A War Profiteer in Peacenik Clothing
Just another one of those endless comments entered here about our peaceable northern neighbor: “Canada had the good sense to stay out of the Vietnam war.” God bless Canuckistan and please, God, save the world from any more of her peacekeeping efforts!
Oh Yes – that is what Canadians believe, that they had the “Good $en$e” to stay out of the Vietnam War. However, … history tells the story differently. Although Canada didn’t send Canadian fighting forces – Canada sent a lot of other things – like war materiel that didn’t go directly to Vietnam, lest Canada’s ruse be discovered. In fact, Canada was so busy manufacturing war materiel for the American forces in Vietnam that the entire country was booming like a well-oiled machine. And the Canadian government had the “good $en$e” to not tell its citizens just why the country was basking in economic good fortune, with unemployment below 4%, instead letting them believe that the manna falling from the heavens was their reward for being good little peacekeepers.
Canada’s “good $en$e” to stay out of the Vietnam War brought them record sales of iron ore, lead, zinc, copper, nickel, asbestos, and oil to the United States, not to mention the warplane components and arms sales. Although fighting the scourge of communism in Vietnam was offensive to Canadian sensibilities, American “blood money” was not. In June 1968, the new Canadian prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, officially declared that there was absolutely no immorality involved in selling arms to the United States during the war in Vietnam, any more than it was “to sell them nickel and asbestos and airplane components.”
During the Vietnam era, Canadians were too busy protesting the US involvement in Vietnam to make any efforts to discover their own country’s super secret role in the production and testing of Agent Orange, a weapon that would harm thousands of innocents. The government and manufacturers were claiming that they were shipping an everyday common herbicide that Canadians used to kill weeds in home gardens, under power lines and along railroad tracks. Even though it would wipe out entire jungles in Vietnam, Canadians were told that it was perfectly safe for people, and never, ever did the name of the herbicide, “Agent Orange” pass from their lips.
Oh yeah – Canadians had the “good $en$e to stay out of Vietnam” by selling the Agent Orange to the US army, which at the time was involved in Vietnam. Since it was American planes that sprayed the Agent Orange, wiping out thousands upon thousands of acres of trees and crops in Vietnam, Canadians could continue to live free and guiltless. The fact that Agent Orange was more than a harmless herbicide, that it contained poisonous dioxins, was an American failing, and no fault nor moral problem for the Canadian manufacturers, … whose government leaders had had the “good $en$e” to financially profit from the Vietnam War, instead of fighting in it.
And if you don’t believe Kerfuffles, listen to voices from history describing “Canada’s War Profiteering” at Canada’s own CBC (The CBC Digital Archives Website): Supplying the War Machine: “The Uniroyal plant in Elmira, Ont., was one of seven suppliers producing Agent Orange for the U.S. military.” Or you can continue to believe the statement of the Canadian government’s report to parliament in 1970: “no research carried out by the Department of National Defence has affected the use of chemicals in Vietnam.”
When I mentioned at this blog that I was going to write about Canada’s role with Agent Orange and why all those Vietnam refugees taken in by Canada, were forced to leave their native land, one Canadian commenter replied: “Yeah we know: guns don’t kill people, people kill people, but all those Vietnamese who had Agent Orange dropped on them by the Americans were killed by Canada! Hilarious!” (Comment)