All posts by Yves Engler

Troops on the Ground Prove Canada is at War with Russia

Canada is at war with Russia. But the government doesn’t want to talk about it.

On Saturday the New York Times reported that Canadian special forces are part of a NATO network providing weapons and training to Ukrainian forces. The elite troops are also in the country gathering intelligence on Russian operations.

The Department of National Defence refused Ottawa Citizen military reporter David Pugliese’s request for comment on the US paper’s revelations. But in late January Global News and CTV reported that the usually highly secretive special forces were sent to Ukraine. (Canadian special forces have been dispatched secretly to many war zones.)

Alongside special forces, an unknown number of former Canadian troops have been fighting in Ukraine. There have been a bevy of stories about Canadians traveling to Ukraine to join the fight and organizers initially claimed over 500 individuals joined while the Russian government recently estimated that 600 Canadians were fighting there (Both the Canadian organizers and Moscow would have reasons to inflate the numbers). Early on, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and Defence Minister Anita Anand both encouraged Canadians to join the fight, which may have violated Canada’s Foreign Enlistment Act.

Top commanders have also joined the war. After more than 30 years in the Canadian Forces lieutenant-general Trevor Cadieu retired on April 5 (amidst a rape investigation) and was in Ukraine days later. At one-point Cadieu was favoured to lead the Canadian Forces.

On Saturday a number of media outlets reported that former Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier is heading a strategic advisory group supporting and advising Ukraine’s Territorial Defence Force. The mandate of the Hillier led council is to equip Ukraine’s 100,000-member volunteer reserve force.

Over the past four months Ottawa has delivered or allocated over $600 million in weapons to Ukraine. They’ve sent 20,000 artillery shells, 4,500 M72 rocket launchers, 7,500 hand grenades, a hundred Carl-Gustaf M2 anti-tank weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition, light armoured vehicles and other arms to fight Russia.

Canada has also adopted an unprecedented sanctions regime on Russia. According to Politico, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland led the international charge to freeze over $300 billion in Russian Central Bank assets. Ottawa is also leading the international campaign to seize Russian assets and give them to Ukraine.

Ottawa has offered more than two billion dollars in direct assistance to the Ukrainian government since the start of the year. Under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund Canada instigated the multi-donor Administered Account for Ukraine. A sizable share of Canada’s assistance has gone to prosecuting the war.

Ottawa has also put up millions of dollars for the International Criminal Court to investigate Russian officials and has labeled Russia’s war a “genocide”. Canadian officials have repeatedly described the conflict as a fight for freedom while openly spurning peace negotiations.

The past four months of fighting should be viewed — at least in part — as an escalation in a eight years US/UK/Canada proxy war with Russia. Canadians greatly assisted Ukrainian forces fighting in a conflict that saw 14,000 killed in the Donbas before Russia’s illegal invasion.

Canada played a significant role in arming and training the Ukrainian military long before Russia’s brutal February 24 invasion. The federal government spent $900 million to train Ukrainian forces following the Canadian-backed overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Between April 2015 and February 2022 Canadian troops — rotated every six months — trained 33,346 Ukrainian soldiers as part of Operation UNIFIER. Canadian military trainers helped restore Ukraine’s “decrepit” army prompting former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to dub former Canadian defence minister Jason Kenney “the godfather of the modern Ukrainian army” due to his role in instigating Operation Unifier.

UNIFIER reinforced Ukrainian forces fighting in the east and enabled Kyiv to avoid its commitments under the Minsk II peace accord, which was overseen by France and Germany in February 2015. When UNIFIER was launched the Russian Embassy in Ottawa released a statement labeling the mission a “deplorable” move “to assist the military buildup playing into the hands of ‘party of war in Kiev’”, which was their pejorative description for Poroshenko’s government.

Prior to the February 24 Russian invasion, the US and UK had also spent billions of dollars training and arming the Ukrainian military. The CIA ran a secret training program in Ukraine and over the past four months the agency has helped direct Ukrainian war efforts. Over the past few months, the US, UK and other NATO states have plowed tens of billions of dollars of weaponry into the country.

While more details on the scope of Western involvement will likely emerge in the coming months and years, there is enough information in the public record to conclude that Canada’s indeed at war in Ukraine. Further escalation is likely, particularly with Lithuania’s recent blockade of the Russian territory of Kalingrad. The 700 Canadian troops leading a NATO mission in Latvia will be on the frontline if fighting spreads to the Baltic states.

Despite facts on the ground, there’s been no vote in Parliament about whether it’s a good idea for Canada to go to war with a nuclear armed state.

The post Troops on the Ground Prove Canada is at War with Russia first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Intellectual Prostitutes Call Critics Foreign Agents, Useful Idiots

A military funded academic, working at a school launched by Condoleezza Rice, claims leftist and anti-war journalists engage in Russian disinformation. His report doesn’t provide any evidence or refute anyone’s argument, but the legacy media laps it up.

On Thursday the University of Calgary School of Public Policy released “Disinformation and Russia-Ukrainian war on Canadian social media”. With the exception of a blog by Dimitri Lascaris that dismantled its absurd ideological premises, coverage of the report was almost entirely uncritical. Headlines included: “Canada target of Russian disinformation, with tweets linked to foreign powers” (Globe and Mail), “Why is Canada the target of a Russian disinformation campaign?” (CJAD Montréal) and “Canada is target of Russian disinformation, with millions of tweets linked to Kremlin” (City News Toronto). The report’s lead author Jean-Christophe Boucher was a guest on multiple TV and radio outlets, labeling those who question the role of NATO expansion, the far Right and 2014 coup against an elected president in understanding the war in Ukraine “useful idiots” of Vladimir Putin.

Boucher and his co-researchers claim to have mapped over six million tweets in Canada about the conflict in Ukraine. They claim over a quarter of the tweets fall into five categories they label “pro-Russian narratives”. But they don’t even attempt to justify the five categories. Instead, they simply list the most prominent commentators and political figures promoting these ideas under the rubric of “Top Russian-influenced Accounts”. The list includes leftist journalists Aaron Maté, Benjamin Norton, Max Blumenthal, Richard Medhurst and John Pilger. But no evidence is offered to connect these individuals to Russia.

While “Disinformation and Russia-Ukrainian war on Canadian social media” reveals little, it has served its political purpose. It will further insulate Canadian officials from criticism of their policies by suggesting anyone questioning Ottawa’s Ukraine/NATO policies are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Boucher is a product of the Canadian military’s vast publicly financed ideological apparatus, which I detail in A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation. He has been a fellow at the military and arms industry funded Canadian Global Affairs Institute and Dalhousie Centre for the Study of Security and Development. He advocates theories amenable to the military’s interests, including “strategic retrenchment: falling back on the people you can really trust”, which is a sophisticated way of saying Canada should deepen its alliance with the US empire. His academic profile says Boucher “is a co-lead of the Canadian Network on Information and Security, funded by the Department of National Defence” while his Canadian Global Affairs Institute bio notes that “he is currently responsible for more than $2.4M of funding from the Department of National Defence (DND) to study information operations.”

The military put up the money to establish the Canadian Network on Information and Security (CANIS) as a joint project between the University of Calgary’s Public Policy Institute and Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies. A 2020-21 DND report labels CANIS among three initiatives “launched to tackle DND/CAF’s most pressing challenges.”

The University of Calgary School of Public Policy is essentially a right-wing think tank housed at a university, according to Donald Gutstein, author of two books on Canadian think tanks. It was set up in 2008 with $4 million from leading oil and gas lawyer James Palmer and launched at a $500-a-plate gala that included a keynote speech by George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The supporters of militarism would like us to believe that anyone criticizing Canada and NATO’s policies on Ukraine is a Russian agent or a useful idiot. But people being paid to promote opinions favourable to arms makers, the US empire and powerful individuals should have little credibility when it comes to criticizing the motivation of others.

The post Intellectual Prostitutes Call Critics Foreign Agents, Useful Idiots first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Educating Journalists about Canada’s Propaganda System an Eyeopener

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
—Noam Chomsky, Media Control:  The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, April 1, 1997

 Propaganda isn’t a euphemism for how the other side controls information. Nor is it simply about jailing journalists or shuttering media outlets. A serious discussion of the matter must look at the broader forces shaping information dissemination and suppression.

On May 22 I spoke on a panel at the Canadian Association of Journalists conference titled Censorship, Journalism and War. The Ukraine-focused exchange climaxed with journalist Justin Ling asking if I was “ashamed” for having been interviewed by RT. Nope.

The CEO of Ethnic Channels Group, Slava Levin, launched the discussion by describing how broadcasters Rogers, Bell and Shaw summarily removed RT from their networks. As the distributor of RT and many international channels in Canada, Levin pointed out how the decision subverted the regulatory process.

The broadcasters and Liberals indifference to the regulatory process warrants criticism but I sought to drive the discussion away from RT, Russia, China and authoritarian enemies. Even without formal restrictions, the corporate media (and CBC) permit only a narrow spectrum of opinion regarding Canadian foreign policy, as I detail in my 2016 book A Propaganda System: How Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation. Various internal and external factors explain the media’s biased international coverage. Most importantly, a small number of mega corporations own most of Canada’s media and depend on other large corporations for advertising revenue. Less dependent on advertising, CBC relies on government funds and has long been close to the foreign policy establishment. All major media firms rely on easily accessible information, which is largely generated by US wire services, Global Affairs, DND, internationally focused corporations and a bevy of think tanks and academic departments tied to the military, arms industry and corporate elite. Finally, the military, foreign affairs, organized ethnic lobbies and major corporations have the power to punish media that upset them.

In their coverage of Russia’s war with Ukraine/NATO the Canadian media and RT are the mirror image. They are exceedingly one-sided and their divergent reactions to antiwar disrupters highlight the point.

At the panel, I contrasted the Canadian and Russian ‘propaganda systems’ reaction to my March 21 interruption of foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly on Canada’s role in escalating violence in Ukraine, opposing the Minsk peace accord and promoting NATO expansion. With the exception of a short clip by CTV News World, Canadian media outlets that covered Joly’s speech on Ukraine ignored my intervention.

The Russian media treated the intervention differently. They portrayed me as an important author with a number of the top Russian channels inviting me on to comment. Russian media treated my disruption in a similar way to how the North American media covered Marina Ovsyannikova two weeks earlier. After she held a “no war” sign on Russia’s Channel One the western media hailed Ovsyannikova.

I told the audience that the CBC refuses to offer vital context. Just prior to the Russian invasion I wrote about senior CBC military writer Murray Brewster, who published a slew of reports in the proceeding weeks portraying Canada/US positively and Russia negatively while failing to report information he’d previously revealed that undercuts the notion that Canada is on the side of angels in the Ukraine crisis. In 2015 Brewster revealed that the protesters who overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 were stationed in the Canadian embassy in Kyiv for a week. That year Brewster also reported that Canadian soldiers trained neo-Nazi political forces in Ukraine and in 2008 that Canada pushed Ukraine’s adhesion to NATO against Russian, French and German objections. These measures increased tensions, led to war in the east part of the Ukraine and helped precipitate Russia’s illegal invasion.

In his intervention senior CBC international correspondent Saša Petricic described how in countries with more repressive media climates that an “atmosphere” of self-censorship develops. In response I asked who in the room had heard of the Ottawa Initiative on Haiti?

In 2003 Canadian officials brought together top representatives of the US and French governments to discuss Haiti’s future without inviting anyone from that country’s government. According to the March 15, 2003, issue of L’Actualité (Quebec’s equivalent to Maclean’s), they discussed ousting elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, putting Haiti under UN trusteeship and re-creating the disbanded Haitian army. Thirteen months later what was discussed largely transpired yet the dominant media largely ignored the Ottawa Initiative meeting. A Canadian Newsstand search I did in 2016 while writing A Propaganda System found not one single English-language report about the meeting (except for mentions of it by me and two other Haiti solidarity activists in opinion pieces). It wasn’t until 2020 that Radio-Canada’s flagship news program “Enquête” finally reported on the meeting, interviewing the minister responsible for organizing the meeting Denis Paradis.

What type of “atmosphere” exists in the Canadian media that would lead it to ignore this important meeting Haiti solidarity activists raised repeatedly?

I asked the room of 30 journalists if they knew which institution has the largest public relations apparatus in the country. No one answered. The Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces (CF) has the largest PR (propaganda) machine in Canada, employing hundreds of “public relations professionals” to influence the public’s perception of the military. Last fall the military, reported the Ottawa Citizen, established “a new organization that will use propaganda and other techniques to try to influence the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of Canadians.” Previously the head of CF called for the “weaponization of public affairs”, which proposed a plan to induce positive coverage and deter critical reporting. Journalists producing unflattering stories about the military were to be the target of phone calls to their boss, letters to the editor and other “flack” designed to undercut their credibility in the eyes of readers and their employers.

The editor in chief and executive director of CBC news, Brodie Fenlon, told the room it didn’t matter that DND had the largest PR apparatus in the country since they don’t determine what’s covered. True enough. But historically the public broadcaster’s close ties to the military have made it highly deferential to the CF. According to Mallory Schwartz in War on the Air: CBC-TV and Canada’s Military, 1952-1992, “When CBC-TV produced programs that raised controversial questions about defence policy, the forces or military history, it did so with considerable care. Caution was partly a result of the special relationship between the CBC and those bodies charged with the defence of Canada.” CBC’s ties to DND sometimes translated into formal censorship. After broadcasting The Homeless Ones in 1958 Deputy Federal Civil Defence Co-ordinator Major-General George S. Hatton requested the film’s withdrawal from the NFB Library and the public broadcaster cancelled its planned rebroadcast. Hatton insisted the CBC clear all content on civil defence with his staff.

The public broadcaster’s independence from DND has increased over the years. But since its inception the government has appointed CBC’s board and provided most of its funds.

Another element that helps make sense of Fenlon downplaying the importance of the CF’s PR machine is his (positive) assessment of the institution. But, as I pointed out, the CF is deeply integrated with the biggest purveyor of violence the world has ever seen — US military — and Canada has only fought in one war that could even be argued was morally justifiable. Sudan, South Africa, World War I, Korea, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya were not morally justifiable wars.

Fenlon is, of course, unlikely to have risen to a position of influence within CBC news if he shared my assessment of the Canadian military’s ties to the US Empire.

As I was leaving the room, a young CBC journalist came over to say how much she appreciated my work. She then laughed and said she hoped her boss hadn’t heard her.


The post Educating Journalists about Canada’s Propaganda System an Eyeopener first appeared on Dissident Voice.

New York Times admits truth of Haitian coup

“A Haitian president demands reparations and ends up in exile”, declared the front-page of Wednesday’s New York Times. Eighteen years later those who opposed the US, French and Canadian coup have largely won the battle over the historical record.

French ambassador Thierry Burkard admits that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s call for the restitution of Haiti’s debt (ransom) of independence partly explains why he was ousted in 2004. Burkard told the Times the elected president’s removal was “a coup” that was “probably a bit about” Aristide’s campaign for France to repay Haiti.

Other major outlets have also investigated the coup recently. In 2020 Radio-Canada’s flagship news program “Enquête” interviewed Denis Paradis, the Liberal minister responsible for organizing the 2003 Ottawa Initiative on Haiti where US, French and Canadian officials discussed ousting the elected president and putting the country under UN trusteeship. Paradis admitted to Radio-Canada that no Haitian officials were invited to discuss their own country’s future and the imperial triumvirate broached whether “the principle of sovereignty is unassailable?” Enquête also interviewed long time Haitian Canadian activist and author Jean Saint-Vil who offered a critical perspective on the discussion to oust Aristide.

Radio-Canada and the Times’ coverage was influenced by hundreds of articles published by solidarity campaigners in left wing outlets. Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment: Repression and Resistance in Haiti, 2004–2006, Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority, Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation, An Unbroken Agony Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President provide richer documentation about the coup, as do documentaries Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits, Haiti Betrayed and Aristide and the Endless Revolution.

The Times article on Aristide’s ouster was part of a series on imperialism in Haiti the paper published on its front page over four days. “The Ransom” detailed the cost to Haiti — calculated at between $21 billion and $115 billion — of paying France to recognize its independence. “A bank created for Haiti funneled wealth to France” showed how Crédit Industriel et Commercial further impoverished the nation in the late 1800s while “Invade Haiti, Wall Street urged, And American military obliged” covered the brutal 1915–34 US occupation, which greatly reshaped its economy to suit foreign capitalists.

The Times decision to spend tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars on the series was no doubt influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement and the paper’s 1619 project on slavery. Additionally, Saint-Vil and other Haitian-North American activists have been calling for France to repay the ransom for more than two decades. In 2010 a group of mostly Canadian activists published a fake announcement indicating that France would repay the debt. Tied to France’s Bastille Day and the devastating 2010 earthquake, the stunt by the Committee for the Reimbursement of the Indemnity Money Extorted from Haiti (CRIME) forced Paris to deny it, which the Times reported. The group also published a public letter that garnered significant international attention.

While these campaigns likely spurred the series, a number of academics made it about themselves. White Harvard professor Mary Lewis bemoaned that her research assistant was cited in “The Ransom” but she wasn’t. Another academic even apologized for sharing the important story. “I regret sharing the NYT article on Haiti yesterday. So many scholars are noting their egregious editorial practices. The writers of the article did not properly credit their sources.” Unfortunately, the academics’ tweets received thousands of likes.

Leaving aside the pettiness of academia, the series is not without questions and criticisms. First, will the Times apply the historical logic of the series to its future coverage of Haiti or continue acting as a stenographer for the State Department? More directly, why didn’t the series mention the “Core Group” that largely rules Haiti today? The series is supposed to show how foreign intervention has contributed to Haitian impoverishment and political dysfunction, but the Times ignores a direct line between the 2004 coup and foreign alliance that dominates the country today.

Last week Haitians protested in front of the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince. They chanted against the Core Group, which consists of representatives from the US, Canada, EU, OAS, UN, Spain, Brazil and France. A protester banged a rock on the gates. Previously, protesters have hurled rocks and molotov cocktails, as well as burned tires, in front of the Canadian Embassy.

The Times series has solidified the historical narrative regarding the 2004 coup and popularized the history of imperialism in Haiti. The series is a boon to North Americans campaigning for a radical shift in policy towards a country born of maybe the greatest victory ever for equality and human dignity.

But the point of activism is not simply to describe the world, but to change it.

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NDP onboard with Cons, Liberals in warmongering over Ukraine

Canada’s “left wing” party is openly opposed to negotiating an end to the war in Ukraine.

In “Feds must do more to support Ukraine, say experts, Ukrainians, opposition MPs” NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson repeats the party’s call to send more weapons to fight Russia and suggests the NDP formally opposes negotiations. The Monday Hill Times article reported, “McPherson said while the NDP will always look at non-violent means of conflict resolution by diplomatic and humanitarian means, Russia’s war against Ukraine is not a case when it can be done.”

MP Charlie Angus is more forthright in his opposition to negotiations. Asked on Twitter last week “Do you agree that what is needed concerning Russia/Ukraine war is negotiations not more weapons?” Angus responded, “We will negotiate when Putin pulls his war machine out of Ukraine and the international war crimes unit is allowed to fully investigate his crimes.” (While they trend in different directions, one can support sending weapons and seeking to negotiate.)

Angus’ statement is a call to prolong and escalate the war. When I tweeted as much, Angus blocked me. Apparently, Angus talks tough about Ukrainians fighting until the end but is sensitive to being challenged on Twitter.

As part of their three-year pact with the Liberals the NDP agreed to a budget that allocated half a billion dollars for arms to fight Russia (on top of more than $100 million in arms delivered to Ukraine in previous weeks). McPherson and Angus’ statements on negotiations suggests the party also agrees with the Liberals’ hostility to seeking diplomatic pathways to end the violence in Ukraine.

On Monday foreign affairs minister Mélanie Joly told CBC Radio, “at this point, like I said, the goal is not to be negotiating.” Two weeks into Russia’s illegal invasion Joly said “right now, it’s not about a diplomatic solution.” Prior to February 24 Canadian officials weren’t keen on negotiating either.

In word and deed Canada has sought to escalate tensions and extend the fighting. It is echoing evermore open calls by British and US officials to prolong the fighting and turn Ukraine into a proxy conflict. During an April 9 visit to Kyiv Boris Johnson reportedly pressured Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to ditch peace talks and after the British PM met French President Emmanuel Macron last week his office released a statement saying “he urged against any negotiations with Russia on terms that gave credence to the Kremlin’s false narrative for the invasion.”

Hinting at what’s long been US policy in Ukraine, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin declared recently, “we want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” In explaining his support for a $40 billion US arms and aid package to Ukraine, Congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted, “Yeah, because investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military, without losing a single American troop, strikes me as a good idea.” Previously, Congressman Adam Schiff told the House of Representatives that the “United States aids Ukraine and her people so we can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.”

While less crass with their declarations, the NDP is aligned with this thinking. As I detailed here, the NDP has been pressing conflict with Russia for years and has consistently supported measures that escalate tensions in Ukraine.

This reflects the party’s tradition of belligerence that I detail in Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada. The NDP/CCF supported Canada fighting in Korea, Yugoslavia and Libya. To give but one example after Moammar Gaddafi was savagely killed in 2011 NDP interim leader Nycole Turmel released a statement noting, “the future of Libya now belongs to all Libyans. Our troops have done a wonderful job in Libya over the past few months.”

The NDP’s public opposition to negotiations that might end the horrors in Ukraine exposes the depth of the party’s warmongering.

The post NDP onboard with Cons, Liberals in warmongering over Ukraine first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Liberal budget funds apologists for Israeli crimes

As more and more Canadians, including university students across the country, oppose Israel’s apartheid policies. the Liberals devoted millions of dollars in the recent federal budget to strengthen anti-Palestinian forces.

They put up $5.6 million over five years for Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. The position was created a year and a half ago for one of Canada’s chief apartheid apologists, Irwin Cotler. A staunch proponent of Israeli colonialism, Cotler has a home in Israel and his daughter was recently a member of the Knesset. In response to a recent speech Cotler delivered at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine, 45 faculty members sent the Dean a letter saying the event “reinforced anti-Palestinian racism in a way that is consistent with a broader pattern of silencing and erasure of Palestinian voices.”

Cotler has been bemoaning the “new anti-Semitism” of those who support Palestinian rights for decades. After Canada’s largest ever Palestinian solidarity demonstrations — largely by racialized Canadians — in May 2021 Cotler led an antisemitism summit and began decrying the worst antisemitism in Canada since World War II. (As Cotler knows, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it became illegal to block Jews and other groups from purchasing property in some neighborhoods. Some social clubs also restricted Jewish membership into the 1960s.)

Mimicking Canada, the Israeli government recently created its own Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization. In appointing Noa Tishby to the position Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid talked about those accusing Israel of “apartheid”, making it clear the aim of the position is to combat groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that have detailed Israeli apartheid. Cotler immediately applauded the Israeli government’s move to set up an envoy and announced he was planning to work with Tishby.

The Liberals budget also funneled $20 million into a new Montréal Holocaust Museum, which is scheduled to move to the centre of the city in 2025. That institution lists Federation Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) of Montréal as its “Beneficiary” and its largest donor was the Azrieli Foundation. The Azrieli Foundation has financed projects that benefit the Israeli military and the Azrielis made a controversial donation to Im Tirtzu, which was deemed a “fascist” group by an Israeli court. CJA has promoted Canadians joining the IDF. Its website also proclaims that its Community Recovery & Resilience Campaign co-chair Mitch Garber’s “eldest son Dylan just completed his service as a lone soldier serving in an elite Cyber Defense intelligence Unit of the IDF in Israel.”

The museum has co-sponsored initiatives with CJA, B’nai BrithCentre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and other anti-Palestinian lobby groups. A former museum fundraiser, Mikhael Goldshtein, boasts that he fought in the IDF for eight years.

In 2020 it released a statement titled “The Montreal Holocaust Museum regretfully notes the Montreal Mayor’s refusal to support the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.” The IHRA definition seeks to label criticisms of Israeli policy as antisemitic. Seven of the definition’s 11 illustrative examples refer to Israel.

In addition to the Montreal Holocaust Museum’s overt anti-Palestinian alignment, Hitler’s destruction of European Jewry has long been weaponized against Palestinians. In his 2000 book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, Norman Finkelstein, whose grandparents perished in Nazi death camps, argues that the American Jewish establishment exploited the memory of the Nazi Holocaust for economic and political gain and to further the interests of Israel. Since the book was written, Israel lobbyists’ reliance on antisemitism/Nazi Holocaust claims to undermine Palestine solidarity has grown substantially.

If the Montréal Holocaust Museum refuses to distance itself — by declaring its support for Palestinian rights — from those using the Nazis’ extermination of European Jewry to justify subjugating Palestinians it should be opposed. Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism should be categorically rejected. Cotler is a liberal imperialist who has spent his life working to subjugate Palestinians.

With their recent budget the Liberals have reaffirmed their anti-Palestinian policy. People who support human rights for all and oppose Israel’s apartheid policies take note.

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Ukraine No-Fly Zone “could lead to end of human civilization”

Canadians calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine have lost the plot. Unless their real aim is nuclear war.

Recently, former Conservative cabinet minister Chris Alexander, New Brunswick education minister Dominic Cardy and former Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier have raised the idea of creating a “no-fly zone” (NFZ) over Ukraine. “We’re calling on all governments of the world to support creating a no fly zone over Ukraine,” declared Michael Shwec, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, at a rally in Montréal. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US Congressman Adam Kinzinger have also called for NATO to adopt a NFZ.

A NFZ over Ukraine means war with Russia. It would force the US or NATO to shoot down Russian planes.

A war between Russia and NATO would be horrendous. Both the US and Russia have thousands of nuclear weapons. Highlighting the dangers, Paul Street wrote on Counterpunch that “any elected official calling for a No-Fly Zone over Ukraine should be forced to rescind that call or resign for advocating a policy that could lead to the end of human civilization.”

Fortunately, Canada’s defence minister Anita Anand and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki have rejected the idea of an NFZ. “It would essentially mean the US military would be shooting down planes, Russian planes,” said Psaki. “That is definitely escalatory, that would potentially put us in a place where we are in a military conflict with Russia. That is not something the president wants to do.”

Even when the target is not a nuclear power, Canadian-backed NFZs have created death, destruction and escalation. After killing thousands of Iraqis in 1991 the US, UK, France and Canada imposed a NFZ over northern and southern Iraq. Over the next 12 years US and British warplanes regularly bombed Iraqi military and civilian installations to enforce the NFZs.

On different occasions Canada sent naval vessels and air-to-air refueling aircraft to assist US airstrikes. Canadian air crew on exchange with their US counterparts also helped patrol the NFZs.

After a September 1996 US strike to further destroy Iraq’s “air-defence network” Prime Minister Jean Chretien said the action was “necessary to avert a larger human tragedy in northern Iraq.” Five years later Chretien responded to another bombing by stating, “if the Iraqis are breaking the agreement or what is the zone of no-flying, and they don’t respect that, the Americans and the British have the duty to make sure it is respected.”

Twelve years after enforcing the NFZs the US/UK launched a full-scale invasion of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands were killed.

In March 2011, Washington, Paris and some other NATO countries convinced the United Nations Security Council to endorse a plan to implement a NFZ over Libya (China, Germany, Russia, Brazil and Turkey abstained on the vote). Begun under the pretext of saving civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s terror, the real aim was regime change. The UN “no-fly zone” immediately became a license to bomb Libyan tanks, government installations and other targets in coordination with rebel attacks. With a Canadian general leading the mission, NATO also bombed Gaddafi’s compound and the houses of people close to him. The military alliance defined “effective protection” of civilians as per the UN resolution, noted Professor of North African and Middle Eastern history Hugh Roberts, as “requiring the elimination of the threat, which was Gaddafi himself for as long as he was in power (subsequently revised to ‘for as long as he is in Libya’ before finally becoming ‘for as long as he is alive’).” Thousands, probably tens of thousands, died directly or indirectly from that conflict. Libya has yet to recover and the conflict spilled south into the Sahel region of Africa.

While they may sound benign, NFZs have generally elicited violence. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a terrible violation of international law that is likely to have deleterious consequences for years to come. But escalating the conflict through a no-fly zone will only make it worse. It could lead to a cataclysmic nuclear war.

• On March 4 I will be participating in a panel on “Cutting through the Spin: Russia’s invasion, NATO’s provocation and Canada’s complicity”. 

The post Ukraine No-Fly Zone “could lead to end of human civilization” first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Canadian Interference in Ukrainian Affairs

If there was an award for the world’s most hypocritical political party, the Liberal Party of Canada would be frontrunners to take the prize.

In their bid to ramp up tensions between nuclear armed NATO and Russia, this country’s top two politicians flagrantly intervened in Ukrainian affairs while maintaining other nations must stay out of ours.

Last week the Globe and Mail reported that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to demand that he block legal proceedings against former president Petro Poroshenko. His political rival is accused of treason.

How does pressuring Zelensky respect Canada’s stated aim of supporting Ukrainian “sovereignty”? Also, didn’t they tell us repeatedly they couldn’t stop the deportation of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the US because they opposed interfering in the legal system?

More important than Liberal party hypocrisy, intervening to support Poroshenko reflects Canada’s promotion of militaristic, regressive, political forces in the Ukraine. In the 2019 election Zelensky trounced (73% to 25%) Poroshenko by running on a pro-peace and anti-oligarch platform. Out of office Poroshenko has worked to scuttle Zelensky’s efforts. Alongside well organized (if electorally insignificant) far right groups, Poroshenko promoted demonstrations and provocative stunts that undermined Zelensky’s peace efforts with Russia and the breakaway republics in the eastern Donbass region.

Having come to power in the aftermath of the US and Canada backed EuroMaidan coup in 2014, Poroshenko is “a fiercely anti-Russian figure in Ukrainian politics”. At the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) in mid-November Poroshenko instigated the latest bout of ‘Russia will invade’ rhetoric. According to the Globe and Mail report: “Poroshenko says ‘extremely possible’ Russian military could cross border into Ukraine”. At the NATO-sponsored forum, the former president also called for a Ukrainian Membership Action Plan to “be adopted at the next NATO summit in June.”

Poroshenko has attended the last two HISFs, which receives $3 million a year from Canada’s Department of National Defence. In 2020 HISF President Peter Van Praagh put out a release noting, “in the best interests of Ukraine’s democratic future, President Zelensky should call an immediate halt to all proceedings against Mr. Poroshenko.”

Ottawa and Washington’s support for Poroshenko is part of their assistance to pro-NATO, anti-Russian and anti-socialist political forces in the Ukraine. Over the past three decades Canada has channeled over $1 billion to bolster their political allies in the Ukraine while the US has spent many billions of dollars more.

Canadian support for nationalist, anti-socialist, forces in the Ukraine has a longer history. In 1952 External Affairs Minister Lester Pearson launched a Ukrainian section of Radio Canada International (RCI) to disseminate the Canadian government’s perspective there. The previous year Pearson told Parliament that RCI was “playing a useful part in the psychological war against communism.”

RCI bolstered anti-Soviet, nationalist, elements among the émigré community. The Canadian government has also supported ultranationalist Ukrainian émigrés more directly. In 1940 McKenzie King’s Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) to undercut more socialist and internationalist elements within the community. In “The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and its Fascist Roots” Richard Sanders writes, “their explicit goal in orchestrating the creation of this umbrella organisation was to rally all anticommunist Ukrainians into one body in order to squash the then-powerful influence of leftwing Ukrainians whose forebears had come to Canada during earlier waves of migration.” After World War II the UCC benefited from Canada opening its door to tens of thousands of Ukrainians nationalists, many of whom had fought with the Nazis against the Soviets.

Over the years Ottawa has provided various forms of financial and other support to the UCC. In so doing, they’ve helped the organization maintain its hegemony over Ukrainian Canadian politics and its sizable international influence. For the last 13 years Canadians have led the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), which was set up as an anti-Soviet organization. The heads of the UWC and UCC met Poroshenko at the HISF in November.

The UWC, UCC and Canada’s large diaspora community more generally is influential in the Ukraine, which has by far the lowest per capita GDP in Europe. (Ukraine’s per capita GDP is 40% of Mexico’s and 1/12 Canada’s.) Chrystia Freeland provides a stark example of Canadian influence over Ukrainian politics. Long before she convinced President Zelensky to intervene in a legal case against his rival, Freeland was actively promoting a nationalist, anti-socialist position. During a 1989 visit, reports the Globe and Mail, Freeland “delivered cash, video- and audio-recording equipment, and even a personal computer to her contacts in Ukraine.” Freeland’s support to anti-Soviet, Ukrainian nationalists got her followed by the KGB and labeled by the press as an “anti-Soviet bourgeois nationalist.” Freeland represented the UCC and Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at a 1989 congress of the Ukrainian People’s Front.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union Freeland supported Ukraine maintaining its nuclear weapons arsenal. Her mother also helped draft the Ukraine’s inaugural constitution.

Freeland’s family are hardline nationalists. Her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi propagandist during World War II. Chomiak edited a Ukrainian language newspaper that published speeches by Hitler and Goebbels, as well as the Nazi’s anti-Jewish/Soviet screeds. Fleeing the Ukraine after the Soviets defeated the Nazis, Chomiak was influential in Alberta’s Ukrainian community through the 1980s. Freeland has repeatedly praised him.

As Freeland highlights, Canada has nurtured ultranationalist forces in the Ukraine. While framed as defending that country from Russian imperialism, it’s hard to take Ottawa’s commitment to Ukrainian “sovereignty” seriously when top Canadian politicians flagrantly interfere in the country’s internal affairs.

But there is a broader question at hand as well. Amidst the pandemic, climate crisis and staggering inequities, do Canadians want to devote more resources and soldiers to ramping up tensions with Russia?

Let’s not forget that the US and Russia possess enough nuclear weapons to wipe out humanity.

• On February 16 the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute will be hosting a webinar on “Canada, NATO, Russia and the Crisis over Ukraine”.

The post Canadian Interference in Ukrainian Affairs first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Anti-China Canadian MPs claim Sovereignty over Argentine Mine

The anti-China panic sweeping Canadian politics has descended from tragedy into farce.

A month ago I mocked Globe and Mail Report on Business columnist Eric Reguly for complaining about China-based Zijin Mining purchasing Neo Lithium. The nominally Canadian firm extracts lithium in Argentina.

Reguly succeeded in stirring a national security scare about minerals extracted 10,000 kilometres from Canada. Since he published “The West is asleep while China hoards key minerals” on December 18 the opposition parties have repeatedly criticized the Liberals for failing to conduct a “national security review” of the Neo Lithium sale. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole called it “critical” to review the purchase of Argentinian resources by a Chinese firm while NDP MP Charlie Angus tweeted, “How is it possible that Ottawa gave the thumbs up to a Chinese takeover of Neo Lithium? This is a critical metal for the renewable economy. There is a major geopolitical fight for control of these minerals and Canada is being left on the sidelines.”

Opposition MPs forced Innovation, Science and Industry minister François-Philippe Champagne to explain the lack of review before a federal committee. At the industry and technology committee meeting a senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute demanded a review of the sale. In all seriousness Jeff Kucharski claimed, “our national security interests don’t end at our borders. The mere fact that the lithium mine is in Argentina, and not in Canada is really irrelevant.” But Kucharski is calling for a Canadian, not Argentinian, government national security review.

In an article on Neo Lithium Kucharski wrote, “Resource firms should be considered as contributors to advancing Canada’s national security interests, irrespective of where their activities and assets are located.” With Canadian-based or listed mining firms operating thousands of international projects, Kucharski’s logic would grant Ottawa remarkable leverage over the global mineral supply and (probably) threaten Canadian companies’ vast profits. Right-wing, pro-corporate, voices don’t generally argue for measures that undermine Canadian mining firms (Why would a government allow a Canadian company into their country if it meant foreign sovereignty over their resources?). But, the ‘threat’ of China’s rise elicits all manner of double standards and absurdities.

Another China double standard is the discussion of Canada creating a foreign agents’ registry. Last week the Globe and Mail quoted a spokesperson for Canadian Friends of Hong Kong saying that “Canada needs a foreign agents registration act like those in Australia or the United States, as well as a centralized reporting centre for victims of intimidation by the Chinese government.” In the following sentence of the article Ian Bailey and Steven Chase quote “Mehmet Tohti, executive director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project” (URAP). But URAP ought to be listed on any foreign agent registry worth its salt. URAP’s website says it “is funded by the Washington-based National Endowment Fund for Democracy for its Advocacy work in Canada.” The NED was established in 1983 to work alongside the CIA. In 1991 Allen Weinstein, a founding member and president, told the Washington Post, “a lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

In a recent expose The Canada Files noted that Tohti has “far deeper connections to the NED than those stemming only from URAP. In 2004, Tohti was a co-founder of the NED-funded World Uyghur Congress. He was a ‘Special Representative’ of the WUC to the European Parliament between 2010 to 2012, and even served as Vice-President of the World Uyghur Congress for two separate terms.”

Tohti and URAP played an important role in pushing Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights to adopt a resolution calling China’s treatment of Uighurs a genocide. The House of Commons subsequently followed suit, which has pushed the Trudeau government towards more conflictual relations with Beijing.

The Globe and Mail’s senior parliamentary reporter, Steven Chase, has quoted Tohti in a half dozen articles over the past two years. Chase has also written numerous articles about the need for a foreign agents’ registry. I did not find any article in which he mentions that Tohti’s group is funded by a CIA cut-out organization.

An important force pushing for a foreign agent registry is Kucharski’s MacDonald Laurier Institute. Its fellows have published recent op-eds titled “Canada needs a foreign agent registry to help it tackle China’s influence” and “The persistent threat of foreign interference in Canada’s democracy”. As part of their supposed concern with foreign governments interfering in Canadian politics, the MacDonald Laurier Institute established In December it published “Influence Operation Targeting Canadian 2021 Federal Election”. The report noted, “The Chinese government has repeatedly demonstrated its readiness to advance its interest in Canada by directly manipulating Canadian political debate and policy through the use of disinformation, threats, intimidation, and influence operations directed at Canadian diaspora groups.”

Well, surprise, surprise, DisinfoWatch is also funded by the US government. The bottom of its initiating statement notes that “Development of the DisinfoWatch platform is funded by the United States Department of State’s Global Engagement Center and the US Embassy in Ottawa with support from Journalists for Human Rights.” And to move from hypocrisy into the realm of farce, the MacDonald Laurier Institute has received significant sums from the governments of Taiwan and Latvia.

Those calling for a foreign agents’ registry are not principally concerned with foreign influence in Canadian politics. They are obsessed with stopping the world’s most populous country from someday transplanting the US to become its most powerful.

• On February 4 China Canada Focus will be hosting a free webinar with Noam Chomsky on Canada’s growing conflict with China.

The post Anti-China Canadian MPs claim Sovereignty over Argentine Mine first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Maybe the Story is More Complex than Russia Bad, Canada Good

The saber rattling is becoming scary. But Canadian officials labelling Russia “aggressive” while stoking unnecessary conflict has a long history.

Echoing a 2009 statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently denounced “an aggressive Russia.” Throughout their time in office the Liberals have blamed Russia for complicated conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as nuclear proliferation. In a major 2017 foreign policy speech foreign minister Chrystia Freeland called “Russian military adventurism and expansionism … clear strategic threats to the liberal democratic world, including Canada.” But NATO countries spend $1.1 trillion on their militaries each year while Russia’s military budget is $61 billion.

In a dangerous game of brinksmanship, the Trudeau government has expanded Canada’s military presence on Russia’s doorstep. In 2017 the number of Canadian troops in Eastern Europe was more than doubled from approximately 300 in the Ukraine and Poland to 800 in the Ukraine, Romania and Latvia. Alongside these forces, Canada has often had a naval frigate and a half dozen CF-18 fighter jets in Eastern Europe. Recently, they deployed special forces to the Ukraine.

Canada’s military buildup in Eastern Europe is the outgrowth of a coup in Kiev. In 2014 the right-wing nationalist EuroMaidan movement ousted president Viktor Yanukovych who was oscillating between the European Union and Russia. The US-backed coup divided the Ukraine politically, geographically and linguistically (Russian is the mother tongue of 30% of Ukrainians and as much as 75% of those in eastern cities). After Yanukovych’s ouster Russia reinforced its military presence — or “seized” — the southern area of Crimea and then organized a referendum on secession. Home to Moscow’s major Black Sea naval base, Crimea had long been part of Russia and the bulk of the population preferred Moscow’s rule to the post-coup right wing nationalist government in Kiev.

The largely Russian speaking east protested the ouster of Yanukovych who was from the region. After a referendum and fighting the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were proclaimed in the Donbas region bordering Russia. Moscow aided the movement but showed little interest in absorbing the newly proclaimed republics into Russia as many in the Donbas would have liked.

While we heard about Russia’s influence in the Ukraine, little attention is given to Canada or the US’s role in stoking tensions there. In July 2015 the Canadian Press reported that opposition protesters were camped in the Canadian Embassy for a week during the February 2014 rebellion against Yanukovych. “Canada’s embassy in Kyiv was used as a haven for several days by anti-government protesters during the uprising that toppled the regime of former president Viktor Yanukovych,” the story noted.

Since the end of the Cold War Ottawa has provided significant support to right wing, nationalist opponents of Russia in the Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe. Federal government documents uncovered by Canwest in July 2007 explained that Ottawa was trying to be “a visible and effective partner of the United States in Russia, Ukraine and zones of instability in Eastern Europe.” During a July 2007 visit to the Ukraine, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Canada would help provide a “counterbalance” to Russia. “There are outside pressures [on Ukraine], from Russia most notably. … We want to make sure they feel the support that is there for them in the international community.” As part of Canada’s “counterbalance” to Russia MacKay announced $16 million in aid to support what was labeled “democratic reform” in the Ukraine.

Support for the Ukrainian government followed on the heels of Canada’s role in the western-backed “colour” revolutions in Eastern Europe, which were largely aimed at weakening Russian influence in the region. An in-depth Globe and Mail article headlined “Agent Orange: Our secret role in Ukraine” detailed some of the ways Canada intervened in the 2004-2005 Ukrainian elections. “Beginning in January 2004 — soon after the success of the Rose Revolution in Georgia, he [Canadian ambassador to the Ukraine, Andrew Robinson] began to organize secret monthly meetings of western ambassadors, presiding over what he called ‘donor coordination’ sessions among 20 countries interested in seeing Mr. [presidential candidate Viktor] Yushchenko succeed. Eventually, he acted as the group’s spokesman and became a prominent critic of the Kuchma government’s heavy handed media control. Canada also invested in a controversial exit poll, carried out on election day by Ukraine’s Razumkov Centre and other groups that contradicted the official results showing Mr. Yanukovich [winning].”

The Canadian embassy gave $30,000 US to Pora, a leading civil society group active in the Orange Revolution. In total Ottawa spent half a million dollars promoting “fair elections” in the Ukraine. The ambassador promised the Ukraine’s lead electoral commissioner a passport (Canadian citizenship) if he did “the right thing.” (Imagine if Russia did these things during a Canadian election.) The embassy also paid for 500 election observers from Canada, the largest official delegation from any country (another 500 Ukrainian-Canadians came independently). Many of these election observers were far from impartial, according to the Globe.

The first Eastern European “colour” revolution took place in Serbia just over a year after NATO’s 78-day bombing campaign. During NATO’s illegal bombing of Serbia in 1999, 18 Canadian CF-18 jets dropped 530 bombs in 682 sorties — approximately 10 per cent of NATO’s air operations. “One goal of the war against Yugoslavia,” noted Tariq Ali, “was to expand NATO to the very frontiers of the former Soviet Union.”

Bombing Serbia, which deepened Kosovo’s separation from that country, was the final blow to multiethnic Yugoslavia. The former Yugoslavia’s division into ethnic states was attractive to NATO because it diminished Russian influence in the Mediterranean.

Through diplomacy and peacekeeping Canada spurred Yugoslavia’s breakup in the 1990s. During the Cold War, however, Ottawa took a different tack. At a time when Russia was relatively strong, Canada got close to Yugoslavia as a way to pry it away from the Russian-led Warsaw Pact.

Established in 1955 the Warsaw Pact was a response to NATO, which some believe was a Canadian idea. The US, Britain and Canada held secrets meetings to discuss creating NATO in March 1948.

Reflected in Ottawa’s support for NATO, immediately after World War II Canadian officials spouted Cold War hysteria despite reports from our ambassador in Moscow that the Soviet elite desired peace with Washington and London. During his nine years as external affairs minister between 1948 and 1957 Lester Pearson repeatedly decried “communist imperialism” and “the international communist conspiracy” in the House of Commons. At a time when European powers controlled dozens of colonies Pearson referred to the “Greatest colonial power of all and the one which exercises power in the most arbitrary and tyrannical fashion, the Soviet Union.”

Begun during World War II the Canadian Psychological Warfare Committee continued to operate throughout the Cold War. It beamed Canadian propaganda (through the CBC International Service) to the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries. According to former Canadian ambassador to Czechoslovakia and Poland and CBC-IS founder, Jack McCordick, the aim of CBC-IS was “to engage in psychological warfare against the communist regimes.”

In the lead-up to World War II Canadian officials supported the Nazis’ anti-Russian posture and throughout the 1920s Ottawa attempted to isolate Russia. Six thousand Canadian troops invaded Russia after the Bolsheviks rose to power in 1917. About 600 Canadians fought in Murmansk and Archangel where the British air force dropped diphenylchloroarsine against the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1919. Red Army soldiers fled in panic of a gas that caused uncontrollable coughing and individuals to vomit blood.

The war against the Bolsheviks was initially justified as a way to reopen World War One’s Eastern Front (the Bolsheviks signed a peace treaty with Germany). Canadian troops, however, stayed after World War One ended. In fact, 2,700 Canadian troops arrived in the eastern city of Vladivostok on January 5, 1919, two months after the war’s conclusion.

For some reason, the dominant media rarely mention any of this important background to a story that dominates today’s front pages. They don’t mention Canadian interference in other countries elections because that would make this country look hypocritical. They don’t discuss Canada’s role in the break-up of Yugoslavia into ethnic-based states because that might make a similar break-up of the Ukraine seem historically justified. They present Canadian and other western countries build-up of troops near Russia as defensive rather than offensive. Could that be because they are cheerleaders rather than objective reporters of the facts?

Militarists and the capitalists who profit from war have always used bogeymen to justify ever more military spending. For many decades it was communists who were used to frighten us. But now that they are gone, it’s clearer than ever that it is western capitalism’s ever insatiable desire to dominate that truly threatens the world.

The post Maybe the Story is More Complex than Russia Bad, Canada Good first appeared on Dissident Voice.