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April 14, 1999

Canada at War

Following the lead of the U.S., Canada is participating in a massive
military assault against a sovereign nation in central Europe. The Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia is a small country of approximately 12 million. Its
crime is that it is fighting to preserve its territorial integrity against
an armed secessionist movement. Every other nation would do the same.

When Abraham Lincoln went to war against the Confederate south "to preserve
the union," as he put it, he was regarded as a national hero and Washington
bore long and vindictive grudges against any countries - including Canada
and Britain - that did not leap to support it.

Has not Britain waged a decades long war against the Irish Republican Army?
Was it not a Canadian government in Ottawa that invoked the War Measures Act
and moved troops into Quebec when faced with "apprehended insurrection"?

We are told that Yugoslavia refused to sign a "peace agreement" with its
armed separatists. There is no peace agreement. There is an 81 page
document, drawn up by the U.S., which will in effect sever Kosovo, long
regarded as the cradle of Serbian nationhood, from Yugoslavia. Belgrade was
told to sign or be bombed.

The majority of the population of the separatist region are of a different
ethnic group than those in the rest of Yugoslavia, we are told. If this were
justification for secession, most nations in the world, including Canada and
the U.S., would disintegrate overnight.

A long political and media campaign to demonize the Serbs has culminated
with Bill Clinton's comparison of war-torn Yugoslavia to Hitler's Germany.
Equating a weak, already partially dismembered country under economic
sanctions for almost a decade, struggling to hang on to its heartland,
surrounded and menaced by the world's most powerful nations armed to the
teeth with the latest high tech weapons, to Nazi Germany only goes to
graphically illustrate that truth is the first casualty of war.

Lest anyone be confused, the attack on Yugoslavia is not a United Nations,
operation in any way, nor does it have U.N. sanction. Both Russia and China
have condemned it unequivocally. It is a unilateral and unprecedented act of
war by the world's most powerful military alliance in violation of
international law and of NATO's own charter, which provides for defence in
the case of attack against a member nation. No member nation of NATO has
been attacked or threatened by Yugoslavia.

Why is Canada, the famed peacemaker, involved in the illegal destruction of
a founding member of the U.N. and our ally in both world wars? Today,
Yugoslavia is virtually defenceless, yet with a long and proud history of
fighting for its independence- for almost five centuries the southern Slavs
led by Serbia fought against the Ottoman Empire, for years Yugoslavia fought
against Hitler's Nazis and, under Tito, against control by the Soviet Union.

As in Iraq, many of the bombs and missiles raining on the people of
Yugoslavia are coated with depleted uranium. The radioactive fallout will,
as is happening today in Iraq, ensure an agonizing death for tens of
thousands in the years ahead, long after the bombs stop falling.

After years of pious bleating by Canadian governments about war crimes (only
those by small nations, mind you), we are committing one of vastly larger
proportions as these words are being written.

Who has given NATO the authority to attack Yugoslavia? What exactly is the
Kosovo Liberation Army (regularly described as a terrorist organization less
than a year ago) on whose side we are now entering this conflict? How, and
with whose financial backing, did it emerge as a fully equipped army
complete with anti-tank weapons, uniforms and grenade launchers? What is its
connection to U.S. intelligence and, as recently reported in the London
Times, to organized crime and the heroin trade? If NATO has become an
instrument of terror against the virtually defenceless population of our
former ally--and it has--Canada should reconsider its membership in that

* * * * *
David Orchard is a Progressive Conservative Party activist in Canada. This article is on his campaign website.

See also Anti-War Links.

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