The ugly truth about Canada and most of the so-called democratically governed, free world nations is that they all seem to be preoccupied with the fear that their respective race, religion, culture and values and in this case their European heritage are in danger of becoming extinct, or as they put it overrun by the other races, religions, cultures and heritages not in keeping with their own. This has started the leaders of these nations to advocate the keeping of their nations if not pure then dominant as far as race, religion and culture are concerned. It would seem that all of the good advances and change as far as tolerance hard-fought for in Canada is in danger of being lost as this conservative government under the leadership of Steven Harper drags Canada back in time to the colonial era of our history.
I say “The old wars have begun all over again about race, religion, culture and the beast inside us that felt the need so long ago to rule the world and make everything in it kneel down to it has us once again traveling the globe trying to force others to accept our ways like in the days of the Christian Crusades. We are once again attempting to force others to be like us against their will by employing superior weaponry and better trained troops to gain that which we cannot achieve diplomatically, or by treaty. In our present attitude of superiority we cannot understand why they are refusing the gift of our superior religion, our superior culture, our superior way of governing and our superior set of values and this enrages us. We start to refer to them as savages and come to the conclusion that they are too ignorant and too backward to understand the gifts we are offering them and so we decide to take what they will not give using the age-old justification that they will thank us for all we are doing for them later, once they see the light. If dropping bombs does not work then we will lay siege to their lands and their economies with embargos, blockades and sanctions and try to starve them into yielding, just like in the old days and no one can even see the error of these ways”.
Countries and governments that used to deny accusations like: They believed that some of their citizens were superior to others (Christian over Muslim, Canadian over First Nation). In a time before Steven Harper, accusations that a democratic country such as Canada would even consider that one of its citizens should have more rights than another, or even deserved to live in peace more than another, would have been rigorously denied, even though it could be proved that Canada was indeed guilty of the acts they were being accused of. The reason for that, is because pre Harper Canada had a heart, a soul and a conscience and the leaders of this country claimed to be righting the wrongs that they had inherited from the founding fathers from a dark time in our history and that all Canadians now knew was wrong and needed to be changed. Pre Harper, Canada was ashamed to be viewed as racist, where now the accusations are met with a shrug of the shoulders and a statement from the government of, “If they do not like it why don’t they immigrate to a country more in line with their ethnicity, religion and other social needs?” We now see democratic countries like Canada, Germany, France, Holland, Great Britain and Israel actually declaring that multiculturalism is not all that it was made out to be and really not a good thing. In my opinion when a government starts down this path it is declaring to the world that it no longer feels the need to pretend that their country believes in the ideology, or the principle that all men and women need to be treated equally, with all of the same rights under the law, all of the same freedoms under the law and all of the same protections under the law. At this point the government has created a double standard in its justice system and has redefined racism and human rights to suit their own needs and agenda and removed the necessity for shame, guilt and change. Canada for example now is following the lead of France in its dealing with Muslims who immigrate to this country, when they state that, “People who immigrate to Canada must be willing to give up what makes them different to real Canadians and are only entitled to most of the rights that true Canadians have and in this way creating 2 sets of laws governing Canadians, one for them and one for real Canadians. I already knew this to be true, but until yesterday I have never heard a high-ranking Canadian come right out and say it. That person was Romeo Dallaire, a retired Canadian general and a sitting Canadian senator.
I was thinking about peace keeping, why Canada intervenes now in comparison to why we intervened in the past. I was thinking about our most recent of interventions and I realised that in all recent cases where we have been part of an intervention, the reasons for our interventions could no longer be considered to have been based on what is good for those we claim to be helping; hell most of the time we can not even say that we like, or respect the people we are claiming to be helping. The ugly truth is treat that we are usually guilty of treating their relatives living in our Canada as less than equal. Canada’s reasons of late are not based on what is good for the people of the region, or the people of the war-torn country, but has more to do with, who is our ally, what God they pray to, what they have to offer us in terms of trade and are they democratically governed; in short do we share common values is often what determines our willingness to intercede. If neither side shares what we call our common values and has nothing to offer that we want we will allow their innocent people to be murdered and deem it not our problem , or say we are stretched too thin to be of any real help. This is what Canada under Steven Harper has bought into; this is the basis for our foreign policy and this is how we have turned into a nation that kills in the name of peace, instead of peace keeping and refusing to kill for either side; a nation that will only help countries interested in negotiated peace settlements.
I believe that all governments have become the main source of the racism and hatred raging out of control in their countries. Divisiveness and racism as far as I am concerned have become the main tools used by most governments and most world leaders to install a sense of fear in their citizens of anything and anyone different to them that is so great, that they would agree that the killing of those that are different from them is necessary evil, if their way of life, culture, religion is to be persevered and that preservation their of religion, race and culture is worth killing people in far away lands to achieve at home. I believe that our Prime Minister, Steven Harper uses this type of fear on Canadians to justify dragging Canada into this disgusting fight of racial, religious and cultural purity. I understand now what Steven Harper meant back in the 90’s when he said, “When I am done with Canada you will not recognise it”.
Why is it that a senator Romeo Dellaire knows that the Canadian government is guilty of only helping the people of the world who they feel are deserving of the help and that means meets their agenda. I listened as he fielded questions about what he had seen in his career as a soldier as a mainly peace keeping general and what he felt were the reasons we could send thousands of troops into one arena and not the other. What his answer boiled down to in the end was that our leaders see one group of human beings worthy of help when they are being oppressed and others deserving of being oppressed or not worthy of help and this senator/general Romeo Dallaire rightfully identified as our Canadian governments hypocritical approach when it comes to peace keeping foreign policy and foreign aid and waging war. I agree with Senator Dellaire when he advances the principle that we must all look at such matters with “A willingness to intervene”. He went on to say that yes we could put an armed force between the 2 warring sides that are killing innocent people and say we declare on behalf of the innocent citizens being killed that all fighting has come to an end and that negotiations will begin, but we can not kill on behalf of either side if we are to be peace keepers, because once we begin to kill for either side we are no longer peace keepers, but have entered the war as combatants, making us and our mission part of the problem instead of the solution. It was not a perfect solution, but for the 1st time I heard a voice of reason; the voice of one man not afraid to stand up and tell the truth and that man was retired general in the Canadian Armed Forces and now a sitting senator Romeo Dallaire.
I was impressed by the honesty in which this man talked about how what he saw affected him mentally and emotionally, how he was still being medicated by as he called them great life saving drugs everyday for the last 19 years which without he could not cope with the stress of the horrific memories, of the dying men woman and children that this country decided were not worthy of all the help we could give them and so pulled them and him out just when they were needed the most. He spoke of watching children being killed and our troops having to kill children, because if they didn’t those child soldiers were going to kill them. he went on to explain that knowing that they had no chance did little to lessen the guilt that they were killing kids and what it did to him and the Canadian troops, mentally and emotionally. I was touched deeply when he asked a question akin to this, “How many times do you think that our soldiers, our young men and women can go overseas and kill children whether they be child soldiers, or collateral damage and come back home normal, healthy people and lead normal healthy productive live?”
I thought to myself, here is a man who is suffering so badly and scarred emotionally so deep that he has to take drugs just to get by and yet I believe that if he ran for Prime Minister of Canada I could see myself voting for him just on his honesty and openness. I liked his willingness to stand firm and defend Canada’s virtues, strengths and differences and give credit where credit was due, but the equally easy way he spoke out against what he perceives as Canada’s hypocritical approach to foreign policy, foreign aid and international peace keeping. I also liked the fact that he was willing to stand up for our young men and women in our armed forces and tell the truth about how emotionally and mentally screwed up they become the more they are asked to kill children no matter what the circumstances are and how once they return home for the most part are abandoned and left to become our homeless. I listened spell-bound as he told the story of his granddaughter of some months old just learning to walk, how she fell down and smacked her little head on the coffee table with a thud; I listened as he described how everyone else I the room rushed to his grandchild’s aid as he remained sitting, his mind back in another time taken there by the thud a sound that had triggered a reaction out of the past and had him unable to move as he relived some horror from a war gone by and I knew what he meant when he said, “How many times can our young soldiers be asked to kill child soldiers and return home to their children unaffected and not look at their own children differently and treat them differently?”
Then it hit me, that our last few prime ministers have never served in the military, probably never were faced with killing another human being let alone a child and so see the world in spread sheets and words on a page and so have been sheltered from the true ugliness that is war. They have no real blood on their hands that will not wash off and so they seek to be heroic and non apologetic for the innocent young blood they ask others to spill for them. These politicians chose to ignore the life altering consequences that our soldiers and their families and love ones inevitably end up having to live with for the rest of their lives, as result from them answering the call to protect all Canadians.
As I listened to Senator Romeo Dellaire, I began to see that there is no real need to go to war and kill other people. I realised that we justify going to war simply because we feel superior to those who are different to us. I began to understand the hypocrisy of war, the insanity of it. All of the wonderfully heroic reasons we have been told that it is necessary to kill others, are all lies. I think that this is what our soldiers are starting to understand and it becomes obvious to all to see as they return home with what is being called battle fatigue, or Post traumatic stress disorder. Canada’s young soldiers are beginning to understand that it is all a lie and that there is no just cause to kill anyone and the fact that they are killing children just makes it unforgivable and even more unforgettable for them.
The answer to world peace will never be found in world war, but must be found in the understanding, acceptance and tolerance of others. We in the west the so-called democratic world talk of being unable to afford social programs while we spend billions on weapons of mass destruction. We have become so used to claiming victory, because we have killed enough of the other people that they give up, that we have forgotten how to talk. We are so used to lying about why we kill others, that we actually believe our own spin. I think perhaps we need to listen to the Romeo Dallaires of the world and try returning to peaceful ways of settling disputes. Maybe just maybe then we would have the money to pay for the social programs that our government claims we can’t afford now, like Medic Care, Old Age Pension and affordable housing for the homeless.
- In the presence of 3 leaders… (kglmark.wordpress.com)
- Still thinking about Romeo Dallaire, Stephen Lewis, and Dr. James Orbinski (kglmark.wordpress.com)
- General who witnessed Rwanda genocide urges action on PTSD (abc.net.au)