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The “Canadian Ministers” of Hamid Karzai’s Afghan government

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has deployed a Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) composed of some 15 people to Kabul with the mandate of working “directly with the Afghan government” to impose the neo-colonial agenda of the western powers.
Canada is a key participant in the US-NATO military occupation of Afghanistan and a bulwark of the US-installed puppet government of Hamid Karzai—a government composed of warlords guilty of horrific crimes against the Afghan people and that is detested by many both for its corruption and for being in Washington’s pocket. The CAF participated in the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and since the summer of 2005 has been in the forefront of the fight against the Taliban insurgency in the country’s south.

I’m going to fight like hell to stop my neighbourhood from going to Shell

I’m worried about my neighbourhood . . . and well I should be.

One of the world’s largest petroleum companies wants to move next door and pump dry the entire aquifer for an area of 410,000 hectares.

Mind you, the “hood” is huge, roughly the northwest quadrant of British Columbia. But what’s at stake is equally significant.

Ground zero of the proposed project is the famed Spatsizi Wilderness Park, North America’s Serengeti, rich with wildlife from mountain caribou to Stone sheep and grizzly bear.

“My” neighborhood is an exaggeration. But after three decades in the hood, first at the helm of a research foundation radio-collaring caribou and later as a wildlife documentary filmmaker, I feel have a stake in the area’s future. Particularly when the new guy on the block is Royal Dutch Shell.

HARPER TO SNUB NS PREMIER, IGNORE CALLS FOR DND SPENDING FREEZE

HALIFAX PEACE COALITION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release, July 4, 2007
HARPER TO SNUB NS PREMIER, IGNORE CALLS FOR DND SPENDING FREEZE
Parliamentary Calls for Defence Spending Freeze Based Upon Review of No-Bid Contracts
HALIFAX – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s expected defence spending announcements during his visit to Halifax will come at a time of Parliamentary calls for a freeze in new contracts. According to a report released last month by the Rideau Institute, 40% of military contracts in the year 2006-2007 have been classified by Business Access Canada as “non-competitive,” more than double the number from the previous year. In response, the opposition Liberal and New
Democratic parties have publicly called for a moratorium on major defence spending announcements until the release of a report by the Auditor General reviewing Canadian defence contracts in September.
In the midst of the Federal-Provincial row over the Atlantic Accords, Harper’s visit to Halifax this week appears to have offered yet another public snub to NS Premier Rodney Macdonald, whose office has been left in the dark regarding the details of the visit. But accountability has hardly been Stephen Harper’s strong suit.”One year after the government announced more than $17 billion in military equipment programs, the process in awarding these contracts has been fraught with charges of unfair competition, favouritism, and secrecy,” wrote Steven Staples, author of the Rideau Institute’s report No Bang for the Buck, in an op-ed published in the Hill Times on June 18th.
In June of 2006, Canadian Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor announced over $17 billion in new defence spending. As part of this announcement, a $3.4 billion contract for strategic airlift was later designated for Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN), meaning that the “winner” of the contract is largely pre-determined. Given Gordon “Cheney Jr” O’Connor’s background as a lobbyist for defence firms, and the increasing use of ACANs within DND procurement contracts, such large announcements appear geared towards rewarding politically connected defence contractors such as American firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing rather than responsibly using Canadian tax-dollars to provide Canadian military personnel with adequate equipment.
Harper has also played a major role in shifting Canadian foreign policy as a whole in a heavily militaristic direction. Canadian
forces are increasingly engaging in disastrously ineffective counter-insurgency operations in Southern Afghanistan and have encouraged similar operations from UN forces in Haiti. These operations, although perhaps advantageous for military contractors, have resulted in high civilian death tolls, as well as dwindling public support for the presence of international forces in both nations.
An airstrike carried out by NATO killed between 45 and 80 civilians last Friday in Helmand Province, Afghanistan . Similarly, UN soldiers killed at least 22 civilians in the seaside shantytown of Cite Soleil, Haiti, last December according to international journalists and witnesses, in a raid that was later applauded by Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mackay in a parliamentary paper presented to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The Halifax Peace Coalition will be organizing an information picket against the expected defence spending announcements once the shadowy details of Harper’s schedule become public.
For More Information
Steven Staples, Director, Rideau Institute, (613) 565-9449, (c) (613) 290-2695, sstaples@rideauinstitute.ca
Tamara Lorincz, Halifax Peace Coalition, (902) 443-2423, (c) (902) 478-1379, tlorincz@dal.ca
Stuart Neatby, Halifax Peace Coalition, (902) 405-9480, stu.neatby@gmail.com

Put Away the Flags

Zinn: On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed. Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking — cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on — have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

Let’s not employ Canadian spirit in vain

Scott Taylor: LAST MONTH, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made some startling comments that hinted at a reversal of the Conservative government’s previous position on our military commitment in Afghanistan. No longer was Harper beating his chest and yelling, “We don’t cut and run.” Instead, the prime minister suggested that any military deployment beyond the current commitment of February 2009 would require “some degree of consensus” from the opposition parties.

Banner Drop at Canada Day Block Party, Fredericton, NB

Banner Drop

Canada Day Parade, Fredericton, NB

Pipelineistan at Canada Day Parade

O Pipelineistan

Did you ever wonder why Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine are so important to our politicians and corporations? These maps show some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves and pipeline routes through the Middle East. It appears our soldiers are placed along pipeline routes primarily to fight on behalf of US, Canadian, and allied companies profiting from the extraction of fossil fuels. The construction, defense, and control of the actual pipelines are key goals of profiteers. Check out the existing and proposed routes linking reserves in the Caspian Basin, Iraq and Iran, through Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine.

Interesting timing of reports

July 2, 2007

It is interesting that the Suzuki Foundation released a report claiming many Canadians are poisoned every year by pesticides at the exact time CanTox released its report on defoliant spraying at CFB Gagetown.

The Suzuki Foundation tells us chemicals are very dangerous while CanTox tells us that beefed up military formulations of herbicides, including Agent Orange, are totally innocuous.

Who do you believe? CanTox, owned by a chemical company and is paid by a government under siege for the large scale poisoning of its citizens? Or the Suzuki Foundation which has
no comment on Gagetown?

Harper knows Canada is liable for a world-class calamity and is paying your taxes to people willing to minimize the impact. We’re not talking about spraying lawns. The whole countryside of a piece of New Brunswick was hosed with military-grade herbicides for decades and hundreds of thousands of people had their health stolen, their lives ruined. Many have died.

Tell Harper he must deal with this or our country cannot survive.
Kelly Porter Franklin, Nanaimo B.C.

Aboriginal blockades bring highway, rail line closures

Armed Mohawk protesters got an early start to the Canada-wide aboriginal day of action on Friday, barricading a major rail line and a highway in eastern Ontario before one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

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