Thursday, December 22, 2005
peace on earth
Santa to Refuse NORAD Escort
"Just Say No No No to War," Claus Advises Children
DECEMBER 23, 2005 -- It appears that Santa Claus has had enough. Once again this year, the Canadian War Dept. and NORAD have declared, without consulting him, that they will track and escort Jolly St. Nick as he and his reindeer make their annual trip around the globe.
Reached at his busy North Pole workshop, Claus was uncharacteristically furious to hear that NORAD, an organization which is part of the Bush administration's Star Wars scheme, is telling little children that he is happy to be tracked by them.
"I don't want war planes on my tail, and I don't want children to think I am in any way associated with the type of organization which plans for things like nuclear war and space warfare," Claus said via telephone. "Your War Dept. misrepresents me the same way the sales of war toys misrepresent me. I don't make machine guns and toy tanks, and I certainly do NOT want an escort from warplanes or to be tracked by an organization which is working to militarize the heavens."
Claus was particularly concerned that NORAD uses this opportunity to glorify warplanes which are used to drop bombs on and mutilate children in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, where an intense (and largely unreported) aerial bombing campaign has been going on this past fall.
Santa says he is disturbed to again find himself the focus of the annual military public affairs operation, designed to normalize for children the idea that the military, as well as military alliances which plan and constantly threaten life on the planet with nuclear warfare, pre-emptive invasions, and environmental destruction, is a benign outfit.
In a War Dept. press release, we learn that "Canadian fighter pilots will gather the first pictures of Santa and his sleigh as he arrives over the continent using special NORAD SantaCams mounted on their aircraft." The release comes at a time when new revelations of illegal spying on people across North America have raised renewed concerns about privacy rights, rights which are certainly being violated in Santa's case.
The release then goes on to tell the following falsehood: "At Santa's request, millions of curious children will be able to closely follow his progress by viewing digital photographs and technical information compiled by NORAD on their Internet site."
Reacting to this news, Claus's red cheeks were no doubt beet red.
"I have made no such request, nor would I. Kids going to this web site are taught to view war and the instruments of war as normal, acceptable, inevitable. When I went to the website, I saw downloadable colouring pages for the most destructive warplanes on the planet, planes whose only purpose is to deliver death and destruction. They describe the technology which is part of the star wars program as ultra-cool, and actually have the gall to say that Rudolph, a lifelong pacifist who is also a vegetarian, has helped them develop their infrared tracking technology!"
Rudolph, unavailable for comment, nonetheless issued a brief statement declaring, "I have no desire to be tracked by the same equipment which is being used to plan future, destructive wars against the very kinds of children who may be going on to this silly website."
North Pole spokespeople have said Santa annually views the painful reality that is a result of relying on military might to enforce injustice and resolve conflicts. "We see all the children of the world, the ones who have lost legs and arms and eyes to landmines, the ones who have watched parents murdered with Canadian bullets and machine guns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ones whose only wish for Christmas is peace on Earth, or the return of a parent or sibling killed by an aerial bombardment."
Claus has joined Homes not Bombs members on many occasions through the years as an ambassador of peace through justice and goodwill. As such, he has been arrested by Loblaws for helping distribute food he took from their shelves (to help pay back the tens of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes owed by Loblaws), protesting sanctions against the people of Iraq which killed over 1 million Iraqis (this with the aid of the Canadian military whose warplanes are set to tail Santa), the use of secret trial security certificates, the production of war toys, the Hamilton War Show, and many others.
"There are so many causes for me to support, and I want to support them all, but half the time I'm busy trying to correct the false information about me and what I stand for that's presented by the military and the media," Claus said. "I barely have time to speak with you, much less all the other media outlets who request interviews."
Although he is not prepared at this point in time to get a press spokesperson. Claus says the idea is tempting.
"When someone like me gets misquoted as often as I do, I could hire a whole crew. Know anyone who could use some full time work?"
Homes not Bombs, concerned at this latest slagging of Santa's character, has campaigned for years against the very apparent Canadian involvement in Star Wars, which has its most visible manifestation through NORAD and numerous corporate contracts and government research and development programs. Concerned as well that none of the major federal political parties supports peaceful resolutions to international crises (instead all are silent about the ballooning $20 billion war budget, the new troops being sent to Afghanistan, Canadian bullets being sold by the
millions to the Pentagon, etc.), the group urges Canadians to demand an end to the country's burgeoning war economy.
In the meantime, Santa says that if you are concerned about the misuse of his image to sell the military to young children, you can certainly call the military's own press people and register a complaint. You can call the following numbers for the Canadian military wings that have offered press interviews on this topic, as well as NORAD.:
3 Wing Public Affairs, 3 Wing Bagotville, Que. - (418) 677-4000 extension 8277
4 Wing Public Affairs, Cold Lake, Alta. - (780) 840-8000, extension 8121
Canadian Air Defence Sector Air Operations Centre, 22 Wing North Bay, Ont.
- (705)-494-2011 ext. 2495
The NORAD Tracks Santa program is at Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters,
Winnipeg, MB. - (204) 833-2500 ext. 6795 or
NORAD Headquarters, Colorado Springs, Colo. - (719) 554-6889 or 1-877-HI NORAD
(report prepared by Santa Claus, with the assistance of Matthew Behrens of
Homes not Bombs)
at 9:55 pm