Common Ground : Archive : January 2005
by Bo Filter
Remember Ronald Reagan’s mad scientist program commonly called Star Wars? Well it’s back, morphed and repackaged from the strategic defence initiative, now sold as ballistic missile defence. Like Star Wars, this prodigy is a violation of international law, particularly the clauses that prohibit the manufacture, transport, deployment, or use of weapons of mass destruction. So why does Canada, a nation that supposedly supports international law, want to violate those same laws? Is the friendship between Canadian militarists and US military manufacturers more important? Let’s not let that become the case.
More likely, Canadians have become used to being bullied by a superpower. But, oh, how proud we were when Prime Minister Diefenbaker said No to the US request to send troops to Vietnam and when Jean Chrétien refused to participate in the assault on Iraq. Signing on to missile defence is not a simple act of being corralled one more time into going along with the bully. Canadian sovereignty will very likely go into meltdown. It’s one thing to be occasionally forced into a “coalition of the willing,” but quite another when our defence becomes infused with the history of a country that has on questionable grounds, invaded 130 other nations.
Too many Canadians know too little about the history of US aggression. Nor do many of us know that the US has invaded Canada four times. Learn for yourself by reading David Orchard’s book, The Fight for Canada. The selling of Star Wars and kind is not helping us one bit. The protagonists for missile defence shield want us to believe that insignificant differences exist between the twin towers of New York and downtown Toronto. Granted, each time we are bludgeoned by the military and the corporate media to join another US-led “humanitarian cause,” we become ever more tarnished by the blood we shed, moving Wall Street and Bay Street closer together ideologically. Fortunately for us, the world does not see Canada as a predator nation with colonies and victims too numerous to count. Some of you might remember the Frank Church Senate committee hearings of 1975. The committee found that the CIA had conducted worldwide, over 13,000 illegal operations. When a deputy director was asked how many of a certain violation regarding election rigging had occurred, the chairman was told that there were so many that they had lost count and had no record for many of them.
Of the 13,000 plus operations cited in the Church Committee report, the largest, most expensive and most deadly was the sponsorship of the Afghani war against the USSR. This was a proxy war waged by al Qaeda, created by the CIA and directed through the intelligence services of Pakistan. Having two intermediaries provided considerable cushioning between the killing fields and the US taxpayers, who knew little if anything about the crime. Two decades later, the “war on terror” is chasing a CIA-bred hero named Osama bin Laden, who was credited with helping to destroy the evil Soviet empire but cannot be found. He was supposedly on the most wanted list before 9/11, while at the same time bin Laden was receiving medical treatment at a US-friendly hospital. Guests to his room included staff from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Do we dare ask the obvious question? If the CIA sponsored bin Laden in Afghanistan, did it work with him with equal fervor on 9/11? Many of the pieces of the 9/11 puzzle fit together this way. So if the war on terror is a hoax and 9/11 was a pretext for it, all in a struggle by US oilmen to control Middle East and Caspian Sea region oil, then the attack on Iraq must have been planned well in advance. Guess what? It was and the CIA certainly knew that no one important would pay for these crimes. Going back to 1975, only a few underlings went to jail for the 13,000 crimes up to that time.
The message was clear to the CIA. Having weathered the storm, nothing stood in its way. Covert operations would continue unabated, financed with billions of tax dollars, augmented by untold billions more acquired illegally, all actions face-lifted under the rubric of national security or the opportunistic rhetoric of freedom and democracy. Living in the eye of this global hurricane of aggression, we North Americans are mostly numb to the effects. What we collectively don’t seem to realize is that the victims of these thousands of crimes know who is behind them. So the question for Canadians today is, are we going to accept Star Wars and marry our destiny to rogue nation behaviour? Bully nations have always sought coalitions to lend an illusion of legitimacy. If 130 wounded nations seek retribution on the US, are Canadians going to stand in their way and say something foolish like, “You must have had it coming to you!” I don’t think so.
We can address international crime through education and spreading the word on breaches of law. Knowledge comes to us bitter sweet; the bitter being painful truths we must face, but the sweet is often received without notice. Bells don’t ring and bad news is no cause for celebration. Yet, silently and subtly you are ever so slightly more aware now than you were say, a month ago of critical factors concerning the world around you. You read. You learn. You are aware. This is power – power that promises freedom from tyranny and the certainty of an enlightened, peaceful future.
Bo Filter is author of a newly released book: The Cause of Wars and Aggression
2005, Missile Defence Sovereignty Meltdown