Blogue - Dernières entrées

Écrit par: Martine

10 janvier 2009|Mots-clés: , , , , , , , ,

0 Commentaire(s)|Lu 2468 fois

In these unpeaceful times, not only in Gaza but also in the forgotten Congo and in all the other conflicts you don’t see on your 6’oclock newscasts, little makes sense. One would think it’s the first time we’ve forgone harmony for the sake of bullies. But it really isn’t.

The first video is of Oliver Stone in 1986 and the second, is a vignette made by French mag Paris Match. Today, they are very much relevant. Unfortunately.

Oliver Stone winning an Oscar for Platoon
La guerre

Écrit par: Alessandro

02 décembre 2008|Mots-clés: , , , ,

0 Commentaire(s)|Lu 2426 fois

That internment camps on Canadian soil during World War I and II existed is a matter of historical fact. The most famous of these, of course, was the internment of Japanese-Canadians.

However, the Japanese weren’t the only ones who were interned. Recall that Japan was a major player with the Axis powers, along with Germany and Italy. All three were enemies of Canada, the United States and their allies. As such, all three faced imprisonment in North America.

While many citizens were indeed interned, a large majority actually were never imprisoned. Rather, as a whole, strict curfews were imposed. It doesn’t make it right or fair but it was war.

Nonetheless, a while back I was working on an article exploring the internment of Italians in North America. We’ve heard much about the internment of Japanese- Canadians but very little of the Italians. In fact, this episode involving the Italians barely registers on the public imagination - even among Italians.

Every time I read an article (even by historians) on the subject, Japanese-Canadians are almost always mentioned, while Italians (along with Germans and Ukranians from 1914-1920, for that matter) are not.

Partly because Italian-Canadians who went through this period chose to bury it in the back of their minds.

Maybe this is all for the best.

These days, we’re obsessed with making amends with past (real or perceived) injustices. We should be careful. It’s ok to remember the past so long as it doesn’t impede progress. It happened and we must all move forward as a nation.

After all, that’s the only path to real progress.

Écrit par: Alessandro

07 novembre 2008|Mots-clés: , , , ,

0 Commentaire(s)|Lu 1882 fois


One of the most poignant segments on television is “Coach’s Corner” with Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada. During its telecast Cherry takes time to solemnly display pictures of dead soldiers to honour their memory. It’s a long, few moments of reflection that makes one wonder how Afghanistan has become our Vietnam minor. As we watch, the inevitable question for many becomes: “Why are we there?”

Originally, in the aftermath of 9/11 in 2001, the international purpose was to free Afghanistan from the Taliban thus freeing it from harbouring terrorist organizations like Al-Quaeda and to capture the ever-elusive Osama bin Laden. The Canadian official objective of the mission was to defend our national interests, assume a leadership role in world affairs and help rebuild one of history’s most notorious failed states.

If the task of Operation Enduring Freedom in the aftermath of removing the Taliban wasn’t daunting as it is, the United States decided to shift focus away from Afghanistan and into Iraq in 2003 thus leaving Afghanistan extremely vulnerable to a rise of Taliban activity; which is exactly what has transpired.

As this video clearly shows, there are always unintended consequences to military action; especially in a region with a complex geo-political past such as Afghanistan. The issue isn’t if we can defeat them in a traditional military fight, the issue is if we’re willing to fight a long, protracted war to quell, if not outright defeat, the fanaticism that fuels the Taliban forces and its ideology.

Pressure has grown on Prime Minister Harper to pull out of the mission. However, Canada has pledged its commitment until 2011. We have to carefully weigh the implications if we’re to ever pull out before this time frame.

It remains to be seen what the United States will do in Afghanistan once the new administration under President Obama in 2009.

Whatever the decisions, it won’t make dealing with Afghanistan any easier.