Canadian antiwar sentiment grows

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Hypocritic Oafs

Reposted from Paul S. Graham
August 15, 2008

Today, Stephen Harper gave Vladimir Putin some advice that he, himself, ought to follow. Said Harper:

“We do call on Russia to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia. I am deeply troubled by a notion I see developing in Russia, and that is a notion that Russia somehow has a say or some control over countries outside of its borders.”

Perhaps he was taking his cue from his mentor, George Bush, who today said: “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st Century.”

Perhaps these gents would agree with Adolf Hitler that “in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility.”

If you are an American who relies on US mainstream media reports for your world view, you might be forgiven for not knowing that Russia’s “invasion” of Georgia is a response to Georgian attacks on South Ossetia which began late last Thursday night. If you are a Canadian, the news stories are a liitle more balanced, but you still have to dig and read between the lines.

It’s complicated, but alternative and authoritative information and analysis can be found. A good place to start is Global Research, which has been doing a good job on following this issue as it unfolds.

There are signs Canadians are learning not to take what these hypocritic(al) oafs have to say at face value. Someone named Jaik, just today, responded to a blog post on Gary Doer’s support for the war in Afghanistan with this comment: “Wow. This is very disturbing and has prompted me to withdraw my monthly financial support of the provinical NDP.”

More broadly, a growing majority of Canadians are opposed to Canadian military action in Afghanistan. Below are some numbers from an Angus Reid poll done in July.

Angus Reid Poll: July 10, 2008

“As you may know, the House of Commons has authorized an extension of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2011, which is conditional on Canada coming up with unmanned aerial vehicles and transport helicopters, and NATO providing an additional 1,000 troops in the south. Do you agree or disagree with the decision to extend Canada’s mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2011?”

Jul. 2008 May 2008 Mar. 2008
Agree 36% 41% 37%
Disagree 58% 54% 58%
Not sure 6% 6% 5%

We shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty we face in reorienting Canada’s foreign policy from one of war making to peace building. The coming federal election will present some opportunities for debate, but given the pro-war position of the Liberal and Conservative parties, and the relative weakness of the anti-war NDP, we can’t count on the election to bring about quick changes.

That said, Canadians have shown themselves to be peace loving and that is a good foundation on which to build.

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