The day before winning an Oscar in the Sound category for Chicago, Canadian David Lee lounged around at a posh poolside lunch in Los Angeles and said how proud he is “as a Canadian that our prime minister said no to this dam war.”Well Mr. Lee, that Californian sun must have given you heat stroke to make you forget so soon the history of our Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien and his complicity in this sickening war.
I guess you didn’t demonstrate and protest against George Bush and the G8 in Quebec when Chrétien ordered the building of the hated fence and the tear-gassing of 80,000 demonstrators. Were you also out of the country when he invited Bush and the same heads of imperialist gangs back to Canada in the solitude of Kananaskis with tanks and overhead patrols and no-fly zones to discuss their strategies? Did you see our Prime Minister standing side by side with his good friend George W. in Genoa, and not say a word about the murder of a protestor, Carlos Guiliani? What do you think they were discussing at these meetings? Do you really believe that the war on Iraq, and strategies and tactics was not discussed, if not formally, then informally over cuban cigars and russian vodka?
Maybe you would not be so dam proud if you knew that our Prime Minister has lied to us, gassed us, spent over 200 million of our tax dollars to protect and provide safe refuge to his “friend” Mr. Bush while watering down the Kyoto Accord, cutting money for education and transportation and health care. And he’s invited his good friend back to Canada in May, meaning more repression against Canadians who are against the war and neo-liberalism that will be out there to greet him.
Perhaps you’ll think twice about the Canadian government’s complicity in this barbarous act of aggression if you know that currently 1,259 Canadians are serving in the Persian Gulf. Not only are they serving as spies and providing escort and protection for American and British troops, but are also commanding a multinational naval task force of about 20 vessels in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea. 30 other military personnel are serving in the war against Iraqi’s on exchange with American and British units: technicians, logistics experts, headquarters staff, in surveillance aircraft, and other roles, which aid and abet Bush and Blair’s filthy war.
Our Prime Minister said that Canada will not go to war without UN approval. Yet, right now we have three frigates in the Gulf: The HMCS Montreal, The HMCS Winnipeg, and the HMCS Regina. Just so they don’t get lonely, the HMCS Iroquois, a destroyer, is on route – as is the HMCS Fredericton. Canada has also sent in a long-range patrol detachment with two CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and a tactical airlift detachment with three CC-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft.
Do you still feel proud of our Prime Minister? While he lies to try to appease the majority of Canadians in the anti-war movement at the same time he is in cahoots with the warmonger, George Bush.
At last Saturday’s anti-war rally in Toronto, a good 20,000 or more stood in the rain in front of the heavily guarded American Consulate where we heard what Canadians want Mr. Chrétien to unequivocally say before we can say we are proud of him: ” this war is an illegal, immoral war, and we are shutting down all American embassies and consulates and deporting your diplomats, and bringing our military personnel home.”
David Lee, let me ask you one question: what do you believe Jean Cretien’s and George Bush’s responses would be to any group or nation that sent over 1259 people, plus frigates, plus technical and surveillance aid to assist Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden in their war against American terrorism?
Are you still proud that Jean Chrétien said “no to this dam war.”
GLORIA BERGEN is an environmental health and safety writer. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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