The is just a short one. I've finished my packing with my computer the last item to be unplugged. But first - a thought that's been on my mind for a long time. It's a little dangerous as thoughts go. It's critical about how we recognize Nov. 11 Armistice Day, the rememberance of those who have served in the military. It's also critical of the Canadian Legion, Canada's organization for veterans.
Some years ago, I appeared before a very, very political Canadian government committee. It had been assembled in response to complaints from veterans about a film series from the National Film Board - "The Valour and the Horror". Veterans were furious about it. The film showed the bombing of Germany, for example, when allied bombers deliberately targetted civilians in what can only be called terror bombing. They were also angry at the suggestion that Canadian troops murdered prisoners.
So they put the heat on the Harper government to conduct hearings. The hearings would show, of course, that Canadians never, ever did anything wrong; and they were as good as choir boys in church. So I volunteered to give testimony.
Murdering prisoners? EVERY army in world war 2 murdered prisoners on a grand scale, often by the millions. I spoke to a Canadian general who had seen German prisoners being marched over a bridge. He later saw their bodies floating down the river.
As for the deliberate, terror bombing of civilians, Every air force in World War 2 did at as a standard practice. Perhaps the leading pioneers of this were the British who conducted raids on defenceless Kurd villages in 1920. The Germans used it in the Spanish Civil war of the 1930s. Everybody did it in World War 2. And the leading exponent of it was the RAF. Since the war, the U.S. has become far the biggest killer by such terror bombing in history.
None of this should be taken as a criticism of the veterans. It's a criticism of all us humans. But the Legion sees it as its role to proclaim that all Canadian military were and are without fault. And it becomes much worse than that.
Every Nov. 11, we read and talk of nothing but how we owe it to our military to remember them and their sacrifices. So we should. But that is not all we remember. And the legion, of all organizations, owes it to those who served to remember WHY they died.
In World War 2, we were constantly told that this was a war aimed at bringing a permanent peace, equality, democracy to the world. That was why the UN was formed. But the peace never happened.
The worst offender, by far, in creating wars has been the United States. Officially, it has invaded some 70 countries since 1945. In reality, counting drones, assassination squads, the number is higher. We have not criticized one of them. In fact, we have sent troops, at the request of the U.S., to wars that had nothing to do with us.
That's why Canadian died in Afghanistan. It had nothing to do with serving Canada. In fact, there is no evidence that AFghanistan had any connection with 9/11. (Almost all the known villains were from those good friends of the U.S. in Saudi Arabia.) We bombed and killed people in Libya who had nothing to do with us. For a time, we committed troops to Syria and now to Iraq. We have them on what could well be a suicide mission to Eastern Europe at the request of the U.S. None of this has anything to do with defending Canada. We have become an obedient colony doing what our imperial masters tell us to do.
On Nov. 11, we should hear about - and the Legion ( not to mention the clergy) - should be eager to tell us about what we told of soldiers of World War Two they were dying for. I'm quite sure it was not so their grandchildren could fight wars for American oil billionaires.
We are now in an extremely dangerous situation. We have allowed ourselves to become a colony of the U.S. We have abandoned everything we said we fought for in World War Two. We have betrayed those who died for us. We are now going to be under increasing pressure to follow the U.S. with its extremely dangerous and murderous policies.
By all means, remember those who died. But while doing it, remember why they died. It was surely not to follow a nation that has come to bear a strong resemblance to all those things we fought against in World War Two.
It is particularly dangerous to do this for a mentally disturbed president.
And to the Legion, you owe that to those who went before you.