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'Missile Defense" Alive and Well in Canada PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Friday, 08 July 2005 08:36
'Missile Defense" Alive and Well in Canada

Contrary to popular opinion, Canada is STILL actively participating in the creation, design, research, development, testing, deployment, maintenance and operation of numerous "missile defense" systems. The Canadian government has spent billions on military programs that aid and abet the U.S.-led "missile defense" weapons program.


Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:46:06 -0400
From: Richard Sanders < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: No means Yes: Canada's Ongoing Role in "Missile Defense"

'Missile Defense," Still Alive and Well in Canada

When an American newspaper prematurely printed Mark Twain's obituary, he promptly replied: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."1

The same must be said of Canadian complicity in what has been euphemistically labelled a "missile defense shield."2 (See below: "What is "Missile Defense"?)

Contrary to popular opinion, Canada is STILL actively participating in the creation, design, research, development, testing, deployment, maintenance and operation of numerous "missile defense" systems. The Canadian government has spent billions on military programs that aid and abet the U.S.-led "missile defense" weapons program.

New Report Exposes Canada's Role

The first part of a new study, called "Canada's Role in so-called 'Missile Defense'," has just been published online. It is also available in hard-copy format as the June 2005 issue of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade's magazine, Press for Conversion! Part One of this study, entitled: "NORAD, Government Largesse and the ABC's of Corporate Complicity," is now available at COAT's website:


(Part Two of this report is expected in September.)

The newly-released, 50-page study is the result of a five-month investigation by COAT founder and coordinator, Richard Sanders, who has been working full-time in the peace/anti-war movement since 1984.

Many will be shocked to learn that not only is Canada?s contribution to the U.S. weapons program alive and well, it actually surpasses efforts made by other nations that, unlike Canada, are at least willing to admit their involvement in the "missile defense" weapons development program.

The report documents various ways in which Canada's military, corporate and scientific communities, as well as numerous government departments, agencies and crown corporations, are active in the "missile defense" weapons scheme. Although most of the information in COAT?s report was culled from publicly-available government and corporate sources, very little has been reported by the mainstream media, or by peace/anti-war organisations.

"No" Means "Yes"

The Canadian government's ostensive "no" was not linked to any actual efforts to slow down, let alone stop, even one of the many existing forms of Canadian complicity in "missile defense" outlined in COAT?s report. Neither has the Canadian government taken any concrete steps to prevent this country's further entrenchment in America?s extensive, weapons development program.

When examining Canada's continued involvement in the "missile defense" weapons scheme, it becomes clear that Prime Minister Paul Martin's supposed "no" was a duplicitous, public relations gesture with no real meaning. It was designed to deceive the public, cover up Canada's important ongoing participation in "missile defense," quell growing dissent within Liberal Party ranks and garner public support for a faltering, minority government.

COAT's report counters the notion that Canada?s symbolic "no" was a blow to the Bush administration because it deprived them of all they really wanted, namely, the use of Canada as a cover behind which they could hide their massive weapons program. This "Canada-as-cover" hypothesis ignores the reality that for decades the U.S. has greatly benefited from Canada's highly-advanced, military-industrial-scientific sectors, and their many contributions to the creation, development, testing and deployment of numerous weapons technologies. Canada?s contribution to U.S. weapons-advancement programs, including so-called "missile defense," is especially coveted by the Americans because it is heavily subsidised by the Canadian government, i.e., by taxpayers. The "Canada-as-cover" hypothesis is also discounted by the fact that the U.S. has repeatedly proven its willingness to take drastic, unilateral actions to protect domestic commercial interests even if they are extremely unpopular on the global stage.

The Trap some called a Victory

As a result of the Liberal government's much-ballyhooed "no," there is now a widespread misperception about Canada?s involvement in America's destabilising, weapons-development program. As a result, Canadian opposition to "missile defense" has now all but died. Anyone trying to expose and oppose Canada?s continuing involvement in the "missile defense" program now faces considerable challenges. Because most Canadians never realised that their country has been deeply embedded in "missile defense" work for many years, much time must now be spent deconstructing the myth of Canada's supposed non-involvement.

In the eagerness to claim a victory, many in the peace movement helped to spread a false message of hope to the effect that "We won on missile defense!" By congratulating the government for its empty, symbolic pretense of not joining the massive, U.S.-led weapons program, many activists unwittingly undermined the much-needed struggle to stop Canada's concrete role in so-called "missile defense." Until the myth about Canada's nonparticipation has been dispelled, Canadians will not be able to slow down, let alone halt, Canadian complicity in the so-called "missile defense" program.

Needed: Myth Busters

To oppose this country's continuing participation, COAT is urging Canadians to help debunk the widely-accepted myth that looms behind our government's nominal "no" to "missile defense." The best remedy in this struggle is to demonstrate that Canada is still, very actively involved. The latest issue of Press for Conversion! contains a wealth of data elucidating this subject and is a unique, new asset in the Myth Busters' toolkit.

How You Can Help

Here are some initial ideas on how Canadians can help to expose and oppose their country?s major role in "missile defense" weapons program:

? Order extra copies of COAT?s report for distribution at events and/or to pass along to friends, colleagues, activists, teachers, journalists, politicians, etc, etc.

? Circulate this email message to your contacts and to appropriate list serves.

? Post a link to COAT?s report on relevant websites. < http://coat.ncf.ca/missiledefense>

? Raise the issue of Canada's real involvement in so-called "missile defense" at meetings and other educational events.

? Urge individuals and groups to renew their opposition to so-called "missile defense."

? Use COAT's report as a resource when contacting the media and politicians and/or when writing essays, articles, speeches or lectures.

? Reprint material from COAT's report in newsletters, magazines or newspapers (Please cite the source and refer readers to COAT?s website.)

? Urge the media to investigate. Refer the media to COAT for interviews and/or background information. (See contact information below.)

? Organise an event to raise public awareness and to oppose Canada's ongoing role in the "missile defense" weapons-development scheme.

? Invite the report's author to make a presentation at a public event.

? Please subscribe or renew your subscription to COAT?s magazine

? When you subscribe, renew and/or order extra copies, please make a generous donation to COAT to support this important work. < http://coat.ncf.ca/support_us/support_us.htm>


1. "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." So said Mark Twain in a telegram from London to the New York Journal in 1897 when it prematurely published his obituary.

(Apologies to Twain for comparing him to the most comprehensive, weapons-development scheme in world history. As the vice-president of the Anti-Imperialist League between 1901 and 1910, Twain was all-too familiar with the American government's warmongering. )

2. What is "Missile Defense"? "Missile defense? is the largest and most comprehensive weapons-development program in world history. Its goal is to improve the tracking, targeting and firing functions of existing sea- and land-based missiles, as well as to create air-based and space-based "directed energy"/laser weapons. The program is deceptively marketed to taxpayers as a "defensive shield" to protect homeland populations from terrorists and rogue states. In truth, although "missile defense" weapons will soon be defending U.S. and NATO troops and weapons so that they can "safely" wage wars far from home, there is no reason that weapons advancements made under the guise of "missile defense" will only function in such "defensive" scenarios. Once the targeting, tracking and firing systems of U.S./NATO weapons have been improved, these new technologies can and will be used in whatever roles are chosen for them, whether offensive or defensive.


For more information, contact:

Richard Sanders, coordinator, COAT and editor, Press for Conversion!

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Telephone: 613-231-3076

Website: http://coat.ncf.ca

Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2005 08:36

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