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Are we paying the ultimate price?

Darius Mirshahi | Interrobang | Opinion | April 7th, 2008



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Like all other problems that plague humanity, we must attack the roots of the problem. We must go after those who profit from the destruction we seek to halt. As long as it is profitable to make bullets, missiles and nuclear warheads, there will be greedy corporate scumbags willing to produce them. As long as war is profitable (it has always been the biggest racket of them all), banks, governments and big business will conspire to create conflicts in which massive profits can be made at the expense of everyone else.

Let’s not fool ourselves; power, profit and control over resources have been the main motivating factors in all wars ever fought on this planet, and those who declare the wars are rarely ever the ones who end up fighting them.

So who are these shadowy war profiteers? Who’s making big bucks selling the tools of mass murder? In whose interest is it that wars expand and engulf the entire world in a firestorm? Is it Bay Street stockbrokers? Yes! Is it the banks? Yes! Is it big heartless weapons manufacturers? More than anyone else! Is it me, you and every single Canadian taxpayer? Sadly, yes. Among other things, our taxes directly fund world conflicts, our imperialist American-interest serving army and the military industrial complex ($24.1 billion since September 11).

Instead of spending money on the elimination of global poverty, hunger and disease (Canada ranks among the lowest international contributors of aid to developing countries and hasn’t come close to meeting it’s commitments), our government spends our money on billion-dollar Navy freights, satellites, million dollar tanks, and multi-million dollar pro-war PR campaigns.

As Nathan Swinn’s article in last week’s Interrobang pointed out, every single GPS-guided Excalibur artillery shell our gunners fire costs us about $150,000, which is the equivalent of a whole year of taxing more than six average Canadian families. Two to three average Canadian family incomes blown-up in one shot that also ends the lives of other families halfway around the world. That should win peoples’ hearts and minds.

Back to us and how we are guilty of at least complicity in murder by paying taxes. Every legal worker in Canada pays into the Canadian Pension Plan, expecting one day to receive a retirement pension once we reach old-age. However, with the greedy and short-sighted people in politics and business these days, it is unlikely that anybody from our generation will ever see a dime of our money back, or old-age for that matter. In any case, Canadians are currently forced to ‘invest’ their hard-earned wages in the C.P.P., which then invests it in arms manufacturers, big tobacco, oil companies, and other criminally unethical corporations.

The C.P.P. is currently invested in 16 of the world’s top 20 arms manufacturers and is also invested in more than 100 Canadian arms manufacturing contractors. So our pension plan is making a quick profit in these violent times. The problem is that our retirement fund is supposed to be a long-term investment. We cannot rely on an endless global war to pay for our retirement. With greedy shortsighted investments like these we are dooming our future. War is organized crime, not a good investment.

But it is our money after all. Let’s take it back. This Wednesday and Thursday April 9 and 10, the war profiteers and their puppet politicians will meet in downtown Ottawa at CANSEC, Canada’s largest weapons fair, being held at the Ottawa Congress Centre and the Westin Ottawa. There, military industrial complex giants such as Boeing, Raytheon, General Electric, Blackwater, CAE and General Dynamics will show our defence and security departments (war and police state departments) all the new toys that they can use to oppress, injure and murder people.

Canada’s Minister of Defence, Peter MacKay, is a featured speaker, as is Commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, General Gene Renuart, our ‘Public Safety’ minister Stockwell Day and even former U.S. Secretary of Defence William Cohen.

We need to disrupt these criminals who deal in death and destruction. We need to shine the light in their greedy faces. If you can’t make it to Ottawa, where the ‘People’s Global Action’ is planning on disrupting the event, disrupt it from home. Jam the fax and phone number for the organizers, send barrages of emails to their inboxes, track down personal numbers for individuals involved, and don’t stop calling them until they answer to you for the crimes they are committing. Shame them! All participants who want to participate in the high-priced dinner and lunch events must contact Martine Proulx at martine@defenceandsecurity.ca or 613-235-5337 ext. 23. Jam the lines to starve the warmongers. Here is the phone and fax number for CADSI (the organization running the weapons fair, and the self-titled ‘voice of Canada’s defence and security industries’) Tel: 613-235-5337 ,Fax: 613-235-0784, these lines should also be jammed. You can find the email addresses to key CADSI organizers on their website at www.defenceandsecurity.ca.

Also since it’s tax season boycott ‘the man,’ and give whatever you ‘owe’ him (and I use that term loosely) directly to those in need of the basic necessities of life. Instead of investing in the war machine, invest in hope for a better world where our retirement isn’t conditional on an eternal world war, but on equality, peace, freedom and justice.

If anyone wants to join the People’s Global Action march in Ottawa, or help other Londoners do so, please email our club at fanshawesocialjusticeclub@yahoo.ca.
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