Jan 192012
 

CF-18All free nations need to define a policy whereby the conditions or triggers for military intervention are clearly defined.

The Freedom Party of Canada (while it has yet to field any candidates) has put together just such a policy. It can be found online at freedomparty.ca.

In part it reads:

“the legitimate functions of the military are to respond to and prevent unwelcome invasion of Canadian territory, attacks on Canadian territory, or other acts of war against Canada that occur away from Canadian territory (for example, as against Canadians held hostage by a foreign power or terrorist group). Activities or planned activities anywhere on the globe that have as their purpose or effect an attack on the life, liberty or property of Canadians are legitimate triggers for military response where prudent diplomacy has failed. “

The key point to this policy is that it not only identifies a direct attack on our soil as a trigger for war but it also correctly identifies the need to act preemptively to prevent an attack. It also expands the sphere of action outside of our territory. This would permit, quite rightly, the Canadian military to attack other countries or groups in other countries who have violated the rights of Canadians in those countries as long as diplomatic efforts have been tried and failed.

Let’s look at some recent conflicts Canada has been involved in to see if we have followed such a policy.

It took part in the civil war of Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the United Nations Protection Force and NATO while none of our interests where threatened.

It helped to enforce the no-fly orders of the United Nations in the civil war in Libya when no threat to Canada or Canadians was involved.

It took part in the invasion of Afghanistan in a joint response with other countries to overthrow the Taliban government which was complicit in training terrorists.  I believe our involvement there was warranted to protect our nation against possible terrorist attacks.  Unfortunately, the reasons the government of the day cited for entering the war was not only national protection but to ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs and to help Afghanistan rebuild.  These are not valid reasons for war.

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 was none of our business.  We had no treaty with Kuwait to defend it and yet we willing joined the United Nations in removing Iraq from their territory.  Our national interests were not threatened.

At the time of the US’s decision to go into Iraq for the second time Jean Chrétien choose not to get involved.   While we knew that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction and was willing to use them (if you don’t believe this you have obviously forgotten about the Halabja massacre) and while such weapons in the hands of a dictator like Saddam Hussein were a threat to his neighbours they were no threat to us and I now believe that staying out of Iraq was the better plan. (At the time I, like many of us, was caught up in the drama and thought we should have assisted.)

What of Iran? Iran is a threat to our ally, the United States. It has an official “Death to America” day. It has called for the annihilation of America and the West. It is a theocracy which has involved itself in the training of terrorist groups like al-qaeda and Hezbollah. It is developing a nuclear weapons program and has recently threatened shipping in the Straits of Hormuz, a vital sea transportation route of vital interest to many nations including our own. If allowed to develop a nuclear weapon it is quite conceivable that it could put it aboard a ship and sail into New York Harbor and detonate it.

Some have said that Iran, like any other nation has the right to defend itself. This is not true. Iran, as a despotic theocracy which does not recognize individual rights or peaceful coexistence with its neighbours has no right to exist under its current leadership.

It is not a particular threat to Canada or Canadians as its eyes seem more fixed on Israel and the US, but if the US is attacked we should retaliate as an ally if asked. Should the US, or Israel preemptively destroy Iran’s ability to get a nuclear weapon? Yes. I believe they should. They have been threatened with what amounts to a declaration of War by the Iranian government. Iran is developing the means to carry out such a threat. They should be stopped. Should Canada join in such a preemptive action? No. We neither have the means nor is the threat to this country as real or immediate as it is to the US and Israel.

Libertarians in the US like Congressman Ron Paul, would have a dovish defense policy very different from the one of the Freedom Party which I described. Paul’s basic policy is to fight only after you have been attacked. This of course would be too late for those killed. A preemptive policy is the only rational one. Ron Paul would also remove the US military out of every other country in the world. I would grant him this: The US has spread itself thin in the world and can certainly reign in much of its forces abroad but to not have bases in areas which are of vital interest to its economy and survival is folly. Keep the bases in the middle east for a possible war with Iran; keep the military in Afghanistan because that country is far too backward to be left without being supervised by civilized adults; keep the military in South Korea and Taiwan for the possible conflicts that may happen there.

We can never forget how hostile a place the world is and how much we are all interconnected. An isolationist foreign policy is not a realistic one if a country is to maintain its interests and sovereignty. However, that being said, a jingoistic policy is also not desirable. Only with a clear idea of what it is you are protecting, who your enemy is, and what your vital national interests are can you develop a defense policy worthy of a free nation.

(Revised from a broadcast of Just Right on January 19, 2012)

Nov 122009
 

PoppyEvery November 11th we honour the war dead by remembering their courage, their suffering, and the risking of their lives for something of greater value.  Some might say sacrifice but that word is often used erroneously.

Why would a young man want to carry a rifle, be shipped overseas to face great hardship and possible death?  Why did 65,000 Canadians and 1,200 Newfoundlanders die fighting in WWI?  Why did over 40,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders die fighting in WWII?

Today we like to say they fought and died for our freedom.  If that is so then I would have to say that they died in vain.  Canada before the first two great wars and even the Korean War was in many respects a much freer country than the Canada of today.

Many of us define Canada today in terms a 20 year old Canadian of 1917 or a Canadian of 1939 would not understand and if they did understand it I think they probably would be shocked.  Today you’ll hear the CBC sycophants say Canada is a country defined by its multiculturalism, its social programs, it universal health care, official bilingualism, even perhaps such trivial things like the CBC.

We have to remember that before the Second World War none of our current social programs existed.

Unemployment Insurance was introduced in 1940, Old Age Security – 1952, Canada Pension Plan – 1966, OHIP – 1972, Childcare Benefit – 2007.  It stands to reason that none of these existed before the First World War.  In fact, before the First World War we didn’t even have an income tax (or the CBC).  So that begs the question; why did these soldiers fight if it wasn’t for what many Canadians now define as Canadian?

If it was for freedom then it was for the right to live in a country where the government did NOT take over half of what you earn.  If it was for freedom then it was for the right to be able to speak out against religious and ideological beliefs that threaten world peace (something that will put you before a Kangaroo Court called a Human Rights Tribunal today).  If they fought for freedom it was for the right to choose any doctor you wish without waiting in a queue (something only our pets can take for granted today).  If they died for freedom then it was the freedom to work and to save for your retirement without having to rely on government handouts in your old age.   If they fought for freedom then it was for the right to live in a safe community where criminals were dealt with quickly and appropriately.  If our veterans fought for freedom then they lost the war.

That is, if they fought for freedom.

Before the two world wars Canada’s foreign policies were decided by England.  It seemed only natural at the time that when England chose to go to war that Canada only followed like a dutiful child.  Most of the veterans fought because of a sense of patriotism.  Not necessarily the best thing to fight for since the other side had millions of patriots too.

We should remember also that there was great opposition to the war from the French speaking Canadians.  And don’t forget the fact that we had to conscript 125,000 Canadians to fight overseas, 25,000 of these being sent to the front.  So when we remember the dead of the Great War we must never forget we sent thousands to die who did not want to fight for England.

We must also remember that Canadians entered the 2nd World War unaware of the atrocities that Hitler was about to perform on millions of Jews.  In fact, Canada had its own anti-Semites in government. And don’t forget our Japanese internment camps.  And of course we must remember that we still needed to enslave over 12,000 conscripted to fight.

I would like to think that the tens of thousands who died in Europe for Canada did so, not as a sacrifice, but because they knew they might lose their lives for something of greater value; a free and peaceful country.  I would like to think that.  The fact is we really don’t know why so many died since we obviously haven’t learned much of a lesson from the wars and seem to continue down the path away from the freedom we think they fought for.

If we consider why Canadians are fighting in Afghanistan I think we have to look at things very much differently.  We have a highly educated volunteer Armed Forces.  The way it should be.   For the most part today’s soldiers are career professionals and are fighting not out of blind patriotism but out of a clear understanding of which country is right and which country is wrong.  Afghanistan was, when we first invaded, explicitly aiding in the training of terrorists and harboring Osama bin Laden.  That country under the Taliban had no right to exist and we were quite right to overthrow them.  It was definitely in our best interests to do so.  What Canada is still doing there is a topic for another day.

Afterthought:

Not many know of a link between the two World Wars and the H1N1 virus.

In WWI over 15 million died from the war.  While at the same time between 50 and 100 million died around the world from the Spanish Flu which was an H1N1 strain of influenza A.  In fact 1 million of Germany’s soldiers had come down with the flu and had to retreat back to Germany effectively ending the war.  Hindenburg, not wanting to admit that his soldiers were unfit for soldiering blamed his loss on the Jews, socialist and Bolsheviks.  He created what was called at the time the “Stab in the Back Legend” claiming that the unpatriotic sabotage of the Jews led to the loss of the war.  This legend was widely believed in Germany and picked up by Adolph Hitler.  The rest, as they say, is history.

(Originally broadcast on Just Right November 12th 2009 (Show #128).  To download the show visit //www.justrightmedia.org)