William Ray , Canadian combat Veteran.
What where the reasons for Canada promoting the creation of, and joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They are usually given as the threat of Russian expansion into the ruined and defenseless countries of Western Europe still rebuilding from World War II. The historical record of Canada’s Cabinet Defence Committee meetings of 1947-48 puts lie to this notion when closely read. In 3 months of Cabinet meetings leading to the decision to join NATO the economic benefits of membership are mentioned some 200 times, the fear of Soviet attack 3 times. The driving force in the discussions is the fear that without membership in NATO Canada would be cut out of the huge reconstruction and rearmament market in Europe. The secondary fear was that Canada being vacant from the scene would lead to an increasingly overarching United States.This was actually considered a bad thing by our fore-bearers not a fact of life as we now see it.
There actually was no real fear immediately after the war, and indeed even after the Russians exploded their first Nuclear device. Not in the private corridors of power. The reason is simple, by the end of WWII the Russians had a real GNP of some 400 billion dollars. Compared to the US alone at 14.5 Trillion, combined with the rest of NATO some 20 trillion,and war is at base a function of economics in this industrial age. Some 25 million of their citizens were dead, 14.2 percent of their population. The Red Army was exhausted from doing most of the work of breaking the back of the German army in Russia and driving it to Berlin. The actual interior, now unclassified, papers of the Pentagon,White Hall, and Canada’s Defense Department clearly lay out the sober assessment that the Soviets where in no position to take on the west until the mid 50”s. Unclassified Russian documents have now verified the belief, common among professional military men in the 50’s, that they never had a desire too try.
It is vitally important to understand that NATO is an essentially an American controlled institution. This is in no way more clearly illustrated than by the fact that the highest military authority in NATO is always an American commander. At the end of the day he takes orders only from the American president.There are volumes written on NATO being mainly a vehicle for American influence in Europe.
Now this was not terribly threatening for the 50 years we spent playing at war in the training grounds of West Germany’s Black Forest, waiting for the Red hordes to pour through the Fulda gap and invade western Europe. I myself served with Canada’s brigade in Lahr in the 80’s , mostly drinking excellent German beer and charming the local girls. But I was at least fulfilling the intended purpose of NATO, standing as a deterrent to another war in Europe under a treaty clearly defensive in nature.
But in 1999 that all changed. For the first time in its history ,and far outside the terms of the actual treaty , NATO went to war.
This was done in Serbia. Under the comforting rubric of “Humanitarian Intervention”. I served as a Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia so am well aware of the brutality, and the depth and complexity of ethnic hatred that exists there. But that wasn’t the reason NATO went to war in that long suffering place. Relevance is what truly drove NATO to war. At 50 years questions were coming from all quarters as to why NATO still existed at all. What place did a large military alliance ,that was ostensibly created to fight a threat that had evaporated 10 years before with the fall of the Soviet Union, have in a world trending toward action through the UN charter. The world seemed ready for some mechanism to enforce the Rule of Law in the conduct of nation states. NATO realizing this reality went in to overdrive. They were aided by a Clinton administration looking for a place in history beyond Monica Lewinsky and stained dresses. They embarked a very professional PR campaign to establish that something must be done to stop Serbian aggression in Kosovo and NATO was the only group that could do it.This campaign is now well understood as being about finding NATO a new future,in the words of one researcher ,” NATO achieved this through discursive positioning itself as a humanitarian military powerhouse,and so,at the same time, legitimizing its own continuation as a viable supranational organization,”
NATO used the seeming impotence of the UN in dealing with the 8 year Yugoslav war to stage a comeback in Kososvo. And there is some very well proved out debate as to how staged it was. The NATO bombing of Serbia was kicked off by the “Račak Massacre” Madeline Albright, the then US Secretary of State, called it the ” seminal event” leading to US and NATO action. The massacre was presented to the international press by William Walker, head of the observer team sent by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We will return to Mr Walker later.
Almost ten years many things have emerged. Most of the brutality trumpeted by NATO and its PR machine where actually Serbian responses to Kosovo Liberation Army attacks on Serb civilians. The Kosovo Liberation Army was fostered and supported in its actions by the American Government. The Račak incident was presented as a Serbian Massacre of a Albanian village. Women children and old men mercilessly executed. But independent forensic reports, and a number of reputable European journalists questioned this. Close to all the corpses were military aged men, some dressed in woman’s clothing post mortum in short evidence of a staged event.I got even more indication of something terrifying at work here from one of Canada’s most respected soldiers.
I first interviewed Major General Lewis Mackenzie(ret) in 2008 for CKUW radio in Winnipeg . Major General Mackenzie was the first UN commander in Sarajevo, he knew all the players well and had even met in 1999 with Slobodan Milošević to help ease tensions in the year long run up to the eventual NATO bombing, Bear in mind as you read what comes next that General Lewis Mackenzie ran for the conservative party in Canada, this man is in no way radical or conspiratorial. During the interview he stated, and confirmed again by phone today, that he believes the Račak massacre was a “False Flag”operation. In his words to “give NATO a reason to be”. The thing that absolutely convinced Major General Mackenzie that a False Flag was being perpetrated was the fact that he had met William Walker, 20 years before. Only then he was a CIA officer attached to the Salvadoran embassy.
General Mackenzie was then a Captain, assigned to the Honduran border decommissioning teams sent by the UN to demobilize the Contra’s after their decade long killing spree against the peaceful government of Nicaragua . At that time Mr. William Walker according to Mackenzie, was a CIA officer working out of the US embassy under the cover of a State department official. Cables uncovered during Iran -Contra hearings in the US link him to infamous figures like Felix Rodriquez and Oliver North.
His speciality may have been running insurgent groups like the Contras, or say the Kosovo Liberation Army. Mr Walker also worked very closely in Kosovo with Hal Holbrooke, a man who started his career with the CIA in Vietnam on the Phoenix program . Was ,as many suspect, Mr Walkers real mission to provide aid and direction to
the KLA? No matter with the excuse of Račak in hand not even a week later William Jefferson Clinton, 40th president of the United States, picked up a phone called four star US general Wesley Clark Supreme Commander NATO and without any word from their actual government required, Canadian combat units went to war and bombed Serbia for 72 days,some 10 484 strike missions some 6,303 tons of munitions including an large quantities of depleted uranium. This was done in all our names.
In 2001 NATO went to war again. The NATO council, using questionable legal grounds evoked article 5 and we began a 10 year nightmare in Afghanistan. The war continues to this day even though its stated purpose was to defeat Al Qaeda and hunt a man who was living next door in US ally Pakistan. I will not parse this conflict that literally continues to take the lives of my friends. Its only lasting effect being Afghanistan retaking the position of number one heroin exporter in the world.
Fast forward to 2014. Libya has become a failed state after a 2012 NATO “Humanitarian mission”. Whatever Ghadaffi was, his people enjoyed one of the highest standard of living in Africa. NATO used our hard earned position for their own ends by appointing a Canadian commander for its Libyan fiasco. This was not because of our massive commitment of forces but an attempt to bolster the credibility of the mission as humanitarian by using the tattered remnants of Canada’s good name. Lybia remains a failed state with open slave markets and a CIA proxy in charge. After the “liberation “ of Libya many of the fighters involved in ousting Ghadaffi mysteriously ended up in Syria fighting Bashar al Assad’s regime in what has become the new centuries most brutal prolonged conflict and seen the rise of ISIS and the sharpening of potential conflict points for NATO and Russia as both operate aircraft in close proximity hitting targets close to each others ground forces. The American military’s latest missile salvo had the direct potential to start WW3 had it caused mass Russian casualties.
Now, under the NATO rubric, we are sending our soldiers to Ukraine to help support a Government that is committing war crimes in its drive to retake control of the eastern part of its territory. NATO is rattling sabres at Putin’s Russia by holding huge exercises in Eastern Europe and moving headquarters and airpower there permanently.The current clash with Russia started off with NATO’s relentless push east. Russia repeatedly warned the west that it would not tolerate NATO on its doorstep.
It is important to understand the National Endowment for Democracy encouraged the coup against the democratically elected government of Ukraine last spring. The hacked phone calls of European Union Foreign Affairs chief Katherine Ashton tell us that the snipers that fired on the crowd in Kiev’s Independence square, fired on both sides and were provocateurs hired for the job by the right wing elements vying for control in Kiev.
Calls from Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland show that the US had a huge hand in choosing Ukraine’s current rather Fascist smelling regime . And there is a highly manufactured PR campaign coming out of Ukraine.
Now we are rotating a battalion through Latvia over the objections of part of its population. This “Battle Group” is comprised of troops from 4 Nations speaking four languages. Its combat effectiveness is very questionable and the need for it unproven to say the least. The one thing it does do is bring yet more NATO troops to the edge of Russia’s frontier. From working with Russian troops in UNPROFOR I know it is an article of faith in the Red Army that they will never fight another war on their territory after the horrible losses of WW2
Right after its election the Trudeau government announced a halt to Canadian air Ops in Iraq and Syria. But he massively increased our special forces foot-print. The operation that followed saw Canadian special forces embedded with Kurdish forces, fighting and dying with them. The Kurds want a homeland that would involve detaching parts of Syria. Iran and Iraq. They have been accused by human rights watch of ethnic cleansing. We trained , armed and fought with them for 3 years. The Trudeau Government has just announced we will be sending 250 more Special Forces to Baghdad and Irbil in the Kurdish proto-state. The darkest quagmire in modern history, the one we refused to fight in. Make no mistake the members of the Special Operations Regiment will be taking an active part in fighting we know not whom mostly at NATO, read American, direction.
The historical clearly shows that Canada joined NATO for economic reasons that no longer apply. In the last 20 years NATO, in searching for a reason to exist has become nothing but the tool of an increasingly belligerent United States. Using humanitarian Intervention as an excuse it has left a trial of desolation. Kosovo almost ethnically cleansed of its historical Serb population. Libya is now a barbaric failed state, fought over by brutal tribal militias. Now in Iraq Canadian forces attack an enemy that we don’t understand and doesn’t threaten us and we are involved in a great power struggle in Ukraine that could have apocalyptic results.
We live in a world fret with dangers that threaten not just Canada but humanity itself. I believe it is a closer measure of the will of the people of this nation that Canada be a leader in the world, searching for a new far more humane and hopeful paradigm. One beyond Alliance systems with dubious motivations, doling out massive violence. We should retake our position in working toward an end to the institutionalized use of violence in the conduct of human affairs. In pursuit of this we should immediately and publicly leave NATO. And in the interests of maintaining the Peace of the World put a match to the whole organization on the way out.