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Author Topic: Should Canada adopt a non-intervention policy?
Webgear
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posted 05 June 2006 06:06 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Should Canada adopt a military policy of non-interventionism?

Should all Canada troops be recalled back to Canada and all military alliances (NATO, UN) be dismissed?

Should Canada avoid all wars and conflictes not related to direct territorial self-defense?


Would a policy shift in this direction make Canada a better nation?


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 05 June 2006 06:07 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 June 2006 06:09 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ditto.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 05 June 2006 06:09 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In fact such a policy would make all nations better. So much better that even the latter covenant (territorial self-defense) could be dismissed as well.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 05 June 2006 06:18 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Should we also become economic nationalism?

Instead of offering and giving aid away to other nations, should we invest that money and aid in to programs that are lacking resources here in Canada?


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 05 June 2006 06:23 PM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So we shouldn't have helped with reconstruction in Sri Lanka or have forensic teams along with Canadian military helping people in the former Yugoslavia identify relatives? And I guess Canadian soldiers shouldn't have risked themselves in battle defending Serbs against Croats in Medak Pocket.
From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mike878
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posted 05 June 2006 06:28 PM      Profile for Mike878        Edit/Delete Post
Good topic, I've asked myself the same questions.

Would we be able to sit and watch genocide or ethnic cleansing on the news and say as a nation "that's not our problem"??


From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Matt_Risser
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posted 05 June 2006 07:03 PM      Profile for Matt_Risser     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
NEVER!!! Canada needs more humanitarian intervention we just need to stop undertaking them for the wrong reasons. Could anyone say that we shouldn't have intervened in Rwanda. We should be the country who drags the great powers into committing to real humanitarian interventions and not fabricated ones.
From: Lunenburg, NS | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 05 June 2006 07:03 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why should Canadian soldiers die on foreign ground, fighting other people’s problems and disputes?

I do not think that the Canadian public is educated enough sometimes to understand what the military does or how it does the missions it is given. Nor is the public educated in why genocide or ethnic cleansing happens in places like Sudan or the former Yugoslavia or even the tribal and clan infighting as in Afghanistan.

I think it would be better for the soldiers's welfare if they stayed in Canada and only defended Canada from attack.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 05 June 2006 07:05 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mike878:
Good topic, I've asked myself the same questions.

Would we be able to sit and watch genocide or ethnic cleansing on the news and say as a nation "that's not our problem"??


Well, it's a lot better than supporting and participating in war crimes and crimes against humanity (courtesy of our alliances with the U.S.).

Although I think there's a mid-point between what we are doing now and complete isolationism. That mid-point is the United Nations, like it or not.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 05 June 2006 07:10 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Should all Canada troops be recalled back to Canada and all military alliances (NATO, UN) be dismissed?


ummm...the UN is not a military alliance.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mike878
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posted 05 June 2006 07:10 PM      Profile for Mike878        Edit/Delete Post
Unionist - IMHO due to the veto's on the security council, sitting home and doing nothing or working though the UN is pretty much the same thing... unfortunately.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Mike878 ]


From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Mike878
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posted 05 June 2006 07:11 PM      Profile for Mike878        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:

ummm...the UN is not a military alliance.


I think he was refering to UN missions


From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 05 June 2006 07:14 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The UN is not a military alliance but it does have a military role with a military function.
From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 05 June 2006 07:33 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mike878:
Unionist - IMHO due to the veto's on the security council, sitting home and doing nothing or working though the UN is pretty much the same thing... unfortunately.

Really? When was the last time someone vetoed a motion that you would support?

I'll give you a hint, Mike878. Since 1984, the veto has been used as follows: China, 2; France, 3; Russia/USSR, 4; the United Kingdom, 10; and the United States, 42 times.

So, Mike878 -- what do you say? Would you like a list of all the resolutions that have been vetoed in the past 22 years?

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


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Mike878
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posted 05 June 2006 07:44 PM      Profile for Mike878        Edit/Delete Post
What I meant is that because of the five member states that have the vetos, the UN is incapable of effecive intervention in many conflict situations.

Example, I think it is very unlikely that the UN will authorize a Chapter VII peacekeeping/peacemaking mission to stop the genocide in the Sudan, because of Russia and China. It won't get to the point where a vote would take place.

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: Mike878 ]


From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 05 June 2006 08:10 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Example, I think it is very unlikely that the UN will authorize a Chapter VII peacekeeping/peacemaking mission to stop the genocide in the Sudan, because of Russia and China. It won't get to the point where a vote would take place."

I agree, this mission does not seem likey to happen anytime soon.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 05 June 2006 08:12 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mike878:
Example, I think it is very unlikely that the UN will authorize a Chapter VII peacekeeping/peacemaking mission to stop the genocide in the Sudan, because of Russia and China. It won't get to the point where a vote would take place.

You didn't look at the little piece of history I quoted, did you? You didn't look up all the times the U.S. has vetoed resolutions aimed at correcting crimes against humanity. That wouldn't fit your paradigm.

As for Sudan, I oppose intervention by non-African countries unless there's a request by the Sudanese government. So I'm glad I'm not alone!

Do you recall the U.S., without U.N. permission, bombing a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan, thus helping to aggravate an epidemic in the following months?

Just checking as to whether we're reading the same history books.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 05 June 2006 08:17 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think Mike's point is that many decent missions are vetoed for no good reasons other than geo-political fighting between superpowers such as the USA, USSR.
From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mike878
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posted 05 June 2006 08:21 PM      Profile for Mike878        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

You didn't look at the little piece of history I quoted, did you? You didn't look up all the times the U.S. has vetoed resolutions aimed at correcting crimes against humanity. That wouldn't fit your paradigm.


Doesn't that prove my point, that the UN is incapable of action?

quote:
As for Sudan, I oppose intervention by non-African countries unless there's a request by the Sudanese government. So I'm glad I'm not alone!

So long as this is the case, I don't think there will be any change in the situation.

quote:

Do you recall the U.S., without U.N. permission, bombing a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan, thus helping to aggravate an epidemic in the following months?

Just checking as to whether we're reading the same history books.


Yes I remember, what does that have to do with the UN's ability to effectively deal with conflict?


From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 05 June 2006 09:02 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
I think Mike's point is that many decent missions are vetoed for no good reasons other than geo-political fighting between superpowers such as the USA, USSR.

Yeah right, Webgear. I asked him to name one such mission, if you'll scroll up. Can you name a "decent mission" that was vetoed recently? Last decade, say? By the way, the USSR was dissolved in 1991.

If what both of you are saying is that the U.S. is sabotaging efforts at joint action of the world's nations and undermining world peace and justice, you may have a point. But how can you blame the United Nations for the crimes of the United States?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Naci_Sey
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posted 05 June 2006 09:51 PM      Profile for Naci_Sey   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In answer to the OP, yes.
From: BC | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 05 June 2006 10:45 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Humanitarian Intervention": Backdoor Imperialism
quote:
When you think of the term “humanitarian intervention” or “responsibility to protect,” do you envision soldiers from Ethiopia or India coming to the U.S. to arrest George Bush for war crimes, for the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and for neglecting his own population in health care, infant mortality, and New Orleans?

No, of course not. That would be ridiculous. You think of soldiers from the white, former and current colonial powers like the U.S. and Britain, going to the dark continent and fixing the problems of the natives, whom we implicitly and imperialistically assume are incapable of self-government.

And that is where the current focus of the RtP doctrine lies. [Former Haitian defence minister] Patrick [Elie] asked, “what about the colonial powers in Africa, namely France and Belgium, whose interference in Rwanda created the problem there in the first place?"

As author Tony Black has detailed, the invasion of Rwanda by a U.S.-backed Tutsi army from Uganda, which we call the “Rwandan Genocide,” did not happen because “we” in the West were not there.

It happened because we were there. To use the conflict in Rwanda, precipitated by thirty years of Western involvement following the “post-colonial” period, to justify intervention into countries like the Sudan is disingenuous at best.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 06 June 2006 03:33 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"If what both of you are saying is that the U.S. is sabotaging efforts at joint action of the world's nations and undermining world peace and justice, you may have a point. But how can you blame the United Nations for the crimes of the United States?"

The UN has been the caused of countless and needless deaths because of it’s lack of ability to prevent these crimes. The UN lacks the willpower to fight moral and just causes.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 06 June 2006 04:01 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Webgear: Should Canada adopt a military policy of non-interventionism?

That's practically state pacifism or indifference to world affairs. Or maybe this is only a caricature? How can there be an answer, in abstract and in advance, to questions of policy and military and foreign affairs? Each conflict should be evaluated on its own intrinsic qualities and facts, bearing in mind how things are interconnected in the global village.

quote:
Should all Canada troops be recalled back to Canada and all military alliances (NATO, UN) be dismissed?

Afghanistan? Check. Haiti? Check. NATO? Check. But there are "locked-in" and secret aspects of treaties that never, or hardly ever, make the light of day. NATO withdrawal by Canada would take some considerable time. The U.S.A. would fight it every step of the way up to and including virtually anything. Getting out of NATO would include a huge unsurge in public anti-war sentiment and activity, changes in economic and trade policy, possibly exchange controls to prevent the inevitable sabotage of our currency, etc., etc. But it's still a great idea.

Why have you lumped in the UN with your list? Do you see the UN as useful only for military purposes? What about the non-military aspects of the UN and of international bodies? International regulations regarding the transportation of dangerous goods? And so on? Perhaps I misunderstand and you are only drawing attention to one aspect of the UNs role in the world.

quote:
Should Canada avoid all wars and conflictes not related to direct territorial self-defense?

Again with the abstract, "I want an answer in advance, before I know the facts of a particular conflict" approach. The nature of conflicts go through changes, even, so that what was once a narrow, provincial concern can become the the concern of a whole country or people. A good cause can become a bad one by virtue of a change in the situation on the ground. Wars are like huge crises in a society and rapid changes can take place in people's hearts and minds much more quickly than the usually slower pace of social life that Canadians, at any rate, are used to.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 06 June 2006 04:34 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
“Why have you lumped in the UN with your list? Do you see the UN as useful only for military purposes? What about the non-military aspects of the UN and of international bodies? International regulations regarding the transportation of dangerous goods? And so on? Perhaps I misunderstand and you are only drawing attention to one aspect of the UNs role in the world.”

We could go either way, remain apart of the UN with non-military aspects or a complete with drawl. The reason the UN was on the list was because it is in away of a military/political alliance


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 06 June 2006 04:50 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
OK. But what about the other issue? Can we really adopt foreign policies, including the military aspects of those policies, without concrete details?

What's entirely suitable for an individual doesn't make sense for a state or government sometimes. But I guess your question can provoke debate.


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Farces
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posted 07 June 2006 11:44 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Ditto.

Double ditto.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 07 June 2006 11:58 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don’t think the answer is as easy as some are saying (i.e., absolutely no intervention in other countries’ affairs and only using the Canadian military to protect the homeland).

If hundreds of thousands or millions of people are being slaughtered by a government (regardless of the “root causes” that may have contributed to that slaughter that Western governments may be responsible for, ala Rwanda), should the rest of the world just sit by, wring its hands and say, “Oh, that’s too bad. But, it’s not our business.”

It seems to me the answer should be no, from a humanitarian perspective. To let people die in mass genocide when intervention could stop it strikes me as very selfish.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 07 June 2006 04:51 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

If hundreds of thousands or millions of people are being slaughtered by a government (regardless of the “root causes” that may have contributed to that slaughter that Western governments may be responsible for, ala Rwanda), should the rest of the world just sit by, wring its hands and say, “Oh, that’s too bad. But, it’s not our business.”

We allow countless conflicts to start and occur each year, and we do not try to stop 95% of them.

Why should we get involved with each of these conflicts when they do not affect Canadian borders or your citizens?


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
GuyIncognito
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posted 09 June 2006 11:53 AM      Profile for GuyIncognito     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Canada has a proud tradition of helping the less fortunate which I myself take quite a bit of pride in... But in saying that I also believe that we need evaluate what our role should be.
In my opinion we should be focusing on providing tangible help to the people who need it most by sending our dart teams as well as our military R/O water teams in place of troops or money as they provide real help to those in need whereas the money never seems to reach those who need it the most.
Sending troops to conflicts is such a huge issue I don't know where to begin, however I do believe there may be certain situations were civilians may need to be protected from those that would do them harm, in a case such as that I can see the need however sending troops to Afghanistan was a huge mistake which should be addressed sooner rather than later, there we are not supporting the people but rather US Policy which has created the terrorism & hatred that has gripped the world.

From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 09 June 2006 06:06 PM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There are lots of ways to help poor citizens of other countries which do not involve invasion.

I would personally happily endorse a Canadian policy which precluded all forms of military intervention. Furthermore, Canada ought to work to disengage from the military-industrial economy. Banning all military exports as of tomorrow would arguably be too disruptive to the lives of workers in those industries, but it could be done over a shortish time period.

Canada could do a lot to improve its foreign aid programs, starting with putting an end to tied aid; if it is real aid, it responds to the needs of the target country and not to the needs of Canadian industry. Obviously, we could also provide more resources; we could certainly afford the 0.7% guideline.

I believe there is a role in the world for civilian protection, and a strict policy of miilitary non-intervention would preclude participating in that. I don't regard that as problematic in the short term because there is no evidence that we actually know how to provide civilian protection, and a lot of evidence that our attempts to do so have simply exacerbated existing problems, partly as a result of being driven by political goals other than the protection of civilian populations.

Nonetheless, I would also support a policy which made an exception for UN peacekeeping missions -- and only for UN peacekeeping missions -- although that commitment could be provided with equipment and/or money instead of troops. In any event, we should use whatever influence we have within the UN to promote better peacekeeping.


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maidenhead
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posted 12 June 2006 08:50 AM      Profile for maidenhead        Edit/Delete Post
"Should Canada adopt a military policy of non-interventionism?" No.

"Should all Canada troops be recalled back to Canada and all military alliances (NATO, UN) be dismissed?" No. As has already been pointed out, the UN is much more than a 'military alliance'. And while it's clearly in need of some major reform, simply stepping away from our current responsibilities around the world would be a terrible act. For instance, we should have stepped into places like Rwanda (where the UN feared to tread), and not simply abandoned those people.

"Should Canada avoid all wars and conflicts not related to direct territorial self-defense?" What do you mean by 'avoid'? We should obviously look not to start any wars, but part of being a member of the global community is supporting nations with whom we have an alliance, and even if you get rid of all of those alliances, it should mean defending rights which we've defined as universal, and at times - though as a last resort - that may mean military action.

Would a policy shift in this direction make Canada a better nation? No. Since when did we view ourselves as Switzerland?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged

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