Canadian Ties to U.S. Empire: Lester Pearson and the Myth of Canada as Peaceable Kingdom Part II

By Richard Sanders

Global Research, April 04, 2021

CovertAction Magazine 1 April 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

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Read part I here:

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Pearson was central to the constitutional coup that propelled him into power by orchestrating the toppling of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1957-1963).

John F. Kennedy had no love for Canada’s Progressive Conservative leader. “My brother really hated only two men in all his presidency,” said Robert Kennedy. “One was Sukarno [Indonesia’s left-wing president] and the other was Diefenbaker.” The central focus of JFK’s hatred for Diefenbaker was his defiant refusal to allow the U.S. to arm Canadian missiles with American nuclear warheads.[1]

Diefenbaker’s demise was orchestrated by a bevy of highly skilled experts in covert action from the CIA, State Department, White House and Pentagon, plus two successive U.S. ambassadors to Canada, America’s leading pollster (aided by the world’s best computer technology), and the U.S. Air Force general who then led NATO.

McGeorge Bundy, then Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, even bragged that acting U.S. Secretary of State “George Ball and I knocked over the Diefenbaker government….”[2]

As usual, these American coup artists relied on local compradors to aid their efforts in replacing an uncooperative ally.

Diefenbaker had to go and who could be better than Pearson to replace him? For decades, Pearson had proven himself as a stalwart supporter of U.S. imperial interests. Canadian co-conspirators included an RCAF commander, the air marshal who chaired Canada’s military chiefs of staff, Liberal power brokers and top newsprint journalists.

Although Pearson was America’s man in Ottawa, U.S. power brokers knew that he sometimes had to pander to a large swath of the Canadian electorate which had anti-American feelings.

To retain support from these voters, Pearson had to appear to be more critical of the U.S. than he really was. This was revealed by Walton Butterworth, the JFK-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada (1962-1968), in a secret telegram at the climax of the U.S. coup in early February 1963.

His once-secret message, recalling that “Diefenbaker first came to power on wave of anti-U.S. jingoism,” scorned him as an “undependable, unscrupulous political animal” who U.S. authorities had just “boxed … in.”

Butterworth noted that when Diefenbaker cried foul regarding the U.S. forceful intrusion into Canadian politics which soon resulted in Dief’s demise, “Pearson and other party leaders could not permit him [to] pose as [the] sole spokesman for Canadian nationalism; hence they had to protect their flanks and join chorus of protest at our ‘intrusion.’”[3] Butterworth continued with the following assessment of the quickly unfolding situation and what lay ahead with Pearson’s anticipated ascension to power:

“[W]e are forcing Pearson to go faster and further than he desires in the direction we favor. … [W]e are entering new phase in U.S.-Canadian relations. … We look forward to … greater Canadian realization of their need to cultivate good relations with us…. [W]e think we will wish [to] take more coolly appraising look at concessions we offer in return for their readiness to accommodate themselves to us…. [W]e do not want to buy same asset time and again as is now the case. We have reached point where our relations must be based on something more solid than accommodation to neurotic Canadian view of us and world. We should be less the accoucheur [midwife] of Canada’s illusions.”[4]

U.S. ambassador to Canada Walton Butterworth with JFK in the White House. [Source: Jfklibrary.org]

Within a few months after assuming power, Pearson’s government not only allowed the U.S. to arm Canada’s ground-launched Bomarc missiles, it announced Canada’s acquisition of “nuclear weapons for the Honest John missiles and CF-104 fighter aircraft in Europe and … the CF-101 (Voodoo) fighter aircraft in Canada.”[5]

Canada’s Bomarc missiles. [Source: legionmagazine.com]

So blatant was Pearson’s duplicity, that future prime minister Pierre Trudeau denounced him in 1963 as “a defrocked priest of peace.”  Trudeau revealed that Pearson reversed Liberal Party policy on nuclear weapons without consulting the national council,… its executive committee, … the parliamentary caucus or even with his principal advisors. The ‘Pope’ had spoken. It was up to the faithful to believe … [T]he Pentagon … obliged Mr. Pearson to betray his party’s platform … Power presented itself to Mr. Pearson; he had nothing to lose except honour. He lost it. And his whole party lost it with him.[6]

Coup in Brazil, 1964

When Brazil elected a left-wing party by a huge margin in 1960, the U.S. began coordinating a coup that ushered in years of military dictatorship.

The coup was justified by wild claims that Brazil’s elected officials might turn into communists. It was supported by Brazilian Admiral Carlos P. Botto who, having backed fascism during WWII, went on to work closely with the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), and its leader Yaroslav Stetsko,[7] in creating the pro-fascist World Anti-Communist League.

Canadian officials, both Liberal and Tory, shared their rabid phobia about the rising popularity of communism in Latin America. After a 1961 government mission to South America, Progressive Conservative MP Pierre Sevigny told parliament that in Brazil, Canada had allies who want to cooperate with us and to prevent … the birth of subversive movements in that country where huge illiterate populations are living, which, if they were to be subjected to communist influence, could easily cause a social and economic revolution.[8]

The Liberals shared this right-wing mindset. “Canadian reaction to the military coup,” said historian Rosana Barbosa, “was careful, polite and allied with American rhetoric.”

Barbosa, a Brazilian-Canadian, says Pearson, who became prime minister the year before the coup, “did not publicly criticize the new regime. Pearson’s foreign policy … was supportive of the United States.”[9]

Pearson’s pro-coup stance was good for business, especially the Brazilian Power and Light Co. (Brascan), one of Canada’s biggest profiteers in Latin America. As revealed in Let Us Prey (1974), there was a revolving door between Brascan and the Liberal cabinets of St. Laurent, Pearson and Trudeau.

For example, Robert Winters, who held two cabinet posts under St. Laurent and was Pearson’s trade minister, became Brascan’s president. Winters praised Brazil’s coup regime, saying it “was dedicated to the principles of private enterprise” and “create[d] a climate friendly to foreign capital.”

Jack Nicholson, Brascan’s CEO in Brazil in the 1950s, held three cabinet posts under Pearson. Mitchell Sharp, whose career began under St. Laurent in 1947, held the trade and finance posts in Pearson’s cabinet.

After a stint as Brascan’s vice president, Sharp returned to politics and was appointed Trudeau’s foreign minister.[10] Another Brascan executive in Trudeau’s cabinet was Anthony Abbott,[11] who held three finance-related posts in the late 1970s.

[Source: coat.ncf.ca]

Invasion in the Dominican Republic, 1965

In February 1963, the Dominican Republic elected a pro-Castro government led by Juan Bosch, which lasted only seven months.

When a military junta seized power in a coup that September, expelling the elected president, Bosch’s supporters fought to regain control, and in April, led by Colonel Francisco Caamaño retook the National Palace. To prevent Caamaño’s forces from restoring a revolutionary government, the U.S. invaded with 20,000 Marines.

U.S. Marines in the Dominican Republic in 1965. [Source: pinterest.com]

Two weeks after the U.S Marine invasion, Canadian government representatives were approached by Caamaño, who asked for recognition. Pearson declined.

New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Tommy Douglas, the father of Canada’s free health-care system, asked Pearson what evidence he had from the U.S. “that the forces of Colonel Caamaño, which are seeking to re-establish the elected government … are indeed communist controlled and communist dominated.”

When Pearson replied that they “[c]ertainly … have communists in their … controlling group,” Douglas asked again for proof and Pearson said he could not assess the degree of their communist “infiltration.”[12]

It did not seem to occur to either that the legitimacy of pro-Bosch forces was its overwhelming popular support and that, if people wanted a communist government, they should be allowed to have one.

Pearson revealed his total bias in support of the U.S. invasion by saying that the coup regime was a legitimate “government” that had to protect “law and order” by stopping an “insurrection” by dangerous pro-Bosch forces.

In 2000, Liberals institutionalized this Pearsonian tradition of justifying U.S. invasions with humanitarian-sounding narratives by helping to create a deceptive UN doctrine called the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).

Chrétien’s foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy, rallied support from mainstream peace, human rights and development activists for NATO’s illegal 1999 war against Yugoslavia.

In 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin, Jr.’s, Liberal government used R2P memes to disguise Canadian ground troops used in the U.S.-led invasion, regime change and occupation of Haiti (the Dominican Republic’s neighbor), as if they were humanitarian “peacekeepers.”[13]

Supporting U.S. Nuclear War Policies

From the Cold War’s earliest days, Pearson was a strong voice for the idea that the moral forces of the “democratic West” had to amass a vast arsenal of weapons for a possible world war against “the totalitarian East.”

This, ironically, is why Pearson saw his key role in creating NATO as one of his most valuable gifts to global peace. From its inception in 1949, before the Soviets had tested a single atomic bomb, U.S. nuclear weapons have been a cornerstone of NATO’s “defense” policies. From the Soviet perspective, having been under attack by Western forces obsessed with its containment and annihilation since 1917, it responded to NATO’s creation by forming the Warsaw Pact in 1955.

By 1950, left-leaning peace groups around the world were busy supporting the Stockholm Peace Appeal. This petition campaign, promoted by the communist-led World Peace Congress, called for “the unconditional banning by all countries of the atomic weapon as an instrument of aggression and mass extermination of people.”

The appeal also asked governments to declare that they would “regard as a war criminal that government which first uses the atomic weapon against any country.” By February 1950, this “petition for peace,” bearing the signatures of 500,000 Canadians, was presented to government officials in Ottawa.

In a letter to a Vancouver newspaper to correct “a false report by an Ottawa reporter,” Rev. James Endicott, chairman of the Canadian Peace Congress, said “We are proud that this petition, which originated in Canada, was circulated to all countries in the world, gaining the endors[ment] of 450 million men and women.”[14]

Peace float built by Canadian Peace Congress in the 1950s. [Source: focusonsocialism.ca]

Not surprisingly, this successful campaign, which rallied widespread public opposition to NATO’s bellicose “first use,” nuclear-weapons policies, also enraged many Cold Warriors, including Lester Pearson.

In a March 1950 address to 500 civil servants about a week after Endicott’s letter was published, Pearson said Canada would “take every … measure to find and root out treason and sedition in our midst.”[15] (Sedition and treason carry penalties of 14 years and life imprisonment, respectively.)

Pearson’s speech, quoted in an Ottawa paper, singled out the Canadian Peace Congress for a moralizing rebuke:

“[B]e on guard against the more immediate menace of the individual who beneath the mask of loyal service to the country, or wearing the mantle of the Peace Congress has knowingly or unknowingly sold his soul to Moscow.”[16]

In response, Peace Congress activist Edith Holtom wrote to the paper, saying:

“If enough Canadians, including civil servants, would protest against selling the soul of Canada to American militarism, there would be no need for Mr. Pearson to refer to peacemakers as a menace…. [H]ow dare Mr. Pearson call a person a menace who joins … with thousands of others to warn our government of what might happen if changes are not made in policy-making?”[17]

Later, in a 1951 speech to the well-heeled Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club, Pearson branded the Canadian Peace Congress an agent of “foreign aggressive imperialism.”[18]

Besides the Liberals and Conservatives, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), forerunner of the NDP, also saw the Peace Congress as a menacing threat. The CCF executive forbade members from joining the Congress and threatened disciplinary action against CCFers who signed the Stockholm Appeal.[19]

Pearson had such contempt for the Congress that when 50 engineering students made a coup-like effort to destroy its University of Toronto chapter, he said in their support:

“If more Canadians were to show something of this high-spirited crusading zeal, we would very soon hear very little of the Canadian Peace Congress and its works. We would simply take it over.”[20]

Imperialist Pro-NATO Propaganda

Pearson was groomed for political power by another loyal Canadian servant of imperial interests—Mackenzie King, who had appointed him foreign minister in 1948.

King’s ascent to power had been aided by his work as “labor adviser” for billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr., America’s anti-union, robber baron who financed fascism and collaborated with the Nazis.[21]

From his unelected cabinet post, Pearson was well-placed to guide his gullible boss. An example of Pearson’s early, pro-U.S. advice occurred in 1946, when King was considering whether to take Canada along a middle path between the hardened Cold War extremes of the U.S. and the USSR. To convince King that he should hitch Canada securely to America’s anti-Soviet wagon, Pearson wrote a memo telling him that without some fundamental change in the Soviet state system and in the policies and views of its leaders, the USSR is bound to come into open conflict with western democracy.[22]

With this prediction, said historian Joe Levitt, “Pearson seemed to be asserting that a war with the Soviet Union was virtually inevitable.” Levitt noted that, “Pearson may have worded the memo … to play on … King’s fears of the Soviet Union” so that he would bow to U.S. demands for greater military access to Arctic regions claimed by Canada.[23]

[Source: coldwarteamprojectfall2014]

Pearson’s fear-mongering was clear from his very first speech to Parliament: “There is no doubt that fear has gripped the world again,” he said, “fear arising primarily out of … the brutal domination of revolutionary communism, based on the massive and expanding militarism of totalitarian Russia.”[24]

Pearson’s anti-Red hyperbole knew few bounds and smacked of ethnic hatred: “[T]he crusading and subversive power of communism,” he claimed, “has been harnessed by a cold-blooded, calculating, victoriously powerful Slav empire for its own political purposes.”[25] (Emphasis added.)

To Pearson and other Cold Warriors, the world was torn apart by a battle between pure good and utter evil. Describing these mortal foes in 1951, he said “there are two sides whose composition cuts across national and even community boundaries.” These forces, led by the U.S. and USSR, Pearson said, represented “freedom vs. slavery.”[26]

Anti-communist leaflet. [Source: pinbalking.blogspot.com]

Pearson also warned that a war between freedom and slavery would take place for one of only two reasons. World War III, he said, would result from an accident, or “a deliberate and controlled explosion brought about by the calculated policy of the hard-faced despots in the Kremlin, men hungry for power and world domination.”[27]

Hypocrisy and Doublethink: “Free Europe” vs. “Free Quebec”

Pearson’s bombast also exaggerated Soviet control over what he slurred as their “completely servile” “puppet regimes.”[28] When discussing nonaligned Yugoslavia, he referred to the “unquestioning and slavish obedience that the Kremlin demands.” With regard to Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland, and “the subjugation of states by soviet communism,” Pearson spoke of “communist pressure to liquidate every element of national independence and every trace of opinion or feeling which is not abjectly subordinate to Soviet Russia.”[29]

But Pearson was blind to the subservience of Canada and its NATO allies to the U.S. Pearson had such faith in Western morality that he declared in 1959 that “western democratic governments have no aggressive or imperialistic designs.” Similarly, he said “Americans … are perhaps the least imperialistically minded people that have ever achieved great power in the world.”[30]

As Canadian Dimension magazine founder, Cy Gonnick, explained in 1975, “Canada’s role, as devised by Pearson, was to assist the United States to achieve its goals, which were by definition the same as Canada’s.” Canadian servility to the U.S. was summed up by a top Pearson colleague: “We can tell our neighbour when we think he is wrong,” said John Holmes, Canada’s chargé d’affaires in Moscow in 1947-1948 and a top bureaucrat at external affairs (starting in 1953 into the 1960s), “but we know that in the end we will, in our own interest, side with our neighbour right or wrong.”[31]

In a speech in Vancouver in 1948, Pearson expressed faith that “democracy” in the U.S.-led “free world” had, by its treatment of the global poor, proven “its superiority as a form of government and a way of life.” Pearson then boiled everything down to the West’s existential struggle with evil. In one corner of the globe was America’s “free, expanding progressive democracy.” In the other, was the USSR’s “tyrannical and reactionary communism.”[32]

The so-called free world countries, said Pearson, being “strong, healthy and progressive,” had to “protect themselves from the threat of a sudden attack by an aggressor communist state.” Pearson also believed the U.S.-led free world must “remove the menace of aggressive communism, at home … [and] abroad.”[33]

To “remove” the Red Menace, Pearson said Canada and other “free” nations had to “pay tribute” to the U.S. by foregoing their own independent foreign policies. He outlined this strategy to the elitist Empire Club of Canada and Toronto’s equally affluent Canadian Club by saying:

“we must recognize and pay tribute to the leadership being given and the efforts being made by the United States in the conflict against Communist imperialism, and realize that if this leadership were not given we would have little chance of success in the common struggle. Secondly, we must never forget that our enemy gleefully welcomes every division in the free democratic ranks and that … there will be times when we should abandon our position if it is more important to maintain unity in the face of the common foe.”[34]

Vive le Ukraine Libre

The hypocrisy of Cold War “doublethink”[35] is illustrated by Pearson’s indignant reaction to Charles de Gaulle’s “Vive le Québec libre” speech in 1967. During his visit to Montréal for Canada’s centenary celebrations, the French president’s allusion to an independent Quebec outraged Prime Minister Pearson. De Gaulle’s reference to a “free Quebec” was nothing compared to the onslaught of “free Ukraine” propaganda that Canada had beamed at the USSR for the previous 15 years.

Under Pearson’s guidance, CBC International broadcasts had long provoked ethnonationalist schisms in the USSR. From its very first Ukrainian-language program, on Canada’s 85th birthday (July 1, 1952), the CBC’s Voice of Canada had collaborated with Canada’s far-right Ukrainian émigrés to drive a political wedge into the USSR.

Canada’s Cold War propaganda broadcasts were part of a U.S.-led political/psychological warfare campaign to exploit internal Soviet conflicts and to foment the break-up of that extremely multicultural country.

Canada’s mass media decried de Gaulle’s call for a free Quebec. In covering the French president’s speech, most newspapers across Canada quoted from Pearson’s speech at a huge July 31, 1967 rally of anti-Soviet Ukrainian youth on Parliament Hill.[36] (See photo.)

This rally of 1,500 uniformed, anti-communist Ukrainian youth marching in formation, was organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC).[37]

It had been created by King’s government in 1940 to unify Canada’s right-wing Ukrainian groups. While the UCC regularly meddled in Soviet politics by demanding a “free Ukraine,” it was happy to be used as a backdrop for Pearson to condemn de Gaulle’s meddling in Canadian politics.

In 1967, Pearson used 1,500 uniformed Ukrainian youth as a backdrop to decry de Gaulle’s “Vive le Québec libre” speech and to praise Canada’s “two founding races.”  Another speaker, Yuri Shymko, helped lead the Ukrainian youth movement which still glorifies Stepan Bandera as a hero. During WWII, Ukrainian scouting troops recruited for Bandera’s fascist army and for the Waffen SS Galicia. These formations took part in killing Poles and Jews, and collaborated in the Nazi invasion of the USSR which killed 27 million Soviet citizens. [Source – Ukraine: A Captive but Unconquerable Nation, Bulletin of the World AntiCommunist League, June 1969; diasporiana.org.au]

In Pearson’s speech, he acknowledged only “two founding races and languages and cultures in Canada, British and French.” Ignoring Canada’s genocide of First Nations, he also left out Britain’s conquest of New France in 1760. “In our country,” Pearson claimed, “we have required neither revolution nor civil war nor outside intervention to settle our differences.”[38]

These amnesic state myths were echoed by Yuri Shymko, who told the crowd:

“Canada is one of the few countries of the world that can proudly and justly say it has maintained throughout its young history the principle that men of all races and nationalities shall live and prosper in peace, liberty and equality.”[39]

Shymko was described in 1967 news stories as “a leader of the Ukrainian Youth Organization.” Then 26, he went on to become a member of parliament. Shymko continues to lead Ukrainian nationalists who glorify Stepan Bandera, a WWII fascist leader whose armed forces massacred Jews, Poles and communists.[40]

Pearson’s “Full-Spectrum” Anti-Red Crusade

Pearson believed that Western civilization’s global war against communism had to be fought on all fronts, using weapons from all fields of culture. To amass the arsenal needed for this full-spectrum war, Pearson tailored his rhetoric to suit his audience. To his allies in Canada’s old boys’ clubs, he said the anti-communist struggle has not yet become a shooting war, except in Korea, but … goes on in the field of economics, finance, and public opinion, and extends far beyond any military or even political operation.

“Strength,” he reminded this wealthy audience of corporate movers and shakers from the Empire Club of Canada and Toronto’s Canadian Club, should not “be interpreted in military terms alone, but has also its economic, financial and moral aspects.”[41]

In 1952, Pearson became chancellor of his alma mater, Victoria College. In his speech, he focused on the need to fight the Reds using “intellectual and spiritual weapons”:

“It would be a mistake to believe we can … defeat communism by force. Among other things, communism is an idea. No idea, however perilous or noxious, as communism is, can be killed by bayonets or even by an atomic bomb. As an idea, it must be resisted by intellectual and spiritual weapons….”[42]

To fight his Cold War crusade against communism, Pearson often wielded Christian rhetoric. For instance, when promoting the creation of NATO in early 1949, he said “Canada should not remain aloof” because aggressive forces outside Canada allied to subversive forces within it … [could] lead the world into war between totalitarian Communism and the Christian democratic way of life.[43]

Comic promoting alleged Soviet plot to take over Canada. [Source: pinbalking.blogspot.com]

Having absorbed a zeal for imperialism thanks to the influence of his family, church and literature, Pearson grew to equate anti-communism  with “spiritual faith” and “Christian morality.” These he saw as “the basis for the individual and for society.”[44]

Lester Pearson at a conference in San Francisco in 1945 held by what subsequently became the UN. [Source: thediscoverblog.com]

Within his black-and-white universe, the Cold War’s rivals were engaged in a mythic, existential battle between the evil darkness of totalitarian communism and the pure, radiance of civilized Western capitalism. This cartoon ethos left no room for grey areas in between. Canadians had to either embrace the enlightened “free world,” or be damned and condemned as diabolical Reds.

In one parliamentary polemic, Pearson contrasted the “dark practice of government through tyranny and ignorance” behind “the shadow of the iron curtain,” with the glowing “human spirit” that made Europe the “fountainhead of light and progress” for “a thousand years.” Pearson’s melodramatic tropes shone when he said Europe’s “light still burns, and that eventually it will help lift the darkness that now surrounds it.”[45]

Pearson and other Cold Warriors had zero-tolerance for communism. Their anti-Red phobia was akin to the “one-drop rule” that dominated the most racist societies. Apartheid regimes in South Africa and the U.S. institutionalized the hatred of their power elites in social systems that disempowered those alleged to have even a single drop of black African blood in their veins. Similarly, Cold Warriors like Pearson were intolerant of individuals, groups and foreign leaders said to be “tainted” by the dreaded “Red” political blood; “Pinkos” could not be tolerated. In the 1960s, it was known in Canada’s peace/anti-war movement that Pearson was a jingoistic Liberal war hawk, this is no longer the case. His image is now all but completely rehabilitated.

Despite his role in leading Canadian complicity in U.S./NATO-led wars and coups, Pearson is now heralded as an icon of peace by many Canadians who view themselves as progressives. This whitewashed invocation of Canada’s Pearsonian tradition is nowhere stronger than among the torchbearers of the Liberal Party.

For example, in 2017, when Canada’s current deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, was foreign minister, she called Pearson a “Canadian icon” who promoted “peace, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.”[46]

Her statement was made at a media event staged to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize. This commemoration was co-sponsored by Canada’s Department of Global Affairs and Pearson College in British Columbia.

Pearson College is a private, government-funded[47] boarding school for teens that is part of the prestigious United World College (UWC) movement. Alumni from its eighteen colleges on four continents have included youth who ended up becoming heads of state, CEOs, venture capitalists, religious and military leaders, celebrity artists, actors, powerful members of the Fifth Estate and Cold War Liberal hawks like Freeland herself.

As a precocious teen, Freeland’s Russophobic, anti-communist ideologies were strengthened by her two-year attendance at the UWC’s Adriatic College in Italy. She had already been ingrained in these belief systems by powerful influencers in her anti-Soviet Ukrainian-Canadian community and her family.[48] These included Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Mikhailo Khomiak, who was given safe haven in Canada after working as Nazi Germany’s leading Ukrainian-language news propagandist in WWII.[49]

Mikhailo Khomiak (to the right of the man smoking and immediately behind woman in headdress) with Nazi press administrator Emil Gassner, who is on the right, looking away. [Source: peoplesvoice.ca]

Canada’s Pearson College was the second of eighteen elite, international schools in the UWC network that was established by anti-communist admirers and military leaders of NATO’s Defense College in Paris.[50]

Statue of Lester Pearson on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. [Source: waymarking.com]

But the exaltation of Pearson as Canada’s most noble peace hero is not limited to the halls of government power or such elitist, pro-NATO institutions as Pearson College.

Remarkably, Pearson is now regarded with tremendous respect even by leading forces in Canada’s mainstream peace movement. For example, Canada’s largest and best-known peace organization, Project Ploughshares, has effectively buried Pearson’s role as a vociferous Cold War-monger and helped to construct the mythology that now surrounds and protects his name.

Although Ploughshares has for 45 years done much exemplary work, including the documentation of Canada’s military exports, it has also helped to reverse the much-deserved, negative reputation that Pearson once had in the peace movement.

Mandated by, and accountable to, the Canadian Council of Churches, Ploughshares has received considerable financial support from this country’s largest religious bodies and from Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative alike. (Since 1999, Ploughshares has received at least $2.4 million in grants and contracts from the federal government.[51])

Ploughshares’ obfuscation of Pearson’s imperialist, pro-war record is expressed in its internet presence. Of the 40 articles that reference Pearson within Ploughshares’ website,[52] none mention his promotion of U.S. coups and wars. Instead, the majority invoke his name in a positive light by mentioning the government-established Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, which trained military personnel from 1994 to 2013.

Only one article contains even a passing critique of Pearson’s prowar legacy by briefly mentioning his role in arming Canadian missiles with U.S. nuclear warheads.[53]

This 2009 article was written by then-retired Ploughshares co-founder Ernie Regehr who, two years later, accepted the UN Association of Canada’s “Pearson Peace Medal.” This award is given annually to a Canadian who has contributed to those causes to which Lester B. Pearson devoted his distinguished career: aid to the developing world; mediation between those confronting one another with arms; succour to refugees and others in need; equal rights and justice for all humanity; and peaceful change through world law and world organization.[54]

The Ploughshares website highlights Regehr’s receipt of this medal at the very top of a special webpage called “Milestones,” which lists the group’s greatest achievements. The only photo on this page shows Regehr receiving the medal from Canada’s Governor General during a pomp-filled ceremony at his palace-like mansion in Ottawa.[55] It also notes that the Pearson Peace Medal had been received by Ploughshares’ other co-founder, Murray Thomson, 21 years earlier from another governor general.

Ploughshares’ “Milestones” page also notes that Regehr accepted the World Peace Award from the World Federalists of Canada.[56] The first recipient of this award was Lester Pearson himself in 1972.

The World Peace Award (in 2001) and the Pearson Peace Medal (in 2017) were bestowed upon Lloyd Axworthy,[57] who was the Liberal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade during Canada’s active participation in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Axworthy, who—like Freeland—carries on the Pearsonian war-hawk tradition, oversaw the export of billions of dollars’ worth of Canadian weapons systems to the U.S. and dozens of other countries. He, like Pearson, has received considerable praise in the pages of Ploughshares’ website.

Despite Pearson’s long career of promoting the multifarious crimes of empire, his status as a Canadian peace-cult hero seems unlikely to be revoked anytime soon. Still glorified by the corporate media, politicians of all stripes, and even the peace movement, Pearson remains a seemingly irremovable fixture in the mythology of Canada, “the peaceable kingdom.”

However, as the foreign affairs bureaucrat, diplomat and political leader who spearheaded the warmongering, social phobia of extreme anti-communism in post-war Canada, Pearson will eventually be widely recognized as a godfather of the Cold War and an ideological patriarch of its hate-filled propaganda.

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Richard Sanders is an anti-war activist and writer in Canada. In 1984, he received an MA in cultural anthropology and began working to expose Canada’s complicity in U.S.-led wars. In 1989, he founded the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT), which led to a 20-year municipal ban on Ottawa’s arms bazaars.

Notes

[1] Richard Sanders, “A Plot ‘Made in the U.S.,’” Press for Conversion! Issue 43, January 2001, pp. 23-25. http://bit.ly/Cda-Coup ; Richard Sanders, “1962-1963, Canada: ‘Knocking Over’ Dief the Chief”
https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/1962_1963_canada.htm; CIA Fingerprints: The Americans behind the Plot to Oust John Diefenbaker
https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/cia_fingerprints.htm; Key Quotations on the events of January 1963
https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/key_quotations_on_the_events.htm

[2] Ibid.

[3] Telegram from the Embassy in Canada to the Department of State, Ottawa, Feb. 3, 1963, 3 p.m., Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Volume XIII, Western Europe and Canada.
https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v13/d445

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ernie Regehr, “Canada and the nuclear arsenal,” in Canada and the Nuclear Arms Race, 1983, p. 109.

[6] Pierre Trudeau, Cité Libre, April 1963, cited by Walter Gordon, “Liberal leadership and nuclear weapons,” in Regehr 1983, ibid.

[7] Richard Sanders, “Yaroslav Stetsko: Leader of pro-Nazi Ukraine, 1941,” Cold War Canada, op. cit., p. 49. https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_49.htm

[8] Pierre Sevigny, Hansard, Sept. 7, 1961, p. 8083. http://bit.ly/Sevigny64

[9] Rosana Barbosa, Brazil and Canada: Economic, Political, and Migratory Ties, 1820s to 1970s, 2017, pp. 8-9. http://bit.ly/Cda-Brazil

[10] Robert Chodos (ed.), Let Us Prey, 1974, pp. 14-17. http://bit.ly/Brascan

[11] Barry Buys, Canadians in Brazil, Brascan and Brazilian Development, 1996, p. 67. http://bit.ly/BuysBrascan

[12] Hansard, May 11, 1965, p. 1152. https://parl.canadiana.ca/view/oop.debates_HOC2603_02/75?r=0&s=3

[13] Richard Sanders, “R2P: Typecasting Canada as Hero in Theatres of War,” Press for Conversion!, Mar. 2007, pp. 11-12. http://bit.ly/RS-r2p

[14] James G Endicott, “That Peace Appeal,” letter, Vancouver News-Herald, Mar. 21, 1951, p. 4. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/72058532/the-vancouver-news-herald/

[15] “Our Duty to Root Out Treason, L.B. Pearson tells CS Group,” Ottawa Journal, Mar. 27, 1950, p. 8. http://bit.ly/Pearson-CPC

[16] Ibid.

[17] Edith Holtom, “A Peace Congress View,” Ottawa Citizen, Apr. 4, 1950, p. 32. http://bit.ly/Holtom

[18] Lester Pearson, “Communism and the Peace Campaign,” April 20, 1951, in John Price, Orienting Canada: Race, Empire, and the Transpacific, 2011, p. 230. http://bit.ly/antiCPC

[19] Anthony Mardiros, William Irvine: Life of a Prairie Radical, 1979, p. 229. http://bit.ly/BanNukes

[20] Reginald Whitaker and Gary Marcuse, Cold War Canada: The Making of a National Insecurity State, 1945-1957, 1996, p. 375.

[21] Richard Sanders, “Rockefeller Assoc,” Press for Conversion! Mar. 2004. http://bit.ly/JDR-2

[22] Joseph Levitt, Pearson and Canada’s Role in Nuclear Disarmament & Arms Control Negotiations, 1945-1957, 1993, p. 46. http://bit.ly/Levitt

[23] Ibid.

[24] Lester Pearson, Words and Occasions: An Anthology of Speeches and Articles Selected from his Papers, 1970, p. 82. http://bit.ly/LBP-70

[25] Ibid., p. 70.

[26] Lester Pearson, “Canadian Foreign Policy in a Two Power World,” Apr. 10, 1951. http://bit.ly/lp51

[27] Ibid.

[28] Lester Pearson, Hansard, Nov. 16, 1949.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Lester Pearson, Diplomacy in a Nuclear Age, 1959, p. 53.

[31] Cy Gonick, Inflation or Depression, 1975, p.87.

[32] Pearson 1970, op. cit., p. 75.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Pearson, Apr. 10, 1951, op. cit.

[35] “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both…. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.” George Orwell, 1984, 1949, p. 220. http://bit.ly/1984-DT

[36] Author’s collection of news articles, Jul. 31-Aug. 3, 1967. http://bit.ly/freeQuebec

[37] Aya Fujiwara, Ethnic Elites and Canadian Identity: Japanese, Ukrainians, and Scots, 1919-1971, 2012. http://bit.ly/UCC1967

[38] Gordon Pape, “Full Acceptance of French a Requirement says Pearson,” Montreal Gazette, Aug. 1, 1967, p. 2. http://bit.ly/Aug1-1967

[39] “PM Stresses Political Unity to Ukrainians,” Calgary Herald, Jul. 31, 1967, p. 9. http://bit.ly/ch-67

[40] Richard Sanders, “Yuri Shymko: From Bandera youth leader, MPP and MP, to elder statesman,” Cold War Canada, op. cit., pp. 60-61.
https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_60-61.htm

[41] Pearson, Apr. 10, 1951, op. cit.

[42] Pearson 1970, op. cit., p. 112.

[43] “Pearson Hits Progressive Conservatives,” Winnipeg Free Press, Feb. 5, 1949, p. 6. http://bit.ly/Christ-vs-Reds

[44] Pearson 1970, op. cit., p. 113.

[45] Lester Pearson, cited by B.T.R., “Need We Fight the Russians?” Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 16, 1949, p. 30. http://bit.ly/OC11-16-49

[46] Chrystia Freeland statement on the 60th anniversary of Pearson receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace, Dec. 10, 2017. http://bit.ly/Pearson-Icon

[47] Pearson College has received at least $14.18 million in government grants since 1995. (This figure, adjusted for inflation, is the value of these grants in 2021 dollars.)

Public Accounts of Canada, https://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/301/public_accounts_can/pdf/index.html

$100,000 (2006-07) ($126,325 in 2021 dollars)

$4 million (1997-98) ($6.08 in 2021 dollars)

$5 million (1994-95) ($7.98 in 2021 dollars)

[48] Richard Sanders, “Getting them young: Instilling Ukrainian patriotism in children and youth,” Cold War Canada, op. cit., pp. 52-54. https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_52-54.htm

[49] Richard Sanders, The Chomiak-Freeland Connection, March 2017.
https://coat.ncf.ca/research/Chomiak-Freeland/C-F1.htm

[50] Richard Sanders, “Pearson College and NATO’s United World Colleges,” Cold War Canadaop. cit., p. 8.  https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_8.htm

[51] Richard Sanders, “Project Ploughshares and the myth of Canada’s noninvolvement in the Iraq War,” 2013. https://coat.ncf.ca/articles/Ploughshares-IraqMyth_Funding.htm

Richard Sanders, “Additional data on government funding of Project Ploughshares,” complied March 8, 2021. https://coat.ncf.ca/articles/Ploughshares-AddedFundingNotes.htm

[52] Google search of the Ploughshares website for the word “Pearson,” retrieved Mar. 6, 2021. https://www.google.com/search?q=site:https://ploughshares.ca+pearson

[53] Ernie Regehr, “Our Nuclear Ambivalence Must End,” Waterloo Region Record, 2009. https://ploughshares.ca/pl_publications/our-nuclear-ambivalence-must-end/

[54] Governor General David Johnston, “Presentation of the Pearson Peace Medal to the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy,” May 19, 2017. https://www.gg.ca/en/media/news/2017/pearson-peace-medal

[55] Milestones. https://ploughshares.ca/about-us/milestones/

[56] Murray Thomson, The Pearson Peace Medal Recipients http://www.unac.org/copy-6-of-new-page

[57] Lloyd Axworthy, The Pearson Peace Medal Recipients http://www.unac.org/copy-22-of-new-page

Featured image: Lester B. Pearson with John F. Kennedy. Pearson played a founding role in NATO (1949) and was former Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1948 to 1957. As leader of Canada’s Liberal Party from 1958 to 1968, he was Prime Minister from 1963 to 1968. [Source: natoassociation.ca]

Canada Ties to the U.S. Empire: Lester Pearson and the Myth of Canada as “Peaceable Kingdom” Part I

By Richard Sanders

Global Research, March 31, 2021

CovertAction Magazine 30 March 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

*

[T]here are two sides whose composition cuts across national and even community boundaries. The issues … can be described as freedom vs. slavery…. [T]wo powerful leaders of these opposed sides have emerged—the United States of America and the USSR.

We are faced now with a situation similar in some respects to that which confronted our forefathers in early colonial days when they ploughed the land with a rifle slung on the shoulder. If they stuck to the plough and left the rifle at home, they would have been easy victims for any savages lurking in the woods. ”

As Canada’s Minister of External Affairs, Lester Pearson delivered the above statements in his speech entitled “Canadian Foreign Policy in a Two Power World” to a joint meeting of the Empire Club of Canada and Canadian Club of Toronto. (April 10, 1951)

*

For centuries, self-righteous state myths have depicted the imperial Canadian project as a victory for democracy and human rights. Despite Canada’s long record of genocide, land plunder, and war profiteering, official narratives about noble “Canadian values” still reign in this imagined “peaceable kingdom.”

Canada’s ethnonationalist propaganda demonized First Nations as hostile sub-humans to be enslaved, imprisoned on reservations and made Christian in residential schools. This White-Power racism served imperialist containment policies designed to turn “Red Indian” enemies into captive nations.

By the early 1950s, then-external affairs minister Lester Pearson was pioneering a new containment policy. During the transition to the new world order of the Cold War, he rallied his powerful allies in Canada’s racist old-boys’ clubs.

Pearson’s status as a national hero was consolidated when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his role in helping to establish a UN peacekeeping force.

But Pearson was far from a progressive. In 1951, he compared the new Red Menace of communism to what he called “savages lurking in the woods.” These “savages,” he declared, had violently threatened the peaceful lives of innocent white Europeans whom he lovingly called “our forefathers.”

By conjuring unsettling images of a Red-Indian bogeyman, Pearson helped manufacture consent for a new, politically Red enemy to meet the needs of NATO’s capitalist powers.

On the home front, Pearson’s fierce anticommunism justified Canada’s systematic abuses of civil rights. As Ian MacKay and Jamie Swift note in Warrior Nation: “Pearson enthusiastically supported a Cold War against any Canadians suspected of viewing the world outside the newly hegemonic framework of the American imperium.”[1]

Headline in Toronto newspaper pointing to repressive political environment in the early Cold War. [Source: opentext.bc.ca]

Targeted for abuse by Canada’s Cold War elites were “peaceniks,” radical unionists and anyone branded as too leftwing. “Pearson had become an ever-more-aggressive accomplice,” said MacKay and Swift, “in government attacks on dissidents.”[2]

To Pearson and other Cold Warriors, the world was torn. As chief architect of Canada’s postwar anti-Red foreign policy, Pearson demonized the Soviet Union as the epicenter of evil. The USSR was still reeling after 27 million of its citizens had been killed by Hitler’s anti-communist crusade.

This is the cover of the Canadian edition (1947) of a U.S. comic by the Catechetical Guild Educational Society. [Source: coat.ncf.ca]

Anti-communist propaganda which Pearson echoed. [Source: coat.ncf.ca]

After the Red Army liberated Eastern Europe and led Germany’s defeat, the U.S. replaced the Nazis as global leaders in the war on communism. NATO efforts to destroy the USSR used Cold-War “containment” strategies: surrounding the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons, isolating it with political and economic sanctions, and vilifying it with propaganda. Pearson had a central role in this new phase of the West’s war on communism.

Lester Pearson, far right, with Halvard Lange of Norway and Gaetano Martino of Italy. They were known as the “Three Wise Men” who were ardent in supporting NATO. [Source: nato.int]

The Red Scare had been going on for decades. In Pearson’s youth during WWI and the First Red Scare (1914-20), Canada ran slave-labor, concentration camps that interned thousands of single immigrant men, mostly Ukrainians, who had been laid off from rural work camps. Elites feared their growing protests in urban centers might spark a socialist revolution.[3]

Ukrainians interned during World War I and the First Red Scare. [Source: infoukes]

And, in 1919, Canada was among thirteen countries that invaded newborn Soviet Russia with 150,000 troops to intervene in its civil war and reverse its revolution. Canada’s allies in the war, led by Admiral Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak, killed at least 100 civilians for every one killed by the Bolshevik Red Army, according to General William S. Graves, who headed the U.S. contingent.[4]

Members of the Canadian Army’s 67th Battery pose for a photo following the Battle of Tulgas, Russia, on November 11, 1918. [Source: ipolitics.ca]

During the Depression, when Pearson was a bureaucrat working closely with Canada’s prime minister, some 170,000 single, unemployed men were forced into remote work camps to prevent a potential revolution.[5]

One means of dismantling Canada’s prevailing peace mythology is to examine this country’s support for U.S. militarism throughout the Cold War. This study leads to the conclusion that little if anything has changed.

Plaque commemorating Pearson and Truman and signing of original NATO treaty in 1949. [Source: tcdb.com]

Always a stalwart NATO warrior giving solid allegiance to U.S.-led military, political, economic and propaganda warfare, Canada has taken leading roles in a new Cold War being waged by the American empire.

Lester Pearson at West Germany’s accession to NATO in 1955. [Source: nato.int]

Facing Canada’s history of duplicity is especially difficult because it means challenging the villainous hypocrisy of some of this nation’s most-beloved leaders. It also means confronting the powerful, political descendants of Canada’s much-glorified peace cult heroes, and debunking pernicious narratives that are still perpetuated, even by many mainstream progressives.

Pearson As Peace-Cult Hero and Cold-War Hatemonger

While state-sponsored myths have helped to create an institutionalized cult around Pearson, Canada’s beloved Nobel Peace Prize winner was actually a vociferous Cold Warrior. Besides using hateful anti-Red rhetoric to whitewash U.S.-backed wars, Pearson rallied support for various covert actions that squashed anti-colonial struggles in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Canada’s largest political, corporate, religious and media institutions shared with their Western allies a fierce loathing for anyone who could be labelled communist. Their global crusade maligned all individuals, groups, parties, movements and governments that dared to threaten the freewheeling reign of predatory corporations. In Lester Pearson, these fear-mongering elites found a believable voice whose skilful devotion to Cold War tropes served their shared, vested interests.

Pearson was useful to British and American power elites because he leveraged Canada’s well-crafted reputation as a neutral “middle power” to cheerlead their neocolonial adventures. This included lending Canada’s respected voice to the ousting of elected, socialist-friendly governments that tried to limit the exploits of foreign corporations.

As Canada’s most influential confidence man, Pearson exuded faith in America’s supposed devotion to peace. “It is inconceivable to me that the United States would ever initiate an aggressive war,” said Pearson in 1955, and “it is also inconceivable that Canada would ever take part in such a war.”[6]

Captivated by the era’s extreme anti-communism, Pearson ignored Western war crimes. In fact, he artfully glorified these crimes with phobic narratives that painted assaults on democracy as if they were part of a noble, god-inspired plan to wipe communist evil off the face of the earth.

Before examining Pearson’s key role in leading Canada’s support for these American adventures, it is worth examining the cultural influences in his early life that helped create his pious devotion to Cold War causes.

The Early Origins of Pearson’s “Muscular Christianity”

That Pearson slipped so easily into sermonizing about the Red Menace can be explained largely by his ultrareligious upbringing. His father, and both grandfathers, were Methodist ministers. [NOTE: Not sure what a “staunch” Methodist minister is.]

Methodism, which was then Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, was central to the imperial project of spreading “Christian values” at home and abroad.

This religious exercise, to build the moral muscles of a global Anglo-based civilization, fixated on the Social Gospel movement. Its mission was to take up the “white man’s burden” and uplift atheist heathens and inferior races through such genocidal institutions as Indian Residential Schools.[7]

Pearson describes his maternal grandfather, Rev. Thomas Bowles, as “a pillar of the church and the Liberal party.” He had been elected county warden three times, township reeve (mayor) ten times, and was appointed first sheriff of Dufferin County, Ontario. Pearson notes that his paternal grandfather Rev. Marmaduke L. Pearson, one of the Methodist “church’s most distinguished divines,” was a devoted Tory who seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about and playing baseball, lawn-bowling and cricket.

This obsession was passed on to his sons, including Lester’s father, Rev. Edwin A. Pearson. He was described by historian John English, as “a strong imperialist” whose “three boys shared his enthusiasm for sports and the empire.”[8]

Lester Pearson (bottom left), at home in Hamilton, 1913, with brothers, parents and grandfather. His father and grandfather were both Methodist ministers who zealously supported British imperialism. [Source: coat.ncf.ca]

Pearson’s memoir also reveals the great influence of certain novels he found in his Sunday School library. “From its shelves I learned of life and adventure,” said Pearson, “through Horatio Alger, G.A. Henty and similar heroic books.”[9] Alger, a disgraced Unitarian minister who became one of the most popular novelists of the late 1800s, is best known for perpetuating the American dream’s “rags-to-riches” myth.

George A. Henty though, revealed Pearson, was “the author whom I knew the best among all English writers before I went to college.” [10] As a British war correspondent, Henty’s travels across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, were always sure to promote British imperialism. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his work epitomized that blatantly jingoistic literary genre known as “imperial adventure fiction.”Canada’s Secret War: IRAQ – Ten Years After “Shock and Awe”

Henty’s books embodied the spirit of so-called “Muscular Christianity.” This Victorian movement glorified the pious athleticism and virile masculinity of tough, white saviors who would happily knock heads together (and kill if need be) for the glory of god, king, country and empire.

Always ready to save the brutish, lower-class savages from themselves, Henty’s heroes enthralled impressionable juveniles, like Pearson, who lapped up this macho vision of a missionizing, tough-love fundamentalism that was hopped up on just wars and imperial steroids.[11]  “To be a true hero,” explained Henty when interviewed, “you must be a true Christian.”[12]

Henty’s 122 novels were riddled with white supremacist heroes who spouted the era’s outrageously popular racist, sexist and anti-semitic beliefs. His books also targeted left-wing, cartoon villains from the ruthless labour leaders of striking English coal miners[13] to the eroticized socialist women who ran loose in the 1871 “Paris Commune.”[14]

Considering his class and the strong religious leanings of his family and community, it is not surprising that Pearson would be so captivated by Henty’s writings. While Pearson’s 1972 memoir offers no critique of Henty, it praises the author’s historical fiction for having provided a knowledge of the world that informed and inspired him throughout his political career:

“His exciting stories based on history’s more romantic episodes stirred my imagination mightily and, I suspect, had much to do with my liking for and concentration on history in my educational progress. When years later I traveled extensively abroad as Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs, there was hardly a place I visited which I had not known through that prolific but now almost forgotten writer of adventure stories for boys.”[15]

Pearson’s exceedingly sheltered childhood kept him cozy in the warmth of positive feelings for imperialism. “[T]he parish was my world,” he confessed. “As for the rest of the world, I thought about it … largely in terms of the British Empire which was looking after the ‘lesser breeds’ and keeping the French and Germans under control.”[16]

Admitting that his was “an absorbing mind rather than a questioning mind,” Pearson also disclosed that he had “a rather superficial approach to life.” His “limited” world, Pearson says, “did not broaden much” until 1913 when, at age 16, he entered Toronto’s Victoria College.[17]

Named for Queen Victoria, and founded by the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1836, this was no breeding ground for radical thought; it was a hotbed of imperialist education.

Rather than freeing Pearson’s mind from its fetters, college life further narrowed Pearson’s “limited” worldview. And, it was here that Pearson first made contact with influential men who led him along the political path to power.

Victoria College was where he began what he called his “long and … rewarding association”[18] with Vincent Massey, a history lecturer and dean of the residence building which his family had built and furnished. Massey’s Methodist father, owning one of Toronto’s biggest industrial concerns, had close links to the highest echelons of the Liberal Party. Massey was already a good friend of Mackenzie King, who became Canada’s longest-standing prime minister.

Massey became one of Pearson’s most important Methodist mentors. His deeds included being a leader of Toronto’s Cecil Rhodes-inspired Round Table Society (1911-18); marrying Alice Parkin, daughter of Sir George Parkin, secretary of The Rhodes Trust (1915); being appointed to Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s cabinet war committee (1918) and to the Liberal cabinet (1925); being appointed Canada’s first envoy to the U.S. (1926-30) and its high commissioner to Britain (1930, 1935-46); being president of England and Wales’ National Liberal Federation (1932-35); being made Canada’s delegate to the League of Nations (1936) and being appointed to represent the Queen as Canada’s governor general (1952-59).[19]

Massey, who Pearson notes was “personal friends of the Royal Family, and … seemed to know every duke by his first name,”[20] was able to open doors for Pearson throughout his career. This included funding Pearson’s BA and MA studies at Oxford (1923-25).[21]

Pearson’s subservience to the moneyed interests of empire helped ensure his rise through the Department of External Affairs. He joined that bureaucracy in 1928, during the King government, but when Conservative Prime Minister Richard “Iron Heel” Bennett took power in 1930, “Pearson was a beneficiary.”[22]

Bennett, who was also a devout Methodist, earned his nickname after an inflammatory 1932 speech in which he said:

“What do these so-called groups of Socialists and Communists offer you? They are sowing their seeds everywhere…. [T]hroughout Canada this propaganda is being put forward by organizations from foreign lands that seek to destroy our institutions. And we ask that every man and woman put the iron heel of ruthlessness against a thing of that kind.”[23]

Crushing communism was clearly the order of the day, and Pearson was ambitious and eager to comply.

Talent-spotted by Bennett, Pearson was soon appointed to two royal commissions on economic issues. As journalism professor Andrew Cohen noted: “Pearson liked Bennett who treated him as a protegé.”

In early 1935, Pearson accompanied Bennett to London where they took part in the Jubilee to celebrate King George V’s 25-year reign. During their lavish sea voyage with its sumptuous cuisine, Pearson learned he would receive the Order of the British Empire and asked Bennett for a raise of $25 per week.[24]

This increase boosted Pearson’s salary by an extra $25,000 per year in today’s dollars. This was distasteful considering all those who were hungry for food and justice during the Great Depression.

Unmentioned by Cohen or Pearson is that, between 1932 and 1935, Bennett’s government rounded up 170,000 single, unemployed, urban men and forced them into slavery in army-run “Relief Camps.”

Army-run relief camp during Great Depression, designed to remove “red” agitators from the cities. [Source: sutori.com]

General Andrew McNaughton’s internment plan makes it clear why. “In their ragged platoons,” he explained to the cabinet, “here are the prospective members of what Marx called the ‘industrial reserve army, the storm troopers of the revolution.’”[25]

General McNaughton further told Bennett that “[b]y taking the men out … of the cities” and forcing them into remote work camps, “we were removing the active elements on which the ‘red’ agitators could play.”[26]

In 1935, Bennett approved Pearson’s posting to Canada’s High Commission in London. When Bennett was replaced by King, Pearson’s move was confirmed and he continued his climb, becoming second in command under High Commissioner Vincent Massey (1939-42).

In 1940, Pearson was recruited by Sir William Stephenson to be a “King’s messenger” carrying secret documents to Europe. Nicknamed “the Quiet Canadian,” Stephenson was the Canadian intelligence agent, codenamed “Intrepid,”[27] who inspired Ian Fleming’s fictional, anti-communist superspy, 007.[28]

James Bond was also the violently racist and sexist Cold War equivalent of the Victorian era’s manly, white, imperial adventure heroes, so admired by Pearson.

From London, Pearson was transferred to Washington, D.C., where he was Canada’s ambassador and envoy extraordinaire to the U.S. (1942-46).

After returning to Ottawa, he was appointed foreign minister for the last few months of Prime Minister King’s time in office (1948). When King’s protégé, Louis St. Laurent, took over, he retained Pearson as foreign minister (1948-57).

Pearson’s early decades of pliable innocence were over. Having been moulded and mentored into form by family, church, schools and government, he had thoroughly internalized the deceitful scripts of elite institutions.

But though he became a manager and manipulator in his own right, Pearson’s role on the global stage was still directed by external forces in Washington and London. While just following his social orders, Pearson’s acts of complicity in Cold War coups, wars, invasions and occupations cannot be excused. He was culpable for the criminality in which he willfully engaged. Let’s look at a few examples.

The Korean War and Its Planning, 1947-1953

Pearson was a strong supporter of the Korean War (1950-1953), which devastated the Korean peninsula and left a legacy of conflict and division that persists to this day.

Pearson considered the war part of a moral crusade against communism.

His understanding overlooked the fact that the northern communist regime, led by Kim Il-Sung, had led the fight against Japanese colonialism. By contrast, the southern regime, led by Syngman Rhee and dominated by Japanese colonial collaborators, killed over 100,000 of its own citizens and launched raids into the north, all of which provoked the onset of the war.

Image from Pyongyang museum of American war crimes depicting U.S. soldiers brutalizing North Koreans. [Source: peacehistory-usfp.org]

Pearson’s hawkish position contrasted with Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s, who said that “Canada should not automatically support the United States in all its endeavors.”[29]

Pearson also clashed with Defense Minister Brooke Claxton who opposed sending Canadian troops to Korea presciently because the U.S. was “getting [Canada] into something to which there is really no end.”[30]

When Pearson was dispatched to Washington to meet with President Harry S. Truman in 1948, he conspired behind the scenes with Truman to undermine King’s direct orders regarding the pursuit of an independent Canadian foreign policy, and assisted U.S. State Department officials in crafting a letter that urged King to support the Korean War.[31]

King’s successor, Louis St. Laurent, assisted the war effort by deploying a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) squadron of transport planes to airlift U.S. troops, weapons and other materiel across the Pacific.

Canadian soldiers playing ice hockey, the national sport, on a rink they built in South Korea. [Source: bardown.com]

Military historian David Bercusson,[32] who continues to spread official narratives promoting this and other wars, wrote:

“Pearson was correct about what the Korean War meant in the global confrontation between Soviet Communism and the Western democratic powers and correct too in believing that Canada could not sit out the war if the Americans insisted that Canadian troops were needed. He was far wiser than Claxton in knowing this. With Pearson leading the way, Claxton came on board.”[33]

Pearson told St. Laurent that he supported troop deployments based on his anti-communist views about “the menace which faces us, … the expression of that menace in Korea, and the necessity of defeating it there by United Nations action.” Pearson’s efforts paid off. “St. Laurent came around,” said Bercusson, because “he and the nation really had little choice.”[34]

The speech St. Laurent gave over the radio announcing Canada’s commitment to the war was probably crafted in part by Pearson. It was deep in Orwellian newspeak:

“The action of the United Nations in Korea,” St. Laurent intoned, “is not war; it is police action intended to prevent war by discouraging aggression.” Since “the war to end all wars” had already come and gone 30 years hence, the Korean War was framed as “important to all of us who want to avoid another world war.” The need to “defeat the Communist aggressors in Korea,” said St. Laurent, was like fighting “fascist aggression” in WWII. He concluded his deceit with “We owe it to to ourselves, to each other, to our children, and each other’s children … to prevent the disasters of a third world war.”[35]

This launched Canada’s four-year collaboration—under the UN’s respectable cover—in a barrage of napalm-saturated bombings that slaughtered some three or four million Koreans.

This supposed non-war, also caused “six to seven million” more to be “rendered refugees,” says historian Jeremy Kuzmarov, who also notes that the onslaught destroyed “8,500 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals, and 600,000 homes.”[36]

Canadian troops marching in North Korea during a brutal 40-day U.S.-UN occupation. [Source: thecanadianencyclopedia.ca]

To aid and abet this mayhem, Canada supplied its good name, plus more than 20,000 troops (516 of whom died), numerous war planes, eight destroyers and a wealth of strategic minerals and military hardware.

Canadian troops after the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951. [Source: veterans.gc.ca]

In return, the St. Laurent government exploited the war as an excuse to vastly expand Canada’s army, navy and air force and to accelerate the production of jet fighters, jet engines, naval vessels, weapons, ammunition, radar and more.

“We are working in the closest co-operation with the United States,” said St. Laurent, so “that our joint resources and facilities are put to the most effective use in the common defence [sic] effort.” The government, he went on, was also “looking forward confidently to an acceleration and an intensification of our joint [military] production efforts” through the “U.S.-Canada industrial mobilization planning committee.”[37]

While devastating Korea itself, the Korean War sparked the blossoming of Canada’s military-industrial complex, which fueled its complicity in Cold War adventures for decades to come.

Similarly, anti-communism was harnessed by Western governments to repress the civil liberties of anti-war activists. Quebec’s “Padlock Law” (1937-57) made it illegal to copy, publish or distribute anything deemed pro-communist. Although the King and St. Laurent governments could have struck down this law, they didn’t. It was used against peace activists opposing the Korean War.

In May 1951, an “anti-subversion squad” raided a Montreal home where about thirty labor and civil rights activists were meeting with James Endicott, president of the Canadian Peace Congress. Literature was seized and male police invasively searched activists, including the women, who lodged a complaint to Pearson’s office, which did nothing.[38]

In January 1952, Endicott denounced the “Padlock Law” at a meeting in London, England. “Under American pressure,” he reported, Canada’s treason act had been amended “so that a cabinet committee can order secret arrests and hold people indefinitely and incommunicado without trial. They are doing that against peace workers.”[39]

Coup in Iran, 1953

Pearson’s foreign ministry supported the coup that installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as Iran’s dictator in 1953.

This CIA/MI5-led coup ousted Mohammad Mosaddegh’s elected government after it dared to nationalize Iran’s UK-owned oil industry in March 1951. Although not a socialist, Mosaddegh worked with Iran’s communist party, Tudeh, which had played a key role in Iran’s struggle to gain control of its own oil resources.

As revealed by anti-war writer Yves Engler, Pearson “was not happy with the Iranian’s move”:

In May 1951 External Minister Lester Pearson told the House of Commons the “problem can be settled” only if the Iranians keep in mind the “legitimate interests of other people who have ministered to the well-being of Iran in administering the oil industry of that country which they have been instrumental in developing.”[40]

Mossadegh’s duly-elected government also angered Pearson. “In their anxiety to gain full control of their affairs by the elimination of foreign influence,” he told parliament, Iran had exposed itself “to the menace of communist penetration and absorption—absorption into the Soviet sphere.”[41]

As Engler notes, “Pearson did not protest the overthrow of Iran’s first elected prime minister” and three days after the coup, Canada’s ambassador expressed concern with what he called the “disturbing factor” of “the continued strength of the Tudeh party.”[42]

In response, the Shah’s CIA-trained secret police (SAVAK) quickly began arresting thousands of Tudeh members. By 1958, SAVAK torture and assassination campaigns had decimated Tudeh and other popular, democratic forces.[43] This “progress” allowed Canada to begin diplomatic relations with Iran in 1955.

By May 1965, when deposed Prime Minister Mossadegh was still under arrest, Pearson was prime minister and hosted the Shah’s state visit to Canada.

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, aboard a Canadian military plane, the Shah was greeted by Pearson, Foreign Minister Paul Martin, Sr., and Governor General George Vanier, who literally gave him the red-carpet treatment.

Vanier intoned “I greet Your Imperial Majesty as an able and valiant head of state and as a great leader with progressive policies,”[44] while Pearson said the Shah “had given outstanding leadership in bringing his country forward into the modern world.”[45]

During his eight-day visit to five cities, the Shah attended top-government meetings, inspected an honor guard, waved to the public, laid a wreath, spoke at press conferences and elite clubs, was feted at gala luncheons and black-tie dinners, dined privately at Pearson’s home, was honored at a state banquet and reception by Vanier in his palatial mansion, and was regaled by Canada’s mass media. Pahlavi and his Empress were a hit.[46]

Special police precautions were taken for fear of Iranian student protests, which the Shah “dismissed …  as the work of communists.”[47]

Summing up the visit, Pearson said it had “brought our two countries even closer together in our approach to problems of peace and the United Nations.”[48]

Coup in Guatemala, 1954

A CIA-led coup toppled Guatemala’s elected government and ushered in decades of dictatorships that killed about 200,000 people.

Diego Rivera painting, Glorious Victory, which depicts Secretary of State John Foster Dulles shaking hands over a pile of dead corpses with Castillo Armas who deposed Guatemala’s left-leaning president Jacobo Arbenz. CIA Director Allen Dulles stands next to the pair, his satchel full of cash, while Dwight Eisenhower’s face is pictured in a bomb. [Source: wikipedia.org]

As a U.S. State Department official said, Guatemala’s elected President Jacobo Arbenz—the target of the coup—had a “broad social program” to aid “workers and peasants in a victorious struggle against the upper classes and large foreign enterprises.”

This, he admitted, had “strong appeal to the populations of Central America.”[49] Arbenz was not allowed to pose the threat of a good example.

Even before Arbenz’s 1950 election, Ottawa’s trade commissioner in Guatemala had characterized him as “unscrupulous, daring and ruthless, and not one to be allayed in his aims by bloodshed or killing.”[50]

Prior to the coup, Arbenz’s Foreign Minister Guillermo Toriello asked Canada to allow embassies to open in their two countries.

Pearson’s department refused. “At external affairs and in Canadian board rooms,” said reporter Peter McFarlane, “the coup was chalked up as another victory of the Free World against the [Red] Menace.”[51]

Afterwards, U.S.-led counter-insurgency operations directed against left-wing rebels who sought to restore Arbenz’s political program benefited from the use of Canadian military hardware. The key U.S. warplanes used in this CIA operation were P-47 and F-47N fighter planes and C-47 and C-54 cargo planes. Owned and operated by the CIA, they were flown by American pilots.[52]

These aircraft in the CIA’s “Liberation Air Force” were powered by Wasp-series engines built in Montreal, Quebec, by Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC).[53]

Throughout the 1980s, when the Guatemalan air force attacked villages, they employed U.S. Bell 212 and 412 helicopters—made famous in the Vietnam War—that were powered by PWC’s PT6T engines.[54]

PWC has long been one of the highest government-subsidized war industries in Canada. For example, between 1982 and 2006 it was Canada’s top corporate welfare recipient, raking in about $1.5 billion.[55]

Vietnam War, 1952-1974

From the beginning, Pearson was a gung-ho supporter of the Vietnam War. When France initiated the first Indochina War (1946-1954) in an attempt to reclaim its former colony, Pearson led Canadian efforts to supply weapons for use by French forces in Indochina (now Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia).[56]

This was done under the radar through NATO’s Mutual Aid Program. Between 1950 and 1954 alone, about $650 million (in 2021 dollars) worth of Canadian “armaments, ammunition, aircraft, and engines were transferred … to the Indochina war theatre.”[57]

In 1952, Pearson “okayed the deal” to allow Canadian arms, sold to France for use in Europe only, to be diverted to Indochina. This materiel included “antitank and anti-aircraft guns, ammunition, rangefinders and telescopic sights.” Behind the cabinet’s back, Pearson decided that arming France’s Indochina War was lawful because it “help[ed] assure the preservation of peace.”[58]

In one of Pearson’s many 1951 tirades affirming his support for that war, he suggested that if the independence of Indochina were to fail, “all of South-East Asia, including Burma, Malaya and Indonesia, with their important resources of rubber, rice and tin, might well come under communist control.”[59]

Pearson at the same time was claiming in the early 1950s that the “‘Soviet colonial authority in Indochina’ appeared to be stronger than that of France.” Considering that there was “not a Russian anywhere in the neighborhood,” Noam Chomsky wrote, “[o]ne has to search pretty far to find more fervent devotion to imperial crimes than Pearson’s declarations.”[60]

Pearson’s collaboration in the Vietnam War included his backing of Canadian government collaboration in “spying, weapons sales, and complicity in the bombing of the North.”[61]

Many Canadians believe the myth today that Pearson helped keep Canada out of the Vietnam War. However, 40,000 Canadians joined the U.S. armed forces during the war.[62] This was 50% more than the 26,000 Canadian soldiers who had served in Korea.

In 1954, when Pearson was minister of external affairs, he helped gain American backing for Canada’s bid for a seat on the International Control Commission (ICC)—whose purpose was to enforce the 1954 Geneva accords.

Pearson served as the handler of Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Arnold Heeney, who forged an agreement with U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy, that Canada would illegally supply the U.S. with secret intelligence obtained through its involvement in the ICC mission.[63]

Canada’s best-known ICC spy was Blair Seaborn, a long-time friend of America’s ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. In late April 1964, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk met Prime Minister Pearson and External Affairs Minister Paul Martin, Sr., to discuss the “Seaborn Mission.” A month later Pearson conveyed to Johnson his “willingness to lend Canadian good offices to this endeavour.”

The Pentagon Papers later revealed that Pearson told Johnson at this meeting that, although he “would have great reservations about the use of nuclear weapons,” in Vietnam, America’s “punitive striking” with “iron bomb attacks” (i.e., unguided, air-dropped conventional munitions) was fine.[64]

Seaborn conveyed U.S. threats to the North Vietnamese that, unless they surrendered, the U.S. would unleash massive military attacks.

Seaborn also “gathered intelligence for U.S. authorities” on many strategic issues that aided and abetted America’s war. The Pentagon Papers showed that the U.S. informed Canada, seven months in advance, of closely guarded U.S. plans for a major bombing campaign against the north in December 1964.[65]

Victor Levant’s groundbreaking book, Quiet ComplicityCanadian Involvement in the Vietnam War (1986), reveals that Pearson’s government (he was prime minister from 1963 to 1968) was aiding and abetting domestic war industries to cash in on the bonanza.

This was despite the fact that, as a member of the ICC, one of Canada’s duties was “to restrict the entry of arms into Vietnam from anywhere.”[66] But, said Levant, “[f]ar from trying to curtail U.S. purchases of Canadian military equipment, the government in Ottawa actively encouraged the process” with grants to so-called “defense industries” between 1964 and 1968, that were worth just over $1 billion in 2021 dollars.[67]

This investment of taxpayers’ money paid off, at least for Canadian corporations that received over $2.16 billion (in 2021 dollars) “in 1965 [alone] by making military equipment, ranging from green berets to airplanes, for the U.S. war effort in Vietnam.”[68]

Prime Minister Pearson tried to absolve himself and the government of complicity in this war profiteering by claiming in 1967 that Canada could not determine the whereabouts of military equipment purchased in Canada by the U.S., though he conceded that a “small percentage of Canadian arms could be reaching the battlefield in Vietnam.” [69]

While cheered by virulently anti-communist groups, Pearson became a main target of the anti-war protesters who carried banners that read “End Canadian complicity in Viet Nam War,” “Pearson accomplice in genocide” and “Accomplice in mass murder.” A chant that was familiar in those days,was “Pearson, Martin, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”[70]

On the nation’s 100th anniversary (July 1, 1967) in Montreal, when thousands marched to protest Canada’s role in the Vietnam War, French chants included “Johnson assassin. Pearson Complice.”[71]  The fact that Pearson was an accomplice to mass murder in Vietnam was then well known to the peace movement. This institutional memory has now been all but erased.

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Richard Sanders is an anti-war activist and writer in Canada. In 1984, he received an MA in cultural anthropology and began working to expose Canada’s complicity in U.S.-led wars. In 1989, he founded the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT), which led to a 20-year municipal ban on Ottawa’s arms bazaars. Richard can be reached at overcoat@rogers.com

Notes

[1] Ian MacKay and Jamie Swift, Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety, 2012, p. 128.

[2] Ibid., p. 118.

[3] Richard Sanders, “War Mania, Mass Hysteria and Moral Panics,” Captive CanadaPress for Conversion!, March 2016, pp. 5-14. http://bit.ly/RedScare-1

[4] See Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciano, The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2018).

[5] Richard Sanders, “Left-Right Camps: A Century of Ukrainian Canadian Internment,” Captive Canadaop. cit., pp. 40-55. https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/68/68_40-55.htm

[6] Lester Pearson, Statements and Speeches, 55/10, March 24, 1955, cited by Levant, op. cit., pp. 12-13.

[7] Richard Sanders, “The Occupation(al) Psychosis of Empire-Building Missionaries,” Captive Canadaop. cit., pp. 18-19.https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/68/68_18-19.htm

[8] John English, “Pearson, Lester Bowles,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 2003- http://bit.ly/EdwinP

[9] Lester Pearson, Mike: The Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson, Vol.1, 1972, p. 10.

[10] Ibid.

[11] For more on this genre and its Canadian exemplar, Charles Gordon, see Richard Sanders, “Religious Guardians of the Peaceable Kingdom: Winnipeg’s Key Social-Gospel Gatekeepers of Canada West,” Captive Canada op. cit., pp. 22-29. https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/68/68_22-29.htm

[12] Ray Van Neste, Review of The Boy’s Guide to the Historical Adventures of G. A. Henty, March 3, 2006. http://rayvanneste.com/?p=686

[13] G.A. Henty, Facing Death: A Tale of the Coal Mines, 1883. https://books.google.ca/books?id=rRcCAAAAQAAJ

[14] Matthew Beaumont, “Anti-Communism and the Cacotopia,” Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900, 2005, pp. 152-154. https://brill.com/view/book/9789047407096/BP000006.xml

G.A. Henty, Woman of the Commune: A Tale of Two Sieges of Paris, 1895. https://books.google.ca/books?id=9mZWAAAAMAAJ

[15] Pearson 1972, op. cit., p. 10.

[16] Ibid., p. 15

[17] Ibid., pp. 14-15.

[18] Ibid., p. 15.

[19] Claude Bissell, The Young Vincent Massey, 1981, passim.

[20] Pearson 1972, op. cit., p. 105.

[21] Ibid., p. 45.

[22] Andrew Cohen, Lester B. Pearson, 2008.

[23] Thomas Green, “Bennett Raps Socialism, Communism,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Nov. 10, 1932, p. 5. https://www.newspapers.com/image/508724453

[24] Cohen 2008, op. cit.

[25] Canada: A People’s History, Vol. 2http://books.google.ca/books?id=2fcXAAAAYAAJ

[26] In Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia, 1991. http://books.google.ca/books?id=JbYe6fCOSTAC

[27] A Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible True Story of the Master Spy Who Helped Win WWII, 1976, pp. 191, 216.

[28] Guy F. Burnett, “Ian Fleming’s Coldest Warrior: The Anticommunist Origins of James Bond,” Dissident, Nov. 17, 2015. http://bit.ly/antiRedBond

(The above archived article, from the anti-communist, “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” website, celebrates both Fleming and his Bond character as those “who fought to save the world from tyranny and oppression.”

[29] Pearson 1972, p. 139.

[30] David Jay Bercuson, Blood on the Hills: The Canadian Army in the Korean War, 1999, pp. 31-32. https://books.google.ca/books?id=eCizi80V1M0C

[31] Pearson 1972, op. cit., pp. 140-141. https://books.google.ca/books?id=nXM2CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA140

[32] Bercuson is a director of two right-wing, Calgary-based think tanks, the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (funded by the Canadian war department’s “Security and Defence Forum”), and the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute (which has accepted funding from General Dynamics and publicly promoted the company’s exports of major Canadian-made weapons systems, such as LAVs, to Saudi Arabia.

[33] Ibid., p. 33.

[34] Ibid.

[35] “St. Laurent Text on Resisting Reds,” Windsor Daily Star, August 8, 1950, p. 14.

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/72910987/the-windsor-star/

[36] Jeremy Kuzmarov, “The Korean War: Barbarism Unleashed,” United States Foreign Policy, History and Resource Guide website, 2016. http://peacehistory-usfp.org/korean-war/

[37] Windsor Daily Starop. cit.

[38] See author’s collection of seven newsclips, May 25-28, 1951.

[39] “Says working for peace in America hard,” Ottawa Citizen, Jan. 10, 1952, p. 10.

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73516103/the-ottawa-citizen/

[40] Engler 2012, citing Pearson, Hansard, May 14, 1951, 3002.

[41] Lester Pearson, Hansard, Oct. 22, 1951, p. 253, cited by Engler, op. cit., pp. 75.

[42] Engle, ibid., p. 76.

[43] Ervand Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran, 1999, pp. 89-101. http://bit.ly/SAVAK-Tudeh

[44] “Shah, Empress in Ottawa,” Ottawa Journal, May 19, 1965, p. 1. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73543166/the-ottawa-journal/

[45] “Shah starts visit,” Ottawa Citizen, May 19, 1965, p. 1. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73528451/the-ottawa-citizen/

“Shah in Canada,” Ottawa Citizenibid., p. 3. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73534362/the-ottawa-citizen/

[46] “Shah has busy schedule here,” Ottawa Citizen, May 17, 1965, p. 3. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73524704/the-ottawa-citizen/

“Shah of Persia in Canada, 1965.” https://www.britishpathe.com/video/shah-of-persia-in-canada

(Note: These film clips from the Shah’s visit include footage of the state dinner with Governor General Vanier at Rideau Hall.)

[47] “Shah in capital,” Ottawa Citizen, May 19, 1965, p. 3. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73534362/the-ottawa-citizen/

[48] “Royal Visits Top News Events,” Brandon Sun, May 31, 1965, p. 12. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73525463/the-brandon-sun/

[49] Cited by Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, 1991, p. 419. http://bit.ly/Chomsky1991

[50] James Rochlin, Discovering the Americas: Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy towards Latin America, 1994, p. 35. http://bit.ly/Roch94

[51] Peter McFarlane, Northern Shadows: Canadians in Central America, 1989, pp. 98, 100, cited by Engler op. cit., p. 79.

[52] Guatemala: Air Force History

http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/americas/guatemala/Guatemala-af-history.htm

[53] Pratt & Whitney Canada ; http://bit.ly/PWC-WASP; Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_P-47_Thunderbolt; Douglas C-47 Skytrain [Dakota]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_C-47_Skytrain#Postwar_era; Douglas C-54 Skymaster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_C-54_Skymaster

[54] Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_%26_Whitney_Canada_PT6T

Bell 212 in Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca (Guatemalan Air Force) 1980 to present https://www.helis.com/database/modelorg/Guatemala-Bell-212/

Bell 412 in Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca (Guatemalan Air Force) 1982 to present https://www.helis.com/database/modelorg/Guatemala-Bell-412/

[55] Mark Milke, Corporate Welfare: A $144 billion addiction, Nov. 2007. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/corporate-welfare-a-144-billion-addiction.pdf

[56] Levant, op. cit., p. 42

[57] Ibid., p. 43

[58] Levant, op. cit., p. 43 [NOTE: I believe “Idem.” in italics would be appropriate here.]

[59] Chomsky 2012, op. cit., p. 9.

[60] Noam Chomsky, “Imperial Presidency,” Canadian Dimension, Jan/Feb 2005. http://bit.ly/CDchom

[61] Noam Chomsky, Foreword, in Yves Engler, Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt, 2012, p. 8.

[62] Ryan Goldsworthy, “The Canadian Way: The Case of Canadian Vietnam War Veterans,”  http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vol15/no3/page48-eng.asp

[63] James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada: Indochina – Roots of Complicity, 1983, pp. 242-243, cited in Levant, op. cit., p. 193.

[64] Levant, op. cit., pp. 178-79.

[65] Ibid., p. 178

[66] Harry Trimborn, “Canada-US Tieup? Some Other Time!” Los Angeles Times, Aug. 23, 1966, p. 82.  https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73697853/the-los-angeles-times/

[67] Levant, op. cit., p. 57.

[68] Trimborn, op. cit.

(Note: The article noted a figure of $260 million, which the Bank of Canada, when corrected for inflation, says is worth $2,164,578,313.25 in 2021 dollars.)

[69] Lester Pearson, Statements and Speeches, March 10, 1967, Levant, ibid.

[70] Alex Young, “Heavy guard for PM: ‘Vietniks’ at airport, club,” Province, Mar. 31, 1967, p. 1 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73069053/the-province

Peter Loudon, “Like French Revolution Some Feast Others Chant,” Times Colonist, Apr. 1, 1967, p. 2. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73616904/times-colonist/

(Note: This article, covering a protest the next day outside a gala banquet attended by Pearson, notes the same “Pearson, Martin, LBJ…” chant.  The reporter mocked the protesters’ appearance, and said they were “denouncing Canada’s alleged support of the US in Vietnam.” Emphasis added.)

[71] Nick Auf der Maur, “Vietnam Protesters March Through City, Montreal Gazette, July 3, 1967, p. 3. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/73067312/the-gazette/

Featured image: Former Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs (1948-1957), Lester B. Pearson, at his desk in Ottawa. As leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, he served from 1958 to 1968. [Source: journal.forces.gc.ca]

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