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Op-Ed by Catherine Whelan Costen

January 25,2007


Sometimes you have to fight for freedom. Sometimes you have to fight to defend and protect. Sometimes, in the very worst of times, you have to kill to survive. But you can’t fight for Peace. You can’t make a clean cut with a dirty knife. You don’t dirty to make something clean. You clean to make something clean. If you want peace you have to be peace. Our freedom gives us the ability to chose to live in peace. When we lose our freedom we lose our peace. When we give up peace in a free society then we have abdicated our responsibility as free people. When we chose war, violence, invasion and occupation of another’s land and support those who do; we are not seeking peace.

Canadians have been known the world over for our soldiers diplomacy, our tact and our discipline. We have the very best trained soldiers in the world. They represent the people of Canada and our dreams for peace in the world. Canadians can determine the direction of their military in a sovereign free nation. They cannot make such determinations in a country which is not sovereign. Our sovereignty is on the line. Peace is on the line. Freedom is on the line.

If the objective is Peace then we must begin to use peaceful methods to obtain the desired results. Our military slogan now promotes, ‘Fight with the Canadian Forces’. General Hillier’s infamous statement, ‘we are trained to kill and kill we will’ is not the language of peacemakers. If this is any indication of Canada’s new role in the world, then peace making is not on our agenda.

“It was as a result of a media briefing this summer about the upcoming CF deployments to more volatile regions of Afghanistan that Hillier learned not every Canadian is enamoured with his vision of the CF’s tough new role. During the briefing Hillier said that terrorists were “detestable murderers and scumbags” and later said that the job of the CF is “to be able to kill people.”

We know that in order to take another life we must believe our life is in jeopardy, or we must believe that other life is inhuman and therefore not precious.  We must believe that the situation is grave and that there is no other choice.

Choices. Decisions. Predicaments. Options. Concerns. Solutions.

In order to follow a path to making the right choice, we must have data. Without information we are making blind decisions. There are many questions to ask ourselves on this road to Peace.

Here are some questions which could create a very different situation in the world, if the answers were considered.

Why would you kill masses of human beings in order to bring masses of human beings peace? What would you use if you didn’t have a weapon? What if the sale of weapons was prohibited? What if the manufacturing of weapons was prohibited? What if there were no bullets? Weapons manufacturers would go out of business without a war somewhere in the world.

Do we really believe that people are people, no matter where they live, what their customs are, or what colour their skin is? Do we really believe that every child should have enough food to eat? Do we believe that children should have the care and love of their parents? Or do we believe that it is acceptable for some children to grow up alone, live on the streets, pick their food out of garbage cans and scrounge for survival? Do we believe that some people deserve to be rich and others deserve to be poor? Do we believe that victims living in war zones are used to that lifestyle and so can tolerate it better than the rest of the world? Is it acceptable to watch television commercials day after day, asking for a few pennies from us to feed, cloth, educate and give medical care to a child somewhere in the world? When will we not accept these things? When will we address the root cause of poverty, starvation, and homelessness everywhere? When will we stop saying it is out of our hands? When will we stop saying it is someone else’s job?

Do we have a moral responsibility to act when we know something is not right? To much is given, much is expected. We were given our freedom by those who fought and died. Our country told us we were under threat of Nazi rule during WWII and our people volunteered to do what they could to stop it. They did, but we did not gain the peace they sought. It is up to us to pursue that peace while we are free to do so.

It may not be illegal for people to starve to death, but it is certainly immoral.

It may not be illegal for nations to use biological agents to kill masses of people they have deemed the enemy, but it is certainly immoral.

It may not be illegal for the world’s resources to be controlled by a tenth of the population, but it is certainly immoral.

It may not be illegal for parents to work two or three jobs to provide a roof over the heads of their families, but it is certainly immoral.

It may not be illegal to trade people into slavery, but it is certainly immoral.

It may not be illegal for corporations to loan people money and charge them interest that will ensure they never get out of debt, but it is certainly immoral.

It may not be illegal to trade away a peoples’ nations without their consent, but it is certainly immoral.

Who owns the nations? Who did they buy it from? Was it for sale?

Who decided that some of us can own a piece of it at the expense of the rest?

Canadians say they want peace, but are Canadians free to stand up for peace. The only way that Canadians can demand peaceful means be used by our military, is if Canada is a sovereign, democratic nation, governed by the people for the people.

Security and prosperity are the words of our new trade deals. These are not simple trade deals that exchange wheat for silk, or tea for lumber. The security and prosperity being discussed is not for the people, it is for the ease of movement of the corporations. Less rules for them and more rules for us. These are not deals that say your people are free to exchange their goods with people in our country in exchange for our people trading their goods in your country. No, these are trades which allow corporations to rule the nations.

Peace is not profitable for corporations. War and oppression is very profitable. War creates destruction which requires construction. Both require money. Our military is meant to defend and protect Canadians, not invade and oppress on behalf of corporate interests. The North American Union ( NAU which will be implemented by the Security and Prosperity Agreement/Partnership ) is planned for 2010, but being fast tracked to 2007. That is now! Our military has been incorporated into the plan for the North American Century, or Fortress America.

Where does peace fit into a fortress making kind of thinking? Why do we need a fortress around Mexico, United States and Canada? A fortress is for war. A fortress by dictionary definition is ‘a military stronghold, esp. a strongly fortified town fit for a large garrison.• a heavily protected and impenetrable building.’

Building a fortress for corporate interests does not sound like peacemaking, nor will it serve the people. Actually we can be ready to serve the new masters of this kingdom. We shall be the serfs. We are already working faster and harder for less money than we did several decades ago. We are making a better profit for the corporate machine. We shall have perpetual war and offer our children to serve as soldiers in those wars. We shall offer our nations resources, oil, water, lumber and all other exportable matter to the mission. We shall provide the missile defense stations, the personnel to man them, the uranium for nuclear weapons and Canada shall be no more. These are the facts.

We must ask ourselves if the price paid for our freedom was sacrificed for naught? Did the youth of yesteryear march off to fight oppressors, dictators, and fascists so that we could freely hand over our nation to live under corporate rule? The failure of our present system to allow for true transparent accountability to the people of the nation, and our lack of involvement in the flawed system, has provided the climate for this current situation. Do we turn our backs on peace? Do we freely offer our children to the new order of enslavement? Do we hand them a debt which they can never repay?

There is only one law which all the people of the world respect, or fear, or acknowledge in one degree or another and that is God’s law, or the law of the Universe, Spirit or whatever they chose to call it, but it remains the one law they cannot deny. It is the one law which does not call for the prosperity of some at the expense of others. All other laws which we live by today have created a winner and a loser. A master and a servant. A good guy and a bad guy. Man’s laws are not created for peace. It is time we looked for peaceful means to gain peace on this planet. We have the tools. We can create ‘win/win’ situations if we have the will. We can build a better world if we have the desire.

If Canadians want to be the peace-makers we have been in the past, we will need our country. We need a sovereign nation in order to make independent decisions. We need to stand for Canada and reject the North American Union, aka Fortress America. Every one of us needs to join together in a very loud voice and say no to NAU. Say YES to Canada, true north, strong and free!

We can make peace around the world tomorrow if we want to. Do we want to? Peace must be more profitable to us than war. Instead of calling ‘life’ and the sacrifice of life ‘price-less’ we need to start calling it ‘expensive and pricey’.  Every life is worth more than any amount of money, gold, silver or diamonds, or oil. Let us not bring another child into the world and offer it to the god of war. The price of war is astronomical; the price of peace must be eternal!


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