"The recent conflict in Iraq and the differing views of our two governments emphasizes the need for better relations and promotion of peace and understanding throughout the world."

                                                                                         WITHOUT PREJUDICE


I realize that if you read the literature from peace activists and civil society, there is a preponderance of writings that reflect negatively on U.S. Foreign Policy and militarism and the military/industrial complex.  These institutions have a preponderance of money to extol their own virtues.  Generally, opposition parties, the media and general public are supposed to hold government and military accountable - however opposition parties and the media have generally failed to do so (often they are part of the military/industrial complex).   And so, it is understandable that to attempt some "balance" or countervaillance, peace activists and civil society represent the "opposition" in order to attempt to hold government and military accountable, and to affect change where appropriate.  Interestingly, government and military avoid entering into a dialogue or put forth evidence to refute those in opposition.  Those in power have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.  However, when parties refuse to come to the table to resolve conflicts, violence often follows.  We seek non-violent solutions. 

Building better relationships between countries, and particularly Canada and the U.S.A., requires balance and making decisions in light of all the facts.  Readers from all walks of life, and all countries, are invited to submit their comments and articles to show all sides to the various positions, identify issues and solutions.  While this article specifically deals with the Canada/U.S.A. case, many things we learn may be applicable to other countries - and we can learn from other countries.  This section is a work-in-progress.


With the war on Iraq, things (emotions) escalate.  Violence begets violence.  Now, I am sure you are aware that Canadian and Americans are starting to "fight" (egged on by the media).  Recently the U.S. Ambassador to Canada (Paul Cellucci) told us that Washington was very disappointed in Canada and there may be repercussions.  Canadians are also arguing amongst each other.  The reaction was predictable.  How much it may escalate or deteriorate is to be seen.

Communication and relationship building are important cornerstones in peacebuilding.  This is a 'teachable moment' (praxis; service learning; in fact, looking for the 'silver lining' in the current crisis, more peace education has taken place since 9/11 than ever before).  I believe that the relationship between Canada and the U.S. may be one of the most important in the world - it certainly is for us Canadians. 
I propose that a series of "Town Halls" are required across Canada for the following purposes:
1. to increase Canadian's understanding of Canadian foreign policy, the U.S. and the U.N. (education)
2. to discuss our collective feelings and concerns of these, and opportunities (introspection)
3. to work towards some consensus on these (Canadian values development)
4. to work towards the improvement of relations with the U.S. and U.N. (action)
5. to initiate an ongoing similar series of "Town Halls" with Americans, to build our relationship (sharing)
The Town Halls would have to consider the following:
a) provide information in advance so that we are all "playing with the same deck" (currently, we are not)
b) dispel myths
c) provide a safe environment for discussion
d) moderators that are well skilled in conflict transformation
I can imagine that the Canadian Government might be nervous about something like this because:
i) if not handled well, it could be more divisive than beneficial
ii) Government might lose control to the Canadian public
iii) Canadians illiterate in foreign policy generally means the Government can do what they want
I believe that we, as peace educators, should consider the merits and possibly suggest this to the Canadian Government, or a suitable NGO (for reasons of independence).  A model for holding similar Public Dialogue that was developed by the Canadian Policy Research Network can be found on their website (reference "The Society We Want" project at ).  The funding for such an initiative will be an issue (particularly with groups like the Canadian Government or CPRN who like to do things big).  I think it could be done relatively inexpensively if necessary. 
For anyone who would like to do some more background reading about Canadian Values, I have quite a few good articles at  (Section 8).
I do believe this is a necessary and viable approach to dealing with a matter of vital importance to Canadians.  Your comments, input, suggestions are invited and needed.  This case study will be "under construction" for some time.

Bob Stewart




"We can love Americans and hate U.S. hegemony" - Dr. Johan Galtung

"One has probably learned in kindergarten the fundamentals of foreign policy: Don't cheat.  Don't lie.  Don't steal.  Don't kill.  Don't hate.  Don't seek revenge.  Be responsible.  Treat others with respect.  Seek friends who follow these rules. "

"We currently have a serious U.S. vs. Canada 'conflict': for example, U.S. invasion plans (military and economic) for Canada; U.S. foreign policy and Canada's compliance, support of the resultant genocide, consequences of the resultant chaos.  We, collectively, need to transform this conflict into a 'triple win' (for Canada, the U.S. and the rest of the world)"

"As friends, we in Canada should be approaching the U.S. to raise their awareness, social conscience and promote corrective action ."

"U.S. gun boat diplomacy, through the implied threat of military action, is intended to influence and control events to U.S. advantage, and everyone else's disadvantage. This confrontational approach to foreign relations is extremely negative because it is based upon coercion rather than efforts to develop constructive approaches of mutual benefit."

"As long as U.S. leaders are committed to the belief that as the world's most powerful nation we alone are empowered to proclaim and enforce American standards and judgements everywhere in the world, we are doomed to confrontation and growing isolation in a world increasingly ready to adopt global norms and the peaceful conduct of international relations."

"The U.S. is currently undermining the U.N., because the U.S. wishes to be the world order."

The Grand Paradox

The United States represents Canada's greatest opportunity for trade prosperity and security.

However, paradoxically, the greatest danger to Canadian security is the U.S. Administration and its Foreign Policy. Although they will likely deny it, tucked away in a drawer at the U.S. military are plans to invade Canada should it be "in the U.S. national interest" (reference ) . In the past, the U.S. has facilitated "regime change" in Canada. When the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement was signed, the chief U.S. negotiator boasted "in 20 years they will be sucked into the U.S. economy". The U.S. has a practice of undermining the United Nations because the U.S. "aspires to be the international system" (to quote Henry Kissinger). The U.S. holds themselves above International Law in a number of key areas. The U.S. Administration can correctly be characterized as a self-centered bully, which belies U.S. Ambassador Cellucci's selfless claim "We would be there for Canada". If you do not believe this, read the Project for the New American Century (reference ). If you think it is violent now, wait until the world (and particularly the U.S.) runs out of oil, gas and clean water (which will happen in our children's and grandchildren's life times). The best defence of Canadian security will come from a strong, effective, democratic United Nations, not the U.S.

A letter to America

You're the 21st-century Romans. Your admiring friends used to know you well: land of the brave, home of the free. Now, as you obsess over the omens of war, we wonder if you know yourself, muses Canadian MARGARET
ATWOOD in "A letter to America"

Smile - We still have Rick Mercer

Courtesy of Rick Mercer from "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" CBC Television:

On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the
United States of America . We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.

I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America . After all it's not like
you actually elected him.

I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.

I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.

I'm sorry we burnt down your white house during the war of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.

I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we Feel your Pain.

I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq . I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein states, "We should stand by our friends"  and "They obviously have some evidence that tells them that world peace is threatened".
Such generalizations are dangerous and irresponsible, particularly for a government leader.  First, calling the Canada/U.S. relationship a friendship is a political nicety, but friends do not have plans to invade friends, do not lie to friends, do not practice regime change in friend's country, and do not bargain in bad faith with friends - all of which the U.S. has done to Canada.  Second, standing by a friend who is a known assassin, murderer and human rights violator, about to kill again, is wrong (reference What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy).  Third, assuming the U.S. has such evidence, and is doing anything but acting in its own hegemonic self-interest, is naive.  Friends don't let friends drive drunk.  The U.S. is drunk on power and self-interest, and is driving into a potential wreck.   Canada, France and the majority of U.N countries and the world is trying to be a true friend trying to warn the U.S. not to go to war.  Time will tell who is right, and if the U.S. has changed its foreign policy for the world's best interest.


University of Calgary Professors Barry Cooper (political science) and David Bercuson (director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies), after assassinating the characters of Jean Chrétien, the Canadian public and the United Nations, conclude "There are worse things than war." Moment of truth give us winners, losers - March 19, 2003 Calgary Herald column
The truth is Iraq had nothing to do with 911, with Al Queda's role in 911, or with the anthrax attack on America. America has a right to defend itself, but Iraq did not attack America. According to the published reports, the CIA says Iraq has no intention of attacking the US. Iraq has no nuclear capability, its missiles cannot strike the US, and UN inspectors cannot verify the Administration's claims that Iraq has usable biological and chemical weapons.

The question facing the world at this very moment is not whether Saddam Hussein is moral. It is whether America will again forfeit its moral authority by violating the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, International Law and the US Constitution by launching thousands of rockets in "shock and awe" against a broken people, killing and destroying innocent lives, their families, their homes their cultural institutions, and their places of worship.  Only this time, it will be witnessed by billions of aware global and American public.

Cooper/Bercuson are also silent on some other truths: with the pretext of "safeguarding their national interest", the U.S. administration lies and practices "psyops", the U.S. is the greatest threat to peace in Canada and our future generations, the U.S. has considered plans for the invasion of Canada, the U.S. has practiced regime change in Canada, the U.S. has been continuously increasing its control over Canadian resources and tries to increase its control over our opinion.  It is well documented that the US Administration's overriding purpose, from the beginning right through to the present day, has been world domination--that is, to build and maintain the capacity to coerce everybody else on the planet: nonviolently, if possible; and violently, if necessary.  In the light of the truth of US hegemony and contempt for other countries, Canada's safety depends upon an effective United Nations and International Law.  This does not mean we do not love Americans and can't be friends - but their foreign policy is a barrier to world peace, to put it mildly.
There are worse things than war: it is the warmonger.  Cooper/Bercuson should know, and tell the whole truth.  But then readers should also be aware that they get a significant amount of funding from the military and may be biased.


Canada deals from a position of less Power/Weakness ... Militarily and Economically vs. the U.S.A. that deals from a position of Realpolitik/Might Makes Right

Canada can not outgun the U.S., and can not defend itself from the U.S.  It would have little chance in a fight of almost any sort, particularly of brute force.  Accordingly, Canada will have to marshal  other tactics in order to be independent and ensure survival.  The U.S. often plays the role of a bully and Canada must master anti-bullying tactics.


A recent Macleans’poll indicated that: 72% of Canadian do not wish to move closer to the U.S. in its laws and attitudes

Examples of American hegemony:

- the Bush Doctrine - an Encarta summary - U.S. foreign policy rests on three main pillars: a doctrine of unrivaled military supremacy, the concept of preemptive or preventive war, and a willingness to act unilaterally if multilateral cooperation cannot be achieved. The arguments against the doctrine, expressed both before and since the invasion of Iraq, accuse it of leading the United States to act unilaterally and to behave arrogantly. The United States risks alienating world opinion, critics of the doctrine say, thereby jeopardizing the international cooperation essential to hunt down terrorist organizations.  The doctrine of preemptive war, these critics add, is likely to encourage rather than discourage the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and if adopted by other nations, could increase the likelihood of regional conflicts.

- "Principles and Objectives For Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament." - two years later President Clinton flatly renounced any intention to honor that commitment
- U.S. determination to proceed with a National Missile Defense system despite the fact that it will violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. As the indispensable partner in the North American Defense Command, Canada obviously has a major stake in the outcome of this misguided effort.
- reluctance to ratify the International Criminal Court
- U.S. rejection of constructive steps to create a safer and more peaceful world via the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Landmines which came into force last year with strong Canadian leadership
- United States' insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit on their nation
- U.S. rejection of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
- U.S. decision not to pay U.N. dues (and other actions to undermine the U.N.)
- U.S. decision to opt out of UNESCO (mandated to build a Culture of Peace, hence U.S. lack of support of the Culture of Peace Program)
- U.S. led sanctions against Iraq killing many innocent people
- U.S. has the highest sales of small arms to countries in conflict ("the United States continued to dominate the world's arms trade worth about $47 billion last year").   The message: less than 1% of people with guns can destroy life, peace and hope for the 99% of the population - and the U.S. is the biggest supplier of those guns.
- "Today, the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the world which haven't ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. And since Somalia is a country with no internationally recognized government, the United States essentially stands alone as the last holdout to legally guarantee children the same full range of human rights ... agreed to by 191 other sovereign states. " Catherine Langevin-Falcon, executive director of UNICEF (Humanist magazine Nov/Dec 1998)
- In 1997, the six governments which executed the greatest number of people per capita were China, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Florida and Texas. (about 70% of the people in the U.S. are in favor of the death penalty.  This preference is based on emotions, rather than on clear thinking.   The facts are that the death penalty does not deter murder, and does not save taxpayers any money.)  
- fact is that the United States, one country out of 185 in the world. uses up nearly 40 per cent of world resources (other estimates run a lot higher)





(more to come)

The most obvious U.S. concern would be an attack on the U.S. via Canada by terrorists (and, although less likely in current times, by an enemy country). 

The U.S. Administration is probably afraid of liberal Canadian policies that may affect Americans.  For example, the legalization of marijuana in Canada might increase the flow of drugs to the U.S.; legalization of same sex marriages or abortions in Canada might promote similar demands in the U.S.; systemic changes in Canada (eg. more socialism) might promote similar demands in the U.S.; etc.  These could be seen as a threat to the American way of life.

The U.S. Administration could be afraid that Canada might embarrass them.  For example, the non-support (in fact, anti-war stance) of Canada in the war against Iraq; Canadian support of the U.N. vs. U.S. Administration; Canadian quality-of-life indicators exceeding those in the U.S.; etc.  The U.S. probably does not really need Canadian support, but it would be nice not to have Canada "nipping at the U.S. heels".





(more to come)



"A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it, is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated." Read the full text of the World Scientists' Warning to Humanity at

Currently, the public in the U.S. and Canada has little understanding of their Government's foreign policies.  The general public must understand the foreign policies of their governments, in order to hold them accountable.




The Good Neighbor Policy - A History to Make Us Proud, an International Relations Centre Special Report (April 2005)

(more to come)



"As friends, we in Canada should be approaching the U.S. to raise their awareness, social conscience and promote corrective action ."


The United States, if it truly wished to be a World Leader and truly wanted world peace, has it within its power to bring real peace to the world.  If done benevolently, Canada could support that.

The best system for defense (for Canada or anyone) is collective defense through the United Nations.   In order for the United Nations to be effective, it must give a permanent warning to all nations that the U.N. will come to the aid of any victim of an invasion. ... As of now, the U.N. is not structured to do this. Therefore Canada has a vested interest in promoting U.N. reform (to among other things countervail U.S. hegemony).

The U.S. should put in writing what international laws it would be willing to support and then allow the United Nations to be the enforcer.   

U.S. and Canadian government and business should be expected to comply with U.S. and Canadian public values and beliefs, and be held accountable.





(to come)





Background Readings on Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace website:

U.S. Policy Articles: Confrontation or Cooperation? - the growing isolation of the United States by Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr., USN (Ret.).  The question now becomes, what lies ahead in the 21st Century? Will it be another American Century? Or could this great power slip away, be thrown away, and the 21st Century become the anti-American Century?  The answer is that it depends on whether the U.S. attempts to perpetuate an American global hegemony as the world's only military superpower - or if they seek to exercise constructive leadership as a cooperative member in a peaceful world community governed under the rule of law. Confrontation or cooperation?  (this is excellent reading)  "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower"  by William Blum. This book is " a mini-encyclopedia of the numerous un-humanitarian acts perpetrated by the United States since the end of the Second World War."  U.S. Department of Peace: A Conceptual Framework.  Here is an idea that's time has come.  We should also have a Department of Peace in every country - including Canada. ACCEPTANCE STATEMENT OF RALPH NADER For the Green Party Nomination for President of the United States.  The new U.S. president could learn a lot from this. Questions of U.S. Hostility Towards Canada: A Cognitive History of Blind-Eye Perception By Floyd W. Rudmin.  Based on the following research that the U.S. had previous plans for the invasion of Canada, one can surmise that they also have current plans for the invasion of Canada should it be 'necessary'.  The lessons that Canadians should learn from this: a) understand the need for a policy to have conflict (military and other, such as economic) plans of how to handle any country in the world, especially the U.S.;  b) attempt to build a policy involving all parties with respect particularly to U.S. invasion plans (i.e. economic and military; all parties include the Canadian government and public, the U.S. government and public, the world government and public). U.S. strategy vs. Iraq & UNSC Resolution 1284.  It should be apparent by now to even the most casual observer that a major goal of U.S. foreign policy is to overthrow the government of Iraq, deprive that country of its sovereignty, and reduce it to the status of a colony.  They even have a name for it in Washington: "regime change." Ganging up on Uncle SamThe feckless foreign policies of the Clinton administration are on the verge of creating an anti-American alliance potentially more dangerous than the threat communism presented at the height of the Cold War. But the 10,000 journalists in  Washington, obsessed with Really Important News like Jesse Ventura's Playboy  interview, are paying little attention.
 Have We Forgotten the Path to Peace? By JIMMY CARTER .  Even for the world's only superpower, the ends don't always justify the means. Globalization and Militarism:  The need for a human security trade agenda.
U.S. trade policy is firmly entrenched in promoting an agenda of globalization through the WTO and other economic institutions.
However, globalization promotes corporate interests of liberalization and profits over the national interest of internal social equity and global peace and stability. The economic system is unable to recognize the requirements of human security, and is dependent upon military spending and firepower to defend corporate interests at home and abroad. What Uncle Sam Really Wants: The world's rent-a-thug by Noam Chomsky.  The US has very little popular support for its goals in the Third World. This isn't surprising, since it's trying to impose structures of domination and exploitation. When a state is committed to such policies, it must somehow find a way to divert the population, to keep them from seeing what's happening around them. There are not many ways to do this. The standard ones are to inspire fear of terrible enemies about to overwhelm us, and awe for our grand leaders who rescue us from disaster in the nick of time.  These are not laws of nature. The processes, and the institutions that engender them, could be changed. But that will require cultural, social and institutional changes of no little moment, including democratic structures that go far beyond periodic selection of representatives of the business world to manage domestic and international affairs. How the USA and UK trained the butchers of East Timor.  The shocking feature of this report from the Observer (UK) is not so much that the USA trained the butchers of East Timor, since it is well known that the "School of the Americas" in Georgia, formerly in Panama, and often referred to as the "School of Assassins", trained over the last half-century almost 60,000 Latin American military, police and paramilitary in "counter-revolutionary" methods that they proceeded to employ throughout the continent, to appalling effect - countless assassinations, torture victims, and massacres; But that the UK, which stood aloof like Canada from Vietnam with its Operation Phoenix, is now as deeply embroiled as the USA in state terrorism; AND the fact that for a quarter of a century the western media, including of course our own, were almost completely silent as the genocide of the East Timorese proceeded, with the full knowledge and indeed approval of the USA [see John Pilger below]; AND the fact that our Canadian media, and presumably the US media, continue to ignore the roots of the violence in Indonesia General George Lee Butler, USAF (Ret. - ex head of the Strategic Air Command) on ridding the world of nuclear dangers - a fair critique of the U. S. Nuclear weapons experience and what is not; and, to the point of my remarks this evening, how I see the future of the task to reduce and to eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.  By clinging to the extreme precepts of cold war nuclear deterrence we erode the respect for life that anchors our sense of humanity, and the moral sensibilities that increasingly inspire us to contain the violence of war and the suffering of innocents. Worse, with respect to the central issue of proliferation, we risk summoning the very nightmare we have worked so fervently to forestall. First-use policies and high alert postures are in direct contradiction to our self-interest, the objectives of the non-proliferation treaty and the patent rejection of the use of nuclear weapons by American presidents in conflicts from Korea to Indochina to the Persian gulf.
The price of this foolish nuclear weapons policy is steep and continues to mount. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT SHOWS COLLUSION BETWEEN COLOMBIAN ARMY AND MURDEROUS PARAMILITARY FORCES.  In short, the United States government should remove itself from death-squad politics." Q U E S T I O N S   T O   C L I N T O N   I N   K O S O V O, November 22, 1999. 
"Given that democratic countries have free and independent media, President Clinton's visit to Kosovo on November 23, would be a golden opportunity to take stock of the US-lead Western policies to bring peace to the region. Here is a selection of questions with some media advisory. In other words, if I imagine I had been granted an interview as a journalist, this is what I would focus on," says TFF director Jan Oberg. Don't blame Africa for its wars By Stephen Lewis.  The U.S. government's insistent refusal to allow the United Nations Security Council to dispatch a serious military mission to Rwanda before the genocide, although it was universally known that a terrible disaster loomed. USA prepares to wage biological warfare on Colombia.  "The policies of U.S. government and military leaders show that they are operating now in a system that has been developing over the last half-century into a mass-murder machine - they may themselves not be psychopaths [though one wonders about Albright and Kissinger], but the system demands that they act as though they were." Eric Fawcett

Articles on Canadian Policy: Critiques of Canada's Military Budget.  Corporations and U.S. led NATO Dictate Canadian Military Spending, and The Department of National Defence has the largest budget of any federal government department, while an Angus Reid poll that shows Canadians rank military spending as the lowest priority and prefer increased funding for social programs, including health care and education. I REMEMBER... East Timor .... Canada's role in East Timor. Canada aids `genocide' in Iraq: Ex-U.N. official Sanctions kill, says former U.N. official. 
OTTAWA - Canada is contributing to genocide in Iraq by continuing to support sanctions against the country, the former head of the United Nations oil-for-food program says. Denis Halliday was in Ottawa yesterday to meet MPs and senators and lobby against Canada's continued support for U.N. sanctions against Iraq. ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE LLOYD AXWORTHY MINISTER OF
FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO THE WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS.  the evolution of Canadian foreign policy and the formulation of the many aspects of what we have termed our human security agenda. A CANADIAN PROPOSAL FOR WORLD PEACE by Allan Bleiken.  It is proposed that Canada make a fundamental change in its approach to protecting world peace.  Instead of maintaining major military expenditures as a contribution to world peace, it is proposed that such funds be redirected into the development of solutions related to the world’s most pressing problems.  Such problems include disease, hunger, housing, education and poverty.  They are the fundamental cause for much of the world’s violence and conflict.  This proposal will argue that Canada’s overall contribution to world peace through military expenditures is minimal at best and that the alternate use of such funding would be of far greater benefit to the world.    A change of this magnitude and complexity can only be achieved if a number of fundamental requirements are met.  The following information will address these issues. Depleted Uranium and Canada's Role.  "CANADIAN URANIUM IS BASICALLY PROVIDING THE MATERIAL FOR THESE WEAPONS.  And I really would ask you to make this an  issue in the front / centre and STOP IT NOW AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN !! --  Dr. Rosalie Bertell Canadian Complicity in Preparations for Nuclear War By Dr. John M. Clearwater.  For decades, the Canadian Government has made empty statements about non-proliferation and the desire to see the end of nuclear weapons. However, the activities in which Canada has engaged, and the policies with which we agreed through both NATO and NORAD, show that the public stance was a facade.  It is time to change this by adopting policies and undertaking activities which demonstrate a clear support for the 1996 International Court of Justice decision, the Canberra Commission process, and general proposals for diminishing reliance on nuclear weapons and the means necessary for producing nuclear weapons. The real winners of our participation in NATO's war By SINCLAIR STEVENS, THE TORONTO STAR, Thursday, July 15, 1999.  History will remember 1999 as the year when Canada shifted from being a world-renowned peacekeeper to an aggressor nation. How will they judge us, knowing that Canada undertook this  tremendous paradigm shift
without parliamentary consent and certainly without the approval of the Canadian people?  Privatizing War: Mercenaries in Africa and South America.  "The use of mercenaries in Africa is on the rise, and Canadian mining firms are in the front lines, according to a report released today by a coalition of human rights organizations. ... More information on the privatization of war - in this case "outsourcing" of US military aid to Colombia. Already, a half dozen "military companies" have located in Colombia in anticipation of US military contracts to administer and the deliver the Pentagon's $1.6 billion contribution to the "war on drugs."... "exposure risks for Uncle Sam" are greatly reduced when private contractors take over the dangerous assignments.


Related Quotations of Note:

Public Apathy

" The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology. " Michael Parenti, political scientist and author

"The phenomenon of denial, which, when it comes to nuclear weapons (and a Culture of Violence generally?), is something we are confronting right now. ... Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's greatest contribution is his identification of a phenomenon he calls "collective numbing" or a societywide denial, and how that denial is linked to the government's embrace of nuclear weapons (violence?)." Jonathan Schell and Charles B. Strosier, co-director of the Center on Violence and Human Survival (with editorial comments) 

"Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie.... But rather mourn the apathetic throng-- The cowed and meek-- Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong, And dare not speak!" Ralph Chaplin, 1922

"Silence is the voice of complicity." Fr. Bruni

"...of course the people don't want war....Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a  Communist dictatorship...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country (pp. 255-256)   ...Education is dangerous...Every educated person is a future enemy" (P. 250)/ Hermann Goering, Reichsmarschall and Lufwaffe-Chief, &    President of the Reichstag during the reign of Hitler. From Gilbert, G.M. (1947). Nurenberg diary. New York: Signet.

" History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. " Martin Luther King, Jr.

" If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue? " Martin Luther King, Jr

" Many of us regard ourselves as mildly liberal or centrist politically, voice fairly pleasant sentiments about our poor children, contribute money to send poor kids to summer camp, feel benevolent. We're not nazis; we're nice people. We read sophisticated books. We go to church. We go to synagogue. Meanwhile, we put other people's children into an economic and environmental death zone. We make it hard for them to get out. We strip the place bare of amenities. And we sit back and say to ourselves, "Well, I hope that they don't kill each other off. But if they do, it's not my fault." Jonathan Kozol, educator and author

" The U.S. public is depoliticized, poorly informed on foreign affairs ... and strongly patriotic in the face of a struggle with "another Hitler".  Even though the public is normally averse to war, even with modest propaganda efforts ... the public can be quickly transformed into enthusiastic supporters of war." Edward S. Herman, economist, author, and US media and foreign policy critic (Z magazine June, 1999)

" I am astonished each time I come to the U.S. by the ignorance of a high percentage of the population, which knows almost nothing about Latin America or about the world. It's quite blind and deaf to anything that may happen outside the frontiers of the U.S.  Eduardo Galeano, Latin American writer and historian (Progressive magazine, July 1999)

"Bringing democratic control to the conduct of foreign policy requires a struggle merely to force the issue onto the public agenda." Eric Alterman, author


"If you look at world history, ever since men began waging war, you will see that there's a permanent race between sword and shield. The sword always wins. The more improvements that are made to the shield, the more improvements are made to the sword. We think that with these [anti-missile ] systems, we are just going to spur swordmakers to intensify their efforts."
("With a Don't Be Vexed Air, Chirac Assesses U.S," New York Times, December 17, 1999)

- "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone; it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists and the hopes of its children." Dwight David Eisenhower, 6-17-61 

- "If we assume that mankind has a right to survive then we must find an alternative to war and destruction. In a day when sputniks dash through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, nobody can win a war.  The choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence."  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

- "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government." - Martin Luther King, Jr

- "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." - Martin Luther King, Jr

" In the councils of government, we must guard against unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."  President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address, 1961

" [Nearly 70% of the military budget] is to provide men and weapons to fight in foreign countries in support of our allies and friends and for offensive operations in Third World countries .. Another big chunk of the defense budget is the 20% allocated for our offensive nuclear force of bombers, missles, and submarines whose job it is to carry nuclear weapons to the Soviet Union... Actual defense of the United States costs about 10% of the military budget and is the least expensive function performed by the Pentagon... " Rear Admiral Gene LaRoque, U.S. Navy retired

Foreign Policy

" [U.S. aid] has tended to flow disproportionately to Latin American governments which torture their citizens..." Lars Schoultz, leading academic specialist on human rights in Latin America

"Americans have been taught that their nation is civilized and humane. But, too often, U.S. actions have been uncivilized and inhumane." Howard Zinn, historian and author

" When I visited Auschwitz I was horrified. And when I visited Iraq, I thought to myself, 'What will we tell our children in fifty years when they ask what we did when the people in Iraq were dying.'" Mairead McGuire, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Northern Ireland

" Throughout the world, on any given day, a man, woman or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed or 'disappeared', at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame." Amnesty International, in its annual report on U.S. military aid and human rights

"How dare Americans allow their government to cause such misery [in the world]." Ramsey Clark, former United States Attorney General and human rights activist

"One of the great attractions of patriotism -- it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous." Aldous Huxley, English author, 1894-1963

" Does it sound outrageous to you that military spending for fiscal year 2000 will be almost $290 billion and all other domestic discretionary spending, such as education, job training, housing, Amtrak, medical research, environment, Head Start and many other worthwhile programs will total $246 billion, the biggest disparity in modern times ? " Dale Bumpers, former US Senator and present Director of the Center for Defense Information

"A drug-like need for arms - the United States is a major pusher.  Every time one actor gets more arms, others may argue that they feel more insecure. So, they acquire more arms and make yet others more insecure. If it wasn't so absurd, it would be a joke. It isn't. It's human folly. It has, year by year, caused more human suffering - directly in war, indirectly by diverting trillions of dollars away from basic human need satisfaction. World inequalities have risen tremendously the last four-five decades, the period in human history with the highest economic growth rate, in what was also the most violent century ever." TFF director Jan Oberg  

Something is madly wrong. It's a perpetuum mobile unless we stop and begin to think.  

One country, the United States, accounts for more than 40 per cent of the whole world's military expenditures. US defence for 2000 will be more than three times greater than the combined military spending of China, Russia, and the 'rogue states' Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Cuba. A social body needing that much security 'medicine' is not healthy.  

We need disarmament plus alternative security (= transarmament). But it will remain a dream if we do not address and criticise American economic, foreign and security politics. As Der Spiegel wrote in 1997: 'Never before in modern history has a country dominated the earth so totally as the United States does today. America is now the Schwarzenegger of international politics: showing off muscles, obtrusive, intimidating. The Americans, in the absence of limits put to them by anybody or anything, act as if they own a kind of blank check in their McWorld.' NATO allies and EU partners are the closest to help the United States out of its overconsumption. If not, world confrontation - civilisational clashes or wars between the over- and the underprivileged - seem unavoidable," predicts Jan Oberg.  

"Something is madly wrong. It's a perpetuum mobile unless we stop and begin to think.   One country, the United States, accounts for more than 40 per cent of the whole world's military expenditures. US defence for 2000 will be more than three times greater than the combined military spending of China, Russia, and the 'rogue states' Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Cuba. A social body needing that much security 'medicine' is not healthy.   We need disarmament plus alternative security (= transarmament). But it will remain a dream if we do not address and criticise American economic, foreign and security politics. As Der Spiegel wrote in 1997: 'Never before in modern history has a country dominated the earth so totally as the United States does today. America is now the Schwarzenegger of international politics: showing off muscles, obtrusive, intimidating. The Americans, in the absence of limits put to them by anybody or anything, act as if they own a kind of blank check in their McWorld.' NATO allies and EU partners are the closest to help the United States out of its overconsumption. If not, world confrontation - civilisational clashes or wars between the over- and the underprivileged - seem unavoidable," predicts Jan Oberg.

" It is no longer a question of controlling a military-industrial complex, but rather, of keeping the United States from becoming a totally military culture. " Jerome Weisner, president emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

" The NSS [National Security State] represents and serves the interests of a tiny elite. Its economic policies of "trickling-up", enforced by the machine gun, are rationalized on the ground that growth in the long run will trickle down to the lower orders. This is a self-serving ideology designed mainly to allow the western public to think well of themselves and their own country." Edward S. Herman, economist, author, and US media and foreign policy critic

"For the last fifty years we've been supporting right-wing governments, and that is a puzzlement to me...I don't understand what there is in the American character... that almost automatically, even when we have a liberal President, we support fascist dictatorships or are tolerant towards them." William Shirer, author

"The immiseration of the majority is an integral part of the Free World package for the Third World, the unsavory aspects of the package -- the terror, the direct spoilation of people and resources, and western complicity -- must be rationalized and, as far as possible, kept under the rug." Edward S. Herman, economist, author, and US media and foreign policy critic

" Americans cannot teach democracy to the world until they restore their own." William Greider, journalist and author

"The achievements of past struggles and the aspirations of an entire nation are [being] undone and erased.... No Agent Orange or steel pellet bombs, no napalm, no toxic chemicals: a new phase of economic and social (rather than physical) destruction has unfolded. The seemingly neutral and scientific tools of macro-economic policy constitute a non-violent instrument of recolonization and impoverishment." Michel Chossudovsky, economist

"The crimes of the U.S. throughout the world have been systematic, constant, clinical, remorseless, and fully documented but nobody talks about them." Harold Pinter, English dramatist

" America's inability to come to terms with revolutionary change in the The Third World...has created our biggest international problems in the postwar era. But the root of the problem is not, as many Americans persist in believing, the relentless spread of communism. Rather, it is our own difficulty in understanding that Third World revolutions are primarily nationalist, not communist. Nationalism, not capitalism or communism, is the dominant political force in the modern world. You might think that revolutionary nationalism and the desire for self-determination would be relatively easy for Americans - the first successful revolutionaries to win their independence - to understand. But instead we have been dumbfounded when other peoples have tried to pursue the goals of our own revolution two centuries ago.... " Former U.S. Senator Frank Church, on the shortsightedness of 'rollback' as our foreign policy doctrine

" In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli."
Howard Zinn, historian and author

" Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn. " John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor - with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it ..." US General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

" There is ...a huge tacit conspiracy between the U.S. government, its agencies and its multinational corporations, on the one hand, and local business and military cliques in the Third World, on the other, to assume complete control of these countries and "develop" them on a joint venture basis. The military leaders of the Third World were carefully nurtured by the U.S. security establishment to serve as the "enforcers" of this joint venture partnership, and they have been duly supplied with machine guns and the latest data on methods of interrogation of subversives." Edward S. Herman, economist, author, and US media and foreign policy critic

" The government of the United States does not, in its policies, express the decency of its people. " Jerry Fresia, author of Toward an American Revolution

"... the United States has given frequent and enthusiastic support to the overthrow of democracy in favor of "investor friendly" regimes. The World Bank, IMF, and private banks have consistently lavished huge sums on terror regimes, following their displacement of democratic governments, and a number of quantitative studies have shown a systematic positive relationship between U.S. and IMF / World Bank aid to countries and their violations of human rights." Edward S. Herman, economist, author, and US media and foreign policy critic

" Not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty..." U.S. Ambassador to Chile, three years before the coup against Chile's elected President Allende in 1973

" Rollback as a foreign policy ... causes untold devastation and misery for millions overseas, and hinders any potential positive U.S. influence in world affairs... To the extent the U.S. public backs rollback, this support is rooted in a misguided sense of patriotism. Patriotism itself - love of one's country and one's people - is a natural and reasonable human feeling. But patriotism which measures one's country by military superiority over all rivals regardless of consequence is irrational... There is surely a more rational form of patriotism that searches for excellence in social, economic and moral spheres rather than in weapon systems. " from the book Rollback by Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould

" If the business community and political elite want to go to war they find it easy to mobilize domestic consent."  Edward S. Herman, economist, author, and US media and foreign policy critic, Z magazine June, 1999

" With unfailing consistancy, U.S. intervention has been on the side of the rich and powerful of various nations at the expense of the poor and needy. Rather than strengthening democracies, U.S. leaders have overthrown numerous democratically elected governments or other populist regimes in dozens of countries ... whenever these nations give evidence of putting the interests of their people ahead of the interests of multinational corporate interests. " Michael Parenti, political scientist and author

" We must teach our children ... to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons. " President Clinton (after the Colorado school shootings) urging young people not to resort to violence, while he continued NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, killing thousands of innocent civilians, including children.

" The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy. " Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

President Truman: "If history has taught us anything, it is that aggression anywhere in the world is a threat to peace everywhere in the world.  When that aggression is supported by the cruel and selfish rulers of powerful nation who are bent on conquest, it becomes a clear and present danger to the security and independence of every free nation."

If we see that Germany is winning we should help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way let them kill as many as possible.    - Harry S. Truman, 1941


The following was proposed shortly after World War II by an advisor to the U.S. government, George F. Kennan. He was also the first to formulate the so called containment strategy, which dominated U.S. foreign policy for almost a half century: "We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only about 6.3% of its population. In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without detriment to our national security... We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford ... the luxury of altruism ... We should cease to talk about ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the rising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to deal in straight power concepts."

Commentary: Further, and this will be difficult (but not insurmountable) current national foreign policies must change. For example, "Social justice, as a goal urged by the United Nations, refers to striving for equality between entire peoples, that is a global attack on global poverty. Such an attack cannot be launched without radically changing the current trade patterns and financial arrangements between the affluent and impoverished worlds. It cannot be launched without expressly disavowing national policies of the sort proposed by Mr. Kennan.


In a recent article in Foreign Affairs entitled "Saving the UN", U.S. Senator Jesse Helms writes: "As it currently operates, the United Nations does not deserve continued American support... [[it] is being transformed from an institution of sovereign nations into a quasi-sovereign entity in itself. The transformation represents an obvious threat to U.S. national interests.. This situation is untenable. The United Nations was originally created to help nation-states facilitate the peaceful resolution of international disputes. However, the United Nations has moved from facilitating diplomacy among nation-states to supplanting them altogether. Boutros Ghali has said as much. In his Agenda for Peace. he declared... "The time of absolute and exclusive sovereignty ... has passed. Its theory has never matched reality ..." Such thinking is -in step with the nearly global movement toward greater centralization of political power ... This process must be stopped ... U.N. reform is much more than saving money. It is about preventing unelected bureaucrats from acquiring ever greater powers at the expense of elected national leaders. It is about restoring the legitimacy of the nation-state ... the UN bureaucracy mistakenly believes that caring for the needs of all the world's people is . . its job.... There must be a termination of unnecessary committees and conferences ... In addition to wasteful conferences like the Beijing women's summit, ... the United Nations continually sponsors workshops, expert consultations, technical consultations, and panel discussions.... Most of these can be terminated at a savings of millions of dollars . . The time has come for the United States to deliver an ultimatum: Either the United Nations reforms, quickly and dramatically, or the United States will end its participation.... Withholding U.S. contributions has not worked. In 1986 Congress passed the Kassebaum-Solomon bill, which said to the United Nations in clear and unmistakable terms, reform or die. The time has come for it to do one or the other."


As Henry Kissinger puts it succinctly, "Empires have no interest in operating within an international system; they aspire to be the international system ..."

"We have heard that a half million children have died," said "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl, speaking of US sanctions against Iraq.  "I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima.  And -- and you know, is the price worth it?" Her guest, in May 1996, U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, responded: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it."

At a 1993 meeting with Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell--who gave his name to the doctrine that the military should be used only after a clear political goal has been set, and then only with decisive force--Secretary of State Madeleine Albright challenged the general: 'What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it'?"

During the Yugoslav war, Bill Clinton elaborated: "If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that's what this Kosovo thing is all about... It's globalism versus tribalism."

"The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist -- McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." Thomas L. Friedman, Two-time Pulitzer winning NY Times columnist from A Manifesto for the Fast World New York Times, March 28 1999

Nuclear Deterrence:  "Let us understand clearly what nuclear deterrence is. It is the irrational hope that terrible fear (of the consequences of a nuclear assault) will somehow continuously promote wise decisions by fallible human beings operating under enormous pressure in conditions they can never fully control!" (Achin Vinaik, The Hindu, 1 July 1999)

"In December 1975, after US secretary of state Henry Kissinger returned from Jakarta, having given Suharto the green light to invade East Timor, he called his staff together and discussed how a congressional ban on arms to Indonesia could be circumvented. 'Can't we construe a communist government (in East Timor) as self-defence?" he asked. Told this would not work, Kissinger gave orders that he wanted arms shipments secretly 'started again in January". John Pilger in The Guardian (UK)

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote in his memoirs (A Dangerous Place) that "the Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook" to reverse the invasion (of East Timor). "

... a senior Administration official told media at Rambouillet:  "We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that's what they are going to get." 

By 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. had become a vocal opponent of the war in Vietnam, making dangerous connections between domestic racism and imperialism abroad.  One year before his murder, he gave his "Beyond Vietnam" speech at New York's Riverside Church, calling the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and declaring that "Our only hope lies in our ability to go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism."

"the US has developed technology that permits it to listen and automatically register not only e-mail and fax traffic worldwide but also - now - the human voice as we speak on phones with each other. It is done by the National Security Agency, but does the United States HAVE to feel so insecure? I relate it also to the fact that US defence for the year 2000 will be more than three times greater than the combined military spending of China, Russia, and the rogue states Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Cuba?" Jan Oberg [The tapping of communication was reported recently by the Independent - ]

"Hats off to Lieutenant-General Michael C. Short of the United States Air Force. Thanks to Lt.-Gen. Short, NATO's claim that the air war in Yugoslavia is not directed at civilians has been stripped of its last shreds of credibility."  Marcus Gee, Globe & Mail reporter

In the same interview where George W. Bush failed to name the leaders of four different countries, Bush also said he thought the coup in Pakistan was a good thing because it would help bring "stability" to the region.  If Bush recommends tyrant's coups to "bring stability" to other nations, would he also favour tyrannical oppression for "stability's" sake in this country?  Carla Binion

Foreign Policy and Canada

When the U.S. invaded Canada in 1812, Andrew Jackson declared, "We are going to... vindicate our right to a free trade, and open markets... and to carry the Republican standard to the Heights of Abraham."

We've signed a stunning new trade pact with Canada. The Canadians don't know what they have signed. In twenty years they will be sucked into the U.S. economy"... Clayton Yeutter, U.S. chief trade negotiator  October 3,1987 ... immediately after the Canada- U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed.

"Canada is ready to go to war again for humanitarian reasons, even if the action defies international law and the United Nations Charter," says Defence Minister Art Eggleton to participants at a Conference in Harvard, Cambridge, USA.(Sept. 1999) Thus Lloyd Axworthy leaks to the Canadian public, via a side-kick speaking to a foreign audience, total abandonment of the lynchpin of 50 years of Canadian foreign policy since WWII.  ...Thus he reveals that the instruments of war, the ultimate expression of state power, will henceforth be wielded by Canada acting as a vigilante, under the guise of "humanitarian intervention", or whatever slogan is recommended by the the vigilante committee led by the USA to arouse the least public protest. (analysis by Eric Fawcett)

Even where we have our differences (with the U.S.), we use dialogue and consultation to understand and influence each other's positions on important issues. On National Missile Defence, our concerns relate to approach. Our discourse is focussed on whether or not such a system will undermine the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, a concern expressed by many others in Europe and, indeed, in this country. Hon. Lloyd Axworthy

Noam Chomsky interviewed on CBC Radio April 16th, 1999  on the Balkan War said Canada doesn't care at all about the Universal Declaration which guarantees, theoretically,  the rights of people against oppressive states - nothing. Canada has a horrible record in that respect. For example, take Suharto's  Indonesia, which is a brutal, murderous state. I think Canada was supporting it all the way through, because it was making money out of it.

José Ramos-Horta speaking in a CBC Radio Interview April 26th said "but I am really amazed, appalled at the statement issued by the Canadian Foreign Minister, who took a strong stand on Kosovo, [while ] in the case of East Timor, where a genocide has been going on for 23 years,  the foreign minister has only the following to say: "I am deeply concerned about recent events in Dili and in Liquica."  ............. Doesn't he have any shame to pretend to be so vocal on Kosovo and to make this disgraceful statement on East Timor when children, women are slaughtered in a churchyard, in the capital, right under the nose, the eyes of everyone. What an audacity, what an hypocrisy.  -- José Ramos-Horta

"Jose Ramos Horta ........ once told me that he was glad that Canada didn't have the power of the United States, because our position on East Timor is even more atrocious than the US one". Derek Rasmussan

The USA is also the one country that has the highest military power, and we in Canada are generally quite happy to be following in your leaders' steps and be protected by your arsenal.  We contribute some, but mostly, we contribute compliance. Bruna Nota - WILPF International President

While it is important to recognize and support these encouraging trends, it is necessary and sometimes challenging to be critical and to point out the contradictions and discrepancies behind Canada’s peacemaker image. Canada is a major contributor to the global arms trade and has a high military budget, of which peacebuilding is a very small fraction. Our membership in NATO  and close relationship with the United States means that Canada seldom takes independent positions on issues. While Canada has officially renounced nuclear weapons, we contribute to their development in several ways--through making components, allowing them to be tested over Canadian airspace, and mostly, through the sale of uranium. At home, the historic and current  treatment of aboriginal people remains a serious human rights issue. We also see a steady erosion of citizenship rights and a lack of transparency in government. A recent example:  plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons was brought in from the US by helicopter, a move involving secrecy, deception, a disregard for the opinions of the local communities who had all passed resolutions against it, as well as an-all party committee who renounced the plan as “totally unfeasible”[xvi].  Another pressing issue is the deterioration of social programmes and a growing disparity between rich and poor, issues that various levels of government blame on each other or on the forces of globalization. Anne Goodman, Canadian Peace Educator

courtesy of Crandall R. Kline Jr.'s book Peace Within Our Grasp: Making the dream a reality
If the people in the larger nations would hold the following convictions and actively speak out to their governments in support of these, world peace could be attained. (and George Bush, and Canada, should support these convictions - Bob Stewart)

1. Defense Only - Nations have a right to defend themselves but not commit aggression.  
2. Collective Defense - When defense-only nations join a mutual defense pact, security is greatly increased.
3. Peace Defense - Killing within a nation is not an 'internal affair'.  The U.N. has the right to enforce no-killing laws (Genocide, Terrorism and Human Rights Conventions) if the local government fails to do so.  Freedom fighters are criminals unless they are trying to overthrow a government that is repressive - that controls by killing political dissidents.
4. Golden Rule - ... A secular golden rule of morality should be: "Do nothing that harms another person, that injures, jeopardizes or even offends."  So the correct definitions of 'sovereignty' and 'freedom' are:

sovereignty - the authority to form and change the government of a state or other political unit and to govern it in internal and external affairs, limited by generally accepted moral principles, by the civil rights of the people, by customary international law, and by applicable international treaties (including the Charter of the United Nations)

freedom- the political condition in which one's choices or actions are limited only by the equal rights of all other people, including their right to be free from detrimental consequences of one's actions.

As a result of these convictions, we support the following system elements:

1. The U.N. needs to be able to enforce its laws against aggression, genocide and terrorism.

a) The U.N. needs to have in place a command staff and troops held in reserve by member nations prepared for rapid deployment in U.N. service.  
b) The U.N. needs an International Criminal Court to try individual criminal leaders.
c) The U.N. needs the authority to have individual criminals arrested and brought to trial.
d) The U.N. should promote the development of nonlethal weapons.

2. The U.N. needs to adopt a "bill of rights" for nations.  This is necessary to insure that the U.N. will not infringe on sovereign rights.

3. The U.N. should have jurisdiction over the seas and the atmosphere, so it can:

a) Make laws to protect these from pollution and can fine polluters.  
b) Make laws to control the resources in them.  It can issue licenses for fishing and mining the oceans.
c) Police the seas and atmosphere to assure the safety of travellers and compliance with the rules.

4. The democracies of the world need to form a political party with all of these elements in their platform.  Together, they would have enough votes to control the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly, and be able to guide the U.N. according to these plans.

5. Real security requires the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Their use would destroy innocent lives.  They are so inhumane, like poison gas, they should never be used.  The U.N. should enforce a ban on all weapons of mass destruction.  All weapons grade fissionable material should be locked up and guarded so there is no possibility of illicit trade.  Instead of mass destruction, our defense should focus on the capture of criminal leaders.