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Defunding the Myths and Cults of
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Defunding Cold War Canada
Table of Contents
Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War
propaganda in context
Prime Minister John Diefenbaker:
For more 30 years the profascist AntiBolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) lionized John Diefenbaker for sharing their hatred of the so-called "Soviet imperium." ABN praise for Diefenbaker was repeatedly expressed in ABN Correspondence, the world’s leading propaganda organ for the Ukrainian cult of Nazi collaborator, Stepan Bandera. At least two dozen of its articles over a 36-year period, hailed Diefenbaker as a heroic Cold Warrior.1 The ABN was especially grateful for his use of Canada’s platform at the UN for an fiery speech in 1960, during his time as Prime Minister (1957-63).
As Global Affairs Canada says when proudly recounting its own history: "At the United Nations, the initiative closest to ... Prime Minister [Diefenbaker’s] heart was ... denouncing Soviet imperialism."2
Upon his death in 1979, ABN Correspondence exalted Diefenbaker on its cover as "The Greatest Champion of Freedom and Independence" and called him
"the highest-ranking government official in the West to publicly support the independence of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and other subjugated nations in the USSR and satellite countries... He entered into the history of nations subjugated by Russian Imperialism and Communism as the most outstanding defender of their independence and supporter of their liberation struggle."3
The ABN magazine’s cover used a smiling photo of Diefenbaker which he signed for Slava Stetsko, its longtime editor (1957-96). She took on her husband’s role as ABN president (1986-96), presidium member of the World AntiCommunist League and president of the Banderite Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in 1991.4
In 1992 Slava gave the keynote address to the ABN’s global congress, held in Toronto. She boasted that the "ABN had been able to establish working relations with various world leaders." After citing US presidents Reagan and Nixon, and vice-pres. Bush Sr., she listed a who’s who of notorious US-backed despots and war criminals with whom the ABN had worked. The pathologically anticommunist tyrants cited by Stetsko included Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Van Tieu (South Vietnam), Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), Rhee Syngman (South Korea), Francisco Franco (Spain), Chiang Kai-shek (Taiwan), Narong Kittikachorn (Thailand) and Nobusuke Kishi (Japan). To these far-right ABN allies, Stetsko added a few NATO leaders, including Diefenbaker.5
Putting the Tory in inflammatory at the UN
A climax in Dief’s "working relations" with the ABN was his UN speech, September 26, 1960. In August, Diefenbaker met leaders of the ABN-linked Baltic Federation of Canada (BFC) who asked him to use the UN to denounce the USSR. The BFC is made up of the Estonian Central Council (ECC) in Canada, the Latvian National Federation in Canada and the Lithuanian Canadian Community. Its 1960 delegation included ECC vice pres. Aksel Luitsalu, a former police chief in Nazi Estonia and senior officer of Estonia’s SS.
Diefenbaker saw eye to eye with the antiSoviet BFC and was glad to decry the USSR, especially after its anti-Imperialist declaration at the UN on Sept. 23. When this Soviet resolution on "Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples"6 came before the UN in December,7 it was supported by the Non-Aligned Movement and 89 UN member states voted in favour. While no countries voted against the USSR’s milestone declaration, nine abstained. All colonial powers8 except one, the Dominican Republic, ruled by a US-backed military dictator, Rafael Trujillo, since 1930.
American historian Mary Heiss cites declassified US government telegrams to show that its officials conspired to
undercut Khrushchev’s declaration, [by] depicting the Soviet Union itself as a colonial power. "Inasmuch as there will be [a] clear majority in [the UN] for any statement condemning colonialism," Sec. of State Christian Herter advised the US delegation to the UN, "[the] best course we can follow is to seek [to] turn [the] declaration against [the] Soviets themselves by portraying them in true colonialist colors."
"It [was] important," said the US State Department, to "secure as much support as possible...for [the] proposition that [the] USSR remain[ed a] major colonial power." To do this, the US supplied UN delegations with propaganda materials, particularly on the Baltics and Central Asia.10
In his speech, Diefenbaker said Soviet opposition to colonialism had turned the UN into a "circus." With its "gigantic propaganda drama of destructive misrepresentation," he said, the USSR had "launched a major offensive in the cold war." Denying what he called Soviet "propaganda that the United States has aggressive designs," he called the US "restrained," "wise" and "conciliatory." The US, Dief claimed, offered "a constructive programme" to attain a "world community of peace," "international conciliation and world fellowship." In contrast, he alleged that "the Soviet Union now seems bent on destroying the United Nations."11
After giving the Canadian government’s view that the USSR was the world’s worst imperial power, Diefenbaker gloated that "600 million people" had "attained their freedom" since WWII thanks to the benevolent "approval," "encouragement" and "guidance" of France and Britain.12 To glorify these imperial allies, Dief had to ignore the mass murder they caused when suppressing struggles for independence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In the Indochina alone (1946-54), where 94,000 French Union forces died, France is thought to have killed 500,000 Viet-Minh independence fighters and 250,000 Vietnamese civilians.13
Overlooking all this, Diefenbaker asked "how many human beings have been liberated by the USSR?" and "What of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia? What of the freedom-loving Ukrainians and many other Eastern European peoples...?"14 Ignoring the Holocaust and the Nazi devastation of the USSR, Diefenbaker’s hyperbole discounted the Soviet defeat of Nazism across eastern Europe. Admittedly though, the ethnofascists of these lands, and their proNazi armies, which formed the ABN in 1943, had not wanted freedom from fascism. Having greeted German troops as their liberators in 1941, these "freedom-loving" East Europeans later fled their homelands en masse to avoid their "JudeoBolshevik" enemies. Finding safe haven in Nazi Germany, some 160,000 East Europeans were soon embraced by Canada, which had its own antisemitic/anticommunist elites.
Diefenbaker’s UN lecture extolled Canada. "[T]here are few that can speak with the authority of Canada on the subject of colonialism," he declared, "for Canada was once a colony of both France and the United Kingdom." In bragging about Canada’s "constitutional processes,"15 Dief’s proud narrative denied the deliberate eradication of First Nations’ cultures, as well as the genocide and land plunder upon which Canada is based.16 Little did he know that Canada’s Indian residential schools would continue to operate for another 36 years, until 1996.
Diefenbaker’s self-congratulatory speech raised the ire of Soviet nations. For example, Nikolai Podgorny, leader of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, said:
If Mr. Diefenbaker is really anxious to "take care" of the peoples and to "liberate" them from the political domination of other Powers, he need not go very far. His own country could become a good field for precisely such activities.
Canadian Duplicity and Hypocrisy
Since WWII, the Western world—led by America’s overtly-racist, apartheid government—had overthrown many progressive, popular leaders around the world. In their place, violent far-right dictatorships were being installed and armed, with Canada’s help.
For example in 1960, UN peacekeepers from Canada were aiding a vicious regime change in Africa. But Diefenbaker’s UN speech painted a rosy picture of the UN mission in the Congo (ONUC). A crisis had been sparked by the secession of Congo’s mineral-rich Katanga region. Just 12 days before Diefenbaker’s UN speech, a US-backed coup ousted Patrice Lumumba, the first elected leader of the formerly enslaved masses of this once-captive Belgian colony.
Larry Devlin, the CIA station chief in Congo, has written that Congo was then "on the front line of the struggle between the US and the USSR." The CIA was there to "defeat" the "threat of communism," said Devlin, who also admitted that one of his tasks was to have Lumumba assassinated.18
After CIA asset, army chief Joseph Mobutu, seized power, he ruled a US-backed kleptocracy until 1997. His regime was supported by the mass media’s use of Cold War hatred to frame Lumumba as a Soviet pawn who posed a Red threat to world peace.19
As former US State Department analyst William Blum later revealed, the ONUC was led by Americans in league with that department. When UN troops replaced the Belgians, said Blum, they "made no effort to end the secession." UN leader Dag Hammarskjöld "was quite hostile toward Lumumba" and "publicly endorsed" his dismissal. And, when Lumumba "tried to broadcast his case to the Congolese people, UN forces closed the radio station."20
Less than a week after the coup, Escott Reid, one of Diefenbaker’s top diplomats,21 said "the UN has demonstrated in the Congo that it can in Africa act as the executive agent of the free world."22 In fact, the top UN "peacekeeper" was instrumental in executing Lumumba’s assassination, which ushered in Mobutu’s dictatorship.
UN "Peacekeepers" kidnapped Congo Prime Minister Lumumba
The ONUC’s chief of staff was the Canadian army’s Lt. Col. Jean Berthiaume. In 1991 he told a DND historian that in 1960 he was tracking Lumumba. Berthiaume admitted telling Colonel Mobutu to capture Lumumba, instructed him how to do it and even supplying the troops. Once apprehended, Congo’s Prime Minister was viciously tortured to death. In Berthiaume’s own words:
I called Mobutu. I said, "Colonel, ... you were trying to retrieve your prisoner, Mr. Lumumba. I know where he is, and I know where he will be tomorrow." He said, "what do I do?" "It’s simple, Colonel, with the help of the UN you have just created the core of your para commandos—we have just trained 30 of these guys—highly selected Moroccans trained as paratroopers..." To be on the safe side, I put our captain, Mario Côté [a Canadian peacekeeper at ONUC HQ] in the plane. "In any case, it’s simple, you take a Dakota [military aircraft], send your paratroopers and arrest Lumumba... —there is a runway and all that is needed. That’s all you’ll need to do, Colonel." He [Mobutu] arrested him, like that, and I never regretted it.
Historian Kevin Spooner notes that Canada’s External Affairs Department knew that Berthiaume, being "sympathetic" to Mobutu’s aims, was giving him advice. These friendly relations with Mobutu were seen as useful. When hearing "reports questioning Berthiaume’s role in ONUC," the department said "we can only assume that he acted in accordance with his instructions" and "suggest that we let the matter rest."24
The USSR, other socialist countries and governments of the Non-Aligned Movement in Africa and Asia, called on the ONUC to free Lumumba. But UN leader Hammarskjöld refused, saying this would be an "internal intervention unauthorized by the existing UN resolutions."25
The Canadian government’s official narrative of the ONUC affair (on the Veterans Affairs’ website) does not mention Lumumba, Mobutu, the US or the 1960 coup. But it does memorialize Berthiaume. Under the subtitle "Heroes and Bravery," it notes that to recognize
his impressive efforts he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire—the first Canadian to receive that honour since the Second World War.
It is ironic that Berthiaume received this British Imperial Order of Chivalry. In haranguing the Soviets from his UN soapbox, Diefenbaker gave the UN’s Congo mission as an example of helping African nations free themselves from imperial designs:
"Canada’s views on the Congo and on the larger African problem may be summarized in this way. The African Continent must not become the focus of an East-West struggle; it must be free from the direct interference of the major Powers. The African nations must be permitted to work out their own destinies; when they need help, the best source is through the agencies of the United Nations.
US control of Congo uranium
The 1960 UN "peacekeeping" operation in Congo was used by the West’s "major powers" to control strategic resources. These riches were a valuable trophy for US corporate, military and political elites. For example, the world’s richest uranium deposit, was in Congo’s breakaway province of Katanga. Although the Nazis obtained some of this uranium in 1940 for their nuclear-weapons program, the US military secured access to the mine. This uranium, being 65% pure, was used in the US atomic bombs that hit Japan. (Canadian uranium was only 0.02% pure.)28
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are supposed by some to have secured the allied victory over Japan that ended WWII. In reality, these US war crimes were the opening salvos of the Cold War. America’s attacks told the USSR that the US would use its monopoly on nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies. This was only possible with continued US military control of the Congo. As historian Susan Williams notes:
America had achieved a global hegemony which was entirely reliant on its monopoly of Congolese uranium — and which had to be maintained at all costs against the Soviet threat.
ABN on Congo’s supposed Red threat
America’s hegemony was invisible to Diefenbaker and his ABN fans. Besides praising Diefenbaker, the ABN called Mobutu a "statesman" and "freedom fighter" against "Russian colonialism." Elated that he "cleaned up the nests of Communist subversive activity" in Congo, the ABN said Mobutu was "worthy of admiration" for his "courage to evict the agents of Soviet Russia" and "to arrest and imprison Communist agent Lumumba."30 The ABN demonized Lumumba and Castro as "Bolshevist henchmen."31
A member of the ABN’s central committee, Ctibor Pokorny,32 referred to Congo’s elected government as "the absurd fiction of the legitimate rule of Lumumba." Pokorny was pleased with Lumumba’s assassination, calling it "the liquidation of Moscow’s agent." To praise this terrorist act, Pokorny said that if Lumumba "had not been removed in this way" it would have "led to the gradual bolshevization of the Congo."33
The ABN also promoted the idea that Lumumba had made "a pact with the devil of Communism ... to drive out the Beelzebub of colonialism." This, they said, was because Lumumba failed to realize "that Communism and colonialism are identical."34
Using similar rhetoric, Diefenbaker’s UN speech slurred the Soviet premier as "the master of the major colonial Power in the world today."35 Leaders of Canada, the US and the ABN were united by a narrative that equated communism with colonialism.
ABN praise for Dief’s UN tirade
Five of the ABN magazine’s six issues in 1961 cheered Diefenbaker’s UN speech.36 Its stories included kudos for his UN harangue by a leading profascist West German agency, the Volksbund für Frieden und Freiheit (People’s League for Peace and Freedom): "Diefenbaker ... dealt Moscow a blow in its most vulnerable spot," it said, and "this weak spot in the imperialist system of Moscow must be attacked again and again."37 Initiated in 1950 by former leaders of Joseph Goebbels’ Nazi propaganda ministry, the League was funded by the West German government and the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps, a precursor of the CIA.38
The ABN also printed a report from the Executive Cttee. of its Canadian branch which said it "wholeheartedly support[ed]" Diefenbaker’s speech. When ABN-Canada’s Romanian rep, Matei Hojbota, mailed its report to Diefenbaker, the PM sent a copy of his UN speech. Diefenbaker told Hojbota he was "most appreciative of the commendation of the group you represent."39 Hojbota also represented Canada in the Inter-American Confederation for Continental Defense against Communism. It arose from the CIA-sponsored "Latin American Congress against Soviet Intervention," a Mexico-City confab that took place just three weeks before the CIA crushed Guatemala’s elected government in 1954.40
Canada’s UN speech was also raised at ABN global HQ in late 1961 during a visit to Munich by Arthur Maloney, an MP in Diefenbaker’s government. After Maloney’s "short report" to the ABN Central Cttee. in which he cited the PM’s "courageous" speech, ABN leaders expressed delight with Canada’s "uncompromising attitude" to "the Russian Communist imperium." ABN leaders then discussed with Maloney the "intensification of the anti-Communist fight."41
In 1967, the Banderite Ukrainian Quarterly (UQ), noted that Diefenbaker was the "principal speaker at the banquet" of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians. Saying he had been "honored" at their founding event with "the coveted Shevchenko Freedom Award" for "outstanding service,"42 UQ quoted a Windsor Star article. It had said: "At a press conference held for Diefenbaker ... fond references were made to a speech given by the then prime minister Sept. 26, 1960, at the United Nations." The Star had a photo of Dief receiving the award from Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s president Lev Dobriansky, aka "Mr. Captive Nations." The Star also heaped praise on Diefenbaker from Zenon Pelensky, who it called "a journalist from Munich."43 Pelensky was in fact a top Banderite leader who translated for ABN president Yaroslav Stetsko during his 1952 tour in Canada. Pelensky then represented Vassyl Koval at ABN meetings. Koval took command of Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army44 (UPA) after Roman Shukhevych’s death in 1950. Koval then led the UPA’s guerrilla war against the USSR until 1954.
In 1993, when glorifying its 50th anniversary as a Nazi-sponsored network of fascist armies fighting the Red Army across eastern Europe, the ABN reprinted a 1964 article by Stetsko. In it, he paid homage to Diefenbaker’s UN homily, calling it an "historical speech ... in keeping with the fundamental ideas and principles of the ABN."45
1. ABN Correspondence, Sep/Oct 1957, p.3; Nov/Dec 1960, p.4; Jan/Feb 1962, pp.3-5,19,35; Mar/Apr 1962, p.23; May/Jun 1962, p.37; Jul/Aug 1962, p.44, Jan/Feb 1964, p.36; Mar/Apr 1964, p.32; Oct/Dec 1964, p.19, 60; Jul/Aug 1966, p.48; Sep/Oct 1966, p.39; Jan/Feb 1967, p.33; Mar/Apr 1967, p.38; Sep/Oct 1967, p.39; May/Jun 1971, p.9; May/Jun 1972, p.16; Jul/Aug 1972, pp.2-5, 45; Sep/Oct 1973, p.6; Nov/Dec 1973, p.12; Mar/Apr 1974, p.25; May/Aug 1975, p.72; Sep/Oct 1979, p.49; Aug/Dec 1993, p.7. http://bit.ly/ABNCor
2. Global Affairs, History. http://bit.ly/DFAIT-history
3. ABN Correspondence, Sep/Oct 1979,
4. Slava Stetsko, FOIA Research http://bit.ly/FOIAstet
5. Slava Stetsko, "ABN: Half a Century of Struggle," ABN Correspondence, Jan/Jul 1993, p.5. http://bit.ly/ABN_Jan1993
6. Nikita Khrushchev, "Declaration on the Grant of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples," Sep.23, 1960. http://bit.ly/UNantiColonial
7. UN Resolution 1514 (XV), Dec. 14, 1960. http://undocs.org/A/RES/1514(XV)
8. Australia, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, UK and US.
9. Mary A.Heiss, "Exposing ‘Red Colonialism’: US propaganda at the UN, 1953-63," Journal of Cold War Studies, Sum. 2015, pp.94-95. http://bit.ly/Heiss-2015
10. Ibid, p.95.
11. John Diefenbaker, UN General Assembly, Sep. 26, 1960, pp.108-09 http://bit.ly/DiefUN
12. Ibid., p.109.
13. Bernard Fall, The Two Vietnams: A Political and Military Analysis, 1984. http://bit.ly/2Vietnams
14. Diefenbaker, op. cit., p.110.
15. Ibid., p.109.
16. Richard Sanders, "Fictive Canada: Indigenous Slaves and the Captivating Narratives of a Mythic Nation," Press for Conversion!, 2017. http://bit.ly/COATweb
17. Nikolai Podgorny, Ukrainian SSR, UN General Assembly, Oct. 4, 1960. http://bit.ly/PodgornyUN
18. Larry Devlin, Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone, 2008, pp.271, 95.
19. William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since WWII, 2003, pp.156-62. http://bit.ly/Blum-KH
21. Escott Reid was a prominent external affairs diplomat under prime ministers King, St. Laurent and Diefenbaker (1939-62). He was central to the creation of NATO and the UN. He was later a director of the World Bank’s South Asia/Middle East department.
22. Kevin A. Spooner, Canada, the Congo Crisis, and UN Peacekeeping, 1960-64, 2009. http://bit.ly/CdaCongoUN
23. Ibid., p.116.
24. Ibid., pp.109-10.
25. Ibid., p.116.
26. The Canadian Armed Forces in the Congo http://bit.ly/CdaVetsCongo
27. Diefenbaker, op. cit., p.109.
28. Susan Williams, Spies in the Congo: America’s Atomic Mission in World War II, 2016, pp.186, 2. http://bit.ly/SpiesCongo
29. Ibid., p.231.
30. J.C., "Mobutu - The Anti-Communist Fighter," ABN Correspondence, Mar/Apr 1961, p.27. http://bit.ly/ABN1961ma
31. D. Donzov, "Poison-Gas - the New Weapon of the USSR," ABN Correspondence, Mar/Apr 1961, p.23. http://bit.ly/ABN1961ma
32. Pokorny appeared regularly in ABN Correspondence. In 1952, as vice president, Slovak Liberation Committee, he praised two war criminals: Slovak President Jozef Tiso and his foreign minister, Ferdinand Durcansky.
"Slovakia Rectifies," ABN Correspondence, Jul 1952, pp.7-8. http://bit.ly/ABNjul1952
In early 1962, Pokorny, as chair of the ABN’s Organizing Committee, addressed Croatian ethnonationalists at a Munich rally. The crowd heard recordings of Ante Pavelic who led Croatia’s Ustaše, a fascist dictatorship tied to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy (1941-45).
"Croatian Celebration in Munich," ABN Correspondence, May/Jun 1962 http://bit.ly/ABNmay1962
33. Ctibor Pokorny, "No Compromises!," ABN Correspondence, May/Jun 1961, p.5. http://bit.ly/ABN1961ma
34. ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1961, p.3. http://bit.ly/ABN1961jan
35. Diefenbaker, op. cit., p.109.
36. ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1961, p.3; Mar/Apr 1961, p.22; May/Jun 1961, p.34; Jul/Aug 1961, p.24; Nov/Dec 1961, p.44. http://bit.ly/ABNCor
37. ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1961, p.3.
38. Volksbund für Frieden und Freiheit, Wiener Holocaust Library http://bit.ly/VFF-Holocaust
Torben Gülstorff, Warming Up a Cooling War: The CIAS and other Global Anti-communist Networks during the Era of Détente, 2015, p.7. http://bit.ly/CIAS-VFF
39. ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1961, p.23-25. http://bit.ly/ABN1961jan
The report was co-signed by Wasyl Bezchlibnyk, ABN-Canada’s secretary. He later led an ABN member organization, the World Ukrainian Liberation Front. (This global, Toronto-based, pro-Bandera network of 50 groups included the League of Ukrainian Canadians.). The other co-signer, Lithuanian-Canadian Jonas Kaskelis, was ABN-Canada’s longtime president. Both attended the World Anti-Communist League’s 1972 congress in Mexico.
40. Pierre Abramovici, "The World Anticommunist League: Origins, Structures and Actions," in Transnational Anti-Communism and the Cold War: Agents, Activities, and Networks, 2014, pp.118-21. http://bit.ly/WACL-PA
41. ABN Correspondence, Nov/Dec 1961, p.44. This issue’s cover was of Stepan Bandera ‘The national hero of Ukraine’ http://bit.ly/ABN1961nov
42. Editorial, "WCFU: A Symbol of Unity and Freedom," Ukrainian Quarterly, Winter 1967, pp.383-84. http://bit.ly/UQ-67
43. "Ukrainians like Diefenbaker," Windsor Star, Nov. 18, 1967, p.38. http://bit.ly/WS-67
44. Mckenzie Porter, "Hero of the Hunted
Men," Macleans, May 1, 1952. http://bit.ly/Mac52
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