This last issue of The Bulletin for 2007 finds Canadians still engaged in a colonial war in Afghanistan and support of the illegal occupation of Iraq. While the redirection of our resources towards destructive activities continues unabated, we also see within Canadian society a creeping militarism. For example, disguised as an effort to support our troops, the Canadian Broadcorping Castration (CBC) plays reruns of the their radio drama series, Afghanada. Touted as “a grunts’-eye-view of the conflict”, it fails to confront the fundamental issues facing the the main victims of this occupation, Afghan civilians. This Sunday, we see further that Mr. Rex Murphy will be hosting Rick Hillier. From the CBC web site we learn that “Some think he’s too powerful. Some say he hogs the spotlight. Not everyone likes CDS Rick Hillier. But Rex sure does!”. This typifies the sort of pro-war coverage by state media. The German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for example, found that the BBC gave only 2% of air time to dissenting views prior to the invasion of Iraq – less even than Fox and CNN. We see, too, how the culture of war has established itself in other public institutions. The Metro Toronto Police force now routinely call concentrated activities names resembling military operations.
Thus, it seems that we need to identify the social, political and economic mechanisms that continue to drive an agenda of confrontation and conflict, including those which aim specifically at the oppression and subjugation of peoples outside of our country through our economic policies. Further, reclaiming our public spaces where the lexicon of peace, conflict resolution and reconciliation will require that we identify the forces which promote and antithetical agenda. It was in this spirit that Science for Peace organised the recent conference entitled “Canada and the Culture of War”. We hope this year to follow up on these ideas and efforts by raising the awareness of all of us of the many ways that we can resist the continuing militarization of this country and the planet. We seek your active participation in these efforts.