Two weeks ago, the Washington Post published an editorial saying that the governments of the NATO military alliance are being too soft on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. The editors want even more aggressive support to the governing regime in Kyiv than what is already being given.
In particular, the newspaper objects to the ceasefire agreement that it says beleaguered Kyiv was pressured to sign in Minsk, Belarus on February 15, 2015. The editorial was headlined, ‘Putting Ukraine in an untenable position’ and its reads, “Yet now the German and French governments have enlisted the help of the Obama administration in seeking unilateral Ukrainian compliance with Minsk 2’s onerous political terms, which if fully implemented would implant a Russian-controlled entity inside Ukraine’s political system.”
The editors of the Post are pulling off a ruse. Kyiv has not abided by a single clause of Minsk-2, and the regime’s foreign backers, including in the editorial offices of the nearly all of Western media, keep a careful silence on the subject.
Points ten, eleven and twelve of the Minsk-2 agreement read as follows:
10. Pullout of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, and also mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under OSCE supervision. Disarmament of all illegal groups.
11. Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with a new constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralisation (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts), and also approval of permanent legislation on the special status of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in accordance with the measures spelt out in the attached footnote, by the end of 2015.
12. Based on the Law of Ukraine “On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”, questions related to local elections will be discussed and agreed upon with representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. Elections will be held in accordance with relevant OSCE standards and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR.
So the obligations are clear, but they are being utterly disregarded by Kyiv and, as we see, by its foreign backers.
The Post‘s editorial is also a clear example of the ‘two worlds, two realities’ which prevail in the world today over the Ukraine crisis. One view sees an extreme, right-wing government in Kyiv waging a civil war against a population in the east of Ukraine which rejects Kyiv’s anti-Russia, intolerant nationalism and Kyiv’s pro-austerity embrace of the European Union. The opposite view sees ongoing Russian “invasions”, “occupations” and intervention in Ukraine. Most regretfully, the latter view is shared by a sizable body of liberal, social democratic and even pseudo-Marxist opinion in the West.
The Post editorial describes the present situation in eastern Ukraine as follows: “[Russia’s] forces continue to shell and rocket Ukrainian positions on a daily basis. Far from pulling back heavy weapons or withdrawing its troops as required by the agreement, it has built military bases and deployed 9,000 troops inside Ukraine and stationed another 50,000 just outside the border, according to Ukrainian and NATO officials.”
Funny, on the Post‘s extensive ‘Ukraine crisis‘ compilation of articles, one searches in vain for a single news report confirming the editors’ claims of Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine and ongoing shelling and bombardment. The closest we get to that are reports by Post journalists embedded with the Ukrainian army. But their reports do not come close to verifying the editors’ claims; they consist merely of war-tourism style observations and photos.
So let’s pause for a moment to reflect. The Washington Post (and some other mainstream media) publishes articles and photo stories by journalists in and around Kyiv-controlled eastern Ukraine. But the Post‘s journalists can’t seem to provide examples of how “Russia’s forces continue to shell and rocket Ukrainian positions on a daily basis”. Surely, if the situation is that severe, there must be no shortage of visual examples to provide to readers? And surely the U.S. government can provide satellite images to mainstream media of the “9,000 Russian soldiers” in eastern Ukraine as well as other examples of Russian intervention?
Unless… it’s all, or mostly, make believe.
On the rebel side of eastern Ukraine, there is no shortage of examples of grim, daily shelling by Ukrainian armed forces, which are backed by NATO. Alas, and not by accident, such reports never, ever grace the pages of the Western media.
Canadian opposition parties cheer for more war
The blind, anti-Russia stand of the Washington Post is shared by the parties of the political mainstreams in the United States and Canada.
In Canada, the two main opposition parties are not only aligned with the pro-Kyiv, Conservative Party government in Ottawa. Similar to the Post editors in the U.S., they criticize the federal government in Ottawa for being too soft on Russia.
The New Cold War.org website has recently reported the pro-war views of the leader of the social-democratic New Democratic Party. Tom Mulcair presented his views to the first televised debate of the federal election in Canada on August 6. “We are proud members of NATO,” he declared. Mulcair criticized Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not adding even more Russian government and business leaders on the government’s war-threatening sanctions list. (The Canadian election will take place on October 19.)
Concerning the Liberal Party in Canada, it appreciates and backs the Harper government’s support of Kyiv, but it also criticizes both the government and the NDP for being too soft on Russia and the “pro-Russian separatists” in eastern Ukraine.
Key ideologues of Liberal Party foreign policy spoke to a public forum on Ukraine in Toronto on August 11. You can view excerpts of the forum here on YouTube, and you can read a favourable print report of the event here. A key demand on the Liberal Party wish-list for Ukraine is that the Canadian government begin to provide heavy weaponry to the Ukrainian army.
One of Canada’s better-known journalists, Dianne Francis, provides a particularly zany version of the “soft on Russia” argument in an article published by the neo-conservative Atlantic Council on August 17. She writes: “World attention focuses on ISIS and Iran, with its half an atomic weapon. But the biggest geopolitical issue is Vladimir Putin, backed by thousands of nuclear weapons, who is gradually conquering Ukraine, a democracy with 45 million people the size of Germany and Poland combined.
“In just over a year, Russia has seized nine per cent of Ukraine, killed 6,200, wounded 30,000, displaced 1.38 million people and shot down a commercial airliner with 298 people aboard.
“Even so, European and American retaliation has been soft, and ineffective…”
Only last month, Francis published several articles praising as heroes Ukraine’s extreme-right and neo-Nazi paramilitary battalions. She is Distinguished Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto and a former editor of the National Post.
Canada is already providing military training to Ukraine’s army, along with non-lethal (sic) military equipment and spying and communication equipment and data. The government and the media support or turn a blind eye to the fundraising going on in Canada by Ukrainian ultranationalists to purchase military equipment for the war. Some of the purchased or supplied equipment serves the ongoing shelling of civilian areas of eastern Ukraine.
The Minsk-2 ceasefire provides a roadmap to end the hostilities in eastern Ukraine. A real ceasefire could open the road to resolution of the large social, economic and political issues that have split Ukraine politically and driven a sizable portion of the its population into revolt. But for now, the cheering for war taking place in Western capitals and editorial offices is a major obstacle for achieving all this.
Roger Annis is an editor of the website The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond. On June 12, he gave a talk in Vancouver, Canada reporting on his visit to Donetsk, eastern Ukraine in April 2015 as part of a media tour group. A video broadcast of that talk is here: The NATO offensive in eastern Europe and the class and the national dynamics of the war in eastern Ukraine.
Brandon Martinez of Non-Aligned Media revisits a March 2015 scandal which exposed the direct connection between the pro-Zionist Harper regime in Ottawa and ISIS, and how the mainstream media refused to follow up on it.
It would seem the height of Orwellian doublespeak to eliminate a political candidate for calling a war crime a war crime. And all the more so if you’re a leading member of Canada’s New Democratic Party.
And yet that’s exactly what happened this week when Nova Scotian Morgan Wheeldon, an NDP candidate for the riding of Kings-Hants, was forced to step down when a Conservative troll found a statement on his Facebook page from 2014 calling Israel’s bombardment of Gaza a “war crime.”
I suppose that party brass doesn’t read much Orwell, or UN reports on actual Israeli war crimes in Gaza – but perhaps it should become required reading.
Especially if you set yourself up as the main ‘progressive’ opponent to the ruling Conservative Party, whose leader Stephen Harper carries on what is surely the creepiest political ‘bromance’ with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bar none.
And yet in last week’s televised leaders debates it was clear that while the two parties differ on the controversial Harper backed C-51 ‘anti-terror legislation’ the NDP and the Conservatives were duking it out for the pro-Israel vote. When Harper needled him, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair responded that “Israel has no better friend than the NDP.” It seems he was correct.
The damning out-of-context statement on Wheeldon’s Facebook page in the wake of Israel’s 2014 bombing of Gaza that killed over 2,200 Palestinians was this:
“One could argue that Israel’s intention was always to ethnically cleanse the region — there are direct quotations proving this to be the case. Guess we just sweep that under the rug. A minority of Palestinians are bombing buses in response to what appears to be a calculated effort to commit a war crime.”
While the UN itself has accused Israel of war crimes during ‘Operation Protective Edge’, the NDP cried foul, stating:
“Our position on the conflict in the Middle East is clear, as Tom Mulcair expressed clearly in the debate. Mr. Wheeldon’s comments are not in line with that policy and he is no longer our candidate.”
So that’s that then. Call a war crime a war crime on your personal Facebook page, and there’s no room for you in Canada’s ‘progressive’ party.
What has happened to Canada, and for that matter to the NDP? Their take-no-prisoners approach to criticism of Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank has recent precedents, and they all lead back to Thomas Mulcair.
In 2008, Mulcair led a caucus revolt against then leader Jack Layton when he criticized the Harper government’s decision not to participate in the United Nations Conference on Racism on the grounds that its mention of certain Israeli violations of international law was ‘anti-Semitic’.
Mulcair successfully muzzled NDP criticism of the January 2009 Israeli bombardment of Gaza, which killed 1,400 civilians, as well as the subsequent Israeli attack on the Gaza Flotilla, which killed nine.
And in 2010, Mulcair joined forces with the Conservatives and the Liberals in calling for the ouster of long time MP Libby Davies, (who has since resigned from politics) as NDP House Leader after her comments to a journalist that occupation of Palestine had begun in 1948.
While the NDP’s position is more than apparent to keen observers (as author Yves Engler notes, even NDP pioneer Tommy Douglas was an ardent Zionist), it’s odd that Israel has suddenly become an election issue in Canada in the midst of recessionary times.
Is freedom of speech completely dead in Canada? Can no one criticize Israeli war crimes without fear of repercussions?
It would seem that only Elizabeth May, leader of the tiny but scrappy Green Party, is free to speak her mind on foreign policy issues. Her candid comments have helped the Green Party usurp the NDP’s former role of ‘unofficial opposition’ to the ruling Conservatives. And indeed, after Paul Manly was barred from running for the NDP on the grounds that his comments about Israel incarcerating his aging father John Manly (captured with other crew members of a ship bearing aid to besieged Gaza) were of concern to the party executive, he joined the Green Party.
The general mood of muzzling any dissent against Israel would seem at odds with Canada’s allies. Comparing the situation here to say that of the UK – where Labour MP’s were asked to vote in favor of a Palestinian state, the prime minister was forced (via growing public opposition) to resign as patron of the Jewish National Fund and Senior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi chose to resign over the government’s policy on Gaza – makes Canada look backward at best.
In an international context, it would now appear that Canada has the least control of any G7 country over its own foreign policy. Perhaps even less than in the US where tax dollars go more directly to maintaining the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Bizarrely, no matter who wins the upcoming election, Canada’s Middle East policy now seems to be firmly based on Likudist agendas.
Hadani Ditmars has been reporting from Iraq since 1997 and is the author of Dancing in the No Fly Zone. Her next book Ancient Heart is a political travelogue of historical sites in Iraq.www.hadaniditmars.com
In the last several years, stories of cannabis oil helping epileptic children have populated the news cycle. Around the world, CBD (cannabidiol) treatments are gaining popularity due to their ability to rapidly alleviate seizures without making children “high.” Though these treatments are increasingly available in American states with legalized recreational and medical cannabis, they are not always freely available. Facing medical restrictions, one mother in Canada has vowed to treat her child—even if her doctor refuses to renew their prescription.
The Wilkinson family, from just outside Calgary, Alberta, resorted to CBD oil to treat their nine-year-old daughter. Mia suffered from crippling seizures due to Ohtahara syndrome. Her mother, Sarah Wilkinson, explained that Mia “… sometimes had seizures that would last up to 23 hours and she would have to be put into a medically-induced coma.”
The dozens of pills she was prescribed failed to inhibit seizures and decreased her quality of life, so the Wilkinson’s were immensely relieved when a neurologist approved cannabis oil to treat Mia—and it worked. As Anti-Media reported,
“They said her EEG was comparable to someone with a benign form of epilepsy ─ that’s never happened before,” Sarah said. Miraculously, she was ultimately seizure free for 18 months, weaned off of 30-40 pharmaceuticals a day. Mia has also learned to walk and at nine years old, said her first words like “yes,” “no” and “Mama.” “And ‘Mama’ is all I hear anymore. I bawled when I first heard it,” Sara recounted.
The family was devastated to learn that while medical marijuana is legal in Canada, their doctor refused to renew Mia’s prescription because of resistance from Alberta Children’s Hospital. The hospital which initially allowed Mia to ingest cannabis oil. As the doctor explained in an email to the Sarah,
“Due to the strict nature of the policy implemented here at Children’s, I am not allowed to fill the forms for renewal of medical marijuana.”
Though Health Canada, the country’s nationalized healthcare system, does not acknowledge cannabis as a legitimate treatment, the country’s court system ruled in June that people may use it to treat medical conditions. However, hospitals write their own policies regarding use, and Alberta Children’s changed its stance, leaving doctors to either buck policy or fall in line.
Sarah Wilkinson with her daughter Mia
Wilkinson’s experience is not an isolated case. Canadian mother Kendra Myhre was forced to seek alternative treatments for her child’s Dravet syndrome—which causes severe seizures—when traditional methods failed to ease his symptoms. “We didn’t want to see him suffer and put him in a casket before the age of five,” Myhre said, explaining her decision to seek cannabis treatment. “We wanted to give him the best possible life for as long as he’s got, which probably won’t be long.” She recently found a doctor willing to write a prescription.
Even as cannabis laws evolve in the United States, innumerable families risk legal repercussions for treating their children. In Kansas, cannabis activist Shona Banda faces 30 years in prison for treating her Crohn’s disease with cannabis oil and sharing her method of treatment with others. Her son was taken from her, and her home raided after he touted cannabis oil’s benefits for his mother at an anti-drug presentation.
Convoluted regulations also make treatment difficult. One Des Moines mother is allowed to possess oil to treat her epileptic son but must take him outside to the parking lot of his care facility twice a day to administer treatment. A New Jersey family is suing their school district for their daughter’s right to administer cannabis treatment for epilepsy and autism at school.
Other families are picking up and moving to states that do allow medical cannabis use. This is the case with Hillary Rayburn, who moved from Oklahoma to Colorado to obtain cannabis for her child’s epilepsy.
Though individuals and families still face heart-wrenching restrictions, the trend toward cannabis legalization has already begun. Parents who engage in civil disobedience by treating their children not only help change the perception of the treatment but help chip away at the decaying infrastructure of prohibition. By standing up to unjust and inhumane laws in the face of increasing medical research on cannabis, parents are helping to change the landscape of the Drug War and medicine. Kids are hopping on the cannabis civil disobedience train, as well. Speaking at a recent symposium for medical cannabis research, 15-year-old Coltyn Turner explained that he’d “rather be illegally alive [by using cannabis oil] than legally dead.”
Perhaps the most touching aspect of the fight for legalized medical cannabis is the persistence of parents who refuse to let their children suffer. “You’d be amazed at the networking parents can do when they have children with such a fatal disability, and the ends they are willing to go to for their children,” Myhre told Vice News.
As for Wilkinson, she, too, will continue to treat her child in spite of her lack of approval to do so. “She’s my daughter and I’m not willing to see her die because some people are uncomfortable with Cannabis as therapy,” she said.
While in Ottawa on an official visit on July 14, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was given several platforms by Canada’s state broadcaster, the CBC, to expound his views on the situation in his country. Yatsenyuk argued that present-day Russia threatens “global security”, which means that Canada’s security is also threatened. Therefore, goes the logic, Canada should continue to support–nay, boost its support–to Ukraine’s civil war against its population in the east of the country.
To gain some insight into the views of ordinary Canadians on this subject, read the hundreds of comments which readers and listeners of the broadcast network have posted to a CBC News article presenting Yatsenyuk’s views, here. The article is headlined, appropriately enough, ‘Ukraine crisis a threat to Canada’s security, Arseniy Yatsenyuk says’. Here are a few samples of the comments:
- How is the security of a country over 5000 miles away a risk to Canada? They are just pandering to the few Canadians that believe bill C-51 was necessary!
- We can’t let an ethnic Russian concert pianist play a concert because she might have an opinion on her countrymen being murdered, but we can give a voice and listen to a war criminal installed as dictator after a violent coup overthrowing a democratically elected government. Get out of Canada and go back to where you came from!
- I am in Canada and I absolutely do not feel threatened by Russia or by Iran for that matter. The controlled mainstream media has got to stop that propaganda to further the aims of the US and world dominance.
How many countries has Russia invaded as compared to the US? How many military bases does the US have throughout the world as compared to Russia?
Yatsenyuk wants arms so they can defend themselves. Against who? The Russians? C’mon. That would be like Canada going to war against the US. He wants arms to escalate the war. A war that will draw in the US. So who is a threat to global security? I think it’s anyone who wants to start a war with Russia.
The same with Iran. Harper and his minions say that Iran is a threat to global security. In what way? They do not have nuclear weapons. Israel does, and atomic inspectors are not allowed in for a look. But those same inspectors must be allowed into Iran and they do not have those weapons. No double standards?
Not once have I read or heard Yatsenyuk or Harper say that there must be meetings with the Russian and talk of peace proposals. This whole thing did not start with the Russians. Harper starts his peace efforts with Russia and Iran with rhetoric and sanctions.
- Yes, yes, the Harper Conservatives have been screaming “the Ruskies are coming” very loudly over the years. And holy cow, am I ever scared – NOT… I’m sorry, but you can tell me that Russia intends to invade Canada all you want. It doesn’t mean I’m going to believe it. I can’t wait until this fear mongering government of ours is ousted in October…
- Too late, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Harper tried to feed us that Kool-Aid already and nobody bought it.
According to the Vital Statistics Act document entitled ”RETURN OF DEATH OF AN INDIAN,” Gladys Chapman was 12 years, 10 months, and 12 days old on April 29, 1931, when she died in Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Occupation of the deceased was listed as ”Schoolgirl.” On her death certificate, Dr. M.G. Archibald reported ”acute dilation of heart” as the cause of death, with tuberculosis as the secondary cause. The duration of death was “several days.”
So, at the end, a little girl named Gladys endured days of fevered suffering — coughing, bleeding, struggling for breath — all alone, far from home, with no loved one to comfort her. She was one of the thousands of children whose deaths are acknowledged and lamented in the landmark report released last month by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, a report that describes our country’s treatment of indigenous people as ”cultural genocide.”
The TRC has established a National Residential School Student Death Register that contains the names of 3,200 children though the estimated number of deaths is believed to be more than 6,000. Speaking at the release of the TRC report, Commissioner Marie Wilson asked the audience to empathize with the anguish felt by thousands of parents whose loved ones never came home.
“Parents had their children ripped out of their arms, taken to a distant and unknown place never to be seen again, buried in an unmarked grave, long ago forgotten and overgrown. Think of that. Bear that. Imagine that,” she said.
Gladys’s family members believe she never would have died at such a tender age had she not been forced into the Indian residential school system. A member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, she was part of a large extended family with deep roots in Spuzzum, a small community on the Fraser River north of Hope. Her relations have a deep awareness of the damage inflicted upon generations of children and families. Gladys’s mother, Matilda, had also been taken to residential school as a girl and she knew all too well what took place there.
”Just imagine how horrible it would have been for parents and grandparents who themselves had lived through residential school abuse, watching their little ones being taken, knowing what they were going to go through,” says Gail Stromquist, Gladys’s niece.
Project of Heart
Gail and her sister Janet, like the vast majority of Canadians both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, grew up with no knowledge of the Indian residential school system. ”We played skip rope and sang the song about how in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” Gail said. ”The myth of Columbus’s discovery of the Americas was all we learned in school, nothing about residential schools or the culture of aboriginal people before contact.”
Even though many people in their family and community were living with the terrible legacy of residential schools, the history was so deeply hidden that the sisters only recently learned about the existence of the auntie they never knew. No photos remain of Gladys, and her name was never spoken by her surviving siblings, some of whom have struggled to deal with their own devastating experiences in residential school.
Today, both Stromquist sisters are public school teachers, passionately involved in the kind of reconciliatory educational work that Justice Murray Sinclair called for among the 94 recommendations in the historic TRC report. Janet works as a district teacher for the aboriginal educational program in Langley, and Gail coordinates aboriginal education initiatives for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. That work includes the Project of Heart, which is ongoing in almost all school districts province-wide and involves teaching and learning about the legacy of residential schools. The most powerful learning takes place when residential school survivors come into classrooms to share their personal experiences with students, who then make works of art in honour of the children who survived and those who never returned home.
The sisters’ need to learn the truth of their own family experience — and their desire to teach the truth about Canadians’ shared history — led them to do extensive research in local archives. It also led them to gently question their relatives about long-buried memories. Little by little, they pieced together Gladys’s story.
She was one of five siblings from the same family taken to residential schools. Even though parents risked prison sentences for resisting the mandatory laws that required children be enrolled in residential schools, Glady’s mother Matilda did manage to hide one of her sons from the Indian agent. The boy was in frail health, and she feared he would not survive the deprivation and abuse at school. Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t save all her children.
Widowed at a young age, in 1929 Matilda married a Swedish immigrant named Charles Stromquist, with whom she had a long, happy marriage and 10 more children. ”We have often imagined what a comfort it must have been to Nanny after she married Grandpa Stromquist to know that no more of her children could be taken away from her to residential school,” Gail said.
Cradle of disease
Gladys was taken to Kamloops Residential School, one of the largest in Canada. An imposing brick institution run by Roman Catholic priests and the Sisters of Saint Ann, it operated from 1890 to 1978 with as many as 440 children enrolled at its peak in the 1950s. For girls, mornings were spent in class, while afternoons were spent cleaning or working in the garden or kitchen. They did not get to eat the food they grew and prepared. The boys were taught some carpentry and other trades. All students had heavy religious instruction in English. The children were forbidden to speak their native languages or practise their own spirituality. Families were allowed to visit but they rarely did because of the long distances between school and home.
Conditions in the Kamloops school were atrocious but typical of residential schools across Canada. Neglect and abuse — sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual — were rampant. Many children tried to run away, only to be caught and punished for trying to get home. Some children attempted or committed suicide. But communicable disease was the worst threat. Underfunding, overcrowding, poor sanitary and ventilation systems, inadequate clothing, malnourishment, and a lack of medical care all contributed to epidemic levels of tuberculosis and other illnesses.
The federal government had known for decades that such conditions were killing children but failed to act. In 1907, Canada’s first chief medical health officer, Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce, issued a report that exposed the appalling health standards in residential schools where, on average, TB killed 24 per cent of the children. In one school in the Prairies, the death rate was a staggering 75 per cent. The government suppressed the work of Dr. Bryce, and it wasn’t until 1922 when he retired and could publish his full report, The Story of a National Crime: An Appeal for Justice to the Indians of Canada.
In 2014, the government of British Columbia released to the TRC more than 4,000 documents, including death records for aboriginal children aged four to 19. Many families were never informed of the deaths of their children, some of whom were buried in unmarked graves near the schools.
No one knows how Matilda learned of the death of her daughter, but it is certain that the only reason she was able to bury Gladys in the community cemetery at Spuzzum was that her husband worked for the CPR and could therefore get her body transported home by rail for free. Gladys’s gravestone in what the official records call the ”Spuzzum Indian Burying-ground” reads:
In loving memory of Gladys Chapman
Born June 15, 1918
Died April 29, 1931
Safe in the arms of Jesus
Neither Jesus nor her loving family could save Gladys from the racist and assimilationist policies that destroyed her young life.
The Kamloops Residential School still stands to this day, a decaying reminder of the dark history we all must confront as Canadians. The last residential school in B.C. finally closed its doors in 1984, the last in Canada not until 1996. This is not ancient history. It lives on in memory of thousands of Canadians whose childhood was stolen and whose education was perverted by the government’s determination to ”kill the Indian in the child.”
Janet and Gail Stromquist share Justice Sinclair’s conviction that because education was the primary tool of oppression of aboriginal people and the misleading of all Canadians, education holds the key to reconciliation. They say the most frequent response to their teaching is: ”I never knew about any of this.”
”People have told me that they lived right beside one or another of the schools and never knew what went on there. They went through their entire schooling and never learned anything about this,” Gail says. ”Some of our secondary students get quite angry about it, feeling their education has been censored.”
”We are fortunate in Langley to have a residential school survivor, Josette Dandurand, who is willing to share her story with students,” Janet says. ”Learning directly from a survivor is a powerful and unforgettable experience. We honour the strength and courage of Josette and the many residential school survivors who have come forward to share their stories.”
For the Stromquist sisters, it’s clear that their life’s work will continue to be educating the next generation about the truths of the past, shining a light on the hidden history, giving voice to those who were silenced, and helping create the conditions where true reconciliation can take place.
End note: Gladys’s story and those of other residential school survivors will be published in an extensive learning resource currently being developed by the BCTF. Titled Project of Heart: Illuminating the once-hidden history of Indian residential schools in B.C., it will be available in print and online for use in B.C. schools this fall.
With the case of the Canadian-brokered General Dynamics light armored vehicle sale to the Saudi Arabian government, Canada’s manufacturing sector has become complicit in human rights abuses abroad.
The question of benefit could be framed like this: is General Dynamics employing more people than its equipment is killing?
The Globe and Mail reported that Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International trade said, the deal will help the manufacturing area in London to “become the epicentre of a cross-Canada supply chain directly benefiting more than 500 local Canadian firms… Our government will continue to support our exporters and manufacturers to create jobs, as part of our government’s most ambitious pro-trade, pro-export plan in Canadian history.”
That export plan, justified by job-creation involves the sale of light armoured vehicles, manufactured in Canada that the Globe and Mail describes as having “effective firepower to defeat soft and armored targets… options for mounted guns include a 25-mm cannon and 7.62-mm machine guns and smoke grenade launchers.”
The Ottawa Citizen reports that:
“Canada’s defence industry has beaten out German and French competitors to win a massive contract worth at least $10 billion US to supply armoured military vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
The win was announced by International Trade Minister Ed Fast to cheering workers Friday at a factory in London, Ont., and will go a long way in bolstering the Harper government’s case for transforming Canada into a global arms dealer.
But it also raises many ethical questions that will continue to surface as Canada’s arms industry turns more and more to the volatile Middle East and South America for business.
Canada has previously sold light armoured vehicles (LAVs) like those used by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 delivered to the Middle Eastern kingdom in the early 1990s, and 700 more in 2009.
But the government is touting this latest deal as the largest export contract in Canadian history, with the potential to create and sustain 3,000 jobs in southern Ontario and other parts of the country.
Exactly how many LAVs are being sold to Saudi Arabia was not being revealed, but documents filed in the U.S. by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada, whose London-based subsidiary will be building the vehicles, put the contract at between $10 billion and $13 billion.
Defence and export industry representatives praised the Conservative government Friday for its role in securing the deal.”
The job creation argument that Canada is using stands even more oddly next to the moral cost of the deal, given Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Alex Nieve, Secretary General of Amnesty International told the Globe that “[The Saudi government is] known to use armoured vehicles and other weapons in dispersing peaceful protest.”
Jonathan Manthorpe writes for IPolitics that “The Saudi regime is buying these vehicles not to defend the nation from foreign threats, but to protect the regime from Saudis — from internal dissent and demands for reform.”
Hillary Homes of Amnesty told the Globe that “[Saudi Arabia] is among the worst human-rights violators in the world.”
Canada’s support of the Saudi abuse is bad enough, what’s worse is its insistence that working Canadians become participants. The government says it wants this sort of arms manufacturing as the epicentre of a cross-Canada supply chain with connections to over 500 firms. Is that really something Canada wants as an epicentre of any part of its economy?
Let’s consider what that means. If the epicentre of a sector of the manufacturing industry is dependent on the manufacturing of equipment for a third world dictatorship, continued economic progress for that sector would require that government to use that equipment. Canadians would have an interest in the Saudi Arabian government using its old equipment, so it can buy new equipment, made in Canada.
If Amnesty and others are correct, that the equipment that we manufacture will likely be used against civilians and a sector of our economy depends on that manufacturing- that means that a sector of our economy would be dependent on those abuses.
There are good people working in manufacturing. Having their work emanate from third world dictatorships perverts the entire sector. Working people should not be forced to participate in such an exchange, to remain economically viable.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW how sausages are made, don’t start reading Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World by Michael Springmann. The sausages in this case: the string of too-easily-swallowed accounts of bloody events in the “global war on terror,” served up daily with relish by the mainstream media. In reality these sausages are filled with tainted meat that’s making everyone sick.
Springmann is a brave whistle blower living in Washington, D.C. He’s written an accessible book, safe to digest, highlighting details of the corruption of the American Empire (and its accomplices, including Canada) as he experienced them from the inside during his years with the U.S. State Department.
While he served as a visa officer in the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for instance, he was obliged under threat of dismissal to issue visas to persons hired clandestinely by the CIA to become trained-in-the-USA terrorists. Most of these psychopathic thugs were clearly and legally unqualified to be issued visas. There is every reason to believe the “Visas for Terrorists” program remains fully operative today. It takes a lot of expendable terrorists to run a global terrorism op.
Springmann places his experiences both within the context of the historical roots of the U.S. Empire and within its current ongoing global destabilization project.
“This tale,” the author states near the beginning, “is a sordid sketch of backstabbing, disloyalty, double crosses, faithlessness, falsity, perfidy, sellouts, treachery, and betrayal.”
And that only covers the bureaucratic aspect. Even more sobering is his sketch of human rights violations: torture, assassinations, massacres including bombings of markets, invasions and occupations of countries, destabilization of nations and regions.
Then there’s the financial side: widespread criminality, resource theft, bribery, diversion of funds, illicit drug dealing and more.
Not to mention the flouting of international laws. This dimension includes gross infringements on national sovereignty, the casual violation of treaties and ho-hum everyday general lawlessness, risking even the threat of nuclear annihilation.
All this before taking into account the moral dimension, in which trashing the Ten Commandments is just an opening trifle.
“My story shows how things really work,” Springmann writes, correctly. In the book’s 250 pages he names names, dates, times and places – presumably opening himself up to lawsuits, should there be anything here that the individuals named deem libelous. They might think twice, however, since Springmann is a lawyer by profession and knows his way around the Empire’s capital – as well as some of its outlying ramparts such as Stuttgart, New Delhi and especially Jeddah.
Stinging in itself, Springmann’s book also can be read as an authenticating companion to Michel Chossudovsky’s Towards a World War III Scenario (2012) and The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” Against Humanity (2015). Along the way, both authors deal, to one extent or another, with the ideological, hubristic and increasingly bellicose role of the Harper government as handmaiden to the American Empire, including military involvements in Libya, Serbia and the Ukraine. Springmann necessarily refers very little to Canada, but to read his account of the cowardly and unnecessary rain of death inflicted on Libya, for instance, is to be obliged as a Canadian to think of Harper’s enthusiasm and pride in having this country share in the slaughter and destabilization carried out under the Orwellian “responsibility to protect” notion.
Springmann quotes Maximilian C. Forte who notes that before the attack Libya enjoyed the highest Human Development Index (a UN measurement of well-being) in all Africa. “After Western military forces destroyed the country the Index only records the steep collapse of all indicators of well-being. More Libyans were killed with intervention than without. It was about control, about militarizing Africa,” Forte argues.
What Springmann brings uniquely to the table is his firsthand knowledge of precisely how the USA recruits terrorists (no quotation marks needed), sends them to the USA for training and then deploys them to carry out murders, torture, bombings and more. The bloody mayhem carried out by these thousands of paid mercenaries – ostensibly beheading-habituated “jihadists” fighting against democracy, decency and the USA and its “allies – is planned, organized and funded by none other than the same USA and its allies. It’s a global false flag operation – the largest by far in history.
As Springmann on page 65 writes of the “Visas for Terrorists Program:”
This was not an ad hoc operation, conceived and carried out in response to a specific foreign policy issue. Rather, it was another of too many CIA efforts to destroy governments, countries, and politicians disfavored by the American “establishment” in its “bipartisan” approach to matters abroad. Whether it was opposing the imaginary evils of communism, the fictitious malevolence of Islam, or the invented wickedness of Iran, America and its intelligence services, brave defenders of “The City Upon A Hill,” sought out and created fear and loathing of peoples and countries essentially engaged in efforts to better their lives and improve their political world. Along the way, Agency-sponsored murders, war crimes, and human rights violations proved to be good business. Jobs for the Clandestine Service (people who recruit and run spies), sales of weapons and aircraft, as well as the myriad items needed to control banks, countries and peoples all provided income for and benefits to American companies.
That the American Empire has been able to carry out such a massive illegal program for so long is the saddest of commentaries on how deep the rot is, how effective the secrecy, how complicit the media.
As to the span of dangerous widespread deception, Springmann notes that Rahul Bedi wrote in Jane’s Defence Weekly on September 14, 2001 that beginning in 1980 “thousands [of mujahideen] were … brought to America and made competent in terrorism by Green Berets and SEALS at US government East Coast facilities, trained in guerilla warfare and armed with sophisticated weapons.”
The point is made repeatedly that Al Qaeda and now ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State are essentially “Made in USA” entities, brought into being and organized for the Empire’s purposes. Among the elements that make possible such a vast fraud are deception, compartmentalization and secrecy. Springmann quotes attorney Pat Frascogna, “a man with FOIA expertise,” about secrecy and its purpose:
Thus whether it be learning the dirty and unethical business practices of a company or the secrets of our government, the same deployment of denials and feigning ignorance about what is really going on are the all-too-common methods used to keep the truth from the light of day.
Langley recruited the Arab-Afghans so clandestinely that the terrorists didn’t know they had been recruited. They thought that they had found a battlefield on their own, or through the Internet or through Twitter or through television…
Frascogna’s observation intersects with Springmann’s on-the-job experiences as a visa officer in Jeddah starting in 1987. Springmann was repeatedly overruled when he turned down disqualified applicants for U.S. visas. He writes:
As I later learned to my dismay, the visa applicants were recruits for the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union’s armed forces. Further, as time went by, the fighters, trained in the United States, went on to other battlefields: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They worked with the American intelligence services and the State Department to destabilize governments the United States opposed. While it’s no secret, most knowledgeable people still refuse to talk about this agenda.
As Springmann learned, “the average percentage of intelligence officers to real diplomats at a given Foreign Service post is about one in three. My experience in Jeddah, Stuttgart, and New Delhi might place it higher—at least 50 percent, if not more.” According to the Anti-CIA Club of Diplomats: Spooks in U.S. Foreign Service [sic], a twelve-page, 1983 Canadian publication (see namebase.org), the percentage is 60 percent.
“At Jeddah,” Springmann writes, “to the best of my knowledge, out of some twenty US citizens assigned to the consulate, only three people, including myself, worked for the Department of State. The rest were CIA or NSA officials or their spouses.” Elsewhere Springmann suggests that essentially the CIA runs the State Department, and that this is true of many other U.S. government departments and agencies as well. It seems that it’s almost impossible to over-estimate the reach of the CIA’s tentacles or the overweening treason of its nonstop black ops and unconstitutional operations domestically.
Springmann toward the end of the book refers to the beginnings of the CIA. It’s interesting for this reviewer to think that he was 13 years of age in 1947 when U.S. president Harry Truman agreed with the National Security Council (NSC) to secretly create the CIA and NSA. I remember that in my teenage years a few of my peers said there “was something” called “the CIA.” This was around the time a few people also said there “was something” called “the Mafia.” The consensus was that both ideas were very far-fetched.
In 1948 Truman approved yet another NSC initiative, providing for “propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage,
demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerillas, and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” That’s a tabula rasa if there ever was one: a license for lawlessness.
The CIA’s twisted hits have just kept coming. It’s worth noting that Truman didn’t singlehandedly initiate this monstrosity. The dark recesses of the Deep State, as Peter Dale Scott calls it, are where the demonic entity was spawned. Ever since, Frankenstein’s monster has been a harmless schoolboy by comparison.
To read of the rape of Libya with active Canadian military complicity makes for difficult reading. The lies are piled as high as the bodies, and these two categories are insuperably paired.
Equally sordid, especially in light of Stephen Harper’s enthusiasm for expanding the war on Russia (the economic sanctions and the diplomatic exclusion of Russia from the G8 are forms of warfare, not to mention decades of covert* military incursion by the West onto the territory of the former USSR and now the Russian Federation, as described in Visas for Al Qaeda) is to read some of the history of the Ukraine. “The West’s” meddling in the Ukraine has a long illicit pedigree. As Springmann writes:
It seems that the CIA had problems [in the immediate post World War II period] distinguishing between underground groups and above-ground armies. Langley used Marshall Plan money to support a guerrilla force in the Ukraine, called “Nightingale.” Originally established in 1941 by Nazi Germany’s occupation forces, and working on their behalf, “Nightingale” and its terrorist arm (made up of ultranationalist Ukrainians as well as Nazi collaborators) murdered thousands of Jews, Soviet Union supporters, and Poles.
Even relatively recently, since the so-called Orange revolution in the Ukraine made events there eminently newsworthy, I can’t remember seeing in the mainstream media a single substantial article dealing with the historical relationships between the Ukraine and Russia going back to World War II, nor such an article laying out the history of the involvement –overt or covert – of “the West” in the Ukraine.
Instead, we see the surreal ahistorical likes of the top headline in The New York Times International Weekly for June 13-14, “Russia is Sowing Disunity,” by Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger. They report breathlessly in the lead paragraph: “Moscow is leveraging its economic power, financing European political parties and movements, and spreading alternative accounts of the Ukraine conflict, according the American and European officials.
True to the narrative of “the West” as a pitiful giant facing a powerful and expansionist Russia, the writers posit that the “consensus against Russian aggression” is “fragile.
The drift of this NYT yarn, typical of Western propaganda across the board, is that there remains in effect a behemoth “Soviet empire” surreptitiously shipping “Moscow gold” to dupes in “green movements” and so on. Even a former American national intelligence officer on Russia, Fiona Hill, now at the Brookings Institution, told the writers: “The question is how much hard evidence does anyone have?
Maybe this NYT propaganda, like its clones across the mainstream media, is not ahistorical after all. The story comes across rather as an historical relic of the Cold War – found in a time capsule in a fallout shelter – that the NYT editors decided to publish as a prank. A sausage.
* Military action by “the West” has not always been covert. Springmann notes that American and Japanese soldiers were dispatched to Russia in 1917 to squelch the fledgling Russian revolution. The soldiers were part of what was called the Allied Expeditionary Force. Winston Churchill for his part said: “We must strangle the Bolshevik baby in its crib.” Springmann might have noted that Canadian soldiers were part of the AEF.
A majority of people in the United States are supporting a military strike against Russia in response to an attack by Moscow on a NATO country, according to a new survey.
The poll conducted by the Pew Research Center showed Wednesday that 56 percent of Americans back a military response.
The result is in sharp contrast with the European countries as people in Germany, Italy and France do not support war on Russia.
In Germany, 58 percent of the respondents said they are against the use of military force. People in France and Italy oppose the idea 53 and 51 percent respectively.
After the US, 53 percent of the public in Canada are in favor of a military response.
“Many allied countries are reluctant to uphold Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which requires NATO members to defend an ally with armed force if necessary,” the survey said.
The survey also indicated that people in NATO countries view Russia as the culprit in the deadly Ukraine conflict.
The US accuses Russia of destabilizing Ukraine by supporting pro-Russian forces in the eastern regions. The Kremlin, however, denies the allegations.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukraine crisis was deliberately manufactured by “unprofessional actions” of the West.
“I believe that this crisis was created deliberately and it is the result of our partner’s unprofessional actions,” Putin said.
“I would like to emphasize once more: this was not our choice, we did not seek it, we are simply forced to respond to what is happening,” he added.
Vladimir Putin said this weekend that “Russia would attack NATO only in a mad person’s dream.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of mad people working in western politics and media.
If the G7 were based on GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, it would be comprised of the USA, China, India, Japan, Russia, Germany and Brazil. Such a lineup would have remarkable clout. Members would boast 53% of the globe’s entire GDP and the planet’s 3 genuine military superpowers would be represented.
The problem for Washington is that this putative G7 might actually be a forum for a real debate about the world order.
Instead of a real G7, we have a farce. An American dominated talking shop where the US President allows ‘friendly’ foreign leaders to tickle his belly for a couple of days. There is no dissent. Washington’s dominance goes unquestioned and everyone has a jolly time. Especially since they kicked out Russia last year – Vladimir Putin was the only guest who challenged the consensus.
However, the problem is that this ‘convenient’ G7 is way past its sell-by-date. The days when its members could claim to rule the world economically are as distant as the era of Grunge and Britpop. Today, the G7 can claim a mere 32% of the global GDP pie. Instead of heavyweights like China and India, we have middling nations such as Canada and Italy, the latter an economic basket case. Canada’s GDP is barely more than that of crisis-ridden Spain and below that of Mexico and Indonesia.
Yet, the Prime Minister of this relative non-entity, Stephen Harper, was strutting around Bavaria all weekend with the confidence of a man who believed his opinion mattered a great deal. Of course, Harper won’t pressure Obama. Rather, he prefers to – metaphorically – kiss the ring and croon from the same hymn sheet as his southern master.
NATO and the G7 – 2 sides of 1 coin?
There was lots of talk of “Russian aggression” at the G7. This was hardly a surprise given that 6 of the 7 are also members of NATO, another body at which they can tug Washington’s forelock with gay abandon. Obama was at it, David Cameron parroted his guru’s feelings and Harper was effectively calling for regime change in Russia. It apparently never occurred to the trio that resolving their issues with Russia might be easier if Putin had been in Bavaria? The knee-jerk reaction to remove Russia from the club was hardly conducive to dialogue.
Meanwhile, Matteo Renzi stayed fairly quiet. It has been widely reported that the Italian Prime Minister privately opposes the EU’s anti-Russia sanctions due to the effects on Italy’s struggling economy. Also, Renzi’s next task after the G7 summit is to welcome Putin to Rome.
With that visit in mind, Putin gave an interview to Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera where he essentially answered the questions that Obama, Cameron and Harper could have asked him if they hadn’t thrown their toys out of the pram and excluded Russia from the old G8. Putin stressed that one should not take the ongoing “Russian aggression” scaremongering in the West seriously, as a global military conflict is unimaginable in the modern world. The Russian President also, fairly bluntly, stated that “we have better things to be doing” (than starting World War 3).
Putin also touched on a point many rational commentators have continuously made. “Certain countries could be deliberately nurturing such fears,” he added, saying that hypothetically the US could need an external threat to maintain its leadership in the Atlantic community. “Iran is clearly not very scary or big enough” for this, Putin noted with irony.
A world of ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’
For Washington to maintain its huge military spending, it has to keep its citizens in a state of high alarm. Otherwise, they might insist that some of the armed forces’ cash is diverted to more productive things like hospitals and schools. These services, of course, are not very profitable for weapons manufacturers or useful for newspaper and TV editors looking for an intimidating narrative.
Following the collapse of the USSR, Russia was too weak and troubled to be a plausible enemy. Aside from its nuclear arsenal – the deployment of which would only mean mutual destruction – the bear’s humbled military was not a credible threat. Instead, the focus of warmonger’s venom shifted to the Middle East and the Balkans, where Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic and Osama Bin Laden kept the general public’s attention occupied for roughly a decade and a half. However, they are now all dead and pro-war propaganda needs a new bad guy to play the Joker to America’s Batman.
Kim Jong-un looked promising for a while. Nevertheless, the problem here is that North Korea is too unpredictable and could very feasibly retaliate to provocations. Such a reaction could lead to a nuclear attack on Seoul, for instance, or draw Washington into a conflict with China. Even for neocons, this is too risky. Another candidate was Syria’s Basher Al-Assad. Unfortunately, for the sabre rattlers, just as they imagined they had Damascus in their sights, Putin kyboshed their plan. This made Putin the devil as far as neocons are concerned and they duly trained their guns in his direction.
Russia – a Middle East/North Africa battleground?
In the media, it is noticeable how many neocon hacks have suddenly metamorphosed from Syria ‘experts’ into Russia analysts in the past 2 years. Panda’s Mark Ames (formerly of Moscow’s eXILE ) highlighted this strange phenomenon in an excellent recent piece. Ames focused on the strange case of Michael Weiss, a New York activist who edits the anti-Russia Interpreter magazine (which is actually a blog). The Interpreter is allegedly controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and a shadowy foundation called Herzen (not the original Amsterdam-based Herzen) of which no information is publicly available.
Weiss was a long-time Middle East analyst, who promoted US intervention to oust Assad. Suddenly, shortly before the initial Maidan disturbances in Kiev, he re-invented himself as a Russia and Ukraine ‘expert,’ appearing all over the US media (from CNN to Politico and The Daily Beast ) to deliver his ‘wisdom.’ This is despite the fact that he appears to know very little about Russia and has never lived there. The managing editor of The Interpreter is a gentleman named James Miller, who uses the Twitter handle @millerMENA (MENA means Middle East, North Africa). Having been to both, I can assure you that Russia and North Africa have very little in common.
Weiss and Miller are by no means unusual. Pro-War, neocon activists have made Russia their bete noir since their Syria dreams were strangled in infancy. While most are harmless enough, this pair wields considerable influence in the US media. Naturally, this is dressed up as concern for Ukraine. In reality, they care about Ukraine to about the same extent that a carnivore worries about hurting the feelings of his dinner.
Russia’s military policy is “not global, offensive, or aggressive,” Putin stressed, adding that Russia has “virtually no bases abroad,” and the few that do exist are remnants of its Soviet past. Meanwhile, it would take only 17 minutes for missiles launched from US submarines on permanent alert off Norway’s coast to reach Moscow, Putin said, noting that this fact is somehow not labeled as “aggression” in the media.
Decline of the Balts
Another ongoing problem is the Baltic States. These 3 countries have been unmitigated disasters since independence, shedding people at alarming rates. Estonia’s population has fallen by 16% in the past 25 years, Latvia’s by 25% and Lithuania’s by an astonishing 32%. Political leaders in these nations use the imaginary ‘Russian threat’ as a means to distract from their own economic failings and corruption. They constantly badger America for military support which further antagonizes the Kremlin, which in turn perceives that NATO is increasing its presence on Russia’s western border. This is the same frontier from which both Napoleon and Hitler invaded and Russians are, understandably, paranoid about it.
The simple fact is that Russia has no need for the Baltic States. Also, even if Moscow did harbor dreams of invading them, the cost of subduing them would be too great. As Russia and the US learned in Afghanistan and America in Iraq also, in the 21st century it is more-or-less impossible to occupy a population who don’t want to be occupied. The notion that Russia would sacrifice its hard-won economic and social progress to invade Kaunas is, frankly, absurd.
The reunification of Crimea with Russia is often used as a ‘sign’ that the Kremlin wishes to restore the Soviet/Tsarist Empire. This is nonsense. The vast majority of Crimean people wished to return to Russia and revoke Nikita Khrushchev’s harebrained transfer of the territory to Ukraine. Not even the craziest Russian nationalist believes that most denizens of Riga or Tallinn wish to become Russian citizens.
Putin recalled that it was French President Charles de Gaulle who first voiced the need to establish a “common economic space stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.” As NATO doubles down on its campaign against Moscow, that dream has never looked as far off.
Bryan MacDonald is an Irish writer and commentator focusing on Russia and its hinterlands and international geo-politics. Follow him on Facebook
In their bid to brand Canada a “warrior nation,” Stephen Harper’s Conservatives seek to glorify Canadian military history, regardless of its horrors.
On Saturday Canada’s Minister of Veteran Affairs released a statement to mark “113 years since the end of the South African war.” Erin O’Toole said, “Canada commemorates all those who served in South Africa, contributing to our proud military history.”
But the Boer War was a brutal conflict to strengthen British colonial authority in Africa, ultimately leading to racial apartheid. In the late 1800s the Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers, increasingly found themselves at odds with British interests in southern Africa. Large quantities of gold were found 30 miles south of the Boer capital, Pretoria, in 1886 and the Prime Minister of U.K.’s Cape Colony, Cecil Rhodes, and other British miners wanted to get their hands on more of the loot.
There was also a geostrategic calculation. The Boer gold and diamond fields in the Orange Free State and Transvaal were drawing the economic heart of southern Africa away from the main British colonies on the coast. If this continued London feared that the four southern African colonies might unite, but outside of the British orbit, which threatened its control of an important shipping lane.
Between 1898 and 1902 London launched a vicious war against the Boer. With Cecil Rhodes’ Imperial South African Association promoting anti-Boer sentiment in this country, some 7,400 Canadians fought to strengthen Britain’s position in southern Africa.
The war was devastating for the Boers. As part of a scorched-earth campaign the British-led forces burned their crops and homesteads and poisoned their wells. About 200,000 Boer were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Twenty-eight thousand (mostly children) died of disease, starvation and exposure in these camps.
In Another Kind of Justice: Canadian Military Law from Confederation to Somalia, Chris Madsen points out that, “Canadian troops became intimately involved in the nastier aspects of the South African war.” Whole columns of troops participated in search, expel and burn missions. Looting was common. One Canadian soldier wrote home, “as fast as we come up the country… we loot the farms.” Another wrote, “I tell you there is some fun in it. We ride up to a house and commandeer anything you set your eyes on. We are living pretty well now.” There are also numerous documented instances of Canadian troops raping and killing innocent civilians.
As with the Boer, the war was devastating for many Africans. Over 100,000 Blacks were held in concentration camps but the British failed to keep a tally of their deaths so it’s not known how many died of disease or starvation. Some estimate that as many as 20,000 Africans were worked to death in camps during the war.
Unlike the Boer, the plight of black South Africans didn’t improve much after the war. In Painting the Map Red: Canada and the South African War, 1899-1902, Carman Miller notes, “Although imperialists had made much of the Boer maltreatment of the Blacks, the British did little after the war to remedy their injustices.” In fact, the war reinforced white/British dominance over the region’s Indigenous population.
The peace agreement with the Boer included a guarantee that Africans would not be granted the right to vote before the two defeated republics gained independence. In The History of Britain in Africa, John Charles Hatch explains: “By the time that self-government was restored in 1906 and 1907, they [the Boer] were able to reestablish the racial foundations of their states on the traditional principle of ‘No equality in church or state.'” Blacks and mixed-race people were excluded from voting in the post-war elections and would not gain full civil rights for nine decades.
For Harper’s Conservatives the details of the Boer War are barely relevant. What matters is that Canadians traveled to a distant land to do battle beside a great empire. That’s the “warrior nation” they seek to create.
“For in lapse of time men are constrained to see things they would not willingly suffer.” 
Canada’s recent international role includes being a serial participant in US-NATO wars of aggression – which at Nuremberg was deemed the greatest crime. Organized mass murder of people and the destruction of their infrastructure, not as an act of self defense; blowing babies to bloody bits, reducing homes to rubble, this is the stuff of ‘wars of aggression’.
The typical contemporary template for perpetrating wars of aggression is to demonize the victims, and to justify, even sanctify, the perpetrator. And it is not unknown in the modern era, progress being what it is, to explain to the victims that it was a beneficent act to conquer them, occupy them, plunder them, murder them, wound them, destroy their country.
The aggressor usually has a large military advantage, and in the modern context, destroying the designated victim may feature banal distant mechanical and electronic acts, push a button, turn a dial, the perpetrators remote and safe.
That many Canadians do not understand, or are in denial about, Canada’s crimes is testimony to the effectiveness of modern mass media’s ‘public perception management’. Pretty hard for busy people, including many people who work in the media and academia and the military and in politics, to find their way to the real, subjected as they are to a dizzying disinformation maze: a litany of lies and distortions and distractions called ‘news’, either presented with accomplished feigned sincerity, or in ignorance with real sincerity. It all gets very confusing, even for the most gifted manipulators. Rigorous censorship is practiced under the rubric of a free press, and endless trivia contaminate just about everyone. 
A diabolical aspect of the formal disinformation system is the provision of a wide range of pretend-to-be-honest ‘alternative’ media outlets. 
Then add to the disinformation system the seemingly systematic corruption of high profile regulatory agencies  and corporate- linked science, and a vast number of NGO’s that pretend to be serving some ideal, and the entire global public is enveloped in a rather overwhelmingly bewildering complex of disinformation. Our collective capacity for coherent policy, for intelligent cohesive societal decision, is just about nil. And this all comes just at the moment in human history – the nuclear age – when the best we have to offer would be our only chance of success.
But back to our story: On the other hand, some do understand that Canada has gone criminally militaristic. And most of those remain silent. Some are governed by fear, some don’t care, some embrace evil; some who do speak concoct bizarre justifications.
But Canada cannot escape ‘karmic justice’ for its international crimes. Shameful militarism elsewhere has inevitable insidious impact at home: You can’t endorse or commit mass murder of innocents based on lies without being a monster, or becoming one.
And there are other consequences: Fully forthright and knowledgeable discourse pertaining to international and national issues is now just about absent from Canadian mass media or politics: commentary offered either wallows in ignorance or is mere pretense, disingenuous theater. Real unfettered discourse is the forbidden; critical truths are silenced, lies and self-censorship are conjoined perniciously and normalized; integrity is marginalized. This is a recipe for the triumph of the worst elements, the empowerment of social pathology, ensuring societal dysfunction leading to catastrophe.
But this is not the way it had to go, for Canada.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, a different outcome had seemed quite possible: Canada previously had earned some honour as occasional peacemaker on a planet plagued by conflict; in international affairs, Canada was perceived as capable of periodic common sense and decency and fairmindedness, and sometimes, on a really good day, even verging on virtuous.
Within Canada, some decades ago, ‘The Just Society’ was proffered , without irony, as an honourable national ambition. The future seemed to offer unprecedented beneficial opportunity at home, and prospect was that Canada would be able to provide a significant helping hand abroad. After all, was there not modernity’s burgeoning repertoire of amazing new technology which could be allied to Canada’s wealth of natural resources, and its wealth of human decency, intelligence and creativity, to build a country of great accomplishment, and help to build a better world?
Consistent with such musing, not long ago, a pleasing self-identity – seriously fanciful, yes, but not entirely so – could be held by many Canadians: it went something like this: Canada was a special, safe, bountiful democracy endowed with a peace-loving, respectable conglomeration of peoples; and furthermore, Canada was a land of boundless opportunity, proceeding relentlessly from good to better. And many Canadians took satisfaction from the fact that Canada displayed – nothing extreme or eccentric mind you – something of an independent streak.
One important example of this independent streak was the establishment of the Bank of Canada in 1938 as a public institution – a national bank as public utility. The Bank of Canada was mandated to provide large amounts of interest free funds to Canadian governments, to be used for worthy public projects and infrastructure. This was done with great success until 1974.   There is now, through a court case, an attempt being made to restore that previous beneficent function. The government of Canada is opposing it, and the media is censoring news of it. 
Another example of Canada’s independent streak is the establishment half a century ago of a universal health care system, which warts and all has been a tremendous success, and much different than the American for profit health services approach.
But back to the less and less pleasant story: An independent streak notwithstanding, there are the insistent facts and funnels of history and circumstance: For example, Canada had centuries ago been conquered by Britain, and somehow the head of the ‘royal’ aberration-prone bloodline of England retains sovereign powers of sorts, over Canadians. A pretend-democracy has been the result.  New citizens and those who work for governments in Canada are asked to swear allegiance to the British Monarch, not to be mistaken for the dwindling lovely orange butterfly that in great numbers graced Canada long before the British got here.
Another pertinent Canadian ‘fact of life’: Canada stretches across an entire continent right beside the United States, and is continually inundated by its ‘cultural’ emissions.
But for all that, there really was, for much of its history, an independent streak, and many Canadians, until recently, could take some satisfaction in the work in progress: a home-brewed , distinctive, modestly progressive, more or less pragmatic, socio-political experiment with great potential. Both in the eyes of Canadians and much of the planet. So it was that Canadians could, again until recently, travel the world with the Canadian flag pinned on, and expect to receive signs of approval. Americans caught on and it was not unknown for desperate reviled Americans to attempt to unsully themselves in foreign lands with a conspicuous maple leaf.
Sometimes, when occasion seemed to require it, – especially if the British were in a tough spot – Canada would majorly go to war, with reluctant French Canadian participation.
But Canada had over the generations displayed at least a somewhat judicious approach when it came to participating in wars.
Canada for example refused to get involved in Britain’s Suez conflict in the 1950s. Former Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson, Nobel Peace Prize winner at a time when that prize had less putrid connotation, as in say Kissinger and Obama, was famously verbally and physically abused by US President Lyndon Johnson for mildly chiding US policy in Indochina. Canadians made money from the war, but did not directly participate in the American carnage upon and mass murder of the Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians, during the so-called War in Vietnam. 
Prime Minister Jean Chretien signaled a residual Canadian reluctance to go to war by refusing to involve Canada militarily in the 2003 version of American (justified by lies) atrocities against Iraq. 
But tragically, as the twentieth century neared its end, and a new century began, Canada did not have what it takes to resist a deepening involvement on the hell-bent slippery slope of the geo-political agendas and machinations of those who control the United States.
And so it was that Canada did not remain marginally independent, and marginally judicious, and marginally good and a bit of an honest broker, and stay out of direct participation in clearly illegal and immoral wars. The NATO war of aggression, facilitated and justified by lies,  on Yugoslavia in 1999, included Canada’s direct participation. In 2001, based on the false flag lie of 9/11 2001,  Canada signed on to the falsehood-enabled ‘War on Terror’ aka Wars of Terror, and went to war in Afghanistan. 
Canada in 2004 took sordid part in the overthrow of the government of Haiti. And in 2011, Canada within NATO participated in mass murder and the destruction of the most successful country in Africa, Libya, again on the basis of brazen lies.
The Canadian military, camouflaged by lies, has recently been killing people in the middle East, in a veiled attack on Syria under the guise of attacking the Western Powers-That-Be-concocted pathology that is ISIS. 
And now, Canadian people and weapons and lies are employed to support the war mongering leadership of Ukraine, a demented offspring of an American-engineered coup over the Ukrainian democracy in 2014.  And this offspring, true to its Nazi and fascism-tinged ideology and its murderous origins, launched a pitiless war of aggression on its own people. 
Among the reasons for Canada’s descent into international war criminality is Canadian continued participation in the so-called defense alliance NATO, long after NATO lost its nominal reason for being. NATO had long been infected by the hidden perversity of Gladio  before its more recent war criminality.
The process by which Canada lost its way also includes an economic ‘paradigm shift’ short decades ago. Canada’s Powers-That-Be, spouting lies, foisted upon reluctant Canadians greatly increased economic integration with the United States: So-called free trade, which was lauded by its prominent advocates as the certain route to national prosperity and jobs aplenty; not the basket case that is the current North American economy. 
This new policy trumped traditional wariness of, or strong repudiation of, significantly increased entanglement with the United States. Generations of Canadian politicians of all varieties had understood that the price of more formal economic union with the United States was less sovereignty and less independence.
Canada’s increased economic integration with the United States made Canada more involved with the attempt by those who dominate the US to achieve unrivaled global political, military and economic domination, a global empire: necessary to this massive criminal ambition, a hi-tech version of militarized police state/fascism has been put into place within the United States ; and abroad, the global domination project has made the US prolific in wars and war crimes, death squads, torture, destruction, subversion, and boundless cruelty.
Canada’s recent embrace of the demonic has culminated today in some utterly irresponsible national political and mass media behaviour: Currently Canada is simultaneously helping to raise the risk of a major war, including the risk of global nuclear war, by arming the Ukrainian crazies, while lying about Russia’s involvement,  and threatening Russia.
Canada’s devolution from peacekeeper to war monger happened while many Canadians dozed in the fading glow of the previously described self-congratulatory national image. But there were many signposts – some subtle, some glaring – that indicated ongoing cultural and societal deterioration . But central to the deterioration was the hobbling of probing, free, full, unfettered public discourse, and the ever increasing power of dishonesty, in all its manifestations, throughout the culture.
And then there is Fukushima: Canadian politics and mass media are ignoring the ongoing global nuclear mega-catastrophe of Fukushima, ignoring the death of much of the life of the northern Pacific Ocean adjoining Canada, censoring news of it, lying about it, censoring news of greatly elevated levels of radioactivity across Canada and around the planet: Second hand tobacco smoke incurs much greater outrage. That’s about as crazy and stupid as it gets. 
Canadians are being kept in the dark regarding ways in which individuals and their families can at least mitigate the effects of increased exposures to radioactivity.  But that doesn’t address the big problem itself.
What must be done, pertaining to Fukushima, and nuclear energy and weapons, is the most widely and deeply searching honesty-anchored brain-storming effort that humanity can muster, at this very late date. And that effort must enlist and heed practical people of common sense and broad experience, for it is precisely the naivete and tunnel vision of the specialists and experts – the professionals – who got us into this, and never got us out. Experts are necessary; but very far from sufficient.
Nuclear power was born in iniquity, and began its global-reach poisoning enveloped in secrecy and lies. Nuclear power plants having proliferated, something like a Fukushima was inevitable, meaning slow motion ecocide. Thousands of nuclear weapons have long been poised to achieve a near instantaneous hell on earth. The nuclear age is madness merged with dishonesty and secrecy and a terminal technology. 
So is it to be with Sophocles, via Oedipus Rex: “… sorrows beyond all telling, sickness rife in our ranks, outstripping human invention of remedy, blight on barren earth, and barren agonies of birth, life after life from the wild-fire winging swiftly into the night.” 
Will a preponderance of people choose to sleep with eyes open or party towards the grave, or choose the fleeting comfort of make believe?
Or will a growing number begin to examine the bitter truth to be found in the mirror and in the world, and very late now do what they can to honour and protect earth’s wonders?
In any case, whatever is to be Canada’s or the planet’s fate, it will neither disturb not delight those previously vibrant, happy, bright-eyed Libyan children blown to bits by Canada in 2011; in Canada they did not even merit mention, let alone contrition, or mourning.
Solon, via Herodotus, Clio 1, 32, via Baehr, translated by Henry Carey, M.A.
George Orwell aptly described the missing information as the biggest lie of all. See Operation Mockingbird regarding CIA’s long-ago-initiated attempt at controlling global communications. Senator Church’s hearings in the US in 1975 were quite revelatory. The CIA’s depredations are now conjoined to extremely concentrated ownership of mass media, with Zionism disproportionately influential, and the co-opting of much so-called alternative media. Recently, a prominent German Journalist has confessed to being a tool of CIA, along with just about all his colleagues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adz-cLDZGBU
Here the events of 9/11 were illuminating, as there was an obvious shortage of 9/11 truth telling in many prominent so-called alternative and dissident sources of news and analysis. For every forthright prominent voice on 9/11, like Paul Craig Roberts, there was a gaggle of deceivers posturing as truth-tellers.
For example, a little known book by Shiv Chopra, PhD, recounts his career at Health Canada: It is titled Corrupt to the Core. Is there any prominent regulatory agency on the planet that would not qualify for the same title?
Robust Canadian participation in WW2, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Trans Canada Highway were financially facilitated by the Bank of Canada’s previous role. It should be noted that the potential productive capacity of Canadians, now, compared to 1945, is immeasurably greater. Yet back then Canada could carry out visionary huge projects, while today it wallows in financial and infrastructural – and visionary – insufficiency. After 1974, when the Bank of Canada’s interest free money and credit creation function was discontinued, the country quickly accumulated huge debts, and its ability to finance public projects was severely hampered. By 1974, after its first century, when the Bank of Canada became an appendage of the global private banking cartel, Canada had accumulated about 18 billion dollars of national debt; by 1991-92, on a national debt grown to 423 billion, the interest alone was 41 billion dollars. For a revealing chart see: https://ccc4mr.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/obviously-something-went-terribly-wrong-after-1974/ Also, after 1974, in addition to increased national financial difficulty, provincial and municipal governments also were greatly disadvantaged.
Pertinent words of wisdom from Mackenzie King, Canada’s 10th Prime Minister, 1938. “Once a nation parts with control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.”
In 2011 Canadians William Krehm and Ann Emmett along with the organization COMER (Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform) initiated a court case intending to restore the Bank of Canada to its previous role. Lawyer Rocco Galati represented them in court. The case’s first foray into the courts met with initial disappointment. In the words of Galati the court had argued that “the court had jurisdiction to hear the case, that my client had standing, that they had the right to bring the case forward, that there was public interest and individual interest standing.” But the claim was defeated in effect because the court felt it was outside its competence to decide. This initial court decision was described by Galati as “completely lacking in logic and in the application of the law.” But the case proceeded: In 2013 Galati appealed the case, and now in early 2015 the case found some success in Federal court, when three judges ruled that the case against the Governor of the Bank of Canada and the Finance Minister of Canada can proceed. News of the COMER lawsuit is hard to find. Galati: “I have a firm basis to believe that the Government has requested or ordered the mainstream media not to cover this case.” Galati added that the case is more important than all other cases he’s been involved in, and those had received “wall to wall” coverage by the press. He predicted the case will end in the Supreme Court.
The term ‘democracy’ refers to that political system which dignifies the citizens as a whole with sovereignty, a rare achievement indeed. Monarchy is something else entirely, and previously common. At the federal level in Canada, much potential power has been concentrated in the Prime Minister, or whoever influences or controls that person. The PM is not elected directly as such, but is merely the boss of the largest political party, which may have the support of a minority of citizens.
In Vietnam the Americans perfected ‘saving villages’ by obliterating everything in them, people, animals, houses, with chemical warfare thrown in for good measure; everything was saved from existing. Years later, with Canada’s support, ‘protection reaction strikes’ and ‘humanitarian interventions’ became fashionable, sometimes achieving similar results.
The “weapons of mass destruction” charade famously featured Colin Powell lying to the world at the UN: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3710.htm
Curiously, both current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and brief Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff supported the American 2003 version of their many atrocities against Iraq.
Michael Parenti’s To Kill a Nation is a succinct and powerful primer on the machinations and lies behind the deliberate destruction of Yugoslavia. For a revealing investigation of the pernicious mass media lying and censorship collusion in enabling war against Yugoslavia, see Peter Brock’s Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting (with the subtitle) Journalism and Tragedy in Yugoslavia. Incidentally, since those who are involved in planning wars of aggression are deemed war criminals, and since the egregious dishonesty and manipulation skills of mass media are indispensable to creating public passive acceptance of or outright support for wars of aggression, justice would see media managers severely dealt with. For full fledged hypocrisy, involving Canada and the other ‘winners’ over Yugoslavia: the establishment of the International Criminal Court which put victims of aggression ont trial, and gave the United States a free pass for every international perversity. See for example John Laughland’s book Travesty,. The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice.
Everything about the official narrative on 9/11 is a lie. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth offer much material on the demolition of the twin towers, and anyone in their right mind who finds out about World Trade Center Building #7′s 47 story free fall collapse later in the afternoon on September 11th, 2001, despite the 9/11 official commission’s omission of its occurrence, can hardly not raise an eyebrow…. The film ZERO is one of many exposes that offer a wake up regarding 9/11 to any remaining naive or sleepy or in denial folk. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1297858/
The Canadian troops sent to Afghanistan were told their ‘mission’ was about building bridges and schools and and human rights and letting girls go to school, and besides, Osama bin Ladin was hiding in some cave there, and so on. They were not told that the attack on Afghanistan was about controlling heroin flows and its vast profits, potential oil and gas pipelines, setting up military bases, geo-poliical agendas relating to Iran, Russia and China, getting secure access to rare earth minerals, or pouring profits into the Military Industrial Complex, for starters.
For heart rending and honest information about Libya and its the destruction see http://libyanwarthetruth.com/ and Joanne and James Moriarty. The UN Security Council’s lie-enabled ‘No Fly Zone’ was perversely used by NATO as a means for massive bombardment of Libya, resulting in vast but uncounted death, wounding and destruction, and many fleeing the country. Hell had been unleashed on one of the most lovely and successful and happy countries on the planet
Czech President Milos Zeman even came out publicly saying, in a conspicuous face-slap to Obama, on 3 January 2015, that the U.S. overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 had been a couphttp://www.countercurrents.org/zuesse100515.htm
The war against the former eastern Ukraine has included the use of banned by international law, phosphorus bombs and cluster bombs. These have been directed into civilian areas. www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUF-hPcu7Ks
Daniele Ganser’s book NATO’s Secret Armies published 2005 gives a useful country by country overview. Blowing up school buses for political advantage was a typical part of the repertoire.
Paul Craig Roberts has written repeatedly and lucidly about the egregious dishonesty of US economic stats. When all else fails, pretend: for example: http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=3YCO7U&m=3jwYbqu_u5njM89&b=Yk0Np5HMPpLE.K8X4Mr6aw
The US now rivals the Soviet Gulag for record numbers of prisons and prisoners, with more prisoners by far than India and China combined. Lots of money to be made, lots of slave labour, lots of innocent people behind bars. And what are we to make of 80 thousand swat team raids last year? Are Police in America Now a Military, Occupying Force? By John W. Whitehead. And, US creation of death squads is not an ad hoc venture: There is a school: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13436.htm
www.uacrisis.com/ukrainian-general-no-russian-troops-are-fighting… Ukraine’s top general Viktor Muzhenko contradicts allegations of Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
A few examples: Hunger in rich Canada? By 2008 there were guesstimated to be over 700 food banks in Canada, but in addition there were many hundreds of other hunger-relief efforts, including breakfast clubs, school meal programs, community kitchens, and emergency shelters providing food. Many people are helped privately by family members and friends. World class environmental disaster: The Alberta Tar Sands: see Andrew Nikiforuk’s Dirty Oil: Tar Sands and the Future of a Continent. Genetically mutilated foods are not labelled http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-06/meta-study-genetically-modified-food-virtually-all-independent-scientists-are-concer ; the addictive neurotoxic carcinogen aspartame is a nearly ubiquitous ingredient in food, and aluminum-bountiful geo-engineering takes place overhead without a murmur from Canadians. Echelon happened ages ago, and now: Canada’s electronic-intelligence agency intercepts citizens’ private messages without judicial warrants.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-intelligence-sweeps-often-intercept-private-data/article19868523/ And then there was that insane, unnecessary, portentous venture into nuclear energy.
See http://enenews.com/ for a large archive of material on Fukushima, Dana Durnford for vast photographic documentation of disastrous situation in the tidal pools and shorelines of British Columbia, as well as trenchant description oif situation at Fukushima. Jeff Rense at Rense.com has repeatedly interviewed Durnford. Also: Dana Durnford’s Post-Fukushima Odyssey: Documenting Ecocide on Canada’s West Coast. www.countercurrents.org/snefjella210415.htm
Eating organic foods low on the food chain, Spirulina and Chlorella, greenhouse gardening, high quality vitamin E combined with high quality selenium, are helpful. ENE news has a forum on mitigating radiation:http://enenews.com/forum-best-practices-combating-effects-radiation
Consistent with every book I have on nuclear weapons and energy, here are bits and pieces from Stewart Udall, former Secretary of the Interior in the US, in the foreword to Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll 0f America’s Nuclear Arsenal: “…pattern of deceit that infected the nuclear weapons industry.” “…astounding levels of lethal contamination.” “Nothing in our past compares to the official deceit and lying that took place to protect the nuclear industry.” “…an elite corps of public officials were so willing to violate the basic rights of their fellow human beings [on behalf of] the nuclear establishment.” “… politicians and bureaucrats ran roughshod over democracy and morality.” “… the deception that poisoned the dialogue of democracy.”
- Sophocles: King Oedipus, translated by E.F. Watling.
Robert Snefjella is an organic farmer living in Ontario, Canada