 →
Editor’s Note: Since 9-11, the pro-war Halifax media – with three exceptions (CKDU Radio, Novanewsnet and The Coast) – has distinguished itself by ignoring the views of a growing anti-war movement. This essay on the violation of international law and the geopolitics of the Anglo-American war against Afghanistan in which Canada is participating is based on a speech given by Professor Isaac Saney at the anti-war rally of 20 October 2001 in Halifax. Continue reading →