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January 13, 2011

Canada in Iraq, Operation Silent Partner

Reuel S. Amdur

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A few years ago, I pointed out to Richard Sanders, the coordinator of the Coalition to End the Arms Trade (COAT) that Canada was actively engaged in the illegal war in Iraq.

That’s what the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called it.  Evidence was the role of General Walter Natyczyn serving in Iraq with a handful of Canadian troops.  I suggested that the anti-war movement should address not only getting out of Afghanistan but also Iraq, as it was important to expose the lie that Canada had stayed out of the war in Iraq.  Sanders told me essentially that he was not interested.

Well, he “got religion.”  The December issue of COAT’s Press for Conversion uncovers Canadian participation, showing that the participation was far more extensive than I had known.  There have been around 100 troops sent to Iraq, along with a succession of generals–Natynczyk, Devlin, and Matern.  So far, I was with Sanders.  Then he dug deeper.

About whom was the then-Secretary of State Colin Powell talking when he said, “We now have a coalition of the willing. . . who have publicly said they could be included in such a listing. . . . There are another 15 nations, who, for one reason or another, do not wish to be publicly named but will be supporting the coalition.”  Hmmm. . . .

Included in this issue is an excerpt from Frank Harvey’s Smoke and Mirrors, quoting Admiral Ken Summers, who told the Globe and Mail that Canadian ships were giving “indirect support to the war in Iraq, in that they are escorting through the Strait of Hermuz any allied ship that needs to get in our out of the gulf.”  Canadian ships carried munitions for the invaders.  As well, their sailors boarded  ships to find and hand over to the Americans anyone on the U.S. list of wanted persons. 

General Natynczyk was the recipient of Canada’s Meritorious Service Cross in 2006.  “His pivotal role in the development of numerous plans and operations resulted in a tremendous contribution by the Multi-National Corps to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and has brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada,” said the citation.  Yet, Canada opted out of that war?  Bob Rae vigorously denied that Canadian military officers were involved, during a debate in which Green Party candidate Chris Tyndale pointed out the facts.  Rae of course is the one who gave Harper the green light to extend Canadian participation in Afghanistan till 2014, “for training purposes,” no doubt.  He has an interesting way with the facts.

Sanders also documents American use of Canadian air space and landing fields in Newfoundland for the war and also for flights of American airplanes carrying prisoners for “extraordinary rendition.”  Canadian airmen located at Tinker Airforce Base in Oklahoma took part in bombing Iraq.  Major Bruce Barnes “flew 30 combat missions supporting NATO and Coalition stability operations for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.”  Bob Rae, please copy.

And when Canadian officials talked about Hercules airplanes delivering humanitarian aid to Iraq, the truth was that armed American troops were being transported.  Sanders even gives us a photo of American troops, with a machine gun on the ground, and with other weapons being carried, prepared to board a Hercules to go to Baghdad. 

When Sanders finally got the message, he did a bang-up job.  He proved once again that our leaders are yellow-livered sellouts and liars.

To get the December issue of Press for Conversion, send $8 to COAT, 514 McLeod St., Ottawa, ON K1R 5R2.  Their spring issue will deal with Canadian military and security exports to Israel.  Heck, you may want to spring for a subscription, $25 for three issues. 

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