What did Trudeau mean?


What did Justin Trudeau mean?          – Bev Currie

What did Justin Trudeau mean when he said, “Sunny ways my friends, sunny ways.” and “We are back.” Did he mean that we are now back to the good old days of Liberal governance, warts and all? Let’s hope not.

It is true that Canadians have benefited from Liberal- initiated programs such as the Old age Security Pension, the Canada Pension Plan, Medicare and the abolition of Capital Punishment. It is interesting to note though, that these initiatives were enacted by Liberal minority governments. Liberal majority governments have not been so enlightened.

In his book,” Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping – The Truth May Hurt,” Yves Engler reveals the dark side of this Prime Minister.

Engler says Lester Pearson made controversial political decisions that at times bordered on the “war criminal.” For example he says Pearson delivered weapons to the French to put down the Algerian and Vietnamese independence movements and he backed US coups in Iran, Guatemala and Indonesia.

Incredibly, the dark stain on Canadian foreign policy, left by the twentieth century Prime Minister Lester Pearson has been closely rivaled by the first two Liberal governments in the twenty first century.

Afghanistan: Jean Chretien’s war:

Without a United Nations resolution of authorisation, Canada’s role in Afghanistan began in October 2001 and ended in 2011.

It was Canada’s longest war. It was also a costly war: Deaths 159, wounded 2000, suicides 160 and all at a cost of $18.5 billion.

For Afghanistan: Over 91,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants have been killed in the conflict, and the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may include an additional 360,000 persons. Not including those who have died in Pakistan.

By any measure it was a disastrous war that will go down in infamy.

Iraq: Jean Chretien’s surreptitious war.

Just three day s before the United States embarked on an illegal, senseless war in Iraq, Prime Minister Jean Chretien stood in the House of Commons to announce, “If military action proceeds without a new resolution of the Security Council, Canada will not participate.”    It was an exercise in hypocrisy. We didn’t have long to wait for Chretien to brake this promise as confirmed by Paul Celluci, U.S. Ambassador to Canada. (Mar. 25 2003).

“Ironically, Canadian naval vessels, aircraft and personnel in the Persian Gulf…who are fighting terrorism will provide more support indirectly to this war in Iraq than most of the 46 countries that are fully supporting our efforts there.”

Haiti: Paul Martin’s forgotten war.

Writing for the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, Richard Sanders summed up Paul Martin’s criminal adventure in Haiti.

“Things went from bad to worse after Canada’s Liberal government helped plan and carry out the 2004 regime change that illegally ousted President Aristide’s democratically-elected government. Canada then helped empower and entrench an illegal coup-installed puppet regime that launched a reign of terror in which thousands of prodemocracy supporters were executed, jailed without charge, driven into hiding, or exiled.”

Why did Canada help the United States and France overthrow Haiti’s constitutional government?

The short answer can be found in, “Waging War on the Poor Majority.” A book co-authored by Anthony Fenton and Yves Engler.

“Former Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham explained: “Foreign Affairs view was there is a limit to how much we can constantly say no to the political masters in Washington. All we had was Afghanistan to wave. On every other file we were offside. Eventually we came on side on Haiti, so we got another arrow in our quiver.”

Paul Martin completed the Liberal Hat Trick. The Chretien government got us into Afghanistan to appease the United States for rejecting its invitation to join the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq. Then the government changed its mind and got seriously involved in Iraq anyway.

Incredibly, Bill Graham must have forgotten his government had reversed its decision to stay out of Iraq and used the same excuse to invade Haiti. Thousands of prodemocracy supporters were executed in Haiti in exchanges for an arrow Canada had already given to the U.S. Bill Graham’s quiver indeed? You can’t make this stuff up.

A sea change is clearly needed in Canada’s foreign policy if Justin Trudeau is serious about the “sunny ways” of negotiation, compromise and conflict resolution. If confronted with his party’s sordid foreign policy record, would he commit to a more enlightened future? So far there is not much reason for optimism. He is reluctant to make any final decision on the CF 18 bombing in northern Iraq and he has already committed to sell armored military vehicles to Saudi Arabia. More troubling is his party’s support for the U.S overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine and its support for the Nazi infested government that has replaced it.

Like the residential school scandals these wars are institutional crimes against humanity. If we are to apologise for one, we should apologise for the other.

What will Justin do if confronted with this inconvenient truth?

Will he apologize for his warmongering predecessors and pledge to make the Liberal Party of Canada a true party of peace?

He could take comfort from knowing that Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the British Labour Party has apologised for his party’s criminal invasion of Iraq.

Now the question is who (or perhaps what organization) will take the responsibility to bell the cat.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: