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MAKICHUK: Thoughts, dreams and hopes for an independent West

Because it doesn’t matter … that’s not the issue at the moment. It would be pointless to hope for a Messiah to lead us out of the desert, like Moses or Mad Max.

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The other provinces and the federal government would have no basis to deny the right of the government of Quebec to pursue secession should a clear majority of the people of Quebec choose that goal, so long as in doing so, Quebec respects the rights of others.” 
— Supreme Court Judgment, 1998-08-20

Last week I received an e-mail from a woman, not sure where she was from, she didn’t say and when I tried to reply it bounced back.

Essentially, she agreed with the “let’s go it alone” theme of my last column which was entitled When it comes to Equalization, there’s no mercy rule.

But she asked a very good question.

While she was on board, she wondered “who will lead us.”

A very good question. There does not seem to be any Peter Lougheeds in the crowd, no Bobby Kennedys, no men of great repute to lead us from the abyss of unending Equalization despair.

But before I say anything further, have a look at this.

According to the Fraser Institute (yes, I know, it tends to lean right), “despite the reduced fiscal disparity between richer and poorer provinces in Canada, under the program’s current rules, aggregate Equalization payments are required to continue growing (in line with the national growth in GDP), due to a policy change introduced in 2009.”

The 2019 report, goes on to say “the fiscal capacities of recipient and non-recipient provinces in recent years is now causing the GDP growth rate rule to act as a floor on Equalization payments rather than a ceiling that constrains their growth, which was the purpose for which the rule was introduced.

“In fact, over the past two years, this rule has had the effect of increasing program costs by $2.1 billion or 5.7%.”

I will not insult your intelligence to explain what that means. Clearly, you know where I’m going with this.

But getting back to that woman’s question.

I’ll be honest with you — I pondered it, for an entire night. It kept me up, despite the fact I took a couple Tylenol red caps to make me sleep.

And the answer, to borrow an inspirational phrase from comedian Bill Murray in Meatballs, is … “It just doesn’t matter!”

Let me say that again, “It just doesn’t matter!”

Why? Because it doesn’t matter … that’s not the issue at the moment. It would be pointless to hope for a Messiah to lead us out of the desert, like Moses or Mad Max.

We don’t have a visionary political lightning rod, to lead us into battle … a Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Nelson Mandela, not even an Angela Merkel. Name your political hero, he ain’t here folks.

But again “it just doesn’t matter!”

What does matter, is that we begin to change the hearts and mind of Albertans, our provincial neighbours and First Nations to see it’s pointless to continue this Confederation charade with Young Justin and his Laurentian elites.

We need to study and explore the legal, or extra-legal options that we have, whether it’s demanding a new deal under Confederation, or, a de facto secession — the last resort.

A good start along this road of dignity would be creating our own Western police force (hopefully the Sask types would join us in the endeavor), escorting the Mounties out of Dodge and creating our own pension plan.

Believe me, that alone would get the attention of Ottawa. They scoffed at our Equalization vote, but actions such as these are a whole new ballgame.

And look, if New Zealand and Iceland can have their pension plans, so can we. So don’t even argue that, it’s a moot point.

The brilliant French writer, poet, dramatist and actor, Antoine Marie Joseph Paul Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud, once said: “Thoughts and dreams, are real. But they are not reality … reality requires a consensus.”

I don’t mean to get too heavy on you, but there is deep meaning in this philosophical comment on the science of being.

Albertans must be united in the belief that autonomy, to some extent, is the right path for the West. 

We cannot let Trudeau repeatedly glorify the destruction of Alberta; this catastrophic firing squad must end. 

And yes, these are hard choices. 

We can stay silent, and do nothing, or we can begin to fight back, work to create a new independent and vibrant West where our votes, our values and our industries matter.

Once that happens — if it happens — only through this political and social momentum will a potential leader step forward.

As US President John F. Kennedy once said: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

Alberta must begin the actions of standing up to Ottawa. There is no other way. And there’s nothing illegal, or radical, or unpatriotic, or unjust in that.

Peter Lougheed did it in the 1980s and we can too. Why the hell not?

We’re not the tinfoil hat types that Trudeau has described. We are God-fearing, hard working patriots, who want nothing more than a level playing field and a future for our children.

And we don’t want handouts.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said this week he wants the province to be a “nation within a nation” by increasing its autonomy in several areas, including policing, taxation and immigration.

The federal government made decisions that are “quite harmful” to the province, he said.

Moe made the initial statement during a radio interview on Sunday and then referred to the idea again on social media Tuesday morning, the report said.

“Saskatchewan needs to be a nation within a nation,” he tweeted.

“When the federal government implements policies that are detrimental to our province, our government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan people.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

Folks, it’s high time they take us seriously or we walk.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the military editor for the Asia Times.
makichukd@gmail.com

Dave Makichuck is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is a 35-year veteran journalist who has served at both the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Fergus Hodgson

    November 10, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    There will never be a nation within a nation. That is just a platitude that sounds nice. The Canadian central government is more powerful and than ever, and its power will only continue to grow against the interests of the West. Get out while there is at least a slim chance. This battle will only get more difficult as the urban centers grow and outvote the real Alberta.

  2. j n

    November 10, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta WIPA all the way
    cities seem to revolve around the downtown core and the attractions leaving most of the city to fend for themselves.
    however do elections work? are they legit? or have they become corrupt just like every other institution in facist canada

  3. John Lankers

    November 10, 2021 at 11:51 am

    I think, Dennis is right by pointing out that the big cities are holding Alberta back from having a bright and prosperous future, this must change.
    A good starting point is to have every nay-sayer read this piece published in MacLean’s Magazine.
    https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-rise-of-the-republic-of-the-northwest/

  4. Baron Not Baron

    November 10, 2021 at 11:08 am

    A man without property rights, is a man with no rights at all. A man who pays tax on his property is a slave. Fact. A man who looks at the world around him being collapsed by a lynching mob(the gvt), is a slave. A man to be a man, he has to be rational, or an un-rational man has no virtues – no values, therefore a rational man would not allow tyranny to build around him, because a virtuous man will rather die protecting his values than living in slavery – in contrary to his principles.
    Jesus said to love your neighbour as you love yourself. It simply says to pursue your happiness in a manner that it does not harm your neighbour, as he does the same.
    Blessing the soil beneath your feet is an obligation and a duty of every rational man.

  5. Kim Morrison

    November 10, 2021 at 10:46 am

    I agree with taking responsibility for our own taxes, policing, and especially our CPP, but the biggest advantage is to become a nation within a nation. Remaining in Canada has many benefits. Alberta would have a very difficult time existing between provinces and the U.S. Additionally, splitting the vote only leaves us with an NDP government for the following 4 to 8 years. This strategy may work in a decade, but by that time the Feds will have already destroyed our right to prosperity.

    I think we should think about how we can develop a strong voice in Western Canada. We, the people of Western Canada, can remain loyal Canadians in all aspects. The West can and will become a nation within a nation if we have the guts and the strength to get up and take action. Do you realize that if Western Canada became a province we would have a population of 11.4 million? Quebec is sitting at 8.18 million people, and they get most, if not all, of what they deem necessary to work toward their own prosperity! There is only one way to “get this party started” and that is become a member of the Maverick Party ($10), vote for our new leader in the spring and take part in determining our platform for prosperity. Go to
    https://www.maverickparty.ca/

    BECOME PART OF OUR MAVERICK NATION!

  6. Dennis

    November 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Good article Dave.
    Now, how do you convince the urban masses (Rural folks pretty much get it I think) that Sovereignty is essential to our future? When I look around at everyone scurrying about with their masks on and the vitriol over Vaxed/Unvaxed it appears to me that most of the sheeple are quite happy to bend over and take it from the rulers.
    Until these people realize we are being crapped on and begin to stand up, there will be a steady erosion of our freedom and way of life.
    A lot old us grey hairs get it but we are not the ones who will make it happen. The change must come from the young working folks who have the most to loose and everything to gain.
    There is a viable solution to the problem. The Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta. Young people need to get on board with WIPA and become involved in the future of the province. They alone are the Magic Bullet and Saviours of Alberta. It starts at wildrosenation.com

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Opinion

MAKICHUK: Defection of Chinese rocket scientist a huge blow to Beijing

The scientist, in his 30s, says he possesses detailed information about the hypersonic glide vehicle — on the face of it, a gold-plated defection.

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It reads like something out of a spy novel.

A Chinese rocket scientist deftly approaches a member of MI6 intelligence service in Hong Kong, with the intention of defecting.

The scientist, in his 30s, says he possesses detailed information about the hypersonic glide vehicle — on the face of it, a gold-plated defection.

But is he for real or is he a Chinese intelligence plant, a bogus agent setting them up for the big fall?

In today’s spy game one never quite knows. 

But this time, it turned out to be the real deal … and talk about a major-league intelligence coup.

According to a report in UK’s Express newspaper last night, and quoting confidential sources, MI6 played a key role in helping a senior Chinese scientist to the West.

His escape is a huge blow to Beijing, sources said, allowing both Britain and the US to accelerate defensive programs against the use of hypersonic missiles. 

Worse yet for Xi Jinping’s military juggernaut, it could also take China years to tweak its systems and “render this intelligence ineffective,” sources said.

Described as a rocket technician, the Chinese national was attached to the state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China, where he helped develop a mid-range hypersonic boost-glide vehicle capable of carrying DF-17 missiles to a range of up to 2,000 miles, the Express reported.

Sources say the scientist is also connected with a more recent ground-breaking hypersonic missile delivery system that can circle the globe before descending from space and use heat-seeking technology to strike any target on Earth.

The science community would call it a “Sputnik moment” after the Soviet satellite breakthrough in the late 1950s, while others said the launch of another warhead from the device was “scientifically impossible.”

While Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley stopped short of the Sputnik comparison, he acknowledged “it’s very close to that” — a fact that no doubt rocked the Pentagon.

Milley called the test of the weapon “a very significant technological event” that’s just one element of China’s growing military strength.

To have any inside inkling, whatsoever, as to how China achieved this, would be a huge boost to US military contractors and designers.

Why did he defect? 

Well, it had nothing to do with political dissent toward his Beijing masters or some higher calling of compassion and humanity. It seldom is.

Usually, it’s about money or the lure of the western lifestyle.

Rather, sources said it was a deep resentment at having been passed over for promotion, that drove him to make contact with a British intelligence asset in Hong Kong last year. 

During that first, tentative approach, he told the middleman he possessed detailed information about the hypersonic glide vehicle. 

The claim would set off alarm bells at Vauxhall Cross, the London HQ of the Secret Intelligence Service, more commonly known as MI6.

Knowing he faced a firing squad if discovered, he demanded asylum for himself and his wife and child, sources said.

Extractions like this are difficult, but possible. They require absolute secrecy and exceptional tradecraft.

A three-person team, comprised of two intelligence officers and a technical specialist, were readied to deploy to Hong Kong. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was also duly informed of the walk-in.

It was a huge gamble, operating in China’s backyard, but MI6 officials thought the payoff was worth the risk.

Cautious the scientist could be a Beijing plant, a cat-and-mouse game developed over the next few days in which the scientist’s credentials were “copperbottomed” — the English way of saying “guaranteed.”

It was during this process that the technician — an avid fan of cricket who is believed to have once studied in England — began to reveal select details about China’s latest hypersonic development, the Express reported.

Eventually, a plan was hatched in which he and his family would travel to the former British colony using a specially developed route. 

Once there, the scientist was spirited to a secure location where he was debriefed by the two men and a woman who made up the special MI6 team.

While most of the technical information offered by the scientist was carried in his head, he was also able to smuggle out technical data, the Express reported. 

The MI6 team were joined by a two-man team from the CIA. A day was given over for a lengthy debriefing before arrangements were made to fly to a more secure location — a US air base in Germany — then on to America via the UK.

According to Scientific American, hypersonic weapons are touted not only for their speed but also for their stealth and maneuverability. 

Intercontinental ballistic missiles, which follow an elliptical path into space before plunging down toward their target, reach speeds above Mach 20, but they have predictable trajectories for most of their flight and typically can maneuver only briefly, after they reenter the atmosphere. 

In contrast, hypersonic weapons would fly deep within the atmosphere most of the time, using lift generated by airflow to weave around and try to evade interceptors. 

Approaching at such low altitudes, these weapons would avoid detection by ground-based radar systems until close to their target, making them more difficult, if not impossible to stop.

Both China and Russia are far ahead in this technology, a concern that has forced the US to spend billions on hypersonic development. So far, however, a series of high-profile failures has derailed this progress.

A defection of this importance could help reverse America’s record of hypersonic disappointment.

Speaking about the defection, an intelligence source told the Express: “He was extremely co-operative. This is an intelligent man; a man who keenly follows cricket, but prefers Jack Daniels to lager, a man who has played a key role in the development of hypersonic weapons in China, and a man who felt aggrieved by the way he had been treated.

“His decision to make contact wasn’t taken on ideological grounds but rather in a firm belief that his talents should be recognized and more greatly appreciated.”

The source added: “The fact we are in possession of certain details about the operational capability of this hypersonic glide missile puts us in a position we did not expect to be in at this time.

“It will probably buy us two years. We estimate it will take China two years to be able to make changes in its program sufficiently substantial as to render this intelligence ineffective. In this sphere, two years is a very long time.”

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news and has covered Asian military affairs for years.
makichukd@gmail.com

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Opinion

MORGAN: 10 days of living free south of the border

“Canada remains in a state of absurd regulation and induced panic.”

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Back in 1987 I had the opportunity to tour parts of the Soviet Union during its waning days as an empire. The experience contributed greatly to the political outlooks I hold today. There is nothing like a good dose of seeing extreme socialism firsthand to develop an aversion to that broken ideology.

The creaking, groaning Aeroflot jet deposited us on the Moscow airport runway with a slam. While the jet was serviceable and Aeroflot’s safety record was safe — as far as we were allowed to know — it was truly a no frills ride. The service was gruff, the interior dilapidated, and the flight rough. It was much like everything else in the Soviet Union. You got the bare basics in service and had no other provider to compare the service to.

Customs were typical and thorough as all of our bags were searched. What was unusual was the contraband the customs agents were searching for. Rather than drugs or weapons as is typical at borders, what the Soviet agents sought were books, magazines, and cassette tapes.

The top priority for Soviet customs agents was the prevention of outside information getting to the eyes and ears of the citizenry.

Citizen defections were growing along with general unrest against the state. As news from the outside world trickled in, people in Soviet Russia began to realize they didn’t need to live as they had been.

Nobody was starving when I toured Russia. People weren’t homeless or unemployed. It was indeed a socialist paradise as far as providing basic human needs was concerned. Life was drab and miserable though. Everything from the endless rows of apartment towers to the dull standardized clothing was unremarkable and depressing. Food was plentiful but it was bland and without variety. You ate to survive, not to enjoy yourself.

People in Soviet Russia had become accustomed to having their lives controlled. They accepted the reality that the state would tell them where to work, how to live, and where they could travel. They all shared fear of all authority figures. Police carried no weapons as nobody would dare defy them for fear of the repercussions from the state later.

People in the Soviet Union were not living; they were surviving. The only thing keeping the empire from crumbling was the maintenance of the illusion it wasn’t better anywhere else. As long as citizens didn’t know how life was outside of the Communist Bloc, they remained content, though unhappy. This was why the government worked so hard to ensure the populace never knew any better. In the German “Democratic Republic” (East Germany), the regime did its best to block the radio and television signal from just a few blocks away.

Eventually, the dam broke. Information and consumer goods continued to leak into the Soviet Union despite the best efforts of the government. Pressure from within finally brought the USSR to an end as citizens realized they no longer had to live this way and a better world existed outside of their borders.

While Canadians are hardly living in conditions as miserable as those of the Soviet Union, we are living under severe restrictions and within a fear-filled and unhappy existence right now while many, if not most, don’t realize it doesn’t have to be this way.

I just returned from a 10-day road trip throughout the United States. Aside from seeing the sporadic and voluntary use of masks, it was hard to tell that to the north governments acted as if it was a wartime emergency. People were relaxed while dining together, events were at full capacity and conversations are actually being held on matters unrelated to COVID-19. Life is damn near how it was two years ago down there and their world isn’t ending because of it, at least in the states I visited.

COVID-19 still exists in the United States and they are still experiencing challenges due to it. Infections are being watched and health care facilities are under pressure. Political battles between authoritarians and libertarians are going on and some people are still fearful of the virus. Overall though, people in much of the United States have moved on with their lives and are no longer letting the COVID-19 pandemic dominate every aspect of their existence. It was so refreshing to live like that again, if only for a scant 10 days.

Canada remains in a state of absurd regulation and government/media induced panic. Legacy/mainstream media continues with the most negative of headlines and works its hardest to maintain a state of induced terror. Governments jealously cling to the control they have taken in the name of controlling COVID-19 and maintaining the narrative of doom and gloom. They cling to the fiction COVID can be defeated like an enemy state signing a treaty of surrender.

The dreaded Omicron variant has thankfully turned into a dud. It hasn’t overwhelmed hospitals and fatalities are at a level akin to the common flu. The way Canada is responding, though, one would think leprosy is making a reappearance among the public. The population is divided while the hysteria, prejudice, and even hate against the unvaccinated have reached appalling levels.

Much of why the government and its authoritarians backers are getting away with this in Canada is because the public doesn’t know any better. They don’t realize a free, enjoyable world exists but a short distance away.

Border restrictions at this point are downright useless. Omicron is spreading like wildfire and no restrictions or vaccinations are doing a thing to hinder the transmission. What the border restrictions do accomplish, however, is keeping Canadians from bothering with traveling outside the country. The testing requirements are a pain the ass and a person could find themselves quarantined at their own expense for a variant that has proven itself to be quite mild. What information Canadians do receive from south of the border, is framed by the government’s proxies in the media as a selfish frenzy built atop a mountain of dead bodies.

There were no restrictions going into the USA by the way. That exchange at the border only took a couple of minutes and vaccinations or testing never even came up. It’s only in coming back to Canada where all the grief is occurring.

So why haven’t the border restrictions been lifted?

I suspect the government wants to keep the number of Canadians going into and returning with news of the outside world as limited as possible. Yes, we can see the packed football stadiums in the USA and can find out just how unrestricted they are down there with even some cursory internet research. Nothing beats having a friend or family member tell you directly how nice it is to live free again though. Those sorts of exchanges between people foster discontent.

Things won’t change until Canadians stand up for themselves. Governments never willingly relinquish the control they have taken. We can’t allow ourselves to fall into a docile existence plodding along through a mediocre life under government control as people in the former Eastern Bloc did.

Canadians need to know it’s better outside of the borders. Even the UK is dropping restrictions while we aren’t even discussing easing our own.

Ignore the government statements. Turn off the mainstream media and reach out to a family member or friend who is or has been outside of Canada lately. You will hear the same story I’m telling.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

As soon as enough Canadians get that message, we will be able to start fighting our way back to normal living again.

Cory Morgan is Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor for the Western Standard
cmorgan@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

MAKICHUK: Russia’s ‘ball of hate’ is rolling toward Ukraine

“A normal exercise requires notification 42 days in advance if you’re talking about 9,000 troops, right?  Normal – and 13,000 requires international observers. That’s what normal looks like. What this is, is something entirely different.”

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The ball of hate.

That’s what they called, NHLer Pat Verbeek.

Let me say that again. The ball of hate.

Trust me, when he was on the ice you didn’t want to be there. He made your life a living hell. 

He shoved sticks into your teeth, he shoved elbows at your jaw, he slammed you into the boards, he did anything he could to defeat you, and then some.

Strangely enough, the man spent as much time celebrating goals as sitting in the penalty box.

Think Gordie Howe was tough?

According to NHL.com, the native of Sarnia, Ont., finished his 20-season NHL career with 522 goals and 2,905 penalty minutes, by far the most of any member of the league’s 500-goal club.

And get this … the New Jersey Devils selected Verbeek in the third round (No. 43) of the 1982 NHL Draft. 

He made his NHL debut against the New York Rangers on March 21, 1983 and scored his first goal three nights later against the Washington Capitals.

Bang! Not only could he score, but he could also run your head into the boards and leave you wondering WTF happened.

He played “on the edge” and made no apologies for his chippy style.

The Zebras didn’t like this, of course and did what Zebras do. 

You can’t play like that anymore in today’s NHL. The bleeding hearts have changed the game.

The same goes for politics and foreign affairs — we have become soft. Very, very soft. And by we, I mean the West. 

We are so busy trying to be politically correct, we forgot how we got here in the first place.

And this is exactly why another ball of hate, a far more infamous one — an iron-handed dictator who calls himself a president, Vladimir Putin — is exploiting those Western weaknesses as I pen this.

I mean, it couldn’t be more obvious, could it?

According to Joseph Trevithick at The Drive, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that six amphibious warfare ships that left the Baltic Sea this week are heading to the Mediterranean Sea, where they say these vessels will take part in “naval exercises.” 

Clearly, this amphibious flotilla could potentially swing north into the Black Sea, which would put them in a position to support a possible large-scale Russian intervention into Ukraine.

The language the Russian ministry of defense used to describe these naval drills is similar in many respects to how the Kremlin has described the nature of large-scale exercises in Belarus that are scheduled to start next month. 

The massive deployments of troops and materiel, including Iskander short-range ballistic missiles and combat aircraft, associated with those drills have drawn concern.

Speaking to reporters this week, a senior US State Department said: “What concerns us is the total picture, right? [Russia] is … amassing 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders combined with moving forces into Belarus over the weekend, it is — it is — these numbers are beyond, of course, what we would expect with regard to a normal exercise, right?

“A normal exercise requires notification 42 days in advance if you’re talking about 9,000 troops, right?  Normal and 13,000 requires international observers. That’s what normal looks like. What this is, is something entirely different.”

As part of the build-up, Russia deployed more aircraft closer to the border, which raised fears of a significant air component. Two to three dozen Sukhov-34 fighter jets have joined helicopters positioned near Ukraine, CNN reported.

As if to confirm this action, Britain’s capable MI6 intelligence service revealed it has discovered a plan by President Putin to install a pro-Moscow puppet leader in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said this weekend.

As Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of a ‘”large-scale war,” Truss said that Yevhen Murayev was being lined up to run the country as a satellite of Moscow.

Murayev, a media owner, lost his seat in the Ukrainian parliament when his party failed to secure 5% of the vote in the 2019 elections, BBC News reported.

He has roundly denied the report.

“It isn’t very logical. I’m banned from Russia. Not only that, but money from my father’s firm there has been confiscated,” Murayev told The Guardian.

There are other troubling indicators:

Diplomatic talks between the US, European allies and Russia ended last week without a clear path to de-escalate tensions, media outlets reported. Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, called the talks a “dead end.”

Some military experts believe this was what Putin wanted all along — setting it up to fail by making unrealistic demands, beyond just keeping NATO out of Ukraine. All it did was buy time for the Russians to set up their “false flag” invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Canadian special forces operators have also been deployed to Ukraine as part of an attempt by NATO allies to deter Russian aggression and to identify ways to assist the Ukrainian government, Global News reported.

The unit has also been tasked with helping to develop evacuation plans for Canadian diplomatic personnel in the event of a full-scale invasion, sources said.

They wouldn’t be doing that if they didn’t have good intelligence from the US.

To staunch the inevitable bloodbath, the defense ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced they received approvals from Washington to send US-made anti-tank weaponry to Ukraine, BreakingDefense reported.

Estonia will provide Javelin anti-armor missiles, while Lithuania and Latvia will provide Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and adjacent equipment. Latvia will also send military meals ready-to-eat for the Ukrainian forces.

While Ukraine has already been building a stockpile of Javelin weapons, the inclusion of Stingers represents a new capability for the Ukrainian military, one that could take out Russian helicopters if needed.

Britain also said this week it had begun supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons, along with a group of around 30 elite British troops, Sky News reported.

The members of the Ranger Regiment — part of the army’s newly-formed Special Operations Brigade — flew out on military planes that also airlifted a total of some 2,000 anti-tank missile launchers to the country.

The US State Department has also approved the transfer of five Russian-made Mi-17 Hip helicopters that had belonged to the now-defunct Afghan Air Force to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to CNN.

The CIA continues to operate an intelligence collection training program for Ukrainian special operators and intelligence officials, current and former officials familiar with the program said. The program was first reported by Yahoo News.

The threat of further sanctions — in fact, a green light for the Russians, if anything — has forced the Biden administration to weigh new options, including providing more arms to Ukraine to try to raise the costs for a potential invasion.

The recent confusion over statements made by President Joe Biden on Ukraine haven’t really helped either.

Is it a price, Putin is willing to pay? We shall know, soon enough.

For their part, Ukrainian officials are vowing to fight.

“We prepared a response for each scenario,” an official told CNN.

“We are going to fight if something happens. Our people are ready to fight. Every window will shoot if [Russians] go [in].”

God help them.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news and has written about military affairs for decades
makichukd@gmail.com

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