By David Wald
The world as we know it could be destroyed in one afternoon.
That was the underlying message in Mel Hurtig’s guest lecture speech Thu., Oct. 14 in a stop through Calgary while promoting his newest and most important book Rushing to Armageddon: The Shocking Truth About Canada, Missile Defense, and Star Wars.
As the published author of many other books including The Vanishing Country: is it Too Late to Save Canada?, and Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids: The Tragedy and Disgrace of Poverty in Canada, Hurtig is also creator of the first ever Canadian encyclopedia, founding member of the Committee for an Independent Canada and Council of Canadians, and known nationwide for his dedication to preserving Canadian sovereignty.
In his lecture, Hurtig recited a shocking look at the United States-run Ballistic Missile Defense program, its eventual weaponization of space, and Canada’s role in participating in it. Hurtig began by recounting a plethora of quotes from top officials from the U.S. and Canada.
“Americans intend to develop a first-strike missile defence system that will fight future wars through and from space,” Hurtig said, adding this would lead to a “rapidly growing threat of nuclear proliferation.”
The plan is for Canada to sign up for a multi-billion dollar program beginning with 10 missile interceptor locations around the continent by Fall 2004, eventually increasing to 40 by 2005. Upon recognition of enemy fire, these would deploy intercepting missiles intended to track and destroy incoming ballistic rockets containing anything from nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads.
“Many scientists call it a farce,” said Hurtig. “No matter how much money is put into it, it will not work.”
Dispite its heartwarming feel of protection, BMD has its flaws, the system can only combat a small number of incoming missiles, providing no contest against such weapon-laden countries as Russia and China.
Even if there was a successful intercept, toxic debris would end up falling not on the intended target, but on any habited place in its path. In fact, Hurtig stressed that not only would the BMD be useless, it would make way for the U.S. to begin sending weapons into space, reiterating the America’s plan to “have a weapon orbiting [Earth] by 2007.”
“Joining the U.S. would be a violation to everything our country stands for,” said Hurtig, referring to Canada’s longstanding policies on arms control and non-proliferation. “Prime Minister Paul Martin and Minister of Defense Bill Graham have misled Canadians about Canada’s participation, [failing] to provide information and a legitimate debate.”
Hurtig uncovered underlying issues surrounding Martin and Graham’s intention to sign. There is no doubt that the program has undertones of political brown-nosing. U.S.-Canada relations have not been the greatest lately and the Canadian government hopes to bandage things up by providing support, money, and land to what could be a precursor to U.S. world domination. Recent reports have Graham admitting that signing with the U.S. has nothing to do with Canada’s safety and is aimed at preserving NORAD and diplomatic relations. Perhaps he is also hoping the U.S. will allow beef back over the boarder or give Canadian companies a contract or two in Iraq.
In closing, Hurtig urged Calgarians to join the world in opposing George W. Bush, rally against the weaponization of space, and press other important issues such as increased spending on foreign aid because, as he sees it, “disarmament is old news.”