A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted August 9th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
I am posting a statement released this August 9th by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrating “National Peacekeeping Day” in Canada, but I can’t do it without speaking to actions by Trudeau’s Liberal government that risk making a mockery out of Canada’s historic role – pre-Stephen Harper era – as a peacekeeping nation in the world.
Those actions include Canada’s relatively new Trudeau government’s plans to follow through on a deal reached between the former Harper Conservative regime and brutal Saudi ditators to sell military vehicles manufactured in the London, Ontario area to Saudi Arabia – armed vehicles of the like the Saudis have already used in violent clashes with citizen protesters in that Middle East country.
According to a front page story in the August 1st, 2016 edition of The Globe and Mail, the Trudeau government has also watered down the wording in its own policy papers for screening countries Canada sells military equipment to for human rights crimes and other offensive behavior.
A growing number of reports in Canadian and U.S. media outlets, including The Globe and Mail and New York Times, have cited Saudi Arabia for human rights offenses involving its own people and for funding other regions of the world that are seedbeds for recruits for extremist groups like ISIS.
Yet the Trudeau government has so far given no indication it is reconsidering moving forward with the exportation of more military equipment to Saudi Arabia.
Instead, we get a glowing statement from him this August 9th on on Canada’s global role as a “peacekeeper.”
“Moving forward, we will increase Canada’s support to United Nations peace operations: providing more personnel and training to UN peace support missions; increasing our conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding efforts,” says Trudeau in the statement.
One of the most meaningful ways Trudeau could lend truth to those words is to cancel the Harper-negotiated arms deal with Saudi Arabia and use federal stimulus money to retool that plant in London, Ontario to build transportation infrastructure for non military use that moves our country further down the road to reducing its release of climate changing gases.
But no. Not yet anyway.
In his 1948 novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, George Orwell treated the world to something he called “Doublespeak,” which Wikipedia defines as “a language that devliberately obscures, disguises, distorts. ….”
It appears Doublespeak is still alive and well in 2016 Canadian politics, and so is hypocrisy.
Now here is Trudeau’s statement on ‘National Peacekeepers’ Day’ –
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement (this August 9th) on National Peacekeepers’ Day:
“Canada has a long and proud history of peacekeeping. For decades, brave Canadian women and men have put themselves in harm’s way to protect the world’s most vulnerable civilians – including women, children, and marginalized groups.
“On National Peacekeepers’ Day, we celebrate all those – past and present – who have worked selflessly to advance the cause of peace, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.
“Since the days of Lester B. Pearson, the members of our military and police forces – as well as many Canadian civilians – have made concrete contributions to the pursuit of hope and security in international conflict zones. These individuals stand for the very best of what it means to be Canadian.
“Moving forward, we will increase Canada’s support to United Nations peace operations: providing more personnel and training to UN peace support missions; increasing our conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding efforts; advancing the roles of women and youth in the promotion of peace and security; and supporting UN reform efforts to make peace support initiatives more effective.
“Finally, on this day, let us pay tribute to the many Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice during peacekeeping operations in distant lands so that both local populations and Canadians alike could enjoy a more peaceful world. We will remember and honour their selfless contributions to humanity.”
Read a related story on this issue – http://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-ottawaquebec-edition/20160801/281487865722641 .
Other related stores –
Click on link below for New York Times column –
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.
Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.
“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders