The government also announced it "will construct a national memorial to Canada's mission in Afghanistan and add the dates of the Afghanistan mission on the National War Memorial." The monument, which will "reflect values Canadians hold dear and echo the nation's pride in our country's efforts and accomplishments in Afghanistan," will be unveiled in 2017.
This is shameless self-serving PR activity by the Harper
government. It is desperate to resurrect its tattered reputation
of being “pro-soldier” and “pro-veteran” while the very soldiers
and veterans it professes to support do not perceive it as such.
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, who is seen by
veterans as an arrogant bully, was featured prominently on the day
flanking Harper, wearing medals.
These activities by the Harper dictatorship
are anathema to the anti-war spirit of the majority of Canadians who
oppose the war in Afghanistan and Canada's role in it. They are an
insidious attempt to disinform Canadians about the sheer illegality of
the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in the
name of the highest ideals.
Windsor action, one of many across Canada which opposed participation in the war in Afghanistan
Afghanistan was a NATO mission, neither authorized by Parliament nor endorsed by the Canadian people. Canada’s military was at most times under U.S. command and integrated within the U.S. military. Paying tribute to this on the National War Memorial, or by building a new monument to this NATO mission, is to try to assert that being part of the U.S. military apparatus will be the norm for the future. It is no coincidence that this rushed ceremony takes place right as Canada sends F-18s as part of NATO sabre-rattling against Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
The values espoused by the Harper government, which it claims represent some unassailable ideals that "Canadians hold dear" could not be further from what Canadians fight for everyday -- peace, justice, the rights of all and the power to exercise control over their affairs. The Harper government's values are neo-liberal in both content and presentation, whereby anti-human, anti-social and pro-war imperialist aims are couched in terms of their opposite -- high ideals of humanitarianism, responsibility to protect, etc.
Furthermore, the memorial activities over which the Harper government presided on May 9 are a snivelling message to the U.S. imperialists that this is a government that does not serve the public interest or uphold international law and is offering up its youth as cannon-fodder for the commission of future war crimes. It must not pass!
These memorial activities, which co-opt the memory of
those killed and wounded in Afghanistan to sanitize the commission of
war crimes, are meant to destroy Canadians' prevailing anti-war
sentiment so that they do not take up the pressing need to empower
themselves and establish an anti-war government which would remove
itself from the clutches of NATO so as to affirm Canadians' right to
decide their domestic and foreign relations.
Such a government would ensure that Canada is a force for peace in the
world by upholding the principles of sovereignty of all countries, and
the resolution of conflicts through peaceful, diplomatic means.
69th Anniversary of the Liberation of Europe
Imperialist Crimes Against the Peace and Support for Fascist Elements Mark Anniversary
The Soviet Victory Banner is raised over the German Reichstag in Berlin by Red Army soldiers, April 30, 1945, shortly
before the surrender of German forces in the city and the decisive victory over the fascists on May 9, 1945. (RIA Novosti)
Sixty-nine years ago, on May 8 and 9, 1945, with the unconditional surrender of Hitler Germany, Italy having already surrendered, the Second World War in Europe was declared officially over. The anti-fascist forces of the world with the Soviet Union and communists of all lands at the head of the Resistance Movement had won victory over the Hitlerites. Celebrations broke out all over the world when it became known that fascist Germany, forced to its knees by the Red Army and the troops and resistance fighters of allied countries, acknowledged defeat.
"Now we can declare with legitimate right that the historic day of the final destruction of Germany, the day of the great victory of our people over German imperialism, has come," Stalin declared. "The great sacrifices we have made in the name of the freedom and independence of our Homeland, the indescribable privations and sufferings that our people have gone through during the war, the great work done in the rear and on the front in the name of the Homeland, were not in vain, they were crowned with complete victory over the enemy," he said.
Commemoration of VE day in Moscow, May 9, 2014
VE Day celebrations in Sevastopol (left) and Vladivostok, Russia
Today, the U.S. imperialists like to give the impression that they were the decisive force in the liberation of Europe and together with warmongers in Canada, they spread disinformation about the causes of the war, the conditions created after the war and their own refusal to permit humankind to consolidate its victory by making sure that such suffering never takes place again. Their self-serving propaganda to distort the history of the anti-fascist alliance and its leadership as well as the significance of the events since the end of the Second World War is done to justify the crimes they are committing against the peace today in the name of high ideals.
The representatives of imperialism, including the
monopoly-controlled media, distort the experience of the Second World
War through Cold War definitions. They do this for purposes of
presenting U.S. imperialist democracy and the U.S. imperialists
themselves as the saviours of humankind and to hide the crimes
they have committed since the Second World War. They carry on their
disinformation about the role played by the Soviet Union under the
leadership of Stalin, and the need for an alternative to the economic
system based on the exploitation of persons by persons, by making
Soviet power and communism synonymous with crimes against humanity.
Some even say that the
United States made a mistake in allying
with the Soviet Union in the Second World War. This is to promote their
claim that communism is a hate crime which poses the biggest threat to
humankind. According to them, their own imperialist system, which has
plunged the world into a state of anarchy and violence where the crimes
committed outstrip even
those of the Nazis, represents freedom and the hope of humankind. All
of this is for purposes of covering up that modern communism is the
source of enlightenment which opens society's path to progress and that
governments which oppose imperialist war are necessary. Take for
example the Harper government
and its support of the reactionary group Tribute to Liberty and its
proposal for an anti-communist monument in Ottawa. By promoting a
caricature of communism and equating it with totalitarianism and
fascism, the Harper government is aiming to get the peoples to
conciliate with the imperialist demand of the United
States and big powers that everyone submit to their dictate and
2014 commemorations of VE Day (top to bottom): Donetsk, Ukraine; outside Karlshorst Museum in Berlin, Germany;
at the War Cemetary in Tallinn, Estonia; Skopje, Macedonia.
In spite of the victory over Nazism, fascism and
in 1945, the world has remained turbulent because of conciliation by
the imperialists. The U.S. imperialists and those under their dictate
refused to carry out denazification in Germany and demilitarization
in Japan. They made sure that
in their spheres of influence, all the economic and political
structures that favoured the rule of the financial oligarchy and
bourgeois democracy, and gave rise to fascism in the first place, were
kept in place. The struggles for socialism, national liberation, peace
and freedom have been viciously opposed by U.S. imperialist
wars of aggression and coups d'etat. Crimes against humanity in the
name of "containment of communism" and "democracy" have killed more
people in the last sixty-nine years than died in two world wars. Today
in Ukraine, the U.S. imperialists and others shamelessly collaborate
with fascist parties to serve their
own narrow interests.
The period of flow of revolution which was ushered in by
October Socialist Revolution in 1917 ended in 1989-90 when the Soviet
Union fell, the bi-polar division of the world ended and a period of
retreat of revolution set in. The imperialists and all reaction are
facing a profound legitimacy crisis.
The "democracy" for which they committed so many crimes in order to
impose it on the world has proven to be hollow indeed, not only
economically but politically. It is the brutal dictate of the financial
oligarchy, which has led to the increased misery of the peoples of the
world, including the peoples of their own
countries and to more wars and conflict. This underscores the necessity
to build a present-day united front of the peoples of the world to
defeat the criminal justifications that Might Makes Right and that
aggression is permitted under the guise of humanitarianism, peace and
democracy. This is what the Second World
War was all about.
Today, the world is at a turning point. The same problems exist in a new form. The 69 years since the Second World War have continued to be characterized as years of struggle to liberate the entire humanity. Which way should the world go today? Should it go the way of the past 20 years in which revolution has been checked and the world is plunged into a black abyss of nihilism and the absence of future prospects? Or should it chart a course of democratic renewal where the people set their own agendas and can exercise control over governments which would seek to embroil them in aggression and war?
The most important thing is to recognize that solutions
can be found
to the problems people face through the work to make sure it is the
people who govern themselves and exercise control over their lives. The
crimes committed by the imperialist forces against the peoples of the
world must be ended. An anti-war
government is needed that upholds the principle that all nations big or
small are equal and have the right to self-determination. It must
oppose all crimes against the peace and protect the sacred cause of
peace. The dangers of fascism and imperialist world war can be
eliminated and the struggle to unite the people
in action for political renewal, an anti-war government and a society
fit for human beings is possible. It Can Be Done! It Must Be Done!
1. On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. The surrender of Germany was authorized by his successor, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The preliminary act of military surrender was signed on May 7, 1945 in Reims, France and the official documents on May 8 in Berlin, by Wilhelm Keitel, supreme German military commander and Marshal Georgy Zhukov on behalf of the Soviet Union and Allied representatives. In the Soviet Union it was May 9 Moscow time when the German military surrender went into effect, which is why Russia and most of the former Soviet republics commemorate Victory Day on May 9 instead of May 8.
(Photos: RIA Novosti, Xinhua, Russian
Embassy in Estonia, Macedonian Information Agency, A. Epp)
Amid Wrecking Efforts of the U.S. and the EU in Ukraine
Putin-Medvedev Plan to Replace Post-Soviet State
Students in Khrakov, Ukraine, lay flowers at monument to Second World War partisan fighters and the Soviet Red Army, September 23, 2013.
(Jaroslav the Wise National Law University)
Soviet power was laid in history's grave 23 years ago. Has post-Soviet Russian state power shown itself capable of accomplishing anything like what Soviet power could accomplish for Ukraine?
In the Soviet era, the right of the Ukrainian nation to self-determination operated and existed with a guarantee. This guarantee took the form of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as one of 15 constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It possessed all the appropriate collective national rights up to and including the right to secede.
In the federal system that is gradually emerging under the leadership of the Putin-Medvedev team as the new post-Soviet constitution of Soviet-era Russian territories, however, not a word is uttered about the right to secede, much less about the full list of genuine rights of any and all national collectives inhabiting these territories. At the same time, there is no suggestion of any limits being placed on the freedom of action enjoyed by oligarchs that accept the overarching authority of the central power of the government in Moscow.
What the Putin-Medvedev team has discovered is something else that the leading monopoly capitalist groups and cartels of North America and Europe have long understood. Federal systems historically have provided the most stable and secure state arrangements for protecting the economic role and powers of super-sized agglomerations of private capital.
Looking at this matter with Canadian eyes: when it comes to U.S. federalism, it must be acknowledged that the U.S. system has been able to annex large portions of Canadian political and economic space relatively painlessly and with little effective public muss or fuss.
Looking at western and post-Soviet eastern Europe with North American eyes, similarly domineering success on the part of the largest agglomerations of private capital is also evident in relation to the "federal" institutions of the European Union.
None of this apparent security and stability remained immune, however, to the spread of the chronic crisis of the capitalist system into the key central banking institutions - those that underwrite all the various forms of credit generated and sustained within such systems in the post-Soviet period.
Furthermore, the apparent "division of powers" in all those same federal systems so beloved of today's commercial-financial oligarchs, East and West, have provided no protection from the effects of the wider crisis. By 2007, the ordinary intermonopoly contradictions of these systems became increasingly unmanageable as the principal commercial and industrial antagonists took each other on in the banking-financial sector. Various knockout blows were delivered: Lehman Bros. was liquidated, the U.S.-based global insurance giant AIG declared bankruptcy, and the U.S. federal government itself became mired in massive bailout funding for the largest banks that were still vulnerable on their balance sheets.
Until recently, however, the oligarchs of the former Soviet-bloc regions, who are no less capitalistic and predatory than their western counterparts, were spared the worst consequences of these multiple financial crises. This consequence follows from the fact that the U.S. dollar operated in their economic relations mainly as the reserve currency in which to settle international trade balances. That is to say: the U.S. dollar was for them not a significant store of value. Indeed as long as the rate at which U.S. dollars would exchange for their own currencies remained relatively stable over the long term, there appeared to be no immediate or other urgent need to convert these dollar balances into local currencies.
Since 2008, meanwhile, the indebtedness of Western governments and multinationals -- for whom the dollar is primarily a store of value -- has grown tremendously. In turn, the printing of more currency to cover this growing indebtedness has cheapened the U.S. dollar's value as the world's sole reserve currency for resolving international trade balances. This entire turn of events now threatens the liquidity of those international players in global oil, gas and other mineral development -- especially from the Russian bloc -- for whom the U.S. dollar has been a store of value as well as the currency in which international trade and investment balances are maintained and settled.
As has been extensively documented in the international financial press, part of Russia's response to the debasement of the dollar's value has been to physically stockpile unprecedentedly large quantities of actual, physical gold bullion.
Another much less-commented on part of the reaction to these developments, meanwhile, has been Moscow's drive to expand its home market. This is where Putin, Medvedev and company caught the U.S. and its partners completely by surprise. They are increasing the physical territory of the Russian home market by expanding the application of the federal principle to pro-Russian areas contiguous or near-contiguous to existing Russian territory, such as the eastern provinces of Ukraine.
Moscow's widely-observed apparent preparedness -- several moves ahead of the western bloc -- to apply mostly stabilizing and non-antagonizing responses to any predictable attempt by local tools of the U.S. and EU to inflame matters would seem to represent the outward expression of this inner "federalizing" logic.
The above-described Russian federalizing game has many possible moves left to play out. At the moment a full-scale U.S.-Russia war is one possible outcome but not necessarily the only outcome or necessarily the most likely. The peoples especially in the Americas and Europe need to heighten their vigilance mainly against efforts led by the U.S. camp to embroil them in any kind of anti-Russian crusade. Meanwhile in Russia, in the short term, the Putin-Medvedev federalization solution has attracted the support of some peoples, e.g. the Russian speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, as a more sustainable alternative than the status quo.
At the same time, however, the chaotic "freedom" exploited by various oligarchic clans contending for supremacy in their particular Russian base areas seems bound to destabilize further as the chronic capitalist crisis broadens and deepens. Following the giant May 9 annual commemorations of the Soviet victory over Nazi fascism, political evidence of this deepening crisis appeared unexpectedly in Moscow, when President Putin promised neither to reject nor interfere in the Kyiv-sponsored "Ukrainian" elections scheduled for May 25. For weeks preceding this point, the Russian government had presented itself as the greatest supporter of rejectionist elements throughout eastern Ukraine.
The working class and people in Canada and other
countries can make
a contribution to advancing the position of the working class and
people of Ukraine by renewing and broadening a firm stand against the
war-embroiling schemes of the U.S. imperialists and their foreign
enablers like the Harper dictatorship.
The ranks of the progressive forces in Canada include the best
representatives from almost 200 immigrant national minorities plus a
large number of indigenous First Nations. CPC(M-L) has advanced the
program of the Canadian working class declaring itself the nation and
vesting sovereignty in the people. To the
U.S. imperialists and their tools in the Harper government, we declare:
1. Probably "leading the band" on this issue is The Max Keiser Report, a three-times-a week online half hour review of current problems in global finance produced from the financial centre of the City of London for broadcast on Russian Television (rt.com)
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