Today I was told, “Canada cannot save the world, and will not. Canada is certainly a nice country, and free. You are not responsible for the evil of the world, (the U.S. might be), so why act like you know better than everybody else?
“I agree on your concern about the soldiers, going to war in a foreign country. But I am not quite sure they really know what they are doing. And who is the soldier who knows what is right or wrong in the long run, in a free world?”
In other words, many soldiers go to earn battle pay. They could care less about the altruistic reason for liberating foreign people from their yoke of tyranny. They’re doing a job, like any other job, that pays them double-time for taking the risk.
I started thinking. We are not know-it-alls. In fact, the more we see, the less we know. But does this mean we step back and do nothing? What if the U.S. had remained in isolation during WWII? What would Europe’s destiny have been then? There is history in play here.
Lester Pearson committed Canada to peacekeeping in the 1960s, and Canada, as a result, wanted to be effective in that role; thus Canada trained its troops differently before they sent them into the field. Peacekeepers never adopted the attitude of an occupier but as a negotiator between warring sides. It meant they had to learn the histories and the cultures of the local people on both sides of a conflict at the same time as they showed their respect.
Before I went to Rwanda, the Canadian military briefed me on everything from local etiquette, to food, to manners, to expectations, and if I breached those things, what I could expect in response. If I were a know-it-all, there are things that happened there that I witnessed I would have reported because they went against our values and beliefs. I did not because the people were acting in accordance to their understanding of what they believe to be right or wrong. I, nor the Canadian peacekeeping mission, had no right to judge them for doing the best they could. That approach worked until Somalia and Rwanda.
After Rwanda, the Canadian military stepped up their combat readiness training. If the peacekeepers had been allowed to take on the role of peacemaking when the Hutus went wild, we could have prevented the slaughter. Unfortunately, worse slaughter is happening in the Congo, and the reason Canada is not sending in a large contingency is because the UN is still pulling the same nonsense with their inadequate rules of engagement. Africans are and will be left to kill Africans.
There are racists who want this to happen. They raid Africa of its natural wealth, in minerals and diamonds, especially, and these profiteers have no intention of sharing or bettering the African people while they rob them.
So, I ask this: what if U.S. and NATO troops did not engage in world conflicts? Is the world better off without Western nations’ intervention?
I believe successful peacekeeping missions have averted much worse wars, even nuclear disasters.
The terrorist attack of 9-11 has changed a lot of minds in North America. For the first time, North Americans were hit in their own backyard. Did we overreact? Yes. Were we manipulated into over-reacting? I believe we were.
Many soldiers do their job, go home and move on with life, as one vet pointed out to me in a FaceBook discussion. That is as it should be.
But many returning soldiers have also been misled by our Canadian and U.S. governments , who have issued drugs, vaccines, etc., to “protect” them but in fact have impaired them mentally and emotionally. Our troops have been sacrificed as guinea pigs without their consent, and in some cases, they don’t even know it.
I object to this treatment of our soldiers and then I object to the lack of government and public support to help those afflicted and physically wounded when they return. As they are mandated to protect us, it our responsibility to protect them as well.
I care about these young lives being wasted in the line of duty. How about you?