No. 16September 7, 2021
Anti-war activists held a protest at the Toronto annual air show held at the Canadian National Exhibition Grounds on the occasion of Labour Day. The air show is a venue for weapons manufacturers to showcase their armaments, including Lockheed Martin to advance its bid to sell its F-35 jet to the Canadian military.
The protestors denounced the promotion of war and its brutality as entertainment. They also denounced the activities of the Canadian government to constantly increase military spending for new weaponry, as part of its integration into the U.S. war machine. Protestors pointed out how the massive amounts of money spent in the service of war is not what Canadians want. This military spending must end and funding must be increased for health care, education and social programs that ensure the people’s well-being and programs that protect the natural environment.
“End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine” read the Banner dropped over the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, on September 4, the opening day of the Toronto Air Show at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds. The F-16 and F-35 fighter jets featured in the airshow are the kind used by Israel in the bombardment of unarmed men, women and children in Gaza earlier this year.
Palestinian flags were also boldly flying in defiance of the killer jets on exhibition as “entertainment.”
A major NATO naval exercise was staged in Nova Scotia on Labour Day. Known as Cutlass Fury 2021, the military exercise was promoted as entertainment for working people to take in on Labour Day.
A line of nine Canadian warships and five visiting warships from the U.S., UK and France sailed to Bedford Basin and departed Halifax Harbour. The U.S. Navy ships are USS Thomas Hudner and USS Forrest Sherman, both of which are Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The show of 14 warships is ostensibly “to simulate surveillance and boarding of a civilian ship and will include operations with the Canadian submarine HMCS Windsor.”
Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft including Cyclone helicopters, an Aurora as well as Alpha Jets conducted a “flypast” over the ships as they departed the harbour, at an altitude of 150 metres.
Canadian Armed Forces’ Maritime Command promotes the fiction that the exercise is “Canadian-led,” as if this is an exercise in sovereignty and legitimate defence, not one that is in the service of U.S. war preparations. Through NATO, Canada’s Maritime Command is under the control of the U.S. Second Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia.
All of it underscores the necessity for Canadians to fight to extricate Canada from the U.S. war machine and the aggressive alliance NATO. Canada needs an anti-war government more than ever before.
Cutlass Fury 2021 is the third such war games held on the east coast of Canada. It was previously held in 2016 and 2019.
Thus far, neither the Department of National Defence (DND) website nor the website of the U.S. Second Fleet Command has issued any news about Cutlass Fury 2021. DND does not list Cutlass Fury from any year in its list of operations and exercises.
In the case of the 2019 exercises, 22 warships and 36 aircraft from eight NATO countries were involved, with Halifax as the launching pad. It was twice the size of the 2016 edition. The exercise ran September 9-20 with the initial area of operation being approximately 50-100 nautical miles southeast of Halifax Harbour as well as off the coast of Newfoundland. The exercise focused “on anti-submarine warfare, air defence, amphibious operations and joint operations.”
Since 2019, as part of the Trudeau government’s campaign to promote membership in NATO as a “Canadian value” and the pillar of an “international rules-based order,” Cutlass Fury has featured high profile public relations events. In 2019 this included warship tours, a fleet review or sailpast in the harbour, a ceremonial flypast and a so-called international soccer game of ship’s crews. Naval personnel circulated promotional posters in the business area of Halifax, something not seen before. All of this could be seen as events designed to reinforce the power and legitimacy of NATO and the Canadian military.
Cutlass Fury 2016, involved naval and air forces from Canada, the U.S., the UK, Spain and France. It was described in the Government of Canada’s Navy News at the time as “the largest ASW [anti-submarine warfare] exercise held in Canadian waters in more than 20 years. As part of ASW scenarios, CF 16 includes five maritime patrol aircraft, six helicopters, three submarines and eight ships.” The exercise ran from September 12 to 26.
Ostensibly a Canadian-led exercise, Cutlass Fury is ultimately under the command of the U.S. Second Fleet, headquartered in Virginia. It is one of eight numbered fleets of the U.S. Navy current active prowling the world’s oceans as part of imposing though force or threat of force U.S. hegemonic and geopolitical aims on the peoples of the world. The Second Fleet operates in the Atlantic Ocean from as far north the North Pole and south into the Caribbean, and eastward into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Third Fleet operates in the western half of the Atlantic Ocean.
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