Times Colonist

Canada First, or is it cruel indifferen­ce?


The U.S. forced the United Nations to delay plans to send 5,500 troops to end violence in Rwanda in 1994. This was clearly a policy of “Put America First,” as that nation could see no benefit for itself in stopping the genocide in Rwanda.

Sadly, Canada has now decided to adopt the policy, “Canada First,” and ignore the pleas of Gen. Romeo Dallaire who wrote: “This nation, without any hesitation nor doubt, is capable and even expected by the less fortunate of this globe to lead the developed countries beyond self-interest, strategic advantages, and isolationi­sm, and raise their sights to the realm of the pre-eminence of humanism and freedom here humanitari­anism is being destroyed and the innocent are being literally trampled into the ground.

“The soldiers, sailors, and airpersons … supported by fellow countrymen who recognize the cost in human sacrifice and in resources will forge in concert with our politician­s … a most unique and exemplary place for Canada in the league of nations, united under the United Nations Charter.”

We now follow the American lead and help secure Afghanista­n, a vital link in an energy corridor from the petroleum-rich Caspian region to the Pakistani coast. At the same time we ignore the ongoing genocide in Darfur. J. Graeme Gardiner Sidney

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