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Question 5: Security

How does the military best serve Canada’s foreign policy objectives: though national and continental defence; combat missions in support of international coalitions; peacekeeping; all of the above?



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Date: 2003-05-01 19:26:23
Dear Minister Graham:
Allow me to urge on two fronts:
A -- RE POTENTIAL FOR CANADIAN TROOPS TO BE DISPATCHED TO IRAQ -- In my view Canada should cease and desist from providing troops on the ground in Iraq especially, and/or in the case of any further military actions undertaken by the United States of America in defiance of international law.
The reason is that such troops would be, de facto, occupying troops. They would also be seen as such by most of the people and a great number of governments of the world. For Canadian troops to find themselves guarding "checkpoints" would be a distasteful, fraught and potentially gruesome parallel to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and a situation laden with dangers for the good name and the security of Canada and Canadians.

B -- ON THE MATTER OF SO-CALLED MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS -- I wish to endorse the contribution made by my long time friend and tireless worker for peace through justice, Eryl Court of Toronto. I paste it in here, and endorse every word, which there is no reason for me to duplicate. "Canada's proper and unique role in the World is as a peacemaking nation. This is a clear mandate. It must not be compromised in any way.

The following two proposals are, in my view, essential:

1. The "Missile Defense System" that is being advocated by the United States, with the intention of involving Canada, constitutes the shield associated with the sword that is NATO's strategy. It is an integral part of war planning that runs contrary to Canada's role, and which we must reject.

Various events, including the attack of September 11, 2001, have demonstrated that the missile defense plan cannot ward off an attack against the North American continent. (This is substantiated by widely-expressed eminent qualified opinion, including that of Nobel Science and Peace Laureate Professor John Polanyi of the University of Toronto). All the more is it impossible to ward off an attack from within continental North America by such means.

2. It is now also increasingly clear that war is no longer an acceptable or practical means of solving international disputes. As the method of violence rather than law, (and considering the weapons of mass destruction possessed by the World's "Great Powers"), war can lead only to universal annihilation, which is now a clear and present danger to humanity. War must be outlawed. As stated in the declaration of The Hague Appeal for
Peace, there is a human right to peace. It must be the right of every child on earth to grow up in a World in one Peace.

The only defence, the only security for all countries and peoples, is human security, common security, as has been advocated over numerous years by Canada's Liberal leadership, including your predecessor, Hon. Lloyd Axworthy. It is this, and our unique role as a peacemaking nation, that we must continue to insist upon, as the immovable foundation of our external policy; and I urge that you adhere to it with unswerving determination."

Thank you for inviting this dialogue.
Barrie Zwicker, Producer,
Eye Opener, Vision TV
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