Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation


Canada’s "Secret" Contribution to the War in Iraq

by  Richard Sanders

www.globalresearch.ca   27  March 2003

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/SAN303B.html

The breaking story today (March 27, 2003) is that a few Canadian troops are fighting on the ground in Iraq. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. The truth is that Canada stands as the third strongest contributor to US forces in the Iraq war, after Britain and Australia.

Isn’t it amazing how Canada can contribute so much to this war without even being involved?

Earlier this week (March 25), the US Ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, told the Economic Club in Toronto that he was "disappointed" that Canada failed to join in the US-led war against Iraq. His was one of a huge chorus of voices critiquing Canada for refusing to participate in the “Coalition of the Willing.” (This was not the first time a US Ambassador to Canada meddled in our affairs. See the note at the end of this email about the US-backed regime change in Canada 40 years ago.)

The most significant statement in Ambassador Cellucci’s speech was his observation that Canada is currently giving more military support to the US for its war against Iraq than most of the nations that are officially supporting the war!

He said: "Ironically, the Canadians indirectly provide more support for us in Iraq than most of those 46 countries that are fully supporting us. It's kind of an odd situation."

Yes, Paul, it is a kind of odd isn’t it? Ironic indeed! Or is it? Perhaps this is exactly what we should always expect from the Liberal government. After all, the Liberals have always done as much as they possibly can to promote war and profit from it, while simultaneously working to create the appearance that they stand for peace.

In the House of Commons on March 21, the Bloc and the NDP once again did an excellent job of condemning the Liberals in very loud and very strong terms. They denounced the government for allowing Canada’s multibillion dollar warships to protect US aircraft carriers in the Gulf. Canada’s help is ensuring that these US aircraft carriers can “safely” launch hundreds of aerial bombing missions against the people of Iraq. Protecting US warplanes so they can carry out their missions is one of Canada’s biggest roles in this particular war. Make no mistake, this is a VERY important military role. Please be aware... Canada IS involved. We are very involved.

In response to the strong NDP and Bloc criticism, the minister responsible for war, John McCallum, expressed his pride that Canada is “leading” (yes, “leading”!) the multinational naval task force currently in the Persian Gulf. Canada is commanding the task force of naval forces that are charged with the crucial responsibility of protecting US aircraft carriers from “terrorist” attacks! This was also Canada's role in 1999 when we “led” NATO’s naval force during the war against Yugoslavia. Back in 1991, when Canadian warplanes took part in a few token bombing attacks against Iraqi targets, our airforce had an even more important function. Canadian CF-18s were “escorting” US fighter and bomber aircraft on their sorties, to protect them from enemy fire so that they could carry out the wholesale destruction of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure, particularly electrical plants, and water and sewage treatement facilities. (This was the beginning of the end for hundreds of thousands of children who died from epidemics that then spread across Iraq.)

Thanks to the mainstream media, the lie that Canada is NOT involved in this war has spread like wildfire through Canada. It has also spread through the US as well, at least as much as any information about Canada can permeate into American consciousness.

This is yet another example of a successful media campaign conducted by the Canadian government to perpetuate the underlying myth that Canada is a world-class peacemaker. Chrétien kept Canadians on the edge of their seats for months. Everyone was wondering whether the Liberals would support the war or not? The litmus test used to determine the answer to this question was rigged. It was made to look as if the question of Canada’s support was hinged on whether we’d send land troops and warplanes into this war. When Canada didn't contribute in those two particular ways, it was broadcast wide and far across the nation and the world that Canada didn't endorse the war. Brilliant!!!

The fact, of course, is that Canada IS aiding and abetting this criminal war, albeit not in the specific ways that the litmus test was designed to detect. Canada IS very deeply complicit, and -- as confirmed by Paul Cellucci this week Canada is MORE complicit most. Compared to most others in the gang that have gathered around the US bully, Canada is acting above and beyond the call of duty. The only condition of our participation is that the US plays along with Canada’s desire to keep our role very hush-hush. While publicly, the Canadian government is pretending to have taken the moral high ground by opposing this war, simultaneously -- behind the scenes -- it is doing everything it possibly can to give as much support as possible to aid and abet this illegal US war.

Canada’s Support for the War

Canada is by far the leading member of that group of nations that secretly support the “Coalition of the Willing” but who wish to remain nameless.

Here are a few examples of Canada’s role in this unsanctioned war:

Providing War Planners: Canadian military “war planners” have been working with US Central Command for months. Canada had planners working with US Central Command when it was located at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida. USCENTCOM is masterminding the entire war against Iraq. Then, on February 11, 2003, Canada disclosed that it had transferred about 25 of our “military planners” from MacDill to the U.S. military’s forward command post in Qatar, in the Persian Gulf. This is now the “command-and-control headquarters” for the war. Having Canadian war planners helping to set up, prepare and organize this war for months leading up to its launch is a far more significant role than having a few soldiers fighting on the ground. Canada has helped to determine the whole strategy for fighting this war. We are continuing to help run this war from the inside. Canada is part of the brains behind the whole operation. It is unlikely that very many of the nations that are officially recognized as part of the “Coalition of the Willing” are part of the strategic and logistical planning effort coordinated by CENTCOM that has created the schedule for this war and is now pulling all the strings from behind the scenes.

Commanding the Multinational Naval Force: Canada is leading a multinational naval taskforce in the Persian Gulf. We currently have about 1300 troops on three frigates that are protecting US aircraft carriers. These Canadian frigates have accompanied US warships through the Persian Gulf right up to Kuwait. From there, these warships are serving as “platforms” from which to launch the air war against Iraq. This is all part of Operation Apollo, which originally began as Canada’s contribution to the war in Afghanistan, but which has now conveniently mutated into a major Canadian contribution to the US War against Iraq.

Exchange Troops: Canada admits having 31 “exchange troops” engaged in the war against Iraq. Although Chrétien has denied that any are engaged in fighting on the ground in Iraq, Daniel Leblanc says that “Six Canadian Forces members on exchange programs with coalition troops are serving in battle zones in Iraq, despite Ottawa's official policy of staying out of the war” (Globe and Mail, March 27, 2003). “At least one of the Canadians…is with the British 7th Armoured Brigade, a unit now taking part in heavy fighting near Basra” (David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, March 27, 2003).

These Canadian “exchange troops” under the command of US and British armed forces are serving with combat troops on the ground in Iraq. This “exchange program” with the US and UK has been going on for many decades. It has allowed Canadian navy, air force and army personnel to engage in foreign wars that are not officially sanctioned by the Canadian government. It has also ensured that when Canadian troops are officially at war, they have the guidance and support of US troops in their midst.

Airborne Warning and Control System: Canadian Forces members are also part of crews on Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. These state of the art aircraft are essential to modern air war battles. They are the nerve centres that “safely” guide fighter jets and bombers into battle so that they can “deliver” their destructive “payloads.” Chrétien rationalized that the Canadians are on AWACS that oversee more than just Iraq or any single country. "The people who are involved in flying in AWACS claim they are covering many countries in their surveillance, not only one country." he said. (Daniel Leblanc, March 27, 2003)

Freeing Up US Troops in Afghanistan: In an article in the the Globe and Mail on February 5, 2003, Brian Tobin urged Canada to fulfill its obligations to the UN and to the US. He stated “The U.S. needs to free up key logistical and military assets on the ground in Afghanistan for the coming campaign in Iraq. Canada can, and should, offer to fill the gap.” This is exactly what Canada did when it announced a week later that a “sizeable contribution” of Canadian troops (between 1000 and 2000) would free up US troops in Afghanistan., making them available for fighting in Iraq.

Providing Billions in Weapons and Military Equipment: Canada is selling billions of dollars worth of military equipment to the US. US orders for Canadian military equipment are guaranteed to increase because of the war. Knowing, as we do, that the US is Canada’s biggest military customer and that Canadian military production is thoroughly integrated into the US war machine, we can assume that virtually every major US weapons system, and weapons delivery system, includes at least some Canadian components. Many major components, like aircraft engines for warplanes, are made in Canada. Although Canada claims to have one of the world’s strictest sets of guidelines to stop the export of our military goods, Canada has absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on any of our military exports to the US. No Canadian government permits are required. Canada’s guidelines state that military exports to countries at war, or preparing for war, are "closely controlled." However, in the case of the US-led war against Iraq, Canada’s military exports will show a “closely controlled” increase. No doubt, officials in Industry Canada, the Department of Foreign Affiars and International Trade, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Export development Canada will be working overtime these days to help Canadian military-related corporations keep up with the increased demand for products that are required for this war..

Cheerleading: As Prime Minister Chrétien appears to waffle between opposition and encouragement for the war, he periodically makes very strong statements that lend strong diplomatic support for the US campaign against Iraq. On March 20, in his first public statement after the air war officially began, Chrétien said in the House of Commons that: (1) "It was the Americans' privilege and right to make the decision that they made. We respect that… Of course, I hope that the Americans will do as well as possible." (2) "At this point, I think there is no use debating the reasons why some people think war is necessary and some people think it is not. We should not say anything that would comfort Saddam Hussein." (Since Chrétien is against debating the war, imagine how opposed he must be to those who actually hit the street to protest against it!)

Overflights of US Air Force: Many US warplanes enroute to Iraq are flying through Canadian air space. This may not seem significant but its is one of the things that the US has specifically requested from members to be counted among the “Coalition of the Willing.” Some countries have gained entry into the gang merely for letting the US to fly over.

Refueling US Military Aircraft: US aircraft carrying many thousands troops to Iraq are being allowed to stop in St. John's and Stephenville, Newfoundland for refueling and crew changes. “In recent weeks, as the U.S. has used Newfoundland as a refueling stop for military flights en route to the Middle East. ‘We've been getting roughly 2 or 3 U.S. flights a day, with probably 1000 troops coming through each day,’ said Gary Vey, CEO of the Gander Airport Authority” (Ottawa Citizen, March 22).

These are just nine of the many concrete ways that Canada is currently supporting the US war against Iraq. There are many other more systemic, practical means by which the Canadian government constantly proves its allegiance to US militarism. Just to cite a few of many examples, our government continues to: * Let US warplanes to test their weapons in Canadian air space, * Let US pilots to train in Canadian air space, * Let US submarines to test their torpedoes in Canadian waters, * Let the Canadian Pension Plan to continue to pour our hard earned dollars into Canadian, US and overseas military companies, * Gives billions in loans, subsidies and other forms of welfare in Canada’s top military exporters, * Gives money to encourage military R&D efforts that directly benefit the war industry.

On the other side of the coin, the Liberal Party continues to accept large donations from Canada's war industries. If they really had even a thread of any moral fibre within them wouldn’t they refuse to accept such blood money into their war chest?

On the Praising of Liberal Hypocrisy

How are those who want to promote the truth about this war, and Canada’s role in it, supposed to deal with this troubling situation? There are many Canadians, including some peace activists, who now feel that we should praise and congratulate our government for not committing troops. They quickly add that we should follow our tribute to the Liberals with comments about how the government should go even further to support peace. Their approach is to say that the government should take some additional steps along the path of not cooperating with the US war.

However, we have to worry that this approach will feed into the prevailing myth and give comfort and support to Chrétien and his party. The problem is NOT that our government is proceeding with baby steps towards peace and that we need only encourage them to keep going in that basic direction and to perhaps take some bigger steps. The reality is that the direction in which our government is heading is towards supporting the war while pretending to stand for peace. It’s not that the government just needs to tweak its policy a bit and to therefore improve an already existing peace policy that is generally aligned to our way of thinking. What our government really needs is to do is to take an about-face turn away from their almost full-fledged (albeit, still largely hidden) support for US militarism.

I think that if we are going to congratulate Chrétien and the Liberals for anything having to do with this war, we should be recognize them for the absolutely fantastic propaganda campaign that they’ve carried out. They have miraculously managed to con the majority of Canadians into thinking that this country is NOT involved in the US war against Iraq when, as we’ve seen, Canada IS very deeply involved, more involved in fact than most of America’s “Coalition of the Willing.”

Much of the thanks for this con job must go to the mainstream media. It is doing a fine job of perpetuating the lie that the Canadian government is not involved. They surely don’t need any additional help from the peace movement in promoting this deception. Surely, the peace movement should not do anything at all to assist the media or the government in spreading the myth even further that Canada has taken a stand for peace against this war. This now-prevailing myth can be heard on the lips of radio and TV anchors, hosts and interviewers. It is now the commonly accepted reality. It is rapidly becoming entrenched in the Canadian pysche. This chapter in the “Canada is a Peacemaker” myth, will go down in our history as one of the most dazzling examples of hypocrisy. I fear that even years from now, many Canadians will look back at this war and remember it as the one that Canada didn’t participate in. The Canadian government is receiving kudos from many peace-loving Canadians and organizations, as if it was some great force for world peace, when the reality is that our government is once again deeply complicit in an US-led, illegal war.

The question that faces us is this mess is: do we want to help the media, the government, the military and various right-wing elements in this country who are propagating the predominating mythology that Canada is not involved in the war, or, do we want to try our best to expose this lie for what it is?

First, let’s be clear about our situation. A massive war crime is now underway in Iraq. By aiding and abetting the US, Canada is a major contributing partner in this array of international crimes. Perhaps that, in part, is also why they are trying desperately to hide their complicity. Canadians are being duped into believing that our government and military are not involved in this crime.

Once we’ve seen through the government’s public relations propaganda, one thing that we can do is talk to our allies in the peace movement who seem somehow to have fallen for the old Liberal scam. We can also express our opposition to those in the mainstream media that are continuously repeating phrases that reveal their underlying, naive assumption that Canada is not involved in this war.

We can point out that the pretence of posing as peacemakers while profiting from war is practically what defines classic, Liberal-style, peace politics. Remember the old saying about the Liberals that they run their campaigns from the left, but govern from the right? There is the same dichotomy between what they say and what they do, i.e., they talk like lefty humanitarians but rule like right-wing warmongers.

While on the subject of sayings, I am reminded of one of my favourite “Bushisms.” On September 17, 2002, while visiting Nashville, Tennessee, “President” George Bush said: "There's an old saying in Tennessee I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, fool me once, shame on shame on you. Fool me you can't get fooled again."

So, as we approach April Fools Day, we should recall that Liberal trickery is not just evidenced in their approach to peace issues. It runs the whole gamut of their political platform. The Liberals have viciously slashed funding for housing, health, education, the environment and overseas development, while at the same time they are always presenting themselves as the righteous champions of all these programs. This is, after all, really what defines the Liberal Party. This is what distinguishes them from the openly, right-wing parties that more or less unashamedly crush social programs on the basis that they are too expensive, or could be done more efficiently if privatized, or simply because less government is better, i.e., the “get the government off our backs” approach.

The power brokers within the Liberal Party -- the cabinet and the backroom PR boys that manipulate the public’s perception about what Liberals stand for -- are essentially right-wingers who are smart enough to know that to maintain votes they must appear to be opposed to blatant rightwing politics.

Should we praise them when they make proud statements extolling social programs while at the same time they inflict death blows to the very programs that they claim to protect? Should we praise them for peace initiatives when they are meanwhile profiting from war?

To counteract the prevailing propaganda of this war, Canadian peace activists need to point out however and wherever we can that applauding the Canadian government for staying out of this war is not only inaccurate (because Canada IS in fact supporting the war with troops, warships, weapons, diplomatic support, etc.) but that it is also dangerous for our movement in the long run because it will help to prolong the reign of the Liberal Party.

If the Alliance Party was in power now are we so sure that Canada’s actual, concrete commitment to this war would be all that different from the way it is? Perhaps under the reigns of the Alliance, Canada’s commitment to this war would have looked more like the 1991 Iraq war when the Conservative Party was in power. They did contribute some warplanes in 1991. But remember that eight years later, Canada’s contribution -- under the Liberal government -- to the US-led war against Yugoslavia, was much more vicious thanour role in 1991. Canada was responsible for a large percentage of the bombing sorties in Yugoslavia.

I would argue that if the Alliance was in power, Canada’s contribution to the war would not be very different from the current Liberal contribution, at least in terms of the actual physical contribution to the fight. The real big difference would be in all the Alliance verbiage about their contribution to the fight. The Alliance would be much more up-front and honest about their contribution. In fact, they would take the list of ways that they were contributing (much the same list as what the Liberals are contributing) and they would puff up the public appearance of each and every item. The Alliance would have officially joined the “Coalition of the Willing,” not pretended that they weren’t even involved. They would have bragged about all of the many ways that they were supporting their American friends in this war, not pretending to be opposed to it.

I’m not saying I’d prefer an Alliance government but I am saying that it would be easier for us to oppose it. The Liberals create such a smoke screen and dodge around so much, that their policy on this war has take on the appearance of a neutron dancing around the nucleus of an atom. It is impossible to know exactly where they stand. The Hiezenberg uncertainty principal of atomic physics certainly applies to Liberal policies. Depending on who these chameleons are talking to, the position of their spots is sure to change.

Another thing that peace activists would be wise to consider in deciding whether to heap praise on the Liberals for their thoroughly ambiguous war policies, is the fact that public perception of the peace movement is largely filtered through the mainstream media. The media always summarizes and condenses our messages. It packages them into short sound bites and images. Prefacing our statements about the war by lauding the government runs the terrible risk that the media will present us as generally supporting this warmongering government. Is that worth the risk? I think not.

We also have to remember that even if the media airs both our dual message of praise and critique of the Liberal policy, then many within the audience may only retain the former message. Our caveats about naval forces, the international arms trade and other matters may dissipate into the media whirl. The basic message that may get through is that the peace movement has praised the government for not being involved in the war.

I think we have to be very careful to avoid presenting even the appearance that we are going along with the Liberals. If we seem to be accepting the charade that Canada isn’t involved in this war, then the basic underlying line of reasoning that we are getting across to the public is something like this: (1) the peace movement is praising the government’s peace policy (with some caveats), and (2) the peace movement therefore generally supports the Liberal Party’s peace policy,

Many Canadians who are now opposed to this war (but who don’t receive much information beyond what they get from the mainstream media), will retain only the underlying pro-Liberal message. It will become implanted along with all of the other messages that reinforce the idea that the Liberals stand for peace, and that Canada is not involved in this war. When the next election rolls around these people will be operating under the basic assumption that “Liberals = Peace.” Because these Canadians generally believe in peace they will reason that if they want to achieve peace it will be safe for them to vote Liberal. They will fall for the ruse that the Liberal Party can be trusted, in the end, albeit after much discussion and debate, to finally come around to taking a pro-peace/anti-war stance.

Another related danger of the “praising the government for peace" line of approach is that some Canadians will now become complacent. Now that people are starting to absorb the mistaken idea that we have won the struggle, this will undermine the incredible strides that we have taken in building such strong opposition to the war. The lie that is now spreading across Canada that our government is not really involved means that we may now see people sliding away from participation in protests. The number of participants at Canadian protests will likely now diminish. Many feel that a major function of these events is to send a message to our own government. Now that the Canadian government has supposedly decided to embrace peace, it will seem as if there is no longer such a pressing need to join anti-war protests.

Therefore, in the protests that do occur, and in the publicity and public education work that will continue during and after this war peace activists will need to work very hard to draw people’s attention toward the many examples of our government’s involvement in this war. We cannot generally rely upon the mainstream media to promote that information. Some reporters will pursue that story but most air time will studiously ignore the subject, and in effect cover up information that conflicts with the prevailing myth that Canada is a global peacemaker.

Exposing the Peace Charlatan’s Pys Ops

How does one expose such deeply rooted myths that are so deeply ingrained in our cultural consciousness that they are completely invisible? Sometimes it is useful to take the underlying principle that ones opponent espouses and then point to some acknowledged fact that directly contradicts the myth. For instance, if someone says “Canada is not involved in this war,” one can reply with information that shows our strong complicity.

Another approach is to ask those who think it appropriate to praise the Liberals, whether they think it would be appropriate for the US peace movement to praise the Republicans because they have NOT used nuclear weapons against Iraq? Should US peace activists preface statements against US foreign policy by first expressing their thanks and appreciation to the Republicans for demonstrating the restraint and humanitarianism of holding back on the use of nuclear weapons? Should peace activists say that the non-use of nuclear weapons proves that the Republicans are basically on the right track toward a peaceful solution in Iraq and that they just need to work a bit on changing some of their other secondary policies regarding the little matter of using conventional weapons?

This is of course ludicrous. One does not extol the virtues of a violent bully just because he has used a small club instead of a large club to commit murder. Nor should one congratulate the members of a bully’s gang just because they didn’t join in the actual beating. If a gang member serves the bully by supplying clubs used in the fight, standing around cheering as the bully crushes his opponent, protects the bully on his way to the fight from those who would try to stop him, cover for him after the fight, take a share from the bully in the fight’s spoils, say that the bully had a right to do what he did and tell the other kids not to even question the bully’s actions, then, are we to pay tribute to that gang member? Are we supposed to eulogize them with praise? Are we to try to take credit for having influenced them for doing the right thing? Do we reward the gang member by publicly commending their actions? Do we stand there and say “We are very proud of you, son, for not smashing the skull of that little girl?” “We commend you for doing all you possibly could to ensure the beating was a great success while still maintaining the appearance of a nice, polite boy with hands left unbloodied by in the actual beating.”

There is always a wide range of actions that any government can take to wage a war. To be successful, warmongers do not have to engage in ALL of the choices of weapons that are available to them. Bush has in this case held back on use of the most extreme weaponry that is available to him. Bush did not use his nuclear and biological weapons. However, it’s worth remembering that Bush does not HAVE to use every weapon available in order to win the war. In fact, although dropping a few mini-nukes on Iraq might help the US military to win the war, by doing so, they would lose the larger diplomatic war. And, such extreme action would make it even harder for them to get support the next time they want to wage an unjust war. The world’s population, already largely opposed to this war, would become even more enraged at the US. Bush would lose even more of his tenuous support. The US war planners know this know this and they act accordingly.

It’s exactly the same sort of situation with Canada’s role in this war. Canada has a range of options available expressing our involvement. The Liberals ended up choosing to participate in a wide variety of ways but they decided not to partake in some of the most extreme forms of participation, i.e., dropping Canadian bombs or having Canadian armoured divisions racing toward Baghdad in tanks. The Liberals know that the Canadian public would not support that position. They therefore have chosen to be involved in a large number of less visible ways. They are doing their best to hide this involvement.

Perhaps a lot of this debate comes down to whether we trust the Liberal Party. Are they what they say they are? Are they an ally of the peace movement or an adversary? An examination of history will show quite clearly that the Liberals have never really been an ally of the peace movement, although they have tried to paint themselves into this role on some occasions.

Yes, they have taken some steps to oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons and anti-personnel landmines. Unfortunately, however, when one looks at the larger picture, i.e., at the whole range and context of their policies, programs and practices with regards to all of the other weapons systems that they help Canadian companies to produce and export, one sees that major contradictions always exist in their approach to war and peace.

The basic repeated pattern that emerges time and time again is that the Liberals are experts at embracing very high profile, very public positions on single, isolated policies that, when taken completely out of context, seem to be very commendable. For instance, by denouncing specific types of weapons, they appear to be standing up against that which we believe weapons symbolize, i.e., war and militarism. However, it’s all a shell game. By taking such high profile symbolic actions, the Liberals create an aura around themselves that gives them the superficial appearance of a hero standing up in a principled way for peace. However, behind all this elaborately constructed media façade they continue to help in every way possible to encourage Canadian companies to produce and export the broadest range of weapons and military equipment possible. They help these companies to specifically target the world’s biggest warmongers and human rights violators as potential markets for these deadly products.

Such psychological operations (psy ops) have two basic components: (1) With their left hand the Liberals use the media, and unwitting NGOs, to grab hold of some particular little glittering jewel of a limited peace policy/campaign. They then hold that precious prize up into the air as high as possible for all to see and they wave it around with great flourish while humbly praising themselves and encouraging everyone to cheer them on. Their goal in this operation is to gain widespread public attention and to focus it on one thing that makes them look good to the voters.

(2) Then they use their right hand, which is completely hidden from public view, to carry on covert activities in alliance with the business community that runs totally counter to the image that they have created with their public, left hand. In the case of the classic Liberal “peace sting” operation, the Liberals rely on the mainstream media to help them to shroud their behind-the-scenes, right-wing, war-promoting activities by a thick smokescreen.

This is the kind of elaborate ploy that has been used by the Liberals to mislead the Canadian public for many decades. Many Canadians unfortunately fall for all the pizzazz, like the unsuspecting audience watching the magician do card tricks. But at least with magic shows, the crowd knows that they have been tricked by some illusion, they just don’t know how the showman pulled it off. So, when speaking of such Liberal acts of deception, we are being charitable in using the metaphor of a magician. It is much more accurate to compare them to con man who makes his living by cheating at cards.

The public is repeatedly scammed into supporting the shameless trickster. Do we never learn? We get caught by the same swindler again and again. The specifics of the charlatan’s game may change, but the basic pattern of his fraud is repeated. This allows the peace huckster to continue their career without ever being held accountable for their long string of crimes.

We cannot afford to continue falling for the same old tricks.

No doubt we will be arguing about this matter for a long time to come. It is one of those ongoing arguments that has been discussed by progressive movements for thousands of years.

By writing this article, I hope to inspire people, especially peace activists to think about these issues and to help get this debate out into the open.

We ignore this debate at our peril because it is deals with a constantly recurring problem, one that returns to haunt us again and again ... year after year ... war after war after war.


US Ambassadors backed Regime Change in Canada Forty years ago, US Ambassadors to Canada, Livingston Merchant and William Butterworth, worked closely with key officials from the State Department, Pentagon, NATO, the CIA, RCAF, selected Canadian media outlets and the Liberal Party to engineer a “regime change” in Canada. They successfully ousted Prime Minister John Diefenbaker because he refused to accept US nuclear weapons into Canada and they replaced him with Lester B.Pearson. Pierre Trudeau was so disgusted with Pearson that he dubbed him the “defrocked priest of peace." See the following article, and related ones, in issue 43 of Press for Conversion!) http://www.ncf.ca/coat/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/plot_made_in_us.htm

 Richard Sanders is the editor of Press for Conversion! magazine. Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) (A network of individuals and NGOs across Canada and around the world) Email: [email protected] Web: http://www.ncf.ca/coat   Press for Conversion! Read the Jan. 2003 issue of our quarterly magazine on: "Going to War: The American use of War Pretext Incidents" http://www.ncf.ca/coat/our_magazine/links/issue50/issue50.htm   Read the Oct. 2002 issue online: "Real Reasons for the Invasion of Iraq"  http://www.ncf.ca/coat/our_magazine/links/issue49/issue49.htm Our next issue will focus on U.S.-backed regime changes, wars, military and CIA operations in the Middle East & North Africa since WWII.

To join our list serve on the Afghan and Iraq wars, the war on terrorism and the criminalisation of dissent, send the message: subscribe no_to_nato to [email protected] To see the archives at http://www.flora.org/coat/forum/ Endorse COAT's online Global Appeal/Pledge of Nonviolence. About 17,000 people, from 122 countries have signed so far. The appeal/pledge is available in 18 languages. http://www.flora.org/coat/appeal/

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