“If there is an institution in this country that is an anti-national institution, it would be the Canadian military…The Canadian military is not oriented toward defending Canadian national sovereignty. It’s oriented toward fighting wars of the US Empire.” -Yves Engler, from this week’s interview
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There is a sense that if a person lives under their parents’ roof, if they don’t at least pay for room and board, they can’t lay claim to being independent and responsible for their own lives.
That is the sentiment Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland seemed to be evoking in a June 6 House of Commons speech. She spoke of the need to invest billions in a “well-funded and well-equipped military” so as not to be overly dependent on shelter under the US Security umbrella, which would make the country a ‘client state.’ She especially highlighted the importance of setting a ‘clear and sovereign course’ at a time when America appears to be abandoning its role of global leadership under Trump.
The very next day, Canada’s Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan, speaking on behalf of the government, introduced the policy document Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, which among other proposals, would ratchet up annual defence spending from the current level of $18.9 billion to $32.7 billion in ten years, thereby funding the creation of 15 new war ships and the procurement of 88 new fighter jets, among other initiatives.
Ironically, this supposedly bold national project constitutes in effect a capitulation to President Trump’s earlier demands that NATO partners up their military spending, and dresses it up as protecting national sovereignty and promoting Canadian values.
There has been virtually no significant challenge, either in the Canadian media or in Parliament, as to the virtue or sensibleness of such spending priorities. Even the opposition NDP, once dubbed the ‘conscience of Parliament‘, is emphasizing the need to spend more on the military.
Canada has been an active participant in numerous military engagements since World War II, most recently in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq (contrary to popular opinion), Haiti, and Libya. Under Trudeau, Canada is supporting the call to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and Canadian troops are being dispatched to lead a multi-national NATO contingent in Latvia, right on Russia’s doorstep.
As has been documented numerous times on this website and on the Global Research News Hour radio program, these operations can hardly be described as benevolent.
The release of Canada’s new defence policy provides the backdrop for this week’s program dedicated to the true nature of Canadian foreign policy and how various media and academic institutions, including mainstream peace organizations, are complicit in brainwashing the public into going along with a program of Western imperialism and war. We open up the discussion with two past guests of the show.
Yves Engler is the author of eight books, including Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation, The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy, and his latest – A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation. His work has appeared at rabble.ca, the Dominion, Z Net, and Global Research, as well as some mainstream publications, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Ottawa Citizen. A complete list of his books and articles can be found at the site yvesengler.com
Richard Sanders is the coordinator of the Coalition Opposed to the Arms Trade, and has a history of involvement in anti-war activism that spans three decades. He is also a researcher and the publisher and editor of Press For Conversion Magazine.
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