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Canadian soldiers didn’t fight for Canadian freedoms

The idea that Canadian veterans fought for our freedoms is completely made up.

The idea that Canadian veterans fought for our freedoms is completely made up.

No Canadian veteran alive today fought to defend Canada. One could argue that the soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 were defending Canada against an invader. But Canada didn’t even exist as a country technically, and fundamentally, if we were part of the United States, our general freedoms would be similar.

Possibly one could argue that soldiers who quashed rebellions such as the Fenian Raids, the Métis rebellions, and the October Crisis, were defending Canada, but I don’t think any of those were real threats to Canada as a nation.

Even so, when people talk about Canada’s military “fighting for our freedoms” or “dying for our freedoms”, those aren’t the conflicts they’re referring to. They’re referring to much larger events, usually abroad. But those, too, didn’t involve the Canadian military defending Canadian freedoms.

When Canadian troops fought in World War I, it wasn’t to defend Canadian freedoms. When Canadian troops fought in World War II, it wasn’t to defend Canadian freedoms. When Canadian troops fought in the Korean War, it wasn’t to defend Canadian freedoms. When Canadian troops fought in the Congo, Somalia, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, and East Timor, it wasn’t to defend Canadian freedoms. When Canadian troops fought in the Persian Gulf War, it wasn’t to defend Canadian freedoms. When Canadian troops fought in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Iraq, it wasn’t to defend Canadian freedoms.

In none of these conflicts was Canadian freedom ever at risk.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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