By Koozma Tarasoff, World BEYOND War, April 28, 2021
A message to the Prime Minister of Canada.
Many Canadians will be shocked to learn that as a so-called peacemaking country, we actually contribute to war. Here are a few of the ways:
- Canada has committed to a CA$14.8 billion deal to export Canadian-made, light-armoured military vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia. There is documentation of some of these tanks being used in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
- Currently, as a NATO member Canada is contributing over 200 military personnel to the war escalation in Ukraine, aimed at training and helping locals to better kill Russians. NATO encircling the Russian Federation is a threat to world peace, because Russia has plenty of nuclear weapons and wants the West to respect it as a bonifide nation.
- As a member of NORAD (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Canada continues to spend money on surveying the Soviet Union that no longer exists, while contributing to environmental pollution.
- Our government has not denounced East European groups and governments that persist in glorifying their Waffen-SS veterans as heroes, such as the Nazi groups in Ukraine. (Have we forgotten to respect the sacrifice of those who fought against Nazism and fascism during WWII?). Let’s cease rewriting history.
- Our neighbour, the USA, has over 800 military bases around the world — clearly driven by what former President Eisenhower warned us against — the Military Industrial Complex. Canada’s foreign policy should add its voice to encourage the USA to close its bases soon and return its troops home.
- Our government and our media contribute to gross misinformation about the Russian Federation which is a democratic country. Its President Vladimir Putin was democratically elected in March 2020 with 53.4% of the popular vote; today his popularity is approaching 70%. To promote Russia-gate propaganda such as claiming that Russia is threatening world peace (a tactic used largely by the USA, but also used by many of the Western countries which are dependent on the USA) does not contribute to peace. To claim that Russia has invaded Crimea in 2014 is not true because Crimea has legally returned to Russia under a vote of over 97% support and a turnout of 83%. The propaganda that Russia contributes to poisoning opponents, that it has interfered in USA general elections, and that it persecutes its opponents such as Navalny, all lack real evidence.
- Recall that the Canadian Forces’ Suffield, Alberta site once used human subjects to test chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. Our government has to stop the development and production of chemical and biological weapons in Canadian laboratories.
- During WWII, Canada profited by selling uranium from Great Slave Lake NWT to the US Manhattan project for the first atomic bomb. A quarter of a million Japanese died and hundreds of thousands injured.
- Canada is planning to construct 15 warships and purchase 88 fighter jets. Why? Are we as a NATO country threatened by someone?
- Canada has not signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty? Why?
- Canada recently admitted that it paid the controversial White Helmets $4 million annually after it cut ties with the White Helmets in 2018. White Helmets claimed they were a rescue operation, but in fact worked to overthrow President Assad of Syria via covert support to jihadists.
- British Lancet magazine recently published a peer reviewed study saying that the Russian Sputnik V vaccine was safe, no side effects, and 90.6% effective. The price is a fraction of the cost of the American-manufactured vaccines. Canada urgently needs reliable vaccines and could go to Russia for supplies — but it fears USA retaliation.
All the above are troubling issues that call for transparency, truth, understanding and compassion. In computer language, it is time to reboot. It’s time to become a friendly country. Let’s remember that misinformation is dangerous where nuclear weapons have the capability of destroying our civilization. The citizens of the world deserve better.
As we weather the current Coronavirus pandemic, this is a good time to reevaluate our foreign policy in favour of humanity. Specifically here are some concrete suggestions for our reboot:
- Reframe the word ‘enemy’ to a person in the process of becoming friends. This also applies to sovereign nations. The day of one nation ruling the world is gone and now respect for nations is the norm of the day. Or we can say ‘All countries and all people matter.’ All of this requires serious diplomacy, professional journalism, a mass program of getting to know the stranger and working with others.
- Cooperation is the way of the future. To fight the Coronavirus, to make wars illegal, and to get rid of poverty, we need to cooperate with others to solve our common problems.
- Shifting our priorities from war-making to peace-making will give us the opportunity to finance free education, free health care, free Pharmacare, affordable housing, a living wage, clean water and air, organic food, and to deal with climate change. This will ensure all residents have the benefits of basic social and economic improvements. In short, this is a ‘guns to butter’ policy.
- Arctic development has great possibilities. It could include a Silk Road on rails as proposed 150 years ago, but from South America, north across the Bering Strait, to Europe. Development of new cities could follow, with transport corridors and energy benefits to all nations connected. Russia has already offered to build the 65-mile tunnel in the Bering Strait.
- Diplomacy to explore space will be greatly facilitated with cooperation by the USA, Russia and China. These nations can also provide asteroid defence to protect us on Planet Earth from incoming meteors and asteroids. Yes, cooperation is the way!
- USA sanctions on countries around the world, including Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Russia should be lifted immediately. UN special rapporteurs have condemned sanctions as crimes against humanity.
- When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the Cold war was over, NATO should have come to an end. Instead, NATO broke its promise and continued to expand to the Russian Federation. It must end now and cease to be a trip-wire to WWIII.
In brief, we have here a genuine common good nonkilling peace and sustainable development program as a reset for a viable world future. Cooperative efforts of the best minds from intellectuals and world leaders could make this possible if there is good will.
Honourable Justin Trudeau, are you prepared to take the first steps in bringing this rich program into reality by bringing Canadian troops home, pulling out of NATO, which is no longer effective and has no purpose today, and working with other nations to make at least some of this peace program happen? With moral courage you will show that you are a world leader and that Canada is a country which contributes to world peace.