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The Truth About Darfur

A recent opinion piece from the Toronto Star leaves one wondering if that newspaper even employs fact-checkers to verify the accuracy of the assertions made by its contributors.

Examining Linda McQuaig’s piece titled "Surely we can spare 600 of our 18,000 troops to do what we do best — peacekeeping" in the May 14 edition of the Star line by line reveals an embarrassing array of errors in logic and fact. Beginning with the statement “Leaving aside politics, it's hard to imagine why Canada is sending troops to Afghanistan and not to Darfur.” one can immediately see that Ms. McQuaig has a very limited understanding of the situation in Sudan. Leaving asides politics immediately transports her piece into the realm of make-believe as politics are the single greatest factor influencing Canadian involvement in Sudan. Specifically, Canadian troops could not be sent to Sudan without the permission of that country’s government: anything else would be an invasion of a sovereign country. This is clearly an important political consideration and one that overshadows all others. Continue reading "The Truth About Darfur"

Canada to Darfur?

A crime against humanity is being perpetrated in Sudan.

‘Determined nations’ (as some, including Canada, were described by one journalist) are being pushed and prodded into taking some sort of action.

It is highly unlikely that the UN Security Council (where Sudan’s friends China and Russia wield a veto) will authorize a robust, Chapter VII peacemaking/peacekeeping operation which might make it possible for NATO, for example (or some sort of coalition of the willing), to take on the mission on the UN’s behalf, with some prospect of success. Continue reading "Canada to Darfur?"

Peace Making, not Peacekeeping is the order of the day

Many who oppose Canada’s role in Afghanistan say we should not be there since it is not a "Peacekeeping" mission. Canadians cling to the myth of peacekeeping without any real understanding of the origins and nature of UN (or Pearsonian) peacekeeping. This lack of understanding is leading to unrealistic expectations of what can or should be done in Afghanistan and elsewhere, or even why Canadian troops should be deployed at all. This confusion on the part of the Canadian public, press and politicians is dangerous; dangerous in preventing us from protecting and promoting our national interests, and dangerous to the brave men and women who serve. Confusion about our national purpose can lead to choosing the wrong aims for missions and selecting the wrong courses of action to achieve those aims. Perhaps worse, the enemy sees this confusion as evidence of a lack of will and may step up violent attacks against our service members in an attempt to break our will. Without a proper understanding of difference between traditional, Pearsonian peacekeeping and keeping the peace in the 21st century, we could spend our blood and treasure without achieving any useful result. Continue reading "Peace Making, not Peacekeeping is the order of the day"