Dinosaur Jack Granatstein strikes again

August 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm 5 comments

This letter was published in today’s National Post.

I am happy to learn that military-historian Jack Granatstein has been paying attention to the peace movement and the Rideau Institute. But his article misstates two important facts.

The first is that the reason most Canadians want Canada to play a leading role for world peace is not rooted in anti-Americanism, but in the desire for us to play an independent role in the world. Granatstein still laments that Canada didn’t join the ill-fated war in Iraq, but today even most Americans agree that Canadians were right to not support the U.S.-led invasion. So by Granatstein’s own analysis, can millions of Americans be anti-American?

The second is that he argues, rather disingenuously, that Canada needs a stronger peace movement to keep the military in check. Yet he is part of the problem, not the solution. Defence lobby groups like the Conference of Defence Associations seek out and receive millions of dollars from the military to write op-eds and be quoted in newspapers, as was recently revealed when its government funding agreement was made public.

The money and access handed to these groups far outweighs what the Rideau Institute receives through donations from our hundreds of committed supporters and friends in the United States.

The truth is the defence lobby often pretends it wants a public debate, but it loathes and denigrates members of the public and even the journalists who quote them. The president of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute recently decried that reporters covering public opinion on defence issues “stick microphones under the noses of whatever slack-jawed gum-chewing vagrants they can find on the street.”

It may be frustrating for the military dinosaurs, but Canadians will not give up the idea of Canada as a peacekeeper.


Entry filed under: Steven Staples. Tags: , .

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