Inside the pro-war lobby’s secret funding deal with Harper

Update! Sun TV attacks Ceasefire.ca, calls letter “despicable.” Video.

 

Kathleen Walsh, our Donor Services Officer

If you would gladly give $7 each month to stop Harper’s stealth fighters, click here.

 

 

Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter,

I was utterly appalled by the remarks when I read them.

A pro-war advocacy group made up of retired military generals, called the Conference of Defence Associations, used the bodies of soldiers killed and wounded in Afghanistan to lobby for more money.

This money would go to defence companies and the military brass. Later I’ll tell you some even more appalling stories, one that involves what appears to be complicity between a reporter and the CDA. But first, let me finish this story.

This military lobbying was done at a meeting where Members of Parliament were trying to find ways to maintain social programs and deal with the country’s finances. Instead, the old generals urged the MPs to continue with Canada’s record-high war spending.

“After the sacrifices made in Afghanistan and the casualties taken there because we weren’t ready, let us never again find ourselves having to rebuild essential military capabilities which we should have kept up all along,” the old boys said.

Sounds noble . . . But their idea of “essential military capabilities” is a $30 billion fleet of F-35 stealth fighters, and the tens of thousands spent on VIP flights for the military brass and Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

This is why Ceasefire.ca depends upon your support. Your donations allow us to confront the old generals, and Stephen Harper and his pro-war lobbyists, at every turn.

This year, I hope you’ll become a sustaining supporter of our work by joining our Peacekeepers monthly donor club by making a small regular gift of $12, $9, or even $7 each month to work for peace.

Once you join our Peacekeepers monthly donors club, we can spend less time raising funds and more time working for peace, speaking out and challenging the pro-war lobby.

The behaviour of these old boys is truly sickening. These generals knowingly lobby for more money on the backs of young men and women destroyed fighting an unwinnable war in Afghanistan – a war these same old generals have promoted all along.

Col Alain-Michel Pellerin (ret’d) of the military-funded CDA tells CTV that the Afghan mission should be extended

Col Alain-Michel Pellerin (ret’d) of the military-funded CDA tells CTV that the Afghan mission should be extended

I know these generals well. I have sat face to face with them in television studios many times while they told audiences that we were winning the war in Afghanistan. I challenged them at every opportunity, but they have far more money to tell lies than we have to promote the truth.

While we rely on supporters like you, the pro-war lobby is lavished with funding from Harper’s Department of National Defence, spending our tax dollars to promote war and conflict instead of spending on real needs such as health care or humanitarian aid.

The Conference of Defence Associations’ secret funding deal with the military was revealed in 2008 by the NDP, who had obtained a copy of the agreement.

The terms of the funding deal are astounding. This pro-war lobby group is guaranteed a half-million dollars over five years, given direct access to the highest levels in the Department of National Defence, and provided “a minimum of 24 extended invitations to CDA staff to participate in meetings or briefings.”

Even more shocking is that the Harper government ensures that it gets support from the pro-war corporate lobby – the half-million dollar grant is only to be paid out if the group gets plenty of media coverage.

According to the deal, the Conference of Defence Associations is required to “attain a minimum of 29 media references to the CDA by national or regional journalists and reporters . . . 15 opinion pieces (including op-eds and letters to the editor in national or regional publications) . . . [and] a minimum of 100 requests by media for radio/television interviews and materials.”

 

And this is where the story gets most interesting.

Not only does the Conference of Defence Associations have deep links with Harper’s military, but it is also closely tied to war-friendly media and journalists.

Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford accepts her Ross Munro Media Award from the military-funded Conference of Defence Associations in 2006. She now writes for Postmedia newspapers. (Photo: CDA)

Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford accepts her Ross Munro Media Award from the military-funded Conference of Defence Associations in 2006. She now writes for Postmedia newspapers. (Photo: CDA)

You see, the old generals know they need media coverage to promote their own pro-war views, secure their military funding, and support Harper’s government.

Every year the Conference of Defence Associations holds a gala event inside Ottawa’s National War Museum, drawing the elite of Canada’s military, arms industry, media and government.

Literally surrounded by old tanks and weapons of war, they slip on their tuxedos to lavish praise and give a “military reporting” award to a “worthy” journalist. The reporter even takes home a $2,500 cheque.

You might think that only extreme, biased media outlets like Sun TV, or “Fox News North,” would ever stoop so low as to take an award from a military-funded lobby group.

But that’s not so. In fact, Canada’s most powerful media outlets and well-known journalists have lined up to accept the award from the head of the military and the other old generals, basking in glowing applause from the military establishment.

The military reporting award has been accepted by reporters for the CBC, the Globe and Mail, and the Canadian Press. This year, the award was given to a columnist for the Toronto Star.

 

Let me tell you a story. I know personally how the journalists work with the defence lobby to help the Harper government.

Last October I wrote a report on the F-35 stealth fighter called “Pilot Error,” pointing out the many reasons why it was a bad deal for Canada. The day it was released we received massive media coverage. Jane Taber, who was hosting CTV’s Power Play, invited me to be on her program. She had read the report and written about it on her blog earlier that day.

I arrived at the studios at the top of an office tower in downtown Ottawa, and as I joined her on the set Jane leaned over to me and asked, “Do you know this reporter, Matthew Fisher from the Ottawa Citizen?” I replied I had only read his articles in the newspapers about the war in Afghanistan (they were always pro-war).

What Jane told me next left me stunned! She said that he had called her when he read her blog post about my report that morning, and he told her that she should not be giving me any media coverage.

Media Watch: The Generals and the Journalists

Click to download

Can you believe it? A reporter calling another reporter, from a completely different news organization, to urge her to not talk to me.

Later I traced it all back to Harper’s military-funded lobby group, the Conference of Defence Associations. Matthew Fisher had close links to the Conference of Defence Associations. He had taken their “media award” back in 2007. Now he was doing his job to protect the Harper government from my critique of the F-35 stealth fighters.

I think Jane Taber was as offended as I was, and of course the interview went ahead regardless of Matthew Fisher’s underhanded attempts to shut it down. I wrote to Fisher and asked for an explanation. He never replied.

This is why your support is vital. Without it, the old generals and their media friends will protect the Harper version of the military. How many other stories critical of the government will be quietly shelved because of backroom smear campaigns like this one?

A few weeks ago I appeared before the very same MPs that the Conference of Defence Associations did when they were lobbying for war funding – only I urged them to support peace funding!!

I told them the truth that since 9/11, Canada has spent an additional $92 billion on the military and national security – a 105 per cent increase!

As the Rideau Institute published in its report “The Cost of 9/11,” by economist David MacDonald, for that $92 billion the government could have covered the cost of every prescription medication for every Canadian, built new public transit systems for ten major cities, and even provided an affordable national daycare program for every Canadian child.

Without your support, the old generals will be able to continue their vulgar lobbying for more war spending.

To meet our campaign goal, we are hoping to raise another $10,000 before the end of the year. Will you help us?

When you join our Peacekeepers monthly donor club, or even make a one-time special gift, we will use your donations to challenge the pro-war lobbyists at the Conference of Defence Associations, do the much-needed research, speak to MPs, and work with journalists.

Thanks for everything you do for peace.

Steven Staples

Steven Staples, Ceasefire.ca

P.S. Please make your donation to stop the pro-war lobby from stealing from Canadians, and to make sure public funds are used for human needs and the environment.

 

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70 Responses to “Inside the pro-war lobby’s secret funding deal with Harper”

  1. Steve MDecember 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Well, I’m not even sure why I’m giving voice to my views here, but I have to admit that while my particular world view may not be entirely accurate, it’s a hell of a lot closer to reality than a lot of the opinions I’ve read thus far. I do not wish to adress the specific issues surrounding the F35 deal (I’m not privy to them) other than to state that while this may or may not be the best proposal, we do need something.
    As a currently serving member of the Canadian Forces (12 years as an NCM; that’s Non-Commissioned Member, or non-officer for the lay person), before anyone starts criticizing military spending, let me shed a little light on a few things. Most of the equipment I work on is older than my father. Even our “new” frigates are equiped with sensors and systems that were modern in the ’80s (I don’t feel I should detail all the technological advances we’ve made in the last 30 years for the point here to be apparent). Our helicoper fleet requires over four hours’ ground maintenance for each hour of flight due to the age of the systems, and lack of part fabrication facilities (and I say fabrication because most of the companies that created the systems no longer support them in any capacity; they’re too old, and this leaves us to try and make the replacement part). I won’t get into our current fighter fleet which is in worse shape than the helos. How did this happen? Almost 40 years of consistant underfunding and underrecruiting. So fine, abolish the military, as so many of the responders here seem in favour of doing, just don’t be surprised that, because the rest of the world WILL NOT follow suit, Canada ceases to be. Doubt the verasity of this? Our own northern passages are under contention with other nations because we are unable to maintain ANY military presence there. But hey, we don’t need those, no one lives up there anyway right? But I digress…
    At this point I’m going to assume that the majority of canadians will concede the requirement for some sort of military. Do I not deserve to feel reasonably safe in my workplace? Would you willingly work around equipment where safe work policy ends up being something akin to, “be careful when you turn that on, it has a habit of catching fire”? Why should I? I have enough worry with the unknown threat over the horizon, I shouldn’t have to worry about an electrical panel blowing up beside me because there haven’t been proper replacement parts available since the 1990′s. And to the contributor who lauded that Canada never “punches above its weight” militarily has no real appreciation of the facts. With a military this underequiped and underfunded, anything we do is “punching” above our “weight”.
    In closing, I’d like to try and persuade much of the moderate population of this country to remove their “rose-coloured” glasses, and take an honest look at the world. It’s an ugly place where the majority care nothing about peace or rights, only with survival; and if survival means joining a despotic regime, and in essance, comitting atrocities on others before they’re comitted against themselves, there’s no hesitation, no moral second-guessing, survivalism takes over. In the light of this world, I for one, believe in a military that will keep Canada the land I know and love, and preserve us from those who would willingly supplant their societal values over ours and change this land into something entirely unrecognizable. I welcome Mr. Staples to email me in regard to this, I’d be interested in hearing his justification for subjecting both myself and my serving bretheren to the additional and undue peril of deploying operationally with inferior and outdated equipment.

  2. Rob MacLachlanDecember 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    I support the calls for “balance” in all these debates – but that stance has to be accepted by both parties to the debate. And I agree with the format to be “one-on-one”. Still rules of debate have to be agreed to before the debate and if there is to be no moderator at all then how to point failures to keep the rules becomes difficult. Perhaps as in the selection of an arbitrator, you and whichever other person you are to debate with could agree on an independent third party person to moderate. All this looks very difficult to achieve so my support for this move is moderated and conditional.

    It is too bad that so much of the discourse in our political spheres is so polarized. Having seen and heard you on CBC a couple of times I was impressed that your stance was not extreme but some of the terminology used in the letter in this case appears to move in that direction.

    The other concern we all have is that so much of the processes of decision are carried out in secret and even Parliament itself becomes mostly the theatre of the Question Period.

    So with the correct (in your terms) rules in place go on Sun TV for a confrontational debate.

  3. Mary SmithDecember 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    If a bunch of old fart generals want to keep blowing up children in Afganistan or any other oil bearing country NATO thinks it owns…then put a gun in the generals hands and save our youth who want to live in a peacful world. Hell send HARPER and any other Canadian who wants to kill…let them !

  4. ConnieNovember 30, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    I would like to see a big plan for the government spelled out with all the things a government should be doing to make a strong country for the people and the environment. I have zero tolerance for a bunch of people increasing their own net worth and using tax money to facilitate that process. I also abhor the war machine of destruction when civilized people have plenty of work to do to make things nice and conform to global human rights. We need a consensus conference to let citizens list the things they need but to go simple and easy on the environment. Our government is punishing people with heavy taxation, destroying our environment, allowing our food to be poisonous, compromising our health care in favour of profits over effectiveness, and filling our lives with obstacles, injustices, corruption, and atrocities. Our government is not democratic and we need improvements in that regard and in our voting system for fair representation. How can we have a peaceful revolt? Things are bad. We can do better. We need to emphasize what kind of a world we can have without military spending and destruction.

  5. Rosalind IrvingNovember 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Thank you for the courage you are showing to stand up against the “big guns”!
    The more war toys Canada develops the more Harper and co will be itching to deploy them.
    Conflicts will be fanned rather than avoided in order to convince Canadian taxpayers that their investments were worthwhile.
    Rosalind Irving

  6. NeilNovember 29, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    I many earlier commenters have already made really great, far more articulate posts than I could hope to. I too have written in the past that the sometimes inflammatory language used by CeaseFire needs to be tempered. Language like that used in the letter can really open yourself up for the sort of attacks that SunTV used.
    I think though that you should go on the show and challenge them, just do it in a respectful way and point out other problems. I think viewers might be interested to be reminded that Lockheed Martin, the builder of the jets, is a big advertiser on SunTV.
    Best of luck to you, and thank you for all your hard work.

  7. M.K. MulhollandNovember 29, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Hi Steven,
    I am very impressed with the responses and agree 100% with J. Hebert’s analysis of the situation. Basically I would suggest that you do not descend to the attacker’s level.
    Blessings

  8. MSNovember 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    I agree that your language could be more calm, measured and less inflammatory. Be a passionate leader who speaks with a quiet strength grounded by the truth in his heart. You must be able to give the courage of peace to your readers and supporters. Exaggeration does not help to convince the discriminating reader.
    When we are spoken to about the ‘’enemy’’, let us respond speaking of interconnectedness, respect and fair treatment of our neighbours. When we are told to be afraid of a possible attack, let us answer that inciting unnecessary fear is also an attack.
    Inequity, the feelings of superiority and entitlement have no place in a world society that is increasingly being challenged to act as a cooperative community. Peace is a noble concept which cannot be reached through brutality or through harsh words. Continue to expose the hidden agendas of those who try to deceive us into hating or fearing our fellows. Greed and corruption cannot withstand public scrutiny. Continue to shine your considerable light on these actions and leave personal attacks to the Sun/Fox Media. No cheap shots and you will gain and maintain respect.

  9. John ThomasNovember 28, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Steven, You deserve great appreciation from far more than the ’20,000′ supporters. I notice in the comments there are several like me on a very tight pension – us young guys in our 80′s and 90′s – . I admire your courage and willingness to dig for, and expose, the truth as you see it. Very thoughtful comments by responders. IF you decide to appear on their show, maybe you should consider a comedian’s approach. Compliment them on their shrewd, learned debating skills and their dedicated loyalty to the pursuit of truth. Then hoist them on their own petard by sticking to asking them questions only. I agree that you leave yourself open by baiting ‘old generals’ and expressing similar emotional rhetoric. Don’t try to debate; play a ‘Colombo’ detective game. Your questions will imply principles they do subscribe to. Cheers

  10. HowardNovember 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    This is typical SUN/FOX BS. Ignore it. If you try to challenge them on one of their shows they would not let you say anything to counter their crude. They don’t want to debate. They just want to pontificate. Why should you subject yourself to their insults and screams.

    The best thing thinking people could do would be to write to the show’s sponsors and advertisers and tell them to drop their advertising or you will not buy their products.

  11. RNovember 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I watched the program at http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/big-labour-v-military/1292517244001

    The program is a sad commentary on the near non-existence of logical argument in the media. They use ‘ad hominem’ argument to attack Staples credibility as a “bad man”. And they discredit David Suzuki as unqualified to speak on warfare. But similarly, considering military generals as qualified to speak on war is even a bigger mistake because this violates the “Appeal to expert” argument in logic. Military generals have a vested interest in war, and such, cannot be considered unbiased.

    What is needed all around is more logical arguement. Steven, go read a book on logical argument, or hire a tutor in logical debate (If I had the money, I would do this myself) and address their weak, emotional, and right-wing criticisms with a powerful logical arguement. Chomsky does it all the time.

    Keep up your great efforts!

  12. LeonNovember 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    It doesn’t matter what you say to the extreme right-wingers. They’ll never be convinced otherwise. It’s the mainstream Canadians you must reach. Hopefully, they are not yet watching Sun TV. Worry instead about the propaganda that opened the Grey Cup game. With the Minister of National of Defence at his side, the Chief of the Defence Staff was praised for a “victory” in Afghanistan. Along with the support the troops stickers, Highway of Heroes, November 11th ceromonies, and recruiting ads, this sort of thing creates a lasting and widely-based militarist “brand.” Unfortunately, it is quite effective. Although it’s the Liberals and Conservatives who jump into U.S. led wars and who spend lavish sums on defence equipment, even the NDP feel obliged to vote for troop deployments in Parliament. Better to try undermining the militarist brand intended for the majority than bothering to challenge the fringe radicals and risk giving them legitimacy.

  13. GregNovember 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    These folks are hardly professional or well-researched. It wouldn’t be hard to make them look silly. Unfortunately, I fear much of their audience is of the same type. It is hard to reason with a fool. That will be your challenge.

  14. Gail SchrohNovember 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Obviously this media outlet has been educated the wrong way or else government is paying them off by educationg them this way and covering up many crimes involved! Like I said before prevention is the best way on all issues the number one is bullying often leads to many herendous crimes. Go for it and educate these arrogant media outlets who seem to want to brainwash alot of people the wrong way. Our voice and power beats money!! Together we can make it right and lead with peace.

  15. AngeleNovember 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Great bunch of feedback… some very wise insights
    take it to heart and do what feels right…

    It would be good if the opening statement on the website was NOT about donating money. I tithe to GreenPeace and Maude mainly and your group once in awhile.

  16. Susan BrownNovember 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Go for it, but watch your back around those slimeballs! Bring along a partner if you can who can signal you when the timeslot is nearly up so you can try to get in a good soundbite as the last word. And I do like the point of a previous poster to insist on a live broadcast to preclude deceptive editing. I will say that you left yourself open to criticism in choosing the wording “old generals”. Like I said, watch your back. And vaya con dios!

  17. D DobieNovember 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Listen up. Not everybody who agrees with you can Afford to give you money. In that way you are Exactly like the political animals you wish to reel in. get creative or get lost. If I gave cash to everything I thought was worthy I’d [edited for language] starve..

  18. TeriNovember 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    The Ego just wants to win. Avoid confrontation and just follow your heart. If you choose to confront these negative forces, then the positive work you do will be stalled and then it is status quo. If the people lead then the leaders must follow. Don’t get fooled into playing their games as you cannot convert people who are ambitious, have their own agenda and are closed minded.

  19. Sheila Nabigon-HowlettNovember 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Like several of my friends I appreciate what Steven Staples stands for and is doing. Keep up the good work! It looks like the F 35′s are in financial trouble in the U.S. anyway, from what i read in the papers down there. Let’s hope so. But our fight is here with Ottawa. So, do your best Steven.

  20. Trudi GuniaNovember 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    After reading the other comments, excellent ones, I still think they need to be confronted but on neutral turf. We are all aware that they will twist, spin and edit as they please. No matter what they do, they are warmongers and there is a huge push on to militarize Canada under this Harper regime. At the same time it makes billions for the military industrial complex. No amount of military spending for more sophisticated weaponry will make Canadians or anyone else in this world any safer, only more prone to making war against other nations -as they have been doing and are doing everything in their power to continue on with. If there ever was a time for the citizens of this country to rise up against our corrupt government, it is now, but can you just imagine what would happen? Why, the “law” can’t even tolerate tent occupation! No – rebellion only looks good when it happens in other countries, especially when we don’t like their leaders and feel we can gain something out of it – like oil?

  21. SlavealisciousNovember 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    I agree with Barry – stick it to ‘em like Jon Stewart did in Crossfire. He got those biatches cancelled! The truth carries great power. And besides it’ll probably be funny! :) xo

    Thanks for working so hard to free us from the slavery of the military industrial complex. It shouldnt be that complex. Sheesh. Can’t we all just get along?

  22. J. HebertNovember 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Steven: I’ve been very impressed with your cause and your character since the first email I received from you. Lately I’ve thought there might be some frustration evident in your emails. I can understand the difficulty in getting Canadians to take a stand that is ‘out of the box’. We’re just not, and never have been, an ‘out of the box’ type of nation.

    I noticed the prejudicial statements regarding ‘old generals’ in your donations appeal but I also noticed the many prejudicial responses in the Sun TV video, particularly towards ‘lepers’. I also noticed their claim that the mission in Afghanistan is peace keeping, which is a dubious claim, based on my reading of articles by highly educated Canadians studying this situation, attempting to bring some balance to our awareness.

    I believe it is highly unlikely that you’ll get a fair chance to express your views on Sun TV’s platform or that of any corporate mainstream media. Corporations must seek profits and war is very profitable. I don’t mean that as a prejudicial statement but rather one of fact.

    Steven, I believe you need to seek balance rather than appearing to be radical. I believe you need to seek your own platform rather than one that is rigged against you.

    And I’m not saying you are radical. I don’t believe an anti-war stance is radical by any means. However I do believe it is radical to promote robbing from current and future generations to pay for a war arsenal of dubious value, especially using misrepresentation of the facts to sell the message that we must protect ourselves (when did we get attacked by Afghanistan or Libya?).

    Unfortunately Canadians have accepted the bias evident in our politicians and our media that we must take a position based on fear rather then trust in our fellow humans. Bill C-36 is evidence of that bias. Until it is repealed we all live under a sword that should not be there, that violates our rights and that aligns us with an element that believes it can use force and kill others whenever it wants. By allowing the current politicians to remain in office we have said it’s ok to invade countries that have done us no harm and kill innocent civilians. I do not share that view but I must abide by the decisions of my fellow Canadians.

    I don’t mean that I won’t continue to express my opinion that we are NOT under attack by foreign terrorists, that the terrorists we need fear do not wield weapons of mass destruction but rather destroy by publicly using rhetoric and prejudicial statements, and, as you’ve already pointed out, outright lies. Steven I think it is imperative that you do not drop to their level. Keep to the high road. Stay the course. Seek balance. Trust that Canadians see through the emotional rhetoric of our politicians and our media. War is wrong and anybody who does not already believe that will not see it. Unfortunately, only pain and suffering will awaken them to the destruction that Canadians are now responsible for.

    Thank you.

  23. Janis GauthierNovember 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Hello Steve,
    I wouldn’t bother…consider the audience that will be watching Sun News; they likely wouldn’t listen, even if you did manage to get a word in edgewise. Good luck and thanks for your good work.

  24. C. PreeceNovember 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Initially I thought you should go and defend yourself. Now I echo one other response which said you must ensure it is live, cannot be edited and preferably with an audience.I cannot emphasize strongly enough that you should only go if they will sign a contract guaranteeing this. You will have to keep very calm and make sure that their comments like: “would you have advocated a cease fire in 1944″ are shown to be as ludicrous as they are!
    Go well armed with facts and try to stick as closely as possible to the issue of the purchase of F-35′s. I am not against properly equipping the military but I am against idiotic purchases. Good Luck.

  25. Hana RazgaNovember 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I did clicked on the response that you should go on Sun TV and challenge their right wing supporters. However, having been on the “Rutherford” show (which is sort of like Sun Radio here in Alberta) during the 2008 federal election for the NDP, I know the Sun TV commentators will not listen to any progressive voice and/or arguments, they will probably barely let you get a word in edgewise, will not let you develop or finish a thought etc. etc. So I will leave it up to you to decide if this is worth you time and energy and if it would not be more productive to seek other media exposure. Cheers!

  26. OwenNovember 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Sun TV is an organ of the right wing and will deliberately distort contrary arguments regardless of validity or soundness. Going on Sun TV only gives their propagandists another opportunity to attack the movement. No appeal to journalistic impartiality will change this, much less an appeal made on Sun TV’s own terms. Without preaching to the choir, it will be more effective to work on other fronts and among audiences that may be more receptive.

  27. Hans SinnNovember 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I am of two minds. A well considered verbal response seems to be the obvious course of action. However by responding to their attack you will be crediting the source and providing an opening for further attacks. Silence, a neutral response,ignoring the verbal attack and the attacker, might be most effective.

  28. John PopeNovember 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Considering that Ceasefire has been, as far as I can see, a very weak lobbyist for the cause of peace, this is your opportunity, Steve, to get noticed in at least on media outlet.

    Go for it.

    Never hesitate to confront the opposition.

    John

  29. David MooreNovember 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Steven, I think your voice should be heard on Sun TV. The audience is made up of a broad spectrum of the public that have minds of their own even if the broadcaster is prejudiced. Perhaps you should attempt to explain your use of the term pro-war as that is a provocative label. The public has been so brainwashed to accept defence spending and defence propaganda that the meaning of defence has been lost. I don’t recall when it was that Afganistan invaded Canada and required us to defend ourselves against their armed forces. To call the invasion of Afganistan and Iraq ‘defense’ is ridiculous, yet that is what the ‘pro-war’ United States, and now Canada, expects the public to swallow. And no, the stealth fighters are not needed by Canada for defence.

  30. SUSAN EYRENovember 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Stephen, I suggested you go on SunTV – but the comment that the sun media would tape you, mix up your words and use your words against you/us, rings true.
    I think we could bring levity to the pro-war faction by highly publicizing graphically the birth defects attributed to Depleted Uranium. The photos, contamination longevity, sources, manufacturers, distributors- needs to get into womens’ magazines, the National Geographic etc. and secondary schools for educational purposes.
    Soldiers, potential soldiers and military families who want to have children, need to be aware that this could be their fate also. The North American location where depleted Uranium has been tested need to be located and the Public made aware of the health risks.
    I personally do not want to go anywhere near the Middle East, as the contamination blows in the wind.Unfortunately it is blowing in all our wind, as toxic as the nuclear reactor meltdowns.
    Irresponsibility to the global environment and inhabitants, trumps the militaries charge that we are irresponsible if we don’t have a super-size military force to defend North America with.
    We can use the same argument.

  31. Frances GreenfieldNovember 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Be careful when you go on to face these people and be aware also that the United States is planning a war with Iran and you can be darned sure that Harper is going to get into this as well….like a puppy dog following the tail of his master. Amour yourself well with lots and lots of knowledge.

  32. Joe BarrettNovember 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Steve,
    If you ignore them it will be taken as “silence means yes” My view, your best strategy is to take this as an opportunity and go right back at them.

  33. Andrew LeFortNovember 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I almost felt sorry for those reporters in how they so desperately searched for ways to discredit a peace organization to satisfy big brother.

  34. Edda LoomesNovember 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I am very much pro peace and anti- war.
    We will have to reeducate our society to show them that war is not the correct answer to solve problems.

    Edda Loomes

  35. Debbie WNovember 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Don’t take there bait for a war on words. They have attempted to smear you for exercising your democratic right. Stand strong on your right to freedom of speech and feel proud and supported for speaking on behave of thousands of Canadians. They have misinterpreted your words ‘Old boys” as a reference to ‘outdated thinking’ as a personal attack, and they are using it as a smear campaign. Set the record straight. It will demonstrate peaceful intentions on your part. You might best be served by using the same source; your web site. They are obviously watching.

    Keep up the great work. The world needs you.
    Debbie in BC

  36. David WinnNovember 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    I voted for the “challenge” option, but after considering the perceptive comments of others, I suggest you do so only on your own ground, in your own timing, and in media where you will be given a fair hearing, so that you can conserve your energy and remain focused.
    Judging by Sun’s behaviour, they and their backers must realise that you are an effective voice, so you must be doing something right.
    We are lucky to have someone like you, in these times.

  37. EileenNovember 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I copied this excellent previous response…your best bet!
    Bill Prouten Says:
    November 28th, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Be very careful. It is very difficult to go onto a show hosted by a biased media source, and emerge intact. It will not be a fair fight, and it will only be only POSSIBLE to be favourable for you if the show is aired live, and even better, with a studio audience. That way, they can’t edit your responses. If they are prepared to do a live broadcast, then it may be worth it, otherwise you may want to choose a better media outlet from which to challenge their smear campaign. Have CBC or CTV make note of the issue and then feature yourself versus someone from SUN. Power and Politics does that sort of thing all the time. That would probably be your best hope of making SUN look like themselves, which I think is not a good thing for them.

    Good Luck!

  38. Marc BeaupreNovember 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    I think you are doing good work and are bothering them a great deal. Just ignore them and keep doing what you have been doing. Canadians are peace loving people and once they realize how much of a psychopath Steven Harper is, we may get a more responsible government after the next election. Let us hope, military spending can be halted once and for all.

  39. Erich Jacoby-HawkinsNovember 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I guess it’s worth a try at a retort, but stick to three points:

    1 – No amount of “preparation” will ever prevent our troops from being killed in war. The more “prepared” we are with expensive new weapons, the more often we will take on missions and the more expanded our missions will be. Canada will always over-extend itself militarily (“punch above our weight”), that is our national tradition. Even the ultra-prepared Americans have suffered 10 times as many Afghanistan casualties as us, and one can hardly call their military underfunded or unprepared.

    2 – Focus on the use of public money to fund a private-interest lobby effort, in effect the government paying itself (with taxpayer money) to lobby for the spending of more taxpayer money on overpriced military toys.

    3 – Don’t let them interrupt – make it clear that you are there to answer the points they made in their previous 9-minute one-sided attack segment, so you have the right to respond fully before they make further criticisms. If they have further questions, they can wait until AFTER you have answered their first volley – unless they don’t believe in fair policy discussion?

    p.s. Don’t let them team up on you, with you & one biased Sunny in “debate”, while another biased Sunny acts as “host” or “moderator”. If they don’t have a single person competent enough to have this discussion with you one-on-one (just like the original segment), then don’t go.

  40. Sandra StreifelNovember 28, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    As a Christian, I want the cause of peace to be known and not the profits of war. As the wife of a non-combat veteran, not all our views are the same, but “keeping our country prepared”, as the SunTV video says, does not require expensive foreign made fighter planes. Many of the statements in the video were not addressed to the facts, but were statements designed to elicit audience feelings or attitudes. The many Canadian lives lost in Afghanistan might have been saved by many things, but as the lives lost in Iraq by UK and US forces have shown, occupations cannot be made less bloody by high-tech gear. The high levels of training and length of time in armed service of Canadian troops in Afghanistan helped them survive. Their high loss rate relative to other NATO forces were due to their consequent assignments high-conflict areas, not some “unreadiness” of materiel. Removing Canadian forces earlier or never sending them would not have changed the present disastrous outcome there, and would have saved millions to address the real maintenance and replacement needs of Coast Guard, Border, and Military services to protect and serve Canada.

    The question of whether to appear on Sun TV is yours, but I’m starting to doubt my opinion for you to go on. Few viewers will be swayed by any of your “prejudiced” facts, and since their show was based not on logic, but on appeals to their viewers that you are irrational, prejudiced against “old” generals (and by extension, old viewers), want Canada to be unprepared, want Nazis to go unchallenged, dislike unbiased reporting and the CBC, your time may be wasted going on Sun TV. I can’t contribute at this time, but I wish you well as you fight for Kairos and I against expensive Jet Fighters and war profiteering.

  41. Gordon SpaffordNovember 28, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    My advice is “ignore”. In a not so different situation I was once advised by a friend, “you’re in a pissing contest with a skunk”. Anyway, these guys are only a voice for the institutions you are trying to expose.

  42. Bill ProutenNovember 28, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Be very careful. It is very difficult to go onto a show hosted by a biased media source, and emerge intact. It will not be a fair fight, and it will only be only POSSIBLE to be favourable for you if the show is aired live, and even better, with a studio audience. That way, they can’t edit your responses. If they are prepared to do a live broadcast, then it may be worth it, otherwise you may want to choose a better media outlet from which to challenge their smear campaign. Have CBC or CTV make note of the issue and then feature yourself versus someone from SUN. Power and Politics does that sort of thing all the time. That would probably be your best hope of making SUN look like themselves, which I think is not a good thing for them.

    Good Luck!

  43. LucieNovember 28, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I wish I could help Ceasefire financially. I do not have a penny to my name… but I am behind your efforts and ready to sign petitions. Lucie

  44. Joanne BanksNovember 28, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    These ‘snipers ‘ just take up valuable time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. They are not going to change their minds. Don’t let this ignorance bait you into distraction. I didn’t know about it until I heard from you. Most people probably don’t so why draw attetion to it.I think any response on their TV station is just going to give them a reason to escalate. These guys don’t fight fair, never have never will. You have to stand your ground but on your terms not theirs and you do that everyday in the work you do. Who’s next KAIROS…

  45. Pat MurrayNovember 28, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Ignore them. Everyone knows what Fox’s views are on the issues. Don’t dignify them by getting into an argument with them

  46. KelseyNovember 28, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Steve, thank you for your work for peace and democracy.

    Go on Sun TV but have them sign a document forbidding them to distort your interview in the final cut to suit their purpose.

    It sucks that we do not have real opposition from politicians to these ongoing wars either, so you are speaking for all Canadians who oppose this PM who is on a blitzkrieg to alter Canadian people’s values and ethos.

  47. Jesse MNovember 28, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Steven,

    I think you should go on Sun TV for sure – I’ve seen you talk before and you’re a capable and knowledgable speaker. As long as you’re prepared for much more of the same type of behaviour and are able to stay cool, I think your passion and logic will shine through and this can only give more credbility to your organization’s activism. One of the previous commenters may be right that many viewers of SUN tv will disagree with you from the beginning, but I think it’s never right to shy away from this sort of debate, even if the other side is slinging mud. Sling some truth for us! Thanks for all your hard work,

    Jesse

  48. Allan MoscovitchNovember 28, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    A reading of the letter after watching the Sun TV material was very instructive. The main allegation in the fund raising letter relates to the Conference of Defense Associations and its deal to receive public moneys for private and apparently independent lobbying. There was no mention of this deal on Sun TV. Conservatives have been strongly opposed to public funds being used for what they call “private interests”, but here is a deal in which public funds are going to a private lobby group which Sun TV conservatives clearly do not oppose. So opposition to the use of public funds is clearly not about principle – its about the purposes.

    I do think Robson made one point worth considering – the repeated reference to old generals. I would prefer either of the terms “former or “retired”.

  49. PhilNovember 28, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Steven,

    I think the Sun commentators are correct in critiquing some of your rhetoric, as I had a similar reaction to your letter, though I agree with your general efforts.

    If you steer clear of the techniques of the political parties and just reasonably lay out the concerns, I don’t think they’ll have much ammunition against you.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  50. Peter StrawNovember 28, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    If accurate the things that the 92B could have covered renders the whole issue OBSCENE.
    Go on the air and remember the truth cannot be debated – stick to it and you shine. Ask Canadians how they would have liked the money spent -I think the answer is obvious. Something I have said continually since 9/11 is that “even if we pretend the west was not at least complicit” and blame muslim terrorists for the whole thing (Northwoods not withstanding). “Once they make you change your way of life and give up any freedoms they have WON” So the right thing to do would be to spend the money to increase the quality of our life here and not pander to “profit generating fearmongering”.
    Tell it like it is.

  51. Barry WilkinsonNovember 28, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    The only way to deal with Sun TV is the way that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do and that is either to show where there biases are or parody them.
    To get in a verbal fight will do nothing as anyone using F.N.N. as a news source will agree with them as they are not thinkers.
    Only parody such as 22 minutes or Rick Mercer is effective .
    If you will remember when Mercer proposed that people vote in a Pole for Stockwell day to Change his name to Doris they got 3 million votes.

  52. SandraNovember 28, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Ignore them Steve. If you go on their show they wouldn’t let you have your say and it would make them appear more valid because you would be on the defensive. I am so angry that this Sun propaganda is anywhere at all in Canada.They are no one I care to have anything to do with. A bunch of ignoramuses all of them!

  53. vern mittelholtzNovember 28, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Harper tajks Democracy and uses Dictatorship

  54. ShannonNovember 28, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Take the high road, Steven, and do what Jack Layton suggested in his last words to us: appear loving, hopeful and opptimistic. And if that is accompanied by walking softly and carrying a big stick, so be it :)
    I believe that a well thought out and considered response will appear more mature than an angry retort.
    I am glad to have you speaking for those of us who prefer peace.

  55. DavidNovember 28, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    I suggested you go on SunTv initially but after reading some of these comments I’m not sure it is the best course of action.

  56. BarbaraNovember 28, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Why get into a war of words with these guys – it’s a waste of time and energy. Just keep proclaiming the truth as we see it. Making a big deal of their statements only enlarges them. Using them as a step to raising fund is also a real “turn off” for me.

  57. GlenNovember 28, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Totally ridiculous amateur attack TV. Canada requires more money for defense because it will save soldiers’ lives? Gee…then why is it that a large number of the United States military personnel were killed? Are they underfunded/unprepared – I don’t think so.

  58. Linda BrineNovember 28, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Do you remember the interview with Margie Gillis, the dancer? It was appalling; you will be dissed, interrupted, not allowed to finish a sentence; unless you are prepared to do the same, it will be an exercise in futility. Take the high road, blitz other media, stay on message; Sun will never give you a voice, you will just be bashed like a pinata, so don’t even give them the opportunity.

  59. elahug2November 28, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Psychopaths, one and all!

    You’ve obviously hit a nerve, so save your time and energy!

    Remember, you can not wake up anyone who’s pretending to asleep!

  60. Phil BrownNovember 28, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Neither option you presented are ideal. Going on Sun News is simply going to give them more fodder for bashing Ceasefire.ca to their regular viewers who are not likely to be shown the error of their ways. Doing nothing is also not an option. The correct response should be to mount an aggressive response via other media demonstrating how absurdly biased Sun News has been over this issue.

  61. John DNovember 28, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I think you should take a chance and go on being prepared to debate the issues and deal with some good points about your wording made by the anchor man, not JR. You need to distinguish between “promoting pro-war views” and “defence spending” and also the comment on dead soldiers could easily have been misinterpreted and could have been worded better. I am on your side but sometimes a less emotive and less sensationalistic argument wins more advocates.

  62. Kathryn LangleyNovember 28, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    My cheque marked “void” to start monthly support was mailed yesterday! We must stop the Harper Government and the militarism that it represents. What parts of “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not covet” – do they NOT understand? I wish I could redirect all of my tax monies that go towards government-ordered destructive actions – domestic and foreign.

  63. Maria HeynenNovember 28, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Steve,
    Although it will not have much impact it might be worse if you decline to be interviewed. Most offensive is the fact that Robson made comparisons with the the 2 world wars, which one cannot do.
    Afghanistan was an invasion, no 2 ways about it.
    The States has been creating wars and Canada goes along.
    I will cheer you on!!

    Ria

  64. Don ChesneyNovember 28, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    If you agree to be filmed by them they will cut clips of your speech in order to mix them and make you appear to be saying something else, or simply appear to be a fool. These people are masters at manipulation and spin. I can´t seeing them even considering to allow you on their tv unless they are confident that they will be able to gain points against you, otherwise why would they allow you on in the first place? It would only be to destroy the peace movement and further their corporate war agenda.

  65. Luke StockingNovember 28, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Great Work. If you are going to debate with your detractors at SUNtv, don’t do it on their turf. Find some other media outlet willing to host such a debate or stage it yourself. Going to them will do nothing at all for the cause.

  66. G. W. MarkleNovember 28, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    You can go on Sun TV talk all you want, but it will have little effect on their defective minds. That’s because the Conservative pro war mentalty, and that of all those who are dedicated to the right wing movement are psychopaths, and psychopaths can’t feel love, mercy, empathy or compassion. They don’t have a conscience and can never feel guilt, remorse or shame, never repent their transgressions and can therefore never be forgiven. Their souls are doomed to drift alone in the darkness for eternity, lamenting what could have been. Talking to them will be like talking to a brick wall, but hopfully some of their viewers will wake up and turn away from the Dark Side.

  67. Janet D.November 28, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    I notice they didn’t give us an opportunity to comment on what looks like an advertisement for the war department. They talk about how we need to be ‘ready’ to deal with aggression. What are we doing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and soon, Iran if Israel has its way. The people from those countries didn’t come over here to drop bombs on us. Even 9/11 as many people know, including engineers and architects, was not caused by a small group of Muslims and Bin Laden.

    Steve, you present very well, you have facts, and the Canadian People need to know how much of our taxes are going to drop bombs on innocent people in order to protect corporate interests in the Gulf. Those F-35s, are totally unnecessary for us. We need planes for search and rescue, not for making war around the world.

  68. Denise KonigNovember 28, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    No one ever wins with these people…they pose, they bait, they yell and they interrupt. You’ll not be heard !! I am surprised that you would even consider their taunts as reason to confront them. My goodness !!! Denise Konig

  69. karlaNovember 24, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    i wish you great success in getting the message out and grounding Harper’s fleet..
    i would like to help, but due to bureaucratic BS i am struggling to live on just over $200. a month..

    keep up the great work.. Canada needs you!

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  1. Sun TV attacks Ceasefire.ca! | Ceasefire.ca - November 25, 2011

    [...] Watch the Sun TV video, above, for yourself. Then read the letter that Sun TV calls “despicable,” and make a donation to help our defence cam…. [...]