Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Denigration of Canada's Peacekeeping Heritage

A United Nations peacekeeping soldier from the Canadian Battalion, part of the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH), gives first aid to an injured boy in Port-au-Prince in 1997.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Great article by the CBC's Brian Stewart, for all the eagerness by the federal government over the Afghanistan war, the traditional role of peace-keeping - something dating back to Lester Pearson who pushed for the creation of peace-keeping forces in the first place - has fallen by the wayside. This is something which Canada has been renowned and praised for.

Stewart writes that:

"The irony in all this is that Canada — with our military's eager blessing — has ditched the alternative international role our soldiers were long renowned for: peacekeeping."

He talks about the denigration of peace-keeping by military leaders and pro-military politicians.

Harper wants to transform Canada, into a more militaristic state, I guess for him, peacekeeping does not fit in. Of course it was a Liberal government that escalated involvement in Afghanistan in the first place.

Here is another noteworthy quote from Stewart:

"What degraded peacekeeping here was the mindset that used Afghanistan as a way to seek a full revival of a 'warrior nation' ethos through support-our-troops campaigns and media messaging that seemed determined to crush all that was allegedly squishy about our past internationalism."

Peacekeepers play an important role in saving lives and are an important part of Canada's foreign policy legacy, why are they being denigrated?

Recommend this post


  1. Those who know they'll NEVER have to fight on the front lines are the most eager to go to war. Something about a 'compensation syndrome' comes to mind vis-a-vis their motivation.

  2. CuJoYYC, so true.

    However, it is more than 'compensation syndrome'. They're warmonger as long as their life is not on line. Those who fight on the front line and survive are usually for peace because they know the horrors of a war.