As a veteran of three peacekeeping tours I would like to know the source of the information presented during the address at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Major wars have occurred every 30-50 years with only 21 years between the last two. It has been over 65 years since the end of the Second World War.
The United Nations’ objective has never been to bring democracy to the world, it has always been to provide a forum, other than the battlefield, to settle the world’s disputes.
To say that it has done no good in its time is completely false. The Korean war was a UN operation. Because of it there is still a South Korea. Canadian troops under the UN flag saved several Cypriot villages from being completely wiped out when Turkey invaded the island in the early 1970s.
People in the Canadian sector in Croatia were rebuilding war-damaged housing as soon as fall of 1992. I was there and even have photos to prove it. Many people in the Medak Pocket in 1993 survived ethnic cleansing because Canadian troops engaged the Croatian army in full combat to prevent it.
I know this because I was there or I knew personally some of the troops who were there.
To say the UN has done nothing and has been a waste of time is to say that the approximately 500 troops (including Korea) who have died under the UN flag gave their lives for nothing.
My friends did not die to no purpose. The wars they intervened in did not spread to the rest of the world and our friends and families did not have to deal with the things we saw overseas on our tours.
That alone makes the service worthwhile. I fully support the Legion and the work for veterans it does but the facts have to be kept straight. The world can be a rough neighbourhood, thankfully most Canadians don’t have to experience it personally.
By the way, in 1988 the Nobel Peace Prize was given collectively to all the troops who did the peacekeeping tours. Anyone who did a tour before 1988 has a share in a Nobel Peace Prize. From the ribbons I saw on Monday, that includes a fair number of people in this town.