SPEECH at Counter NATO (Virtual) Summit
June 14, 2021
by Ken Stone
Brothers and sisters,
NATO is a spectacular failure.
It’s a spectacular failure because it’s supposed to provide safety and security for Canadians, but it doesn’t. In 2020, Canadians spent 1.45% of GDP on the military, or about $30 b CAD. In the past year, nearly 26,000 Canadians died from Covid-19. That large figure is equal to more than half of Canadian military casualties during WW2. It’s true that the Canadian military was somewhat involved in the pandemic response in that it was ordered to set up a couple of field hospitals and to send medical staff into several nursing homes for seniors and that the military brass was involved in the bungled distribution of imported vaccines. But not one fighter jet, not one frigate, not one drone, nor light-armoured vehicle, tank, or rifle for which we Canadians spent billions of dollars saved a single Canadian life. They were useless! They did not make us safe.
What would have made Canadians safe during this pandemic? I’ll tell you: a cross-Canada pandemic planning committee; a store of PPE; a properly, publicly-funded and staffed system of seniors’ homes; a publicly-owned vaccine production facility; a track and trace bureau; a guarantee of 100% replacement of workers’ wages for quarantine, lockdowns, and sick leave; an adequately-staffed, public, healthcare system… These are all elements of what would have made us safe. And these items would only have cost a fraction of the military hardware on which Trudeau, Biden, and NATO want us to spend hundreds of billions more in the next few years to satisfy NATO’s requirement that we devote 2% of our GDP to the military. The above items would also create many more good jobs than military spending and have a much smaller carbon footprint than our so-called NATO “commitment.”
It’s a national disgrace that 26000 Canadians died because most of these deaths were preventable. Just look at China, with a population 40 times that of Canada, where the number of deaths is only 4600.
So, our NATO-mandated military was largely a failure and a waste of money when it came to providing safety and security for Canadians in their hour of need.
NATO is also a spectacular failure when it comes to its stated goals of protecting Canadians against Russia and China. Russia and China daily go out of their way to show that they don’t want to be our competitors, our rivals for global hegemony. Russia and China are not our enemies! They don’t encircle Canada with hundreds of military bases. They don’t conduct massive land or sea exercises on our borders. They don’t build Star Wars weapons systems to threaten us from space.
Our enemy is our own servile Canadian ruling class which, for two centuries has been a willing accomplice of empires, first the British and now the US, in trying to gain domination over the entire planet. In the past 30 years alone, since the demise of the Soviet Union, Canada has joined the US and NATO in every hybrid war of aggression of the US empire: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and many more wars where NATO’s role was hidden behind the curtain. Millions of people, mostly Muslims and people of colour, have been killed and millions more turned into refugees. The Canadian ruling class has its hands steeped in blood. And, when a twenty year old, who was born when Bush declared his War of Terror and has known, in his short life, only permanent war against mainly Muslim countries – when he goes out and runs down a Muslim family in London, Ontario – we wonder why there is a problem of racism and Islamophobia in this country!
(ed note: Here is the HCSW statement re the Islamophobic mass killing in London, ON:
Brothers and sisters, NATO is a colossal failure in making Canadians safe and secure. Today, NATO’s summit explicitly bought into Biden’s hostile agenda on China, an agenda heralding a new cold war and perhaps leading soon to an “humanitarian” military intervention against China.
I hope that when peace activists across this country get together to create a new pan-Canadian umbrella peace organization, getting Canada out of NATO will be the central plank of its platform.
Thank you for your kind attention.