Dear editor,

Every year, the latest weapons delivery systems descend upon Ottawa for a degenerate carnival celebrating war technology.  These mass cultural events, though euphemistically called airshows, are actually war shows. These sanitized, blood sports exemplifying military culture are propagandistic theatres of war, battling for the public's hearts, minds and
pocket books. 

War shows proudly orchestrate, high-flying drama to breed youth on the art of war.  By romanticizing and glorifying the ultraviolent tools of military culture, they serve the military industrial complex.  They cultivate militarism and "manufacture consent" for war.  On the front line of the  military's propaganda machine, airshows blatantly encourage public revelry
in war technology. Instead of inspiring fun, the 50 "performing" warplanes should remind us of the past 50 years of wars, state terror and repression: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iran, Lebanon, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Iraq,
Turkey, etc.  Warplanes disturbing Ottawa's skies this weekend have struck fear in millions of hearts.  Indeed, they have crucified millions of innocents.  Why do such vehicles of mass destruction bring delighted smiles to our fellow citizens?

The nuclear-capable F-117, which bombed civilian targets in Panama, Iraq and Yugoslavia, brought joy to Ottawa children.  During the 60s and 70s, the B-52's cargo of bombs and landmines helped murder three million in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  The B-1 nuclear bomber was also a great crowd-pleaser at the airshow. The joy experienced by children at our local war show is made more ironic during this the UN Year for a "Culture of Peace" which starts the UN's "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for Children of the World."  Many peace, human rights, development, labor, youth and religious groups organized a Festival of Peace outside the war show. Unfortunately, the Ottawa Citizen ignore our festival and chose to promote bombers as children's entertainment.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Sanders
Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade