What’s Next for Canada and Russia?

What’s Next for Canada and Russia?

For more than nine years, from 2006 to 2015, the Conservative Party held power in Canada under its leader Stephen Harper. For progressive Canadians, essentially the centre-left, who constitute more than 60% of the voting population, those nine years were a Dark Age. We watched the Canadian government cut back on social services through a policy of austerity ultimately intended to create a USA knockoff in Canada. The Harper government pursued a foreign policy based on unquestioning support of Apartheid Israel, unblinking compliance with US objectives abroad, enthusiastic backing of the fascist coup d’état in Kiev in 2014, and vengeful hostility toward the Russian Federation. 

The Harper so-called Conservative Party is the offspring of the merger in 2003 of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance, successor to the Reform Party, this latter organisation being essentially a party of the far right in western Canada. In the merged party of which Harper became leader in 2004, «progressives» all but disappeared and the Canadian hard right took over. Harper saw himself as a Canadian Ronald Reagan, who would save Canada from its profligate «socialism» and pussyfooting foreign policy, which pretended to be «balanced» and independent of US domination. Harper did not have enough time to achieve all his objectives, fortunately, but he did enough harm to leave the new Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau with an uphill climb to redirect Canadian foreign and domestic policy.

Trudeau named Stéphane Dion, a former professor of political science at the Université de Montréal, as minister of foreign affairs. Dion is a sensible and pragmatic politician, who has been an MP since 1996 (and was former Liberal leader). In one of his first statements as a minister, Dion said that Canada wishes to reengage with Iran and Russia, but the statement was couched with strong reservations, and in the case of Russia, with additional statements of support for the Ukraine made in particular by the newly elected Prime Minister. 

It is hard to imagine how any country which fought against Nazi Germany during World War II can now support the government in Kiev. It is called many names: nationalist, excitable, impetuous, anti-Russian, far-right, neo-Nazi, but really it is an emerging fascist dictatorship with atavistic trappings from Nazi Germany. In case anyone has forgotten, the Kiev junta came to power through a violent coup d’état, brokered and supported by the United States and the European Union (EU). 

Even Harper’s government got into the act during the Maidan riots in Kiev offering shelter in the Canadian embassy to fascist militants. The US and its EU vassals treat the Ukraine now as a European democratic state victimised by Russian «aggression». In fact, it is a democracy only in appearance. The junta made illegal or suppressed the Ukrainian Communist Party and the previous governing Party of Regions. Its fascist militias, and notably the paramilitary Right Sector, equivalent to the Nazi SA, intimidate, beat up, kill, or jail opposition politicians and journalists, or anyone who opposes them. In Odessa Kiev fascists, who exalt violence and anti-Russian hatred, beat to death or burned alive 42 oppositionists in the Trade Unions House. Fascist brown shirts carried out massacres in Mariupol, Donetsk, and other Ukrainian cities. They venerate Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator, and have made him into a national hero. They treat other collaborators who fought in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) alongside the Nazi Wehrmacht as Ukrainian patriots. They use the same Nazi symbols, even the swastika, and organise torchlight parades to celebrate their violent masculinity and to intimidate oppositionists.

The fascist militias have intimidated some people, but not everyone. In the Crimea, the largely Russian population rose up as one, with the help of Russian military forces stationed by treaty rights in Sevastopol, and obtained reunification with Russia. The west said this was Russian «aggression». When the Kiev junta ordered the army to put down dissidents in the Donbass, the Russian population took up arms and routed Ukrainian forces. The west said the anti-fascist resistance was Russian «aggression». 

In fact, the Ukrainian coup d’état carries the brand «Made in the USA»; it was financed, brokered, and directed by the United States and it EU vassals. The objective was to turn the Ukraine into the buckle of NATO encirclement of Russia. The operation was intended to be quick and dirty; it proved only to be dirty. The unrepentant United States and EU refuse to take any responsibility for what they have done, and blame everything on Russia, always a convenient scapegoat for troubled times in the Russophobic west. When Russia attempts to defend its borders or its interests, the United States accuses it of «aggression».

«Self-defence not allowed!», proclaims the US Hegemon: «What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too».

As for the Ukrainian putschists, «they’re not fascists», a colleague told me not so long ago: «they’re only nationalists». Of course, they are fascists, and don’t hide it either. «A few bad apples», the State Department claimed, but you know the State Department, their spokespeople will say anything. 

Foreign Minister Dion has a Ph.D. in political science, and I am sure he can tell a fascist from a «nationalist». He is no shill for evil causes. Not like Harper and his foreign minister, John Baird, a Tory clown if there ever was one, who did not care a pin if the Kiev junta was full of fascists, or not. Being anti-Russian was enough for Canada to send war materiel and military «advisors» to the Ukraine.

The Right Sector even does fundraising in Canada to buy armaments through two groups, «Army SOS» and the so-called Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC). This fundraising is done openly, and the Harper government even approved charitable status for Army SOS to facilitate its work. During the winter of 2015 these groups were active in Toronto and got support in the columns of the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. A Toronto optometrist, one Richard Hareychuk, boasted to a Globe and Mail columnist about how much money he and his associates were raising. Army SOS and the UCC claim to represent 1.2 million people of Ukrainian descent in Canada going back four or five generations. This claim is contested by the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, which opposes the glorification of Ukrainian fascism but appears not to be very active politically.

One wonders what Messieurs Trudeau and Dion are going to do about the favours and commitments of the Tory government to the Kiev junta. Is Canada going to continue to support what is essentially a violent fascist regime by claiming it is a victim of Russian «aggression»? The Canadian armed forces fought against the Axis in World War II, and shed blood to free Europe from fascism. Are we going to kick sand on the tombs of our dead and in the faces of our surviving vets by supporting fascism in the Ukraine? Is it really necessary to remind people that the Kiev junta celebrates past collaboration with Nazi Germany and has made an infamous Nazi collaborator into a national hero? 

Foreign Minister Dion promised changes in Canadian foreign policy, but the first signs are not encouraging. In November Canada voted against a UN General Assembly committee resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism. The United States and of course the Ukraine were the only other negative votes. EU states abstained, I suppose, to demonstrate a token independence from their US suzerain. The motion carried 115 for, the three votes against, and 55 abstentions. «Extremely regrettable», said the Russian foreign ministry, that the motion was not unanimous. Is Nazism now respectable again? It certainly is in the Ukraine and in the Baltic states, old breeding grounds of European fascism. Why did the new Canadian government vote against a UN motion condemning the glorification of Nazism?

The Harper government cut off all contact with Russia and the Russian embassy in Ottawa, and refused to continue work in a joint Russia-Canada inter-governemental commission. Is the new Trudeau government going to resume normal relations with Russia? Is it not high time since Russia leads the fight against the Jihadist terrorist organisation Daesh and other foreign supported affiliated groups waging war against Syria and Iraq?

The Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan recently said that Syrian President Bashar al Assad has to resign. Monsieur Dion, I am confused: is the Minister of National Defence Syrian? Whether Assad goes or stays is a matter for Syrians to decide. Sajjan exceeded his brief and intruded into your domain, though perhaps it was just a rookie mistake. What is the rationale behind the demand for President Assad’s resignation since he leads the Syrian resistance against the foreign backed Jihadist invasion? Fight Assad and strengthen Daesh, is that the plan? If Damascus falls, what will Canada do then? Can you defend Lebanon and Jordan which will surely be the Jihadists’ next targets? Ukrainian fascists by the way propose to send militia units to Syria to fight with the Jihadists against Russia. «Birds of a feather», they say, «flock together». Will the Canadian government continue to allow Army SOS and others to raise money to buy arms for Ukrainian fascist militias? Let’s not mince words, Monsieur Dion, these militias are fascist and not just a few «bad apples». They represent the vanguard of the Kiev junta.

Like the Ukraine, the situation in Syria is very dangerous. The United States, France, Britain, and Turkey, all NATO allies, have been caught red-handed supporting Daesh and/or their so-called moderate Al-Qaeda affiliates. 

It’s a scandal, but few people in the west appear to be indignant. Russia has committed to the fight against Daesh in alliance with Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Iraq (as much as it can). Even France is showing interest in working with Russia after the terrorist massacre in Paris.

Monsieur Dion, the enemy of my enemy is my ally. Shouldn’t you be talking to the Russians about such necessities which inspired, incidentally, the creation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis during World War II? «If Hitler invaded Hell», Winston Churchill commented after the Nazi invasion of the USSR, «I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil». Notwithstanding claims to the contrary in the western Mainstream Media, President Putin is not even a distant relative of the Devil. And don’t think he won’t have to close his eyes to the chaos wrought by, amongst others, the United States, France, and Britain in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Believe me, President Putin will have to close his eyes to a lot. If he can, you can, Monsieur Dion. It should not be so hard to cooperate with him and Russia against a common foe who threatens us all. 

Tags: UN  Canada  Middle East  Russia  Ukraine  US