Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Role of Canada within NATO. Yves Engler


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The following is an interview we recorded with him on the afternoon of April 3, 2024  regarding the role of Canada within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO,) and the result of pulling out as opposed to remaining in as the “voice of reason” at the table.

Global Research: We start the program by considering Canada’s role in it. On this question we talked to Yves Engler the activist, author and Canadian Foreign Policy critic. I asked him why forming a defensive military alliance was any worse than joining it in the field as in World War 2.

Yves Engler: Well, concretely, if you go back to the founding of NATO, NATO led Canada into sending troops to Europe to help block indigenous communism and socialism. So, to basically blunt the Left in Western Europe which was very strong at the end of World War II. Communists would have won in Italy the first election if the Americans hadn’t intervened. They had 30 percent of the vote in France and a bunch of the ministers in the government. Kind of similar dynamic in Greece. And so, what NATO was initially conceived as, was as a tool to blunt the Left. It was a perception that communism was the way of the future. And Lester Pearson, who was then Canada’s Foreign Minister around the creation of NATO, he was open about this, even in the House of Commons. I’ve quoted his speech many times where he actually says – he said that the communists were taking over all elements of society including the kindergartens, and we needed NATO to blunt that. So, that was an element. And we stationed thousands of troops in Western Europe and obviously many tens of thousands of US troops were stationed in Western Europe partly as part of that process.

The other part of the process was it was about bringing the decolonizing – the colonial powers were weakened during World War II. And the US was in ascendance and it was about bringing the geopolitical order under a US-led umbrella and to sort of have a – let’s call it a fake decolonization where the decolonization, to the extent that it happened would, you know, be with US dominance.

But concretely, we began providing all kinds of weapons to the colonial powers in the 1950s as they were suppressing independence movements in, you know, the Kikuyu in Kenya, in The Congo, obviously the French in Algeria, that was the most egregious example when it was the 400,000 French troops in Algeria, Canada was giving – giving, not selling – giving bullets and the like to the French, knowing full well where the French were using those weapons.

So, that formal alliance that Canada was – three countries, Canada, the US, and Britain – were the three countries that initiated the initial secret talks to form NATO. Some people say NATO was a Canadian idea. That basically brought Canada into a deepening alliance around colonialism, protecting the elite structure within Western Europe. And that’s the history of it. And then you, you know, fast forward into today and NATO is a tool that has been used to justify Canada bombing Yugoslavia, you know, in the late 1990s, bombing Libya in 2011. Stationing troops on Russia’s border. It is used to justify expanding military spending. It’s not the only tool or alliance, but it is a central one in justifying a more militaristic, Washington-centred Canadian foreign policy.  (more...)

The Role of Canada within NATO. Yves Engler

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