FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

OTHER FRONTLINE BLOGS

Chris MacLean's picture
Russian activities are “genocide”. Now what?
Posted on May 01, 2022

It was heartening last week when all parties in the Canadian government unanimously decreed that Russian activities in Ukraine constitute “acts of genocide”.

What took so long? And what does that allow Canada to do that will actually make a difference on the ground in Ukraine?

In fact, the very future of the world hangs in the balance and yet global leaders are paralyzed by an almost universal fear of escalation into nuclear war. Putin knows this, and uses it as a strategic weapon, using his own country's very existence as a bargaining chip. The allies are reduced to blustery verbal condemnation and token contributions while innocents continue to be slaughtered before our eyes.

​Yes, sending lethal weapons was a line that Trudeau didn’t want to cross, but finally did. But it’s not enough, Ukraine also needs more soldiers, and needs NATO to keep its airspace clear. I had hoped that our govt was at the very least secretly facilitating Canadian volunteer soldiers to join President Zelenskyy’s International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine or the Georgian National Legion which was first organized in 2014 with a mandate to "stand up to Russian aggression" and has been fighting alongside Ukrainian soldiers since the very early days of the Russian invasion. I know that is highly unlikely, however, Canada could fund the Legions fighting the Russian genocide.

As General Hillier once said (and I’m paraphrasing, his language was probably more colourful), the CAF exists to do the distasteful stuff so the rest of Canada can sleep in peace and safety. But many claim the Canadian public doesn’t care about its military – and I think that’s unfair.

From what I personally hear, although the public certainly finds war distasteful, they also recognize that if you’re not prepared to fight the bully, you will be subjugated. Canadians want everything to be under control so we don’t have to think about it. Some may feel somewhat “entitled” to safety and security, but at some level understand that the strong, dedicated, highly trained, conscientious men and women who have joined the CAF do whatever difficult tasks are required, are what ensures the security of our nation and, indeed, the world.

Just the other day, the general public was embarrassed to hear that the U.S. left more military equipment behind in Afghanistan than Canada even owns.

My mother and her friends, all between 70 and 90, have been voicing anguish and despair at the fact that the people of Ukraine are being forced to fight alone (although with lots of global flag waving and pro-Ukraine tweets). These ladies can’t fathom why the world isn’t banding together to stop the carnage. These active Canadian voters can’t understand why Canada is standing by while innocent women and children get bombed out of their apartments.

Elderly ladies recognize that the future of the world (including Canada) hinges on the outcome of this war, why is Ukraine standing up to Putin alone?

What more will Canada do?

Comments