This powerful, easy-to-read book by the founder of the Council of Canadians and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Mel Hurtig, is "about how [the present governing minority] Liberal government [has] misled Canadians about one of the most vitally important decisions in the 137-year [as of 2004] history of our country, and how...the [Conservative Party wants] Canada to quickly and enthusiastically join the American Star Wars and other military plans."
Hurtig has written this book "because [he fears] that aggressive American militarism and the undeniable U.S. plans for the weaponization of space are rapidly leading the world towards nuclear carnage."
Let me state outright that this book is just not for Canadians. It is also meant for concerned Americans as well as any concerned, rational member of the world community.
In this book you will find, among other things, the names of various Canadian politicians but as well the names of various American politicians. Also there are names of people in the American military as well as the names of concerned scientists.
This book is extremely well documented. (There are footnotes on almost every page.) Hurtig's main narrative consists of mainly quotations from politicians, scientists, and military people but it also has extensive quotations from authors, journalists, and commentators.
There are 18 chapters. What I will do is state the title of each chapter first. A few chapter titles catch the essence of a chapter's contents but if a title does not, I elaborate with my own description or quote from the chapter.
(1) An Assault On Humanity. Describes the destruction and effects on humans that resulted from the dropping of the nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. ***This is clearly the most descriptive and heart-wrenching chapter.
(2) History's Worst Possible Nightmare. The nightmare: a nuclear war. Hurtig explains why.
(3) Making Us And The World Less Secure. ("Us" refers to Canada and the World.) "Deployment of the national missile defense system will likely tear up the fabric of arms control agreements which have improved global security for over thirty years."
(4) Secret, Confidential, And Canadian Eyes Only. Documents Hurtig obtained make it quite clear "that [Canada's] Department of Defense has made up its mind and strongly favors Canadian participation in the American Ballistic Missile Defense plans."
(5) Let's Not Have Too Many Meeting. "The present [Ballistic Missile Plan] has nothing to do with the weaponizing of space." Hurtig has uncovered evidence that this is false.
(6) Don't Even Think About Thinking About It. That is, Canada should not even think about not joining in on the U.S. missile program because there would be dire consequences. Is this really true?
(7) How Could We Possibly Go Along [with the U.S. missile defense program]? ("We" refers to Canada.) Hurtig answers this question.
(8) A Pandemic Of Insecurity: Escalation, Destabilization, Proliferation. "At the UN conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, there was broad condemnation of the [U.S.] Ballistic Missile Defense [plan] on the grounds that it would undermine decades of arms control agreements and provoke a new weapons race."
(9) Shield Of Dreams: Why The American National Missile Defense Won't Work.
(10) A Nuclear Arsenal In Space: Approving What We Have Always Opposed. "It is not credible for Canada to seek involvement and claim that such involvement does not imply support for the space-based [and nuclear weapon] elements that it knows Washington is actively pursuing." ***This is a most important chapter.
(11) The Busboy At The Conveyer Belt Inside The Tent. "Clearly this [the U.S. missile defense program] is an escalation of the arms race. This is a lunacy program. It cannot be justified from a defense point of view, or from an economic point of view."
(12) Rushing Into A Gigantic Boondoggle, And The REAL Threat. "The extraordinary emphasis on missile defense represents misplaced priorities. The top priority should instead be combating the threat of nuclear terrorism" (Union of Concerned Scientists).
(13) The Rogue Nation: No Longer Trusted...It Should Be Feared. This chapter examines how the U.S. is a rogue nation with respect to nuclear weapons.
(14) The Foolish And Arrogant Bush Doctrine. This chapter examines George W. Bush's ultimatum: "Either you're with us or you're against us...Over time its going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity [with regard to U.S. defense, military, and foreign policies]."
(15) National Mythological Defense: Profits and Greed Lining The Pockets Of Defense Contractors.
(16) The Wrong-Headed Priorities Of Government Are Stunning And Intolerable. ("Government" refers to that of the U.S.) "I want to know why there is always so much money for war and so little for the human condition."
(17) The Sword Of Damocles: Doesn't Canada Have To Choose Which Side We're On? (The story of Damocles is a Greek fable where, despite having everything, there is a sword over his head hung by a single horsehair that could fall at any moment.)
(18) Moving By Stealth To Co-operate In Our Own Ghastly Annihilation. ("Our" refers to Canada and the World.)
There are also three VERY informative appendices. The last one is entitled, "Rogue States, Terrorists, an Accident Waiting to Happen, and Why Destroying All Nuclear Weapons MUST BE the Only answer."
Finally, the only minor problem I had with this book is that its chapter titles in the table of contents and the chapters themselves are not numbered (as they are above). This book would have been more reader-friendly if these were numbered. (Interestingly, each appendix is numbered.)
In conclusion, this is a fascinating and honest book that presents the facts regarding nuclear weaponization of space and what this means for the world. If you want to know about this controversial issue, then this is a must-read!!
(first published 2004; acknowledgements; brief biographies of some cited authorities; translation of acronyms and abbreviations; preface; 18 chapters; main narrative 210 pages; 3 appendices)