Ron Paul: Canada suffers for turning militaristic
Paul, the longtime member of the US House of Representatives and thrice presidential hopeful, said in a tape-recorded address published on Monday this week that Canada’s recent willingness to join America’s fight against the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State marks a major departure from the anti-war ideologies that made the Great White North a destination for draft dodgers during the Vietnam conflict.
Although Canada distanced itself from other NATO partners that were involved in the US-led campaign in Vietnam only four decades ago, its recent actions, Paul insists, mark a major departure.
“How the world has changed. Canada’s wise caution about military adventurism even at the height of the Cold War has given way to a Canada of the 21st century literally joined at Washington’s hip and eager to participate in any bombing mission initiated by the DC interventionists,” the former congressman says in a message posted to his toll-free “Texas Straight Talk” telephone hotline.
“Considering Canada’s peaceful past, the interventionist Canada that has emerged at the end of the Cold War is a genuine disappointment. Who would doubt that today’s Canada would, should a draft be re-instated in the US, send each and every American resister back home to face prison and worse?” Paul asked.
The longtime congressman’s remarks come on the heels of the nation’s decision to join the US in the fight against the group also known as ISIS, or ISIL, but also only days after Canada was turned on its side by no fewer than two violent outbursts that are being considered acts of terrorism: a man who recently converted to Islam drove his vehicle into a group of Canadian soldiers in broad daylight last week, killing two, days before another Muslim man opened fire at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, killing one.
“That is the danger of intervention in other people’s wars thousands of miles away,” Paul responded on Monday, “Those at the other end of foreign bombs – and their surviving family members or anyone who sympathizes with them – have great incentive to seek revenge.”
Adding to his argument, Paul quoted American lawyer-turned-journalist Glenn Greenwald as opining similarly last week that attacks on Canadian soil, as rare as they are, should be expected given the country’s ramped-up military action abroad during the last decade.
“Canada has spent the last 13 years proclaiming itself a nation at war. It actively participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and was an enthusiastic partner in some of the most extremist War on Terror abuses perpetrated by the US,” Greenwald wrote for The Intercept, as quoted by Paul.
“Regardless of one’s views on the justifiability of Canada’s lengthy military actions, it’s not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence,” the journalist continued.
Yet Paul warns that what could come next may indeed be a surprise to Canucks: should Canada follow the precedent sent by post-9/11 America, then the contentious surveillance operations practiced in the US may soon seep north of the border.
“Like the US PATRIOT Act, Canadian legislation that had been previously proposed to give the government more authority to spy on and aggressively interrogate its citizens has been given a shot in the arm by last week’s attacks,” Paul said. “Unfortunately Canada has unlearned the lesson of 1968: staying out of other people’s wars makes a country more safe; following the endless war policy of its southern neighbor opens Canada up to the ugly side of blowback.”
On Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest called the recent events in Canada “Despicable terrorist attacks” and said it’s important "that when it comes to dealing with terrorist activity that Canada and the United States has to be entirely in sync."