Canadian Forces’ terror manual lists natives with Hezbollah

Posted by admin on Mar 31st, 2007

Globe and Mail, 31 March 2007 Bill Curry

OTTAWA — Radical natives are listed in the Canadian army’s counterinsurgency manual as a potential military opponent, lumping aboriginals in with the Tamil Tigers, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad. The military is putting the finishing touches on the manual, but a draft version of the document obtained by The Globe and Mail outlines a host of measures the military might use to fight insurgents at home and abroad. The measures include ambushes, deception and killing.

The draft manual was produced in September, 2005, and recently released through an access-to-information request. A final edited version of the army manual is expected to be complete within months, but a cover letter states that the draft version was immediately circulated in 2005 to army units for military training.

Its inclusion of “radical Native American Organizations” as a potential target of military action surfaces at a time of heightened tensions between aboriginals and the federal government.

“The rise of radical Native American organizations, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society, can be viewed as insurgencies with specific and limited aims,” the manual states. “Although they do not seek complete control of the federal government, they do seek particular political concessions in their relationship with national governments and control (either overt or covert) of political affairs at a local/reserve (‘First Nation’) level, through the threat of, or use of, violence,” the manual states.

The Mohawk Warrior Society was involved in the 1990 Oka crisis in Quebec, which spawned a 78-day confrontation with police and the military that left a police officer dead. The society normally describes more militant natives from the traditional Mohawk territory, covering parts of Quebec, Ontario, Vermont and New York State.

Stewart Phillip, the Grand Chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs who recently predicted “a summer of aboriginal protest” in response to the perceived lack of action on native poverty in the federal budget, said he is “absolutely outraged” by the manual.

“It’s a complete attack on our political rights,” he said.

“What we’re seeing,” Mr. Phillip continued, “is the deliberate criminalization of the efforts of aboriginal people to march, demonstrate and rally to draw public attention to the crushing poverty that is the reality within our communities.”

Native leaders who are not regarded as militant have called for a summer of protest over a perceived lack of attention from Ottawa on issues such as native poverty and land claims.

Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice has responded with warnings of financial penalties for any native group that uses federal money to plan such protests.

“Working together to find common solutions is a much more constructive way of dealing with issues than planning blockades,” he said in a letter to The Globe and Mail this week.

The manual defines an insurgency as “the actions of a minority group within a state who are intent on forcing political change by means of a mixture of subversion, propaganda and military pressure, aiming to persuade or intimidate the broad mass of people to accept such a change.”

Counterinsurgency, according to the manual, involves “much more” than simply military action, and can include psychological measures aimed at defeating an insurgency.

Much of the manual appears to be aimed at Canadian missions in failed or failing states where various factions are fighting for power. Among the army’s proposed measures are “deception operations” to fool the insurgent and “physical destruction” of the enemy.

“Attrition will be necessary, but the number of insurgents killed should be no more than is absolutely necessary to achieve success,” the manual states.

The Canadian Forces were not able to find someone yesterday who could comment on the manual. It is therefore unclear whether this is the first such manual created for the military or whether natives have previously been listed by the army.

The most recent protest by natives led to arrests and charges yesterday for three men connected to the blockade of Quebec’s Highway 117 on March 12 and 13.

The highway is the Abitibi region’s main link to the south, and the blockade caused major concern for the residents of Val-d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda.

Among those arrested was Guillaume Carle, the controversial leader of the recently formed Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada. Mr. Carle led the protest of about 50 people, many of whom were carrying rifles.

Mr. Carle has claimed in the past to have the support of the Mohawk Warrior Society, but people claiming to be from that society denied involvement.

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