In Response

A letter by Jean Smith read on the CBC radio program The House, in response to comments made by Jack Granatstein, who favours building up our armed forces, working more closely with the US, and beefing up our support for NATO:

I found the remarks of Jack Granatstein on your program, Saturday, Sept. 6 quite chilling. Why does he think it would improve the defence of Canada if we work the US?

The United States is the only country which has invaded Canada. It is the only country which has used nuclear weapons, it has violently unseated every democratic government in Central and South America which has stood in the way of exploitation by US companies e.g. Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador. et al. They used chemical weapons against civilians in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They run the School of the Americas to train soldiers in the arts of torture, mutilation, assassination and harassment. Graduates of the school were responsible for the murders of people such as Archbishop Romero in El Salvador who asked the army to stop terrorising and killing the people.

Meanwhile our armed forces, instead of defending Canada against over-fishing, illegal dumping of ballast or trespassing of the northern waters, has been helping Americans to kill Afghanis and patrolling the Gulf to maintain the US (technically UN) sanctions against Iraq which it continues to bomb regularly. Can we be proud of that?

The US has supported murderous dictators around the world as bad or worse than Saddam Hussein as long as they cooperated with American goals of resource control. The current situation has nothing to do with terrorism (except their own) but much to do with control of oil supplies by American companies.

Canada should have nothing to do with US plans if it wants to remain a free and democratic country. If we need an army at all it is to defend the country against American domination.

Jean Smith, Loretto, Ont.