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Let us also remember the victims of Canada’s wars

By Yves Engler · November 10, 2015

Trudeau “unveils most diverse Cabinet in Canada’s history”, was how one media outlet described the new Liberal cabinet. It includes a Muslim woman, four Sikhs, an indigenous woman, two differently abled individuals and an equal number of women and men. Half even refused any reference to God at Wednesday’s swearing in ceremony.

But in one respect there was no diversity at all. Every single person wore a Remembrance Day poppy. Even Justin Trudeau’s young children were made to publicly commemorate Canadians (and allies) who died at war.

As we approach the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month expect politicians of every stripe to praise Canadian military valour. At last year’s Remembrance Day commemoration Stephen Harper suggested that Canada was “forged in the fires of First World War”. The former Prime Minister described “the values for which they fought … Justice and freedom; democracy and the rule of law; human rights and human dignity.”

On Remembrance Day what is it we are supposed to remember? The valour, sacrifice and glory of soldiers — and no more?

What about the victims of Canadian troops? Should we abandon the search for truth and learning from our past on this day that is supposedly devoted to remembering?

Why not a diversity of recollection? An honest accounting of what really happened and why — isn’t that the best way to remember?

For example, World War I had no clear and compelling purpose other than rivalry between up-and-coming Germany and the lead imperial powers of the day, Britain and France. In fact, support for the British Empire was Ottawa’s primary motive in joining the war. As Canada’s Prime Minister Robert Borden saw it, the fight was “to put forth every effort and to make every sacrifice necessary to ensure the integrity and maintain the honour of our empire.”

To honour Canada’s diversity, how about this year we remember some of the victims of that empire?

For Africans World War I represented the final chapter in the violent European scramble for their territory. Since the 1880s the European powers had competed to carve up the continent.

Canada was modestly involved in two African theatres of World War I. A handful of Canadian airmen fought in East Africa, including naval air serviceman H. J. Arnold who helped destroy a major German naval vessel, the Königsberg, during the British/Belgian/South African conquest of German East Africa. Commandant of Canada’s Royal Military College from 1909 to 1913, Colonel J.H.V. Crowe commanded an artillery division for famed South African General Jan Christiaan Smuts and later published General Smuts’ Campaign in East Africa.

About one million people died as a direct result of the war in East Africa. Fighting raged for four years with many dying from direct violence and others from the widespread disease and misery it caused. Hundreds of thousands of Africans were conscripted by the colonial authorities to fight both in Africa and Europe.

J.H.V. Crowe was English born, but an individual with deeper roots in Canada, commanded the force that extended Britain’s control over the other side of the continent.

The son of a Québec City MP and grandson of a senator, Sir Charles MacPherson Dobell, commanded an 18,000 man Anglo-French force that captured the Cameroons and Togoland. Gazetted as Inspector General of the West African Frontier Force in 1913, the Royal Military College grad’s force defeated the Germans in fighting that destroyed many villages and left thousands of West Africans dead. Early in the two-year campaign Dobell’s force captured the main centres of Lomé and Douala and he became de factogovernor over large parts of today’s Togo and Cameroon. A telegram from London said “General Dobell should assume Government with full powers in all matters military and civil.”

British officials justified seizing the German colony as a response to the war in Europe, but to a large extent World War I was the outgrowth of intra-imperial competition in Africa and elsewhere. In The Anglo-French “Condominium” in Cameroon, 1914-1916 Lovett Elango points to “the imperialist motives of the campaign”, which saw the two allies clash over their territorial ambition. Elango concludes, “the war merely provided Britain and France a pretext for further colonial conquest and annexation.” After the German defeat the colony was partitioned between the two European colonial powers.

Canada’s massive contribution to World War I propped up British (as well as French, Belgian and South African) rule in Africa. It also added to it. Similar to the Berlin Conference of 1885, which effectively divided Africa among the European powers, after World War I European leaders gathered to redraw Africa’s borders. But this time the Canadian prime minister attended.

World War I reshaped colonial borders in Africa. Germany lost what is now Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and part of Mozambique (German East Africa) as well as Namibia (German West Africa), Cameroon and Togoland. South Africa gained Namibia, Britain gained Tanzania and part of Cameroon, France gained Togo and part of Cameroon while Belgium took Burundi and Rwanda.

The other British Dominions (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) that fought alongside London were compensated with German properties. With no German colonies nearby Ottawa asked the Imperial War Cabinet if it could take possession of the British West Indies as compensation for Canada’s defence of the Empire. London balked.

Ottawa was unsuccessful in securing the British Caribbean partly because the request did not find unanimous domestic support. Prime Minister Borden was of two minds on the issue. From London he dispatched a cable noting, “the responsibilities of governing subject races would probably exercise a broadening influence upon our people as the dominion thus constituted would closely resemble in its problems and its duties the empire as a whole.” But, on the other hand, Borden feared that the Caribbean’s black population might want to vote. He remarked upon “the difficulty of dealing with the coloured population, who would probably be more restless under Canadian law than under British control and would desire and perhaps insist upon representation in Parliament.”

Our racist and colonial past, as well as Canada’s role in exploiting people of colour all over the world, must also be included in our remembrance if we are to build a nation of respect for all people — the essence of real diversity.

November 10, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHAT WE TRULY LEARNED FROM THE GREAT WAR AND THE ABSURDITY OF REMEMBRANCE DAY

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | November 13, 2014

No matter what high-blown claims the politicians make each year on Remembrance Day, The Great War was essentially a fight between two branches of a single royal family over the balance of power on the continent of Europe, British foreign policy holding to a longstanding principle that no one nation should ever be permitted to dominate the continent.

It was also a war between the world’s greatest existing imperial power, Britain, and another state, Germany, which aspired to become a greater imperial power than it was.

To a considerable extent, it was a war resulting from large standing armies and great arms races, a telling indictment of those who preach the false gospel of ever-greater military strength to defend freedom. As with any huge, shiny new investment, great armies will always be used, and the results are almost invariably great misery.

The First World War was not a war to end all wars, as a slogan of the time claimed. If anything, it was a precursor for a great many wars to follow, and, most importantly, it was a powerful and important cause of World War II.

It also was not a war about democracy since none of the participants, including Britain, would qualify as democracies by any reasonable reckoning with their heavily limited voting franchise and government structures stacked in the interests of old and privileged orders, quite apart from their holding empires whose populations enjoyed no franchise at all.

The war was also one of history’s great instances of mass hysteria, particularly among the young men of several countries. In Britain, there have been many laments over the loss of some fine and promising young men who rushed to join up. In Germany, it was no different, and we note one young man, then of no importance, by the name of Adolph Hitler rushing to join up, much as his British contemporaries, to share in the “glory.”

Today, we pretend shock that young men sometimes go abroad to fight for a cause, religious or otherwise, but compared to the mass insanity of World War I, what we see today is truly petty. The authorities everywhere then made great efforts to push young men, using songs, marching bands, slogans, shame and social pressure in many forms, and countless lies. The nonsense about the Kaiser’s troops bayonetting babies was one example, a lie served up again decades later with a slight twist by George Bush the Elder’s government as it desperately wanted support to invade Iraq, the babies the second time around supposedly being ripped from respirators.

World War I made absolutely no sense. It achieved nothing worth achieving, and it did so at immense cost. Apart from killing about 20,000,000 people, the war left countless crippled and disabled and created a great swathe of destruction across Europe.

If Germany had been allowed to dominate Europe for a time, it would have made comparatively little difference to the lives of most people. Indeed, today, that is the situation we find in the European Union.

It is important to realize that large wars are always revolutionary in nature, and no one at the outset can possibly predict the outcomes of such chaotic storms in terms of social, economic, and political change. World War I very much set the stage, with huge losses of men and the incompetence demonstrated by Imperial commanders, for the Communists to take power in Russia, a development which led ultimately to the Cold War.

The War’s immense costs and the realization by millions of soldiers from abroad that they fought for a nation which gave them no rights provided the great first blow towards ending the British Empire. The approaching World War II would finish the work of imperial rot and collapse.

The First World War set the stage for the rise of Hitler less than two decades later and made inevitable the catastrophe of World War II, which would inflict at least two and a half times as many deaths again and would see such horrors as the Holocaust and the use of atomic bombs.

So why, about a century later, do we still treat The Great War with reverence and sentimental remembrance?

The act of remembrance actually contradicts the sound human tendency to forget terrible experiences. Of course, we hear repeated countless times the words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” one of those glib and catchy sayings which seem at first hearing to carry some deep truth. Just the consideration that in real life no two events ever can be identical makes the saying a pleasantly-phrased nonsense, resembling the aphorisms on far lighter subjects from Oscar Wilde.

Those repeating the glib phrase as received wisdom from an unimpeachable prophet always neglect to remind us of the importance of scrupulously defining what it is that you are remembering. If we remember World War One for exactly what it was, and not for what we wish it had been, we see a vast, pointless slaughter that succeeded in setting conditions for still more slaughter. Never repeating it would be a blessing indeed.

But if we see it as moving and inspirational, if we associate its name with thoughts of ending war or protecting democracy or of great camaraderie and shared hardship, if we are emotionally moved by troops in uniforms and flags flying and bugles and drumbeats, then we most assuredly will repeat it, as we have already done more than once, and I’m pretty sure that’s what the arrogant politicians and jingoes want us ready to do.

Remembrance Day surely is not about the loss of life, as we pretend it is, because the only way to hold those or any lives sacred is not to send them off to war in the first place. The ugly truth is that governments, run by men with great egos – likely more often than not, actual narcissists – who are supported by privileged wealth wanting to keep or expand its privilege, make the decision for wars largely on the basis of fairly primitive instincts, instincts about being first or not letting a competitor gain an advantage, or just vague and meaningless stuff about being manly or resolute – standing your ground, keeping a stiff upper lip, putting up with no nonsense, showing your manhood, and so on and so forth.

One American politician, in a play on an infamous quote by George Wallace, said no one would ever “out-commie” him again in an election. Such was the thinking of Lyndon Johnson in making the fatal decision to start a major war in Southeast Asia. On just such hormone-laden considerations hung a decade’s brutal fighting and the deaths of 3 million Vietnamese.

The real reason for the ceremonies and parades and speeches is to keep young men keen to go and kill and die, there being no group of humans more subject to cheap emotional appeals about glory and heroism than young men, as we see, ad nauseam, generation after generation.

As I’ve written before, humans are little more than chimpanzees with larger brains, those larger brains enabling us to magnify immensely the power of our murderous instincts, a fact we seem determined proudly to display every Remembrance Day.

November 13, 2014 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Canada’s ‘Remembrance Day’: righteous or rancorous?

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | November 8, 2014

With Canada’s annual “Remembrance Day” just around the corner, it would be wise to broach the issue of “remembering” those Canadians who fought and died in the two bloodiest conflicts in world history with some humility and skepticism.

On November 11 Canadians across the political spectrum will evoke their plastic patriotism by commemorating war veterans who fought in the First and Second World Wars. The obedient masses will blindly recite jingoist platitudes and regurgitate outdated wartime propaganda that has been instilled in the minds of each and every Canadian citizen since birth.

Like Americans and Britons, most Canadians believe that World War I and II were quintessential “good wars” fought to secure “freedom and democracy” and other such flimsy fantasies. Most people reared in Canada’s degraded education system foolishly believe that this country’s participation in WWI and WWII was “the right thing to do” and that the outbreak of such wars was “inevitable.” Without doing one scintilla of actual research, the gullible masses can tell you why these fratricidal wars that caused the deaths of untold millions of people were “necessary” and “just.”

Do any of these ignorant zombies stop for a moment to think about what they are promoting? The “necessity” of an enormous bloodbath that plunged much of the world into pandemonium? Following WWII, Canadian society has evidently devolved into a brain-damaged loony-bin filled to the brim with parrots and yes-men incapable of independent thought or critical analysis.

The fact is that Canada was not attacked in World War I or II. Positioned between two gigantic oceans, Canada is relatively safe geographically from foreign invasion and therefore had no real incentive to fight in either war. So why did Canada fight?

In his book The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler discerns that Ottawa’s decision to go to war in 1914 and again in 1939 was essentially “because Britain went to war.” Indeed, as a de facto colony of Britain, Canada has only ever had a ceremonial facade of independence throughout its history. When London decided to go to war, Canada immediately followed suit, revealing the country’s blind subservience to the Crown.

And what was Britain’s reasoning for going to war the second time around? The brainwashed masses will say that “Nazism” was a grave and pressing danger and had to be stopped. But only if one is viewing the world through British or Jewish spectacles does that suggestion have any merit. As far as much of the global East and South were concerned, British imperialism was a far greater threat than anything posed by Hitler’s regional ambitions. From the perspective of the Arabs of Palestine and the Middle East, Jewish Zionism and its British imperial patrons were a worse adversary than Hitler’s Germany by a long shot. Germans were not the ones brutally occupying and suppressing the people of Palestine for the past two decades leading up to WWII, it was the English (and later the Zionist Jews).

Disgracefully, Canada still has major streets named after the British WWII leader Winston Churchill, a pugnacious warmongering drunkard who did everything in his power to guarantee the destruction of millions of German civilians. At one point during the war, the lunatic British statesman drew up plans to use the lethal anthrax chemical as a hellish bio-weapon against Germany, an act of unconscionable malice that would have rendered the whole of central Europe an uninhabitable toxic wasteland. Fortunately, Churchill’s military advisors talked some sense into the primitive dolt when he sobered up, so he never followed through with the maniacal strategy. However, he did succeed in annihilating hundreds of thousands of German civilians in what Chris Floyd of The Moscow Times described as “massive conventional bombing raid[s] on the enemy’s capital[s], also aimed at civilians, designed to ‘castrate’ the enemy population.”

In a ZoomerTV documentary entitled “Unlikely Obsession: Churchill and the Jews,” various commentators, all of whom are either Jewish or philosemitic, note Winston Churchill’s intimate relations with Britain’s Jewish-Zionist community throughout his political career, especially the moneyed elite among the Jews. One commentator unwittingly reveals the real causes underpinning Churchill’s bellicose stance towards Germany: he was on the payroll of wealthy Jews who bailed him out of his financial quandaries. The Zionist-produced documentary in essence recognizes that Churchill put the interests of Jews above those of Britain and its people, and that his unrelenting confrontation with Hitler and National Socialism was in large part spurred by the Jewish-Zionist financiers who kept the taps from going dry at Churchill’s residence.

“I am, of course, a Zionist,” said Churchill in 1956, “and have been ever since the Balfour Declaration.” (New York Times, Nov. 6, 1991.) The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was a British government decree, addressed to a House of Rothschild baron, which promised to help the Zionists establish a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. But what is routinely left out of this equation is that Balfour’s sordid pledge to fulfill the Zionist dream was, according to Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, secured by way of “persistent propaganda, through unceasing demonstration of the life force of our people.” Weizmann went on to say: “We [Zionists] told the responsible authorities: We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not. You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world.” (Judische Rundschau (Jewish Review), Jan. 16, 1920.)

In other words, the Zionists bribed and perhaps blackmailed the British elite into gifting them Palestine. They did this by promising to use their economic and political clout to drag the United States into the First World War, thereby helping turn the tide of the war in favour of Britain. And they succeeded in doing so. Weizmann later boastfully acknowledged this amazing fact of history in a revealing 1941 letter to Winston Churchill. “It was the Jews,” Weizmann stated unequivocally in the letter, “who, in the last war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it – and may do it – again.” Weizmann insisted that the Jews would once again gladly form the backbone of the British war effort against Germany and Italy, telling Churchill that, “There is only one big ethnic group which is willing to stand, to a man, for Great Britain, and a policy of ‘all-out-aid’ for her: the five million American Jews.” (A transcript of this letter is available at David Irving’s website)

In his informative essay “The Jewish Hand in the World Wars, Part 1,” writer Thomas Dalton quotes a shameless Churchill who proudly conceded this point, stating in July 1922: “Pledges and promises were made during the War… They were made because it was considered they would be of value to us in our struggle to win the War. It was considered that the support which the Jews could give us all over the world, and particularly in the United States, and also in Russia, would be a definite palpable advantage.” To solidify this notion, Dalton goes on to quote former British Prime Minister Lloyd George, himself a Christian Zionist, who similarly confessed: “The Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to… a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause.  They kept their word.” (Dalton’s essay can be found on the Inconvenient History website) One may wonder why mainstream historiography of this period is reluctant to mention Britain’s acquiescence to Zionist demands vis-à-vis Palestine and its role in escalating both world wars to cataclysmic proportions.

Zionists duly acknowledged and praised Churchill’s role as an underling and workhorse for Zionism thereafter. In 1954, American Zionists endowed Churchill with the “Theodore Herzl Award” for his “outstanding” pro-Zionist work ethic. Churchill was an “architect of the Jewish State and protagonist of Zionism,” declared representatives of the Zionist Organization of America who bestowed the disreputable “honour” upon the self-interested British politician. (The Canadian Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 25, 1954) In 2012, an Israeli group erected a statue of Churchill in Jerusalem. A spokesman of the group, Anthony Rosenfelder, described Churchill as “a passionate Zionist all his life and a philo-semite.” (The Independent, Nov. 3, 2012.)

Decades of intense Allied propaganda cannot dispute these facts which expose the hidden truth that Britain, Canada, the US, France and the rest of the Allied Powers fought and died by the millions for reasons alien to their jurisdictions. It was not in the national interests of any of these countries to sacrifice large amounts of blood and treasure to fight a wholly avoidable conflict that offered not even a semblance of economic, cultural or national benefit.

Neither WWI nor WWII were “good” or “just” wars by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary, they were both catastrophic blunders that set the whole of Europe and Asia as well as parts of the Middle East and North Africa ablaze. The Second World War in particular delivered the world into the hands of the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire, thereby sealing the eternal fate of humanity as drone-like economic cogs and geopolitical cannon fodder for American, British and Jewish interests.

With all things considered, “Remembrance Day” amounts to little more than a glorification of war and an exercise in jingoism and self-aggrandizement. It re-enforces the insulting myth of the “good” and “necessary” wars. It encourages the refusal to recognize the wrongs committed by “our side” in those bloody conflicts. This ‘day of reverence’ for our soldiers acts as a mind control mechanism to deceive the public into believing that our government has always acted benevolently and in the interests of the people, when in fact the opposite is true.

Copyright 2014 Brandon Martinez

November 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment