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I have been very critical of the Chretien government since shortly after it was elected in 1993 when it very soon began breaking its election campaign promises about the Free Trade Agreement, about NAFTA, about child poverty and child care, and a host of other supposedly solemn Liberal election promises that had appealed to Canadians after the awful nine long Mulroney years.
Yet, earlier this year, like so many other Canadians, I was proud of our government for refusing to join America’s illegal war against Iraq.
Today, it’s clear as clear can be, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney,Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair blatantly and repeatedly lied to the world in an outrageous, massive fraud, manipulating public opinion to justify their long-established plans to go to war.
Today it’s also clear that the Chretien government, in an obsequious and cowardly manner, is now preparing to abandon fifty years of Canadian foreign policy principle to become involved in George W. Bush’s Nation Missile Defence program (NMD) which is much less about missile defence than it is about the U.S. taking complete control of space for military purposes.
And, just as the Americans blatantly lied to the world with fabricated evidence about Iraq, today Canadians are being lied to about our government’s National Missile Defence plans.
John McCallum, our Minister of Defence, the man who was, incredibly, unable to distinguish between Vimy and Vichy, and who was shockingly oblivious to the story of Dieppe, wants to join George Bush’s scheme;“We should get in there early.”
So do the same old, same old continentalist, Americanizing gang, Tom d’Aquino of the notorious BCNI (now the CCCE), Derek Burney, Brian Mulroney’s former chief of staff who is now a major arms industry CEO, The National Post which should be renamed The American Post, David Pratt, the Liberal Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, Finance Minister John Manley and a host of others.
What we’re now seeing from the Chretien government is a pathetic grovel, a cowardly reaction to the intimidation of the American blowhard Ambassador Paul Cellucci, and the arrogant threats of Condaleezza Rice.
If now there’s even a shadow of a doubt that the Chretien government intends to leap aboard Bush’s reckless, destabilizing plans, then wait until later this year when Mulroney II, Paul Martin, is crowned as Prime Minister elect. And like Bush Jr., Martin Jr. says that we shouldn’t hesitate to break with the United Nations whenever we wish.
So, imagine, then, if other countries adopted a similar policy. What would be left of the U.N? What would be left of international law and international agreements? What would be left of international arms control?
Canadians are now being lied to by our own government in the most egregious manner. Supposedly Canada is officially committed to strongly opposing the weaponizing of space. We have in fact, in the past, been in the forefront of international opposition to the weaponizing of space.
But, anyone who has studied the American NMD plans knows that first and foremost the NMD is much less about defence against dubious rogue state missiles, as unlikely as they may be, than it is about total U.S. dominance of space, and the earth, by placing powerful and sophisticated new weapons in space.
Yet, remarkably, our Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham tells us that “We want to make sure Canada’s voice is raised against the weaponizing of space.”
What colossal hypocrisy. What absolute bunk.
There is zero doubt that the American plans are already leading to a massive new wave of weapons proliferation and destabilization, that China will reply with new long-range missiles and multiple nuclear warheads on its missiles. Russia has already announced plans to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons.
Rather than enhancing security, the NMD program will severely diminish it, will destroy arms control and non-proliferation agreements. The world will soon become a much more dangerous place, with a much greater potential for horrendous nuclear carnage.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
There are much better things that we Canadians can do.
We should convene a major international conference in Ottawa to condemn the weaponizing of space.
We should tell the Americans that we Canadians plan to lead a new worldwide campaign for disarmament, that we strongly oppose all nuclear weapons, that they made a terrible mistake abandoning the ABM agreement, that Canada strongly supports the United Nations, and that we are firmly opposed to illegal, aggressive, militaristic unilateralism.
Most important, we should tell the Americans that our future Canadian role in the world will mean greatly increased humanitarian foreign aid, a greater commitment to peacekeeping,and a much stronger and more forceful opposition to the slaughter of innocent men, women and children in military aggression and via terrorism.
If Canada joins the NMD, we will be repudiating much of what we have stood for for generations. We will inevitably be abandoning any kind of independent foreign policy in the future, and abandoning the respect of other nations at international forums in the future.
There are those who say that it we don’t join in with the Americans’ NMD plans, we will be left isolated. This is absolute nonsense.
A look at the recent Global Attitude polls published earlier this month shows clearly that it is the United States that is increasingly being isolated. Foreign approval of America has plummeted dramatically since the election of George W. Bush.
Rather than leaving us isolated, Canadian rejection of the NMD will leave us much more respected in the world community of nations.
As for Ambassador Cellucci’s gross interference in Canadian affairs, and his pressure to join with the U.S. in their Star Wars plans, any Canadian government with any kind of backbone would long ago have told Washington that this man is no diplomat and that he is no longer welcome in this country.
As for the ridiculous idea that joining in on the NMD would give us a voice and give us some influence, Star columnist Thomas Walkom summed it up nicely: “There is little advantage being at the table when you’re the busboy.”
Only the most naïve of the most naïve could possibly believe that if we did participate we would have even the tiniest modicum of influence in American plans. To suggest otherwise (see McCallum) is nothing but a scam.
As for continuing ill-informed American criticism of Canada in relation to terrorism, the Los Angeles Times put the Americans’ own ineptitude this way: “Want to bring a nuclear weapon into the United States? Just hide it in some drugs.” (See also my comments re the flight-training schools fiasco in my University of Victoria speech.)
Lastly, during the almost 19 Mulroney and Chretien years, Americans have been allowed to buy up increasingly huge amounts of the ownership and control of Canada to new levels that no other country would ever dream of accepting.
As a result of this, and extraordinary, unprecedented clauses in NAFTA, we no longer have control of our resources, most of our manufacturing and other key sector of the Canadian economy.
Since 1984, a steady process of Americanization has proceeded at both the federal and provincial levels of government, and Canada has become increasingly integrated into the American empire.Under Paul Martin this integration will certainly proceed at an even faster rate.
Despite all of this, the public opinion polls clearly show that the vast majority of Canadians strongly oppose the policies of our sellout politicians and our greedy plutocracy.
Now, not later, NOW is the time for Canadians to take a firm stand to ensure the survival of the country that we love as a proud, independent, sovereign country. An excellent place to begin is to say NO to the National Missile Defence plans, and to say YES to a real true north strong and free.
Copyright Mel Hurtig 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .