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Defunding the Myths and Cults of
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Access articles detailing Canadian Government Funding
Click the links or covers of the magazines below to read all of their contents online
Indigenous Slaves and the Captivating Narratives of a Mythic Nation
#69, Fall 2017
Fictive Canada exposes a 500-year history of the kidnapping, captivity and slavery of Indigenous people in Canada. This issue explores four distinct phases in Canada's ongoing history of indigenous slavery. When the Kings of England and France issued licenses to conquer and enslave the inhabitants of the New Found Lands, the kidnapping of Indigenous people began. Then followed two centuries of chattel slavery when First Nations people were captured, bought and sold during the fur trade. Immediately after Britain abolished slavery the Residential School system was created. This institutionalised the forced labour of Indigenous children and youth. Now, Canada's prison system -- in which First Nations are disproportionately held captive -- features programs of virtually unpaid work.
Fictive Canada exposes many little-known details about the tortured history of Indigenous slavery. This challenges some of the most cherished, naive narratives of Canadian history and inverts official views about "Canadian values." This imagined country's national myths about peace, freedom, democracy and human rights have long been captivated citizens with enslaving ideological straight jackets about Canadian exceptionalism. But, the grandest myth of all is the myth of Canada itself. Canada is built on such a vast foundation of legal fictions, cultural constructs, religious fantasies, political fabrications and literary escapism, that we have every reason to question its very existence as a "real" country.
The purpose of this issue of Press for Conversion! is to awaken Canadians to the realization that that we are like literary characters who have been written against our will into a piece of "true crime" fiction. Whether we can escape the bounds of this fiction may depend on our ability to become detectives in a novel country who investigate the history of Indigenous genocide and slavery. Breaking free from the myth of Canada means exposing the powerful Canadian institutions that continue to cover up their historic crimes by writing enslaving propagandistic myths that continue to hold us like prisoners enchanted by a mass social psychosis akin to the "Stockholm Syndrome."
Or, how we learned to stop worrying, keep calm
# 68, March 2016
This issue also examines how progressive activists can be induced into not only turn a blind eye to state crimes, but to even take active roles in justifying, committing, and covering up these crimes. There is in fact no way that huge, systemic, institutionalised injustices can be achieved otherwise. For such state crimes to succeed, well-intentioned individuals, NGOs and movements must be co-opted. This is achieved thanks to myths and narratives that are constantly evolving to disguise wars and repression as if they were humanitarian initiatives. (This is the case with a growing UN doctrine, the cleverly branded "The Responsibility to Protect," which cloaks US/NATO military interventions as if they were designed to defend the victims of repression.)
these companies' links to Israeli Apartheid:
"COAT’s research on CPP investments in Israeli
apartheid is a window into the accelerating militarization of a hugely
destructive, global system intricately connected with, and complicit in,
Israel's wars and its occupation of Palestine.
"The thorough findings carefully document the corporate profits and impunity, the transnational connections, the weapons and security systems, the militarized prisons and police forces, the destruction of peoples’ lives and environments. It’s a picture of a thoroughly pathological and globalized sub-society that must be stopped."
Judith Deutsch, MSW, University of California at Berkeley, is a practicing psychoanalyst and a faculty member of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute, University of Toronto. She is the vice president of Science for Peace, and was its president between 2008 and 2012. Judy is an active member of Independent Jewish Voices Toronto, and is also involved with climate justice research and action.
Canada's Quiet Complicity
in the Iraq War"
Did you know that about 2,000 Canadian sailors--aboard eight, multi-billion dollar Canadian warships--participated in the Iraq War?
Or that Canadian pilots flew warplanes in Iraq-war missions, including U.S. C-17s, a British MR2 and Canadian C-130s and CP-140s?
Or that several Canadian Army generals received U.S. and Canadian medals for their top leadership roles in the Iraq War?
These are just a few of the many facts detailed in this new 54-page report from COAT.
When the Liberal government proclaimed that Canada refused to join the U.S. war against Iraq, many Canadians were understandably proud. Unfortunately, it was all a smoke-and-mirrors game. In reality, Canada did join the war in 2003 and has contributed in many significant ways ever since.
"At last the surprising truth of the Canada's military complicity
in the Iraq War.
A cry for peace. Brilliantly orchestrated."
in the Vietnam War
Canada's Covert War in Iraq George Orwell meets Canada's General Natynczyk in Iraq
(CCPA Monitor, Sept. 2008)
In the Wake of Wikileaks: A Media Critique of Revelations about Canadian Duplicity in Iraq
(CCPA Monitor, July 2011)
War is Business"
This 50-page issue on Canadian government and corporate complicity in the lucrative business of war, includes articles, tables and charts on:
* CANSEC, Canada's top arms bazaar (returning to Ottawa, June 2-3, 2010)
* Recent Canadian military exports fueled 62 countries at war
* Canadian war industries aid and abet Israel's bombing of Gaza
* Canada Pension Plan investments in top global war industries
* Canadian parts/services for major weapons used in Iraq.
* War-related exports of Ottawa Mayor's Calian Technologies
* Canada's top-40 war exporters and what they manufacture
"Canada is also heavily into the weapons trade, an
industry we hardly ever see covered in the business pages. According to
the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, between 2003 and 2006, Canadian military
exports totaled at least $7.4 billion, mostly to the U.S, where it went into
the weapons used everywhere from Iraq to Gaza.... But there’s no business like
the war business, as the U.S. has demonstrated time after bloody time."
"My Canada includes war, environmental degradation and lost causes,"
March 31, 2010.
"One of the best sources for
information and background on Haiti is the Coalition to Oppose the
Arms Trade. I urge you to visit the site.
We all, me included, need to know the terrible details of our destruction
of democracy in Haiti and our continued complicity in the repression of
[W]e need to be holding the Harper government to
account for the current militarization of the disaster response."
Murray Dobbin, "Mea culpa on Haiti," January 25, 2010.
Canada's role in the
Tim Schwartz, PhD
(Anthropologist and author of Travesty In Haiti, A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, food aid, fraud and drug trafficking.)
"I have spent the better part of two decades living in Haiti, trying to sort through fact and fiction to explain what has happened here. The lead article in this issue ("Demonizing Democracy: Christianity vs. Vodoun and the Politics of Religion in Haiti) , is a well-balanced resource about how bigotry against voudou was used to create accusations against Aristide and his associates. What makes this research most special is that to my knowledge no one else has documented the extreme slander of these accusations and the political orientations of those who orchestrated and publicized such lies. It's incredible that people get away with fabrications that destroy lives and help undermine an entire nation, but are never held accountable. It's a great service that a person does when he or she honestly documents, and commits to the historic record, the very real crime of character assassination."
"Putting the Aid in Aiding and Abetting:
CIDA's Agents of Regime Change in Haiti's 2004 Coup"
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) contracted a variety of "NGOs" in Canada to aid and abet its policy of regime change in Haiti. Although these largely Quebec-based groups are part of movements dedicated to peace, development, human rights and "Third World" development, they played essential roles in the successful effort to destabilize President Aristide's elected government. Some of these Canadian "NGOs" funneled CIDA grants to their "partner" groups in Haiti to conduct virulently partisan, anti-Aristide campaigns. Other CIDA-funded groups in Canada contributed to the cause by lending legitimacy to the dictatorship that was illegally installed in 2004. As cheerleaders for Canada's role in the 2004 coup, these agents of regime change also helped with propaganda efforts to cover up the worst of the human rights abuses of the illegal, Canadian-backed regime. The following CIDA-funded "NGOs" and their shameful roles are discussed:
Alternatives, Canadian Foundation for the Americas, Centre for International Studies and Cooperation, Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, Development and Peace, Freedom Network, International Legal Resources Centre, Québec Association of International Cooperation Organizations, Rights and Democracy, and Roundtable on Haiti.
"CIDA's Key Role in Haiti's 2004 Coup d’état:
Funding Regime Change, Dictatorship and
Human Rights Atrocities, one Haitian 'NGO' at a Time"
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) helped overthrow the democratically-elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004. In the years prior to this US-led regime change, although Aristide and his Lavalas government were extremely popular among the country's poor citizens, CIDA drastically cut bilateral aid. CIDA then poured millions into extremely partisan Haitian groups that represented the interests of Haiti's corporate elite. These groups helped destabilize Haiti's legitimate government and called for its overthrow. After the Canada-backed coup, CIDA and its proxy groups backed the brutal dictatorship that oversaw the illegal imprisonment and mass murder of thousands whose crime was supporting the constitutional government they had duly elected. CIDA also funded the regime's "Justice" ministry—responsible for the police, prisons and courts—which led to the persecution of pro-democracy advocates. CIDA's phony "human groups" not only covered up the coup-installed regime's brutal atrocities, they fabricated evidence to frame Lavalas leaders—including the President, Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, MPs and key activists. This made it impossible for Aristide's party to compete in the rigged, CIDA-funded elections of 2007.
(Update: Since this issue was published, Lavalas was banned from participating in several elections!)
#60 (March 2007)
A phony democracy – dominated by
warlords, drug barons, oil industry representatives and World Bank
administrators – has now been successfully imposed upon Afghanistan by the
world's major military and economic powers, including Canada. The current issue
of Press for Conversion! outlines the key steps in the supposedly
“democratic process" that brought this government to power. The process began
very soon after 9/11, which offered a convenient pretext needed for U.S. air
strikes that began on October 6, 2001. Some 3,000-3,400 innocent civilians were
killed during the first six months of that U.S. bombardment alone. Thanks
to the subsequent military, financial and diplomatic efforts of American,
Canadian and other NATO-member states, many of Afghanistan’s most violent and
dreaded terrorists are now back in power, running the country's government.
There has been an appalling litany of scandals surrounding this supposedly
"democratic process" that aided and abetted the return to power of our closest
allies in Afghanistan, the notoriously-brutal, fundamentalist "Northern
#58 (March 2006)
Sanders' work on Radarsat has been of great value in understanding this
'commercial' satellite system and other satellite systems' importance for
warfare around the globe, like in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a
national-level agreement between Canada and Norway on the use of Radarsat.
There are lots of parallels between Norway and Canada in this field
because both are polar nations with strong relations to the US. I have
tried to widen this perspective, so hopefully my book is of interest to
everyone who wants to understand how war is changing because of this new
Bard has been a journalist for 25 years and now works for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. He is the author of an excellent book called The Satellite War, which can be ordered as a paperback.
#57 (October 2005)
"Canadas Role in so called 'Missile Defense'
Part II: Sea-based, Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense"
This issue contains more, original COAT research on Canadian contributions to the creation, development and deployment of "missile defense" weaponry, with a particular focus on sea-based systems within the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) program. TMD is at the cutting edge of what is popularly known as missile defense. Although the purpose of "missile defense" has been sold to the public as a system to protect them from rogue states and terrorists, its real purpose is altogether different. The reality is that before long, the advanced weapons systemsthat are now being developed under the protective guise of "missile defense"will be used for offensive purposes. Their role will be to protect troops, warships and their offensive weapons systems during wars of aggression. As usual, Canadian government, corporate, military and scientific communities have been, and still are, very deeply involved in this U.S.-led effort to build the most advanced tools of war ever seen. The contributions to missile defense made by these Canadian companies is examined: DRS Technologies Canada, ITS Electronics, Lockheed Martin Canada, Meggitt Defense Systems and Telemus.
#56 (June 2005)
"Canadas Role in so called 'Missile Defense'
Part I: NORAD, Government Largesse and the
ABCs of Corporate Complicity"
Canada's supposed no to "missile defense" was a completely meaningless, PR gesture with no real or practical significance. The fact is that Canada's government did not do anything at all to stop the many already existing forms of Canadian complicity in missile defense. Neither did if prevent further participation in this U.S.-led weapons development program. The Liberal's "no" was cleverly designed to deceive the public, cover up existing involvement in these advanced weapons programs and to buy support for their failing minority government. The lie that Canada was not involved, was swallowed hook, line and sinker by the mainstream corporate media. Many peace activists, including some of the most high-profile opponents of "missile defense" in Canada erred when they accepted the government's ploy and claimed victory. By spreading such statements as "We win on missile defense!" and by naively congratulating the government for "not joining," many peace activists fell into the government's trap. This error has gravely undermined real efforts to stop Canada's ongoing role in the most comprehensive weapons development program in world history. This issue looks at the collaboration in "missile defense" by various government departments, agencies and crown corporations as well as Canadian companies such as: ATCO Frontec, AUG Signals, Bristol Aerospace, CAE, CMC Electronics Cincinnati, Cognos and COM DEV International.
#55 (December 2004)
Trojan Horse for the Weaponization of Space"
"Missile defense" is a deceptive term -- it is a linguistic shield to protect the military-industrial complex (and political allies) from public attack. The term disguises their plan to put weapons into space. While politicians pretend that missile defense has nothing to do with space weapons, the corporate media perpetuates the myth that this military program is purely defensive. This incredibly expensive weapons system will supposedly protects the public from terrorists and rogue states. However, it continually fails even during rigged tests. Missile defense will never actually work because to protect the homleand because there are so many cheap and easy ways to foil it. So, if it is not a "defensive shield," what is it? This Press for Conversion! examines the nefarious, military origins of Americas space program and reveals that missile defense actually does work incredibly well at fulfilling these major goals:
(1) Subsidizing corporate welfare bums: Multibillion-dollar arms industries are making a killing; Taxpayers are footing the bill.
(2) Global military/economic control: With American space weapons able to attack targets anywhere on earth, the U.S. will control the ultimate, military "high ground." Using many quotes from military documents, this issue shows that the U.S. plans to wage wars from space to expand American control global resources and other commercial interests.
#54 (August 2004)
#53 (March 2004)
"Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism"
Few realize that during the early 1930s, there was a homegrown fascist plot to overthrow the U.S. government and install a dictatorship. This plan was however thwarted by Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, who was then the most popular military leader. Butler pretended to go along with the conspirators in order to learn who was behind it. He then blew the whistle by testifying to a government committee on "unamerican activities." Butler named the corporate leaders who he had discovered were planning to oust President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The committee however did not pursue the main culprits behind the fascist plot and did not include many of their names in their report. This incensed Butler who then held press conferences and went on the radio to name the top corporate leaders behind the plot. This issue contains original research examining who these American fascists were. They were associated with a powerful organization called the American Liberty League. Many of the companies that the plotters owned and controlled are now among the world's wealthiest corporations. As it turned out, they did not need to go ahead with this plot in order to regain control of the White House. Find out who the plotters were, who financed them and how they schemed to overthrow the White House and empower a fascist government in America.
View this whole issue as a pdf here.
#52 (October 2003):
View an archived copy of COAT's ONLINE PETITION:
"The motion introduced
[in Parliament] by Mr. [Pat] Martin last week calls for the Canada Pension
Plan Investment Review Board to be 'prohibited from investing in companies
and enterprises that manufacture and trade in military arms and weapons, have records of poor environmental and labour practices or whose conduct and practices are contrary to Canadian values.'....
Mr. Martin said his motion was inspired by a recent study by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, which linked CPP investments to top U.S. military contractors."
"Invest pension fund ethically: NDP motion,"
Ottawa Citizen, February 8, 2004.
#51 (May 2003):
The U.S. Role in Wars and Regime Changes
in the Middle East and North Africa since World War II
Why is the U.S. government reviled by so many people in the Middle East and North Africa? Is it, as President George W. Bush has claimed, simply because these people are jealous of American democracy and human rights? This issue of the magazine looks at the past 50 years of wars and regime changes in the region and unveils a consistent pattern of U.S. involvement. A more plausibly explanation for why U.S. foreign policies are vehemently opposed by many people in this region, is that the U.S. government has frequently backed repressive wars, invasions, coups, covert operations and dirty tricks in the Middle East and North Africa. This issue looks at two dozen specific examples of the meddlesome role played by U.S. military forces and intelligence agencies in the major wars and unpopular regime changes that have harmed the people of this region over the past five decades. These U.S. interventions have served to undermine democracy and basic human rights in the region since WWII. Case studies include U.S. involvement in the following countries:
Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
Going to War:
The American use of War Pretext Incidents
This issue contains original research revealing that U.S. war planners have repeatedly used elaborate webs of deceit to con the public into rallying behind major wars whose real purposes involved building vast profits for small corporate elites. There has long been a specific pattern of trickery and propaganda that has been used to generate the much-needed domestic support for aggressive U.S. wars. This issue looks at seventeen case studies that occurred between 1846 and 2003. In each case, there were dramatic pretext incidents that aroused widespread sympathy and thus garnered much-needed public support for wars that would have otherwise have been unpopular. These incidents were either deliberately provoked, allowed to occur, completely fabricated or exploited after the fact. The real, largely economic, functions of these wars would not be accepted. Case studies include:
1846: The Mexican-American War; 1898: The Spanish-American War; 1915: World War I; 1941: World War II; 1950: The Korean War; 1954: The Covert War Against Guatemala; 1962: Plans to Create Pretexts for War with Cuba; 1964: The Vietnam War; 1979: The Covert War in Afghanistan; 1983: The Invasion of Grenada; 1986: The Bombing the Libya; 1989: The Invasion of Panama; 1991: The Gulf War; 1999: NATO's War Against Yugoslavia; 2001: The Afghan War and the "War Against Terror;" 2003: The New Iraq War.
Proposed COAT Video Project on War Pretext Incidents
(Project is on hold due to lack of resources.)
"One of the main barriers to opening people's
eyes all over the world about the reality of US foreign policy is the
deeply ingrained belief that America Means Well. So, no matter how
horrible a particular intervention turns out (see, currently, Iraq), the
public remains convinced that the intentions are noble (bringing democracy
and freedom). When you show that a war or other intervention is based on a
contrived pretext, it becomes much more difficult for the public to accept
the idea of noble intentions. It makes people more skeptical and cynical,
which they should be. This is what [COAT coordinator] Richard
Sanders...hopes to achieve."
a former US State Department employee, is the author of
US Interventions in the
Third World since World War II.
Real Reasons for Invasion of Iraq
Obviously the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with either finding "weapons of mass destruction" or fighting terrorism. These were just the phoney pretexts that U.S. and British warplanners used to generate public support for the war. Neither can it be claimed that the U.S. wanted to promote democracy by ridding the Middle East of Saddam Hussein. If this was truly the case, why did the CIA back the Ba'athist coup in 1963 and then arm and finance Saddam's brutal regime throughout the following decades? This issue of COAT's magazine examines the "real reasons" for the U.S./UK-led invasion of Iraq, that began in 2003. These reasons include the following:
(1) controlling U.S. and allied access to Iraqi oil,
(2) feeding the military-industrial complex,
(3) distracting attention away from domestic economic woes and
(4) establishing military bases in Iraq in order to pursue the more ambitious imperial quest to control valuable strategic resources in the Middle East, Central Asia and elsewhere around the world.
#47 (March 2002):
#46 (December 2001):
#44 (April 2001):
"Very clearly the concern is about the sale of military
supplies to countries that are engaged in human rights abuses. Press for Conversion has published a number of very powerful
indictments of Canadian policy in this area, such as selling weapons to
countries like Saudi Arabia which we know has a terrible human rights
record or Turkey which is engaged in a brutal repression of the Kurdish
minority. Surely there should be far greater scrutiny of these operations.
To the extent that this corporation [the Canadian Commercial Corp.] is facilitating and supporting these
kinds of sales we would want to ask some pretty tough questions."
#43 (January 2001):
#41 (July 2000):