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BY Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash Mar 2, 2023

I cannot believe I am writing this, but today I tuned into WhiteHouse.org to get an update on the unidentified flying objects shot down by fighter jets in the United States and Canada. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, to my great relief, revealed that “There is no indication of aliens or extra-terrestrial activity with these recent takedowns.”

The US military said their prime suspect was – you guessed it – China. I really hate the fact that every time we talk about those intel and territorial integrity issues, the military always manage to make it sound like a bad action movie from the Cold War. We can’t have a serious debate because the information officials give us is limited and biased, much like a ping pong game of vague details about some kind of “reasonable threat”, whatever that means. 

What we know so far is that China does have a balloon program and that we don’t know for sure whether these objects were part of it or were sent intentionally. Of course, China possibly collecting intel with balloons is bad. But let’s also remember that the US has military bases in many countries they have no business being in. There’s no ethical imperialism. 

The other thing that I really hate is seeing the amount of fake news stemming from this kind of coverage. Now might be a good time to remind you to always fact-check what you read on social media and that there is a plethora of independent news outlets out there that are usually more neutral and trustworthy than some random guy’s post on Facebook.

Experts do agree that the more you look skywards, the more things you will notice and that it wouldn’t be the first time we intercept intel devices in North American airspace. Three of the four objects taken down recently were shot down faster than the first one, because they were flying at altitudes where accidents with aircrafts would have been possible, so we’re not in a Denis Villeneuve sci-fi movie and about to meet aliens.

Imperialist states spying on each other is not new and it would be exaggerated to believe our physical integrity in Canada is immediately at stake because of these UFOs. It is kind of sad that this was blown out of proportions when more than 40,000 people just died in Turkey because of an earthquake, which is something very tangible. This whole balloon ordeal is just giving countries other reasons to vilify each other as if there’s not enough conflict in the world already, like the war in Ukraine entering its second year.

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Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash is Cree from Waswanipi, and is the Nation’s newest columnist. She is an activist and writer who also has a regular column in Montreal’s French Metro Newspaper.