The failure of Canada’s Parliament to rid us of the Long Gun Registry has underscored how tenuous is an individual’s right to self defense in this country. But what of the right and duty of a government to defend its own self, it’s sovereignty and its borders?
Canada has long ago abrogated its ability to defend itself. Near the end of the Second World War Canada had the world’s fourth largest air force and the third largest navy. Over 1.1 million Canadians served during WWII.
Today Canada’s forces are a pale ghost in comparison, 62,000 military personnel with 25,000 reservists. Our air force has about 400 aircraft, our navy… 34 ships with only three destroyers, four submarines and 12 frigates. We spend only 1.1% of our GDP on our military ranking 126th out of 174 countries. Without a shadow of a doubt Canada is unable to defend itself from some of the world’s most brutal regimes.
North Korea today has 1.1 million active military personnel with over 8 million reservists. It has an air force of about 1,800 aircraft and a navy of over 700 ships including 97 submarines.
The Theocratic Republic of Iran has over half a million active military personnel with 350,000 reservists. Iran, with the help of Russia is well on the way to developing a nuclear capability and has about 900 multiple rocket launch systems.
Russia, while relatively peaceful today compared to its recent history has 1.2 million active military personnel, 526 navy ships, almost 4,000 military aircraft.
China’s military capability is staggering, 2,255,000 active military personnel, nuclear weapons, 1,900 military aircraft, 760 naval vessels, 21 destroyers, 68 submarines (many of which are probably in our waters at this very moment).
Greece, Sweden, Mexico, Egypt, Italy, Israel, Brazil and a host of other countries have greater military strength than we do, in numbers and in armaments, and if they ever chose to do so, as silly as it obviously is, any one of them could defeat us.
There are currently nine countries with nuclear weapons, the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and quite likely Israel.
Why don’t we feel threatened by all of this military power in the hands of countries whose histories are rife with war? Because we believe that if we were ever attacked we would be protected by the United States.
This notion has two flaws. Firstly, a free country must be able to defend itself and not rely on treaties with foreign powers, however neighbourly they may be, to defend it.
Secondly, with the decline of the United States, economically, morally and spiritually (I do not use the word spiritually in any religious sense) we can no longer rely on them to do the right thing when it comes to an invasion of Canadian territory. The US is so far in debt it’s collapse as a world superpower is almost inevitable, but of greater concern is the fading away of the character of the United States, once a nation which prided itself on its values of protecting individual rights, a productive work ethic and a clear grasp of right and wrong we have seen over the past 60 years or more a trend toward a socialist welfare state much like any other socialist welfare state like Greece, Italy, or Canada.
Especially now with the election of a statist and protectionist like Barack Obama we have a United States which just might falter if it came to defending its northern neighbour. Who knows, if Russia decided to start drilling for oil in our northern archipelago the American’s might find it more palatable or profitable to negotiate rather than retaliate on our behalf. Likewise if North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb over Vancouver as a means of showing the US that it could do the same to San Francisco would the US bomb Pyongyang for us? Probably not, and we certainly wouldn’t have the means to retaliate in any way but economic sanctions.
The 9/11 Commission reported that Al Qaida has been trying to get their hands on a nuclear weapon since the early nineteen nineties and it is suspected that private hands now control weapons grade plutonium from the collapse of the Soviet Union. If a terrorist nuke went off in Montreal would the US go to war with us or for us? Perhaps, if it suited their interests, but if Afghanistan and Iraq are any indications the effect would be half-hearted and insufficient.
There are perhaps other scenarios where Canada could be attacked and our cousins to the south would find a reason not to commit to a war over it. At best there would be some debate around the United Nations and some economic sanctions against the aggressor but an all out war? Don’t kid yourself.
For these reasons, an insufficient conventional military and a neighbour we can no longer rely on to defend us, Canada should withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and develop its own nuclear option.
The world is not a safe place, it never has been and it’s getting even more dangerous with forces like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong-Il threatening to destroy us and our way of life. As a nuclear power, unable to defend itself with conventional forces, our enemies, and yes we have enemies, would certainly think seriously before attacking us. Only yesterday, Ahmadinejad (today’s equivalent of Hitler) called on the US and Israel to disarm and predicted the end of capitalism. The usual response from Obama is not a defense of capitalism, because on this point he and Ahmadinejad are in full agreement, but that the US has no quarrel with Iranian people themselves, only with its Islamist government.
This Neville Chamberlain like appeasement, this “peace in our time” rhetoric reveals the weak character of a weak minded-leader. Of course our quarrel is with the Iranian people! Ahmadinejad is a very popular leader with who has the support of the Iranian masses! It is the Iranians we should focus our attention on; the leaders, the people, their warped sense of life and their threats to wipe Israel off the map and destroy capitalism. Yes there are Iranians who would like Ahmadinejad gone and a return to a modern secular state as Iran used to be, and I wish these people well, but on the hole, there are millions of Iranians who would dance in the streets at the site of another terrorist attack on New York as they did in 2001.
Consider, if the allied forces of World War II could have taken out Hitler and his cabinet and left the millions of NAZIS intact does Obama really think that there would not have been anyone just as vile as Hitler to take his place? National Socialism was supported by the masses of Germany and the only way such an evil philosophy could have been stopped was the way it finally was… the destruction not only of it leaders, but its military, its infrastructure and its people. National Socialism was crushed, just as Imperialism in Japan was totally and swiftly crushed. The Second World War lasted 6 years while the recent Iraq war lasted 7 years and the Afghanistan war is in its tenth year. The United States, Canada and our allies have either forgotten how to conduct a war or they want to conduct a war wearing kid gloves. They don’t want to spend the money and can’t take the risk of killing civilians, or worse offending them, so the war drags on for years while a swift military campaign in the style of WWII would have finished Iraq and Afghanistan in short order.
The worst thing the US led coalition did with Iraq and Afghanistan was to allow them to elect new governments while the war was not yet over. The people they elected are of the same mind as the dictators who were overthrown. This rush to democracy is now typical of any American-led war. Their notion of bringing medieval nations into the civilized world is to show them how to elect their dictators.
With the failures of Iraq and the inevitable failure of Afghanistan we can no longer rely on the US to protect this country should we run into trouble. We have to greatly expand our military capability for that inevitable day when they will become necessary and we have to become a nuclear nation preferably in the short term to give us time to create the conventional forces necessary to protect this country.
Faced with the fact that this country can’t even defend itself it seems almost petty to talk about the long gun registry but the two go hand in hand. The liberal and socialist attempts to disarm Canada’s law abiding citizens first with a long-gun registry followed soon by a long-gun confiscation is justification for Canadians to shake their heads, read a little history, pay attention to the threats all around us and arm ourselves, not only as individuals but as a nation.
I don’t consider this jingoistic rhetoric or right-wing saber rattling. This is a wake-up call to get this country back on track. Every free nation, to the extent that it values individual rights, (and there are fewer of these countries remaining) must have the means and the will to use whatever is necessary, including nuclear weapons, to defend itself. Unfortunately, there can never be a period of time when we shouldn’t be prepared to go to war at a moment’s notice.
For all its faults we have it good here. We have had it so good for so long we have forgotten just how quickly it can all be lost if we aren’t prepared.
(Originally broadcast on Just Right on CHRW 94.9 FM on September 23, 2010. For an audio archive of the show visit http://www.justrightmedia.org)