No. 11September 14, 2019
The writ for the federal election was dropped on September 11, the 18th anniversary of the day the terrorist attacks took place on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon and elsewhere. Prime Minister Trudeau in his opening campaign speech mourned the loss of life on that day.
We too mourn the loss of life on that day, including the many Canadians. September 11 always brings to mind as well the lives lost on that horrific day in 1973, the opening shot of a sustained terrorist attack against the people of Chile, as a direct result of the fascist U.S.-inspired coup d’état. This attack was one of many the U.S. imperialists were engaged in during Operation Condor and their dirty wars in South and Central America and the Caribbean. We deeply mourn those who died in those wars defending freedom, democracy and their sovereignty from the military savagery and interference of the United States.
We mourn as well the loss of life since 9/11, 2001 as a result of U.S. revenge-seeking and desperation to extend its global hegemony. We, along with thousands of fellow Canadians, are deeply concerned with the loss of civil liberties, the Special Ops, torture sites and hundreds of thousands, even millions killed as a result of U.S. economic sanctions and wars of aggression and occupation with 9/11 used as a propaganda ploy. The likes of Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland do not mourn or even recognize these losses; for in the name of national security and national interest, their government is a war government in the service of U.S. crimes.
They also do not mourn the loss of the liberal democratic institutions, which at one time served a public good. On the contrary, in the name of those institutions they justify the use of the police powers that underlie the constitutions of what they call the western democracies. Those constitutions permit the imposition of a rule of law in contempt of a modern understanding of the purpose of law to serve the cause of justice. The rule of law and police powers based on those western constitutions are out of sync with the needs of the times. To use them to suppress the forward march of people and their claims on what belongs to them by right is reactionary and amoral, which makes those who govern today both anti-social and unfit to rule.
On this occasion, Renewal Update expresses its solidarity with the peoples of the United States and Chile who are striving to see justice served under today’s conditions. We also extend our solidarity to the peoples of all the countries that have been and continue to be subjected to the destruction by U.S. and NATO forces, which include those of Canada.
We also express our full support for the people of Kashmir whose autonomy has been arbitrarily suspended by India with thousands imprisoned through the imposition of “black laws,” with their resources plundered and youth killed in the name of prosperity and security. The same government of India promotes “Brahmin supremacy” and incites hatred on every conceivable basis with impunity, yet nonetheless is called the world’s largest democracy.
None of the losses following 9/11 solicits the least regret on the part of the government of Canada or those seeking to form the next government in the election. Despite what they may say, September 11, 2001 was the beginning of a new round of state terrorism, anarchy and violence, as was September 11, 1973 for the peoples of Chile and elsewhere in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Since 2001, Canada has been fully integrated into the U.S. war machine and Homeland Security and its laws, with Canadians subject to the decision-making of the U.S. warmongers.
In the lead up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. President George Bush declared Saddam Hussein a Hitler and called anyone who opposed the invasion, an appeaser of Hitler. Life has revealed who are the real appeasers of war, aggression and national betrayal. No amount of campaign rhetoric will change that revealed fact of life.
On this occasion of the anniversary of 9/11, we salute all those who are fighting for peace, democracy and freedom in today’s conditions. Let us together unite in defence of the rights of all and take up the challenges we face!
Cutlass Fury 2019 (CF19) is one of the largest naval exercises in Canadian history. CF19 began on Monday, September 9 and most of the NATO warships are currently positioned 50 to 100 miles off the coast of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. These include the USS New Hampshire, a Virginia class, fast attack nuclear-powered submarine.
Some warships are still coming and going from Halifax. The U.K.’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was expected in Halifax on September 12 as were HMS Dragon and RFA Tideforce. A fleet review is expected in the next few days as the last of these warships passes the Second World War corvette HMCS Sackville en route to the exercise offshore.
The Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace held a colourful peace vigil on the waterfront on September 9. They called for Canada to refuse to engage in aggressive military actions or training for such actions mandated by military alliances such as NATO.
CF19 says something about how the Canadian Armed Forces and other militaries view the current global situation. It is the revival of a level of training that was routine during the Cold War. Naval action is no longer just about anti-terrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster response and the conduct of maritime intercept operations. This is a return to practicing what some may call classic naval warfare.
Regardless of this country’s actual defence needs, Canadian forces as an instrument first and foremost of NATO are eternally being prepared to join, backstop or even lead aggression against U.S.-selected targets anywhere on the planet. Exercises like Cutlass Fury 19 come at a time when more than one-half of the main U.S. Naval forces are at sea. Far from protecting Canadians from the danger of war, NATO exercises such as these further integrate our country into the U.S. war machine.
Halifax and its harbour hold strategic significance for the imperialists and their monopoly interests. It is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and is North America’s easternmost port of call with transcontinental rail connections.
The people of Halifax have long rejected the use of their city and harbour to embroil Canadians in imperialist adventures abroad. They have vigorously opposed the “visits” of U.S. and other foreign warships as well as the use of the Canadian Navy in U.S. and NATO led agressions against the world’s peoples. Consistent with this, Canada’s foreign policy and our withdrawal from NATO and NORAD must be made prominent issues in the federal election.
Canada must not participate in U.S. imperialist war preparations and must also defend its sovereignty in a meaningful way. This means not permitting the U.S. imperialists to exercise command and control over Canada’s air, land, water and government and military assets. We must withdraw from NATO as well as NORAD and work for an independent foreign policy.
It means to remove all Canadian soldiers, ships and equipment from foreign territory. Most importantly, it means that Canadians must prepare to establish an anti-war government.
No U.S. or Other Foreign Warships in Canadian Waters!
Get Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!
Work for an Anti-War Government!
(Photos: RU, Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace)
— Steve Rutchinski —
Canada’s integration into the U.S. war machine and economy is an issue that concerns all peace- and justice-loving Canadians. The large scale production, export and use of armaments by the U.S. and its allies including Canada must be opposed in the interest of peace.
In 2018, Canada became the second largest arms exporter to West Asia — Saudi Arabia specifically — surpassed only by the United States. Canada’s elevated status as an arms merchant to that region is due mainly to a $15 billion contract by General Dynamics Land Systems of London, Ontario to provide Saudi Arabia with light armoured vehicles. The $15 billion Saudi Arabia arms deal catapulted Canada to the rank of second biggest arms exporter to West Asia and sixth in the world overall, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly. The arms contract, broadly opposed by Canadians, was negotiated when Stephen Harper was Prime Minister. Upon coming to power, the Trudeau government had the power to cancel the deal yet decided to confirm it, cynically declaring it is not good to go back on a done deal, and “if we don’t do it someone else will.”
The U.S. is Canada’s largest market for armaments exports. Project Ploughshares estimates that 60 per cent of Canada’s armament shipments go to the United States. Despite its obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty, Canada does not report the value of armaments sales to the U.S. The non-reporting of sales to the U.S. is itself an indication of Canada’s integration into the U.S. war machine and economy.
Global Affairs Canada did report in 2017 the export of more than $1 billion in military goods and technology to countries other than the U.S. with 48 per cent of those sales going to Saudi Arabia. After the U.S., NATO members (UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway) are traditionally the largest market for Canadian armaments exports. NATO member countries, including Canada itself, have used Canadian armaments in wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq and Syria.
A grave concern to many Canadians is a report by the all-party Standing Committee on National Defence (in the House of Commons) called Canada and NATO: An Alliance Forged in Strength and Reliability, tabled in June 2018. The report notes with regret the low amount of Canadian armaments sales to NATO countries and calls for public funds to be given to the big armaments producers operating in Canada “to secure a bigger share.”
The all-party report says that Canadian armaments and parts manufacturers registered with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) in 2016 numbered only 700 out of 65,000 such companies and received only one per cent of NATO contracts in 2017. The report says the federal government, in line with its new defence policy, should more aggressively make it possible, by subsidizing and providing other concessions, for the Canadian armaments industry to secure a bigger share of NATO weapons contracts.
Of note as well, in 2017 Canada shipped armaments to 11 countries involved in aggressive wars or human rights abuses, not least of which was the United States. The U.S. is currently involved in active wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Nigeria and throughout West Africa, and in countless unreported Special Operations and drone attacks around the world.
In this election, the MLPC urges Canadians to take a stand against the production and sale of armaments in Canada that are used for aggression, war and the suppression of people fighting for their rights.
Let us speak out against Canada’s integration into U.S. Homeland Security, its wars of aggression and war economy.
Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!
Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
Steve Rutchinski is the MLPC candidate in the Toronto riding of University–Rosedale.
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