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Next Mtg to Oppose the Ottawa War Show, Mon Aug 14

Please join us at the next...

Meeting to Oppose the Ottawa War Show (also euphemistically known as the
"National Capital Air Show")

Monday, August 14, 7 pm. 
91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa  
(Meeting House of the Religious Society of Friends - Quakers)
(just east of Bank St., in the Glebe)

For more information, contact:
Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)

Below you'll find several items: 
(A) Letter: to Councillors of the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, re: the
Region's donation of $10,000 to the war show
(B) Article: "Challenging the National Capital War Show"
(C) Minutes: July 31 Meeting to oppose the war show
(D) List: Work to be done
(E) "Performers":  The war planes expected at this year's Ottawa war show
(F) Information: Some war planes often spotted at Canadian war shows

(A) Letter to Councillors of the Region of Ottawa-Carleton

August 2, 2000

Dear Councillor,

It has just come to our attention that the Region has granted $10,000 to
assist in the organisation of a mass spectacle at which modern weapons of
mass destruction will opnce again be used to provide children's
entertainment.  We hope that this was merely an oversight on the regions

For four years, many individuals and organisations in the Ottawa-Carleton
region that are concerned with issues related to peace, development, human
rights and the environment, have been working together to oppose Ottawa's
annual war show.  You may know this war show by the euphemistic title given
to it by its organisers, i.e., the "National Capital Air Show."  We believe
it is necessary to call this event by a name that accurately describes it.

If for some reason you doubt that this spectacle really IS a war show, I
would suggest that you refer to the article provided below.  Or, decide for
yourself.  Visit the official web site of the war show organisers
<ncas.ottawa.com> and examine the list of aircraft that will be providing
entertainment for children and adults at this year's event.  Better still,
attend the war show this year and examine the war planes which are the so
called "performers."  Then, decide for yourself whether an event to promote
these war "performers" was a suitable cause for the OC region to support,
especially during this the UN International Year for a Culture of Peace.
Decide for yourself whether the region should be assisting in the
organisation of future events which glorify and romanticise war-fighting

Please note that almost every single airplane that will descend upon the OC
region for this mass spectacle is a WAR plane.  This is absolutely clear
from the "performers" listed on the official war show web site.  These are
not just historic or antiquated war planes of interest to airplane buffs.
These are among the most sophisticated, the most expensive and the most
terrifying war planes ever built.  It is not an exaggeration to state that
these are among the most deadly technological inventions ever created in
the history of our planet.  Most of these weapons delivery systems are US
war planes that are still being used in various wars around the world.
Many of Ottawa's residents fled here from regions at war.  In their
original homes, such war planes would be used to strike terror in the
hearts of their fellow citizens.  That is one of the intended purposes of
these weapons systems -- to terrify and destroy people's lives and the
civilian infrastructure and environment upon which communities survive.  It
is also worth noting that many of the war planes on display at the Ottawa
war show were designed to carry NUCLEAR WEAPONS. 

I am writing now to make several requests:

(1) Please do not donate any more money to support the Ottawa war show in
the future.

(2) If the OC region's cheque for $10,000 has not yet been issued, please
withhold it.

(3) The OC region is currently listed (along with numerous major military
corporations), as a "partner" of the war show.  If it is too late to
withdraw your financial support for the war show this year, you should at
least ask the organisers to remove the OC region's name from:
(a) the list of partners in their web site
(b) all written materials and 
(c) signage at the event.

(4) Will the OC region become a partner with us in organising a festival of
peace at the gates of this year's war show?  We are asking people who
support peace, human rights, development and environment by joining us in
this festival to create a positive, non-violent, celebration of peace and
life.  This will provide a contrast to the celebration of the technology of
death and destruction which is once agian this year being flaunted as a
source of family entertainment at the war show.  It seems appropriate that
an amount equal to that given to the war show should be provided to those
who are promoting peaceful alternatives to war.  

Please consider that the war show is already sponsored by many of the
world's largest and most successful war-related businesses.  These military
producers profit from the production of war materials and from the misery
of those who endure war and repressive regimes.  We on the other hand, as
people promoting a culture of peace have a relatively difficult time
financing our important work.  War is big business. Peace is not.  Many
profitable corporations benefit from the use of war machines, such as the
war planes which come to Ottawa every year.  War planes and other war
technology is often used to install and maintain the political power of
dictators and repressive regimes.  These regimes create and preside over
unjust economic systems which allow the exploitation of natural resources
and people's labour.  

In addition to your dealing with the above requests, we would also like to
have your answers to the following questions:

Why, during this the UN International Year for a "Culture of Peace," has
the OC Region given $10,000 to this most blatant example of a mass
spectacle promoting a culture of war, i.e., the Ottawa War Show (a.k.a.
"the National Capital Air Show")?

How was this decision made?  

Was there a council vote on this?  

If so, who voted for it, who against, who abstained?

If there was no vote, please explain why.

Was this the first year that Regional government supported the Ottawa war

If not, for how many years has the region been giving money to the Ottawa
war show and how much money was given during each year?

Is there any process by which the citizens and organisations of Ottawa can
make representations to the Region to encourage them to support peace shows
rather than war shows?  If so, please let us know how these representations
can be made. In particular, are there committee meetings that can be
attended by the public?  If so, please inform us so that we may attend.

Is there funding available, during this UN International Year for a
"Culture of Peace," to support our efforts to organise a "Festival of
Peace" at the gates of the Ottawa War Show, or is money only available for
those who are organising the war show?  

Does the OC Regional government believe that these war planes are an
appropiriate source of entertainment, especially for children?

If so, why?

Is the technology designed for the fighting of nuclear war suitable for
children's entertainment? Is it something that the OC region should be

Does the OC regional government even realise that for the past 3 years, the
Ottawa war show has included an international arms bazaar at which some of
Canada's largest military producers have exhibited their wares to military
attaches and air force generals from dozens of countries, including the US
and almost all of the countries of south and central america?  

In light of the international court's decision regarding the illegality of
nuclear weapons systems, is it not appropriate to ban their war planes
designed to carry these weapons from visiting our region.

Please answer these questions as promptly and completely as possible.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Sanders


(B) Challenging the National Capital War Show
By Richard Sanders, Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.

This year, the theme of Ottawa's war show is "Between Best Friends."  It
sounds harmless enough, but what's behind this innocuous title?  Organisers
say they'll be "commemorating the special relationship between Canada and
our NATO partners."  Many of world's most deadly warplanes will execute
aerial stunts to demonstrate the amazing, high-tech warfighting abilities
of our government's "best friends."  It's fun for the whole family!
	Every year, the latest "weapons delivery systems" descend on our city for
a degenerate carnival to celebrate war.  Part of the growing globalisation
of war culture, such public spectacles - held annually in about 500
communities across North America - are among our society's most popular,
mass cultural events.  Though euphemistically called the "National Capital
Air Show," this is really a kind of sanitized blood sport.  It exemplifies
a military culture that has escaped its bounds and is parading through
civil society.  In this theatre of war, the battle is fought for the
public's hearts, minds and pocket books. 
	War shows proudly provide a major recruiting venue for the armed forces.
The high-flying drama is carefully orchestrated to breed a young generation
on the art of war, to cultivate their support for militarism and entice
them into a cult which worships at the altar of violence.  War shows also
manipulate the attitudes of adults who should know better than be conned by
such crude propaganda.  These events serve the interests of the military
industrial complex by blatantly encouraging public revelry in war
technology.  By romanticising and glorifying the ultraviolent tools of
military culture, these events help to "manufacture consent" for war.    

War as Performance
Last spring, during the bombardment of Yugoslavia, the following NATO
warplanes strutted their stuff over our fair city:  Tornado IDS, E-2C
Hawkeye, P-3 Orion, AV-8B Harrier II, A-10 Thunderbolt, F/A-18 Hornet, B-52
Stratofortress, F-117A Nighthawk, C-130 Her-cules, KC-135 Stratotanker,
B-1B Lancer, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the CF-18.  During the previous
year's war show, a B-2 nuclear bomber flew over Ottawa.  At US$2.2 Billion
each, the B-2 is the most expensive warplane ever built.  Imagine the
social and environmental programs that could be funded with even a small
fraction of this public wealth!
	Seeing this list of warplanes brings to mind many of the wars,
interventions, invasions and campaigns of state terror and repression that
have been launched by our "best friends" over the past 50 years: Korea,
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iran, Lebanon, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Libya, Grenada, Iraq, Turkey, etc.  Warplanes disturbing the skies over
Ottawa have struck fear in the hearts of millions around the world.  Why do
these vehicles of destruction bring smiles and laughter to the hearts of so
many of our fellow citizens?  Why are people enthralled and delighted by
weapons which have destroyed so many lives?  

Media: "Partners" in War
The public's naive perception that warplanes are an appropriate source of
joyous fun is aided and abetted by our mass, corporate media.  War
technology, and war itself, are often used to entertain children and adults
alike.  Last year, the following local newspaper, radio and TV outlets were
listed as official "partners" of the war show:  Le Droit, CFRA, Kool FM,
The Bear, Young Country, CJOH and CHOT.  In 1998, media partners included:
Ottawa Sun, CJOH/CHRO (BBS), CHEZ 106 and Majic 100.  Can we expect fair
coverage of our opposition to war, and war shows in particular, when so
many media outlets shamelessly become "partners" with event organisers?
No, not likely, but when did that ever stop us before?

Building a "Culture of Peace"
This is the fourth year that the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
has used the war show to raise awareness on peace, human rights,
environmental and economic issues.  This being the UN Year for a "Culture
of Peace," and the beginning of the UN's "International Decade for a
Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World," activists
from diverse communities have an opportunity to work together to build a
culture of peace.  We can refocus attention on NATO's war against
Yugoslavia, which will continue to damage the Balkan region for generations
to come.  NATO's "first use" nuclear policies can also be highlighted by
the disturbing presence of numerous nuclear warplanes.
	This year, we are inspired by opposition to Hamilton's war show.  Among
those involved in the planning are some activists with Homes Not Bombs
(Ottawa) who travelled to Hamilton's "Festival of Life" (see pp. 27-30). We
are working to create and strengthen alliances between as many individuals,
groups and movements as possible to develop a broadly-based, innovative
campaign to oppose Ottawa's war show.  In this way, we are building a
culture of peace and demonstrating our own understanding of the war show's
theme, "Between Best Friends."  

Source: Press for Conversion!, issue #41, July 2000.

Press for Conversion is a 40 page, quarterly magazine published by the
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.
The theme of the current issue is: "Building a Culture of Peace." 
For a free sample copy of COAT's magasine, please contact COAT.


(C) Minutes of the Previous Meeting to Build a Culture of Peace to Oppose
the Ottawa War Show

July 31, 7 pm., 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa  (Meeting House of the Religious
Society of Friends - Quakers)

Attended by: Murray Thomson, Chester Rose, Nick Aplin, Ria Heynen, Sybil
Grace, Daniel Vandervoort, Karen Emily, Matthew Mason-Phillips, Emily
Howard, Julia Cross, Jessica Cole, Andrew Burrows, Loris Mirella, Richard
Sanders, Mary Foster, Paul Gibson, Jon Hunt, Radovan Prodanovic, Eric
Barclay, Bonnie & Fred Cappuccino, David Aaron

Murray chaired the meeting.

Agenda items were:
(1) Highlights from Previous Meeting
(2) Recent Developments
(3) Finances
(4) Group discussion
(5) Next Steps


(1) Highlights from the previous meeting:

Highlights from our last meeting were described by Emily Howard, using the
minutes of the last meeting prepared by Karen Emily.


(2) Recent Developments:

Nick: Phoned OC Transpo.  OC is a war show "partner" only in as much as it
promotes public transit to the event.  OC Transpo person who Nick spoke to
was supportive of idea of removing "partner" reference in war show website.
 His new boss however is a former military and Bombardier employee.  Nick
will write a letter asking them to withdraw "partnership".  Nick
recommended that we not call for a boycott of OC Transpo as public
transport was preferable to cars.  (Murray suggested that Nick ask OC
Transpo to allow us to put a cardboard advertisement inside city buses).
Nick also spoke to the value of stressing UNESCO's "Culture of Peace." (See
latest Press for Conversion! for details.)

Sybil: Clive Doucet's assistant (Rollie) informed her Sybil that the Region
had given $10,000 this year to the war show.  Everyone should contact their
councillor to complain, to inquire about this funding for the war show and
to inform the ir councillors of the significance of this war show.

Murray:  He has written a letter (on COAT letterhead) to many key activists
within the local peace and development movements asking them to endorse our
campaign to oppose the war show.  He hopes to get 1000 names on this list
of supporters.

Fred:  He has written a letter to be sent (on COAT letterhead) to numerous
"celebrities" asking them to allow us to use their names as supportors of
the campaign to oppose the war show.  He and Murray agreed to work together
on their efforts.

Richard:  COAT has just mailed about 1100 copies of our magazine, Press for
Conversion!, on the theme "Building a Culture of Peace."  There are six
pages of articles on opposition to war shows in this issue, including an
article about the Ottawa war show.


(3) Finances:

Richard: Since the last meeting, COAT has received two donations ($100 +
$200) from people in attendance at tonight's meeting for this campaign.  

Nick: He gave a cheque for $150 to COAT for this campaign.

Murray:  Peace Fund Canada has pledged to donate an additional $300 to COAT
for the campaign.

Sybil:  The Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the Religious Society of
Friends (Quakers) will make a donation too ($100)

Chester:  He has asked the G-7 Welcoming Committee, a Winnipeg based music
label, to make a donation to our cause.

Richard:  Reported that COAT is having financial difficulties (in part due
to summertime slowing of donations).  COAT cttee of Nick, Fred, Bonnie and
Ria have been meeting to deal with this situation.  Richard has suggested
that COAT may have to lay him off for a month (as coordinator of COAT).  

Murray and Chester: Offered to work with Nick on this matter.

Mary: She will contact Innu Nation, Aboriginal Rights Coalition and the
Assembly of First Nations to encourage them to get involved with this
campaign.  Once on board we can approach them to help with finances.  

David: He said he was with "One Tribe" and is organising a "Tribal Dance
for Peace not War" on Parliament Hill on September 2.  This event is
sponsored by "Tribne Networks" and telecom company.  He encouraged COAT to
be a part of this event and said we could use the event to recruit people
to drum and dance at the war show. There were no objections to his proposal.

Radovan:  He said he has a button machine and a sound system which we can
use for the war show campaign.

Emily: She is keen to sell lemonade, baked goodies and other items to raise
money for the campaign.  This could be done at the protest/festival to
fellow activists or at some event(s) leading up to the war show, i.e.,
concerts, parties, dances, and/or the One Tribe drumathon.


(4) Small Group Discussions:

We broke into 3 groups.  Here are summaries of the reports from these group

[a] Protest/Street Theatre at the War Show (Daniel? reported): 
The message of our activities should be positive and life-affirming.
(Therefore, sirens and bombs sounds were not thought appropriate)
There should be signs, billboards, banners. 
Street theatre is possible (such as reacting to bomber/fighter war planes
that fly overhead). 
Homes Not Bombs has 4 puppets and 4 banners and may create more.  
Water and sunscreen should be provided.  Food Not Bombs will provide water
and tea and possibly food.
There is a need to know more about the site of the protest.

Discussion: We should focus our main efforts on getting people to the
protest/festival on Saturday, September 16.  Some people may wish to go
inside the war show to leaflet (with or without permission, possibly on
Sunday, September 17)

The time 11 am. til 2 pm. was suggested for the Sat., Sept 16

It was suggested that we need to have marshalls and/or police liaison
people and a media spokesperson for the event.  This discussion was tabled
til our next meeting.  Concern was expressed that people need to have more
concrete tasks to work on in order to make the protest happen.  

[b] Coalition Building (Paul and Murray reported)
Paul:  He said he will visit Catholic School Board office.  Use a scrap
book using COAT leaflets and materials to show teachers..  Visit the
Catholic Archdiocese office. He'll go to one high school and one elementary
school. He'll also drop in on the Assembly of First Nations and will email
some James Bay Cree contacts. He will also knock on 10 doors in his

Murray:  he will circulate his email letter to ask activists to lend their
name to the campaign.  Hoping for 1000 signators.

[c] Media and Publicity (Mary reported):
* COAT will try to mail material to COAT;s list of several thousand local
individuals and groups.  This would have to be done through an MPs office,
possibly Svend Robinson.  Material to include a couple of pamphlets, a
poster and letter. (Richard)
* Stickers or rubber stamp could be creatively used on posters used by war
show organizers. (the word "boycott" and/or small drawings or photos of
bombs and victims could be placed directly on their posters.) (We'll wait
to see what the war show organisers come up with.)
* Flier(s) for youth.  Original artwork will be combined with material from
previous COAT pamphlets and materials to produce pamphlets for
distributioon by youth to youth at parties, events to promote "Festival of
Life" activities at the war show.  ("Butterflies for peace" as possible
graphic/theme.)  Youth will draft some fliers. (Emily, and Andrew will
recruit Julia, Chester and others for a special meeting to produce the
* Distribute pamphlets to locations in market area during weekly
distribution of 2000 copies of XPress (Eric)
* List of media contacts and 'what to do' list from recent workshop (Mary
to send these to Richard)
* Produce a media advisory on week before (Mary)
* Chalk slogans (?)
* Public Service Announcements (Richard)
* Creation of a general pamphlet using previous COAT materials (Richard)
* Creation of pamphlets for distribution at the war show to passing cars
(Richard to work on this.  Mary also has a cartoon pamphlet from previous
Toronto war show leafletting.)


(5) Next Steps:

Mary: In light of the financial situation, Karen said she didn't need to be
paid as coordinator of war show project.

Richard: Will create a list of many things that people can do to oppose the
war show and will circulate it widely be email.

Mary: will work with Karen and Richard on a timeline of jobs that need to
be done.  (See August 1 email "war show task list" from Mary, circulated by

	Next Meeting: 
	Monday, August 14, 7 pm., 
	same location  (Richard to open the door)

The next meeting will begin at 7 pm. with a showing of the 30 minute COAT
video: "Mothers' Day at the War Show."  

The meeting proper will start at 7:30 p.m.

See you there!  Please try to encourage even more people to attend!



(D) List: Work to be done

i put in key dates only. the rest i've tried to put more or less in the
order they need to happen within their categories. there is probably stuff


posters made 15 August
advance notice flyer for youth 15 August
advance notice flyer (general) 15 August
distributing flyers widely (other events, octopus, universities, leafletting
at malls, churches, 1 nicholas, PERC, OPIRG offices, libraries, etc etc)
mail out through Svend's office (letter, flyers, posters) 22 August
approaching other groups to join in (Innu Nation (low level flights), etc.)
letters to individuals in development community asking for their endorsement
email notices
church bulletins
phoning organisations to advertise in their newsletters, on websites,
through their networks (unions, etc.)
PSAs to local and campus media 30 August
fax trees (PIRGs, unions, etc)

phone councillors to question OC support for war show
OC transpo sponsorship
phone other sponsors to question
monitoring war show website for changes
release information on planes, sponsors, arms manufacturers, nato, culture
of peace??
pre-event press conference?
articles in Citizen, Xpress, Xtra, PEN, Haymarket, etc.
chalking campaign

RESEARCH (if not already done)
war history of planes in nato
cost of planes and bombs relative to social goods
corporations who made the 'performers' and their bombs
sponsors of war show

decide on focus messages for this year (culture of peace? nato?)
media advisory (11 September)
follow up calls (12 &13)
press release (14 September)
follow up calls (14 & 15 September)
media spokesperson (bilingual?)
media kit?

permit, police liaison
canned music
sound effects (bombing raids, air sirens, screams, etc etc)
street theatre
puppets, other props
sound system and generator (done!)

SATURDAY, 16 September, 11:00 to 2:00 protest at entrance road

SUNDAY, 17 September possibly leafletting inside war show


(E) "Performers":  War planes expected at the Ottawa War Show
(Cana you spot any civilian aircraft?)

Air Displays:
Canadian Forces Snowbirds  		Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan  
Canadian Forces Sky Hawks  		Trenton, Ontario  
CF-18 Hornet  			Canadian Forces, Bagotville, Quebec  
F/A-18 Hornet  			United States Navy, NAS Oceana, Virginia  
HH-65 Dolphin  			US Coast Guard  
CH-113 Labrador  			Canadian Forces, Trenton, Ontario  
Ground Displays: 
Jaguar  				Royal Air Force  
Tornado  				German Air Force, Royal Air Force  
E-2C Hawkeye  			United States Navy  
F-4 Phantom  				German Air Force  
F-14 Tomcat  				United States Navy  
F-15 Eagle  				United States Air Force  
MiG-29    				German Air Force  
T-38 Talon    			United States Air Force, Vance AFB, Oklahoma  
T-45 Goshawk    			United States Navy  
B-52 Stratofortress   		United States Air Force  
CT-133 Silver Star    		Canadian Forces  
CP-140 Aurora    			Canadian Forces  
CC-144 Challenger    		Canadian Forces  
Transall C-160    			German Air Force - Hohn, Alt Duvenstedt, Germany

Source: Web site of the Ottawa war show <ncas.ottawa.com>

Note: It is likely that the above list will continue to grow as we approach
the war show.  During the previous two years, the Ottawa war show has also
included the following war planes: A-10 Warthog, F-117 Nighthawk, C-130
Hercules, E-2C Hawkeye, P-3 orion, AV-8B Harrier II, KC-135 Stratotanker,
B-1B Lancer, F-16 Fighting Falcon.


(F) Information: Some war planes often spotted at Canadian war shows

A-4 Skyhawk
This warplane is a subsonic and highly manoeuvrable.  Thousands were built
and sold to Third World countries.  It is, like the F-5, a standard
"counter-insurgency" plane all over the world (meaning one used to bomb
opposition groups that arise when populations, such as the East Timorese,
the Mayans and Kurds, can no longer tolerate torture, starvation or simply
slaughter).  It was also used by the U.S. in the Vietnam and quickly became
the standard dropper of napalm (much of it made in Canada).

A-10 Thunderbolt
Designed in the late 1970s, this aircraft was built around a single
anti-tank weapon, the largest airborne gun in existence.  It fires
extremely high velocity three cm. diameter Depleted Uranium (DU) tipped
shells.  These shells turn to plasma (an iodised gas of protons and
neutrons) which burns streaming holes through the hulls of armoured
vehicles.  This frightening weapon was used in the Gulf War and many tons
of radioactive uranium dust now drift across southern Iraq.  The A-10s
destroyed 1,400 Iraqi tanks and rid the U.S. and Britain of enormous
quantities of unwanted radioactive waste, left-over from their nuclear
weapons and reactors.  The half life of these highly toxic DU bullets is
4.5 billion years, so they will continue to irradiate the Middle East for
countless generations.

B-1 Lancer
It carries nuclear bombs and cruise missiles in three internal rotary
dispensers.  The B1A was first conceived in the late 60's as a replacement
for the B52.  President Carter killed it due to technical problems and huge
cost overruns. Reagan brought it back, spending many more millions trying
to have it redesigned as a subsonic, low level, penetration bomber.  This
created massive design problems because it was originally designed as a
supersonic, high altitude, penetration bomber.  Despite costing over $100
million each, the B1B was virtually obsolete when its first run was
completed.  Despite costing tremendous amounts of money, no one in the
White House today is quite sure what to do with it.  It is very popular at
air shows. 

B-2 Spirit
At US$2.2 billion each (over Cdn$3 billion), the B-2 is the most expensive
plane ever built.  It was, in fact, considered too valuable to risk using
during Desert Storm.  It was developed during the Cold War to evade Soviet
radar and carry out a nuclear attack.  It can travel 8,000 miles without
refuelling and can "deliver" up to 75,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear
bombs.  In 1997, the U.S. unveiled a special, new nuclear bomb specifically
designed for the B-2.  By continually improving its nuclear arsenal, the
U.S. is encouraging potential nuclear powers to ignore international
treaties and develop their own nuclear weapons.

B-52 Stratofortress 
Not only were many thousands of tons of bombs dropped on Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia with this bomber, it was also used to drop thousands of landmines.
 These fall to the ground, burying themselves a few inches under, until
someone, often a peasant or a child, inadvertently step on it.  During the
"Christmas raids" of 1972 in Vietnam, B-52s dropped roughly the TNT
equivalent of a Hiroshima nuclear bomb spread out over 729 missions.  It
has also been the standard conventional and nuclear weapons carrier since
the 1950s.  Presently, it carries cruise missiles (tested and perfected in
Canada) in two rotary missile bays with room for more under the wings.  It
also was used in Desert Storm.

(C)F-5 Freedom Fighter
The F-5 (the "C" designates Canadian-owned F-5s) is the most common fighter
plane in the world.  Because of its cheap price (only $5 million each),
thousands have been exported to Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe.
Because it is reliable, cheap, manoeuvrable and deadly, it is a standard
"Third World" counter-insurgency fighter.  It can take off from unpaved
airstrips, carry huge bomb and gun loads and needs relatively little
maintenance.  It can be flown by relatively unskilled pilots.  It's the
perfect weapon for dictators trying to keep the rebels down.  The Canadian
government has tried to sell this warplane to Turkey no doubt for bombing
campaigns against Kurdish villages.  Canada recently sold some to Botswana. 

(C)F-18 Hornet
At a cost of about $25 million dollars each, this all-weather
fighter/bomber has supersonic capabilities.  It can carry, launch and fire
just about any munition that can be strapped, bolted or clipped to it.
Hundreds of these planes were used by Canada and the U.S. in the
bombardment of Iraq.  It is a popular U.S. export item and has been sold
all over the world.  There are many flying in the Middle East, Europe and
Asia.  It is operational about 50% of the time.  This, apparently, is good
for a plane as sophisticated as this one.  

F-4 Phantom
Extraordinarily fast, this plane was built in the 1960s.  It is still one
of the fastest warplanes in existence.  It was used by the U.S. in Vietnam
as both an interceptor and a bomber.  The U.S. has sold most of its F-4s to
"Third World" countries, many in the Middle East where conflicts have
always provided a good market for manufacturers and governments wishing to
get rid of the old to play with the new.  Israel bought many of these
throughout the 1960s and 1970s.  Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Spain, South
Korea, Greece, Iran, England, Germany and others, have all purchased and
used this weapons delivery system.  More than 5,000 were built by U.S.
manufacturers between 1962 and 1979.  It was used by the U.S. in the war
against Iraq.

F-14 Tomcat
An extremely fast interceptor, this plane has one of the most sophisticated
airframes in existence.  The U.S. sold some to Iran, and it has been used
by the U.S. in most, if not all, of American "interventions" and
"invasions" since the mid-70s, including Cambodia (1975), Laos (1977), Iran
(1980), Afghanistan (1981), El Salvador (1981), Libya (1981, 1986), Lebanon
(1982), Grenada (1983), Nicaragua (1983), Honduras (1985), Panama (1989)
and Iraq (1991).

F-117 Fighting Falcon
Because it is difficult to pick up on radar, the F-117 Fighting Falcon is
called a "stealth" fighter, although it is actually a "bomber."  First used
in the invasion of Panama, F-117s later spent almost 7,000 hours on bombing
missions over Iraq.  These eerie planes dropped more than 4.4 million
pounds of bombs on Iraq during the most intense aerial bombardment in the
history of warfare.  Each F-117 can carry 5,000 pounds of munitions,
including laser-guided conventional bombs or two Mark 61 nuclear weapons.
The cost of the aircraft is about US$500 million each. Whether this
includes any of the billions in design costs is unknown.

F-15 Eagle
This warplane uses the guidance platform that cruise missiles were built
around and its airframe is among the world's most sophisticated.  The F-15
is considered one of the best "weapons platforms" in existence.  But,
because they cost about US$50 million each, not too many countries can
afford them.  Japan, Saudia Arabia and Israel are among the countries which
have purchased the F-15.  They are not affordable by middle powers such as
Canada and Turkey.  That hurt U.S. exports, and the ending of the F-4
production in the mid-1970's left a huge vacuum in the middle priced,
fighter bomber market.

The Snowbirds are the most popular military planes at Canadian air shows.
They are flown by a demonstration squadron of the best pilots in the
Canadian Armed Forces.  However, they're not used solely for pleasing the
public.  These planes are also used for military training purposes.
Military pilots learn to fly the CF-5 and CF-18 warplanes by first learning
to fly these smaller "Snowbird" planes.  They share a place in many
Canadian's psyche along with the maple leaf, beavers and mounties.  They
are very popular and hence very difficult to criticise.  Technically (by
the narrowest of margins), they are not combat aircraft.  As such, the
anti-war critique gets blunted and nationalistic admirers of these planes'
stunts, and other warplanes generally, will climb all over any peace
activist who dares to question these, euphemistically named, "Snowbirds."

Sources:  Published by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade in Press for
Conversion!, Issue #36, March 1999. Adapted from: (1) A Darkness Visible:
The Abbotsford International Airshow, Airshow Canada, and the Banality of
Evil, by David Theissen.  Data was collected by Bruce Hiebert, Military
Researcher for the Mennonite Central Committee of British Columbia, from
the following: Newsweek, Feb. 18, 1991; David Broad, ed. The New World
Order and the Third World; Canadian Defence Quarterly, Jan. 1993, (2)
Personal email communication by Bruce Hiebert with Richard Sanders, March
23, 1997 and (3) COAT's documentary video, Mothers' Day at the War Show.



                   Richard Sanders 
Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
  541 McLeod St., Ottawa Ontario Canada  K1R 5R2

      Tel.:  613-231-3076    Fax: 613-231-2614
                 Email: ad207@ncf.ca
              Web site: www.ncf.ca/coat

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