Canada’s role in Ukraine will have little impact, and could make things worse say readers
Over 70 people weighed in on our Peace Poll last week. We asked PeaceQuest readers to rate Canada’s contribution to Ukraine, and they were overwhelmingly skeptical that it would make any difference. In fact, most said it would make the situation worse, or much worse.
Around 100,000 Russian troops are massed on the Russian side of the border with Ukraine, ready to invade according to many. Talks continue between Washington and Moscow, and Ukraine’s President is asking for help from NATO and its members, including Canada (Ukraine is not a member of NATO).
For its part, Canada is sending non-lethal weapons, over $150 million in loans and aid, and 60 more troops to join the 200 already stationed there on a training mission (though the troops were moved westward, away from the Russian border).
Many readers said they were pleased that Canada was not sending lethal weapons, though the government has left the door open to change this policy. Others felt that Russia was not our enemy, and that NATO bears much of the blame for expanding Eastward after the end of the Cold War.
Here are a selection of readers’ comments:
Canada’s response to the Ukraine crisis will make things better
I do not support sending military equipment to Ukraine. A diplomatic solution is the best approach.
Send the satellite technology
Canada’s response will have little or no impact
At present time I feel that it would have little or no impact. I feel that we should allow time to find positive solutions acceptable to all those involved in this crisis. It is like they are acting out of fear and a power struggle at times. Prime Minister Trudeau is offering a very large sum of money but in whose hands will it arrive at. Hopefully to aid the Ukraine people. Look at the aid that countries sent to Haiti for example and the government there kept it mostly for themselves instead of helping their own people. They are still in great need.
Canada is doing the right thing by aiding the Ukrainian economy by its loan and also by not sending weapons to the Ukraine. It should, however, work harder at negotiating demilitarization of the region around Russia. After all, a U.S. President promised Russia after the fall of the Berlin wall that NATO WOULD NOT GO EAST OF GERMANY. This promise has since been broken several times: NATO is now in Poland and countries even further east!
I’m glad that Canada is sending non-lethal equipment, unfortunately other countries (especially the USA) are sending weapons which only make the situation more unstable, and war more likely.
Canada’s response will make things worse
In 1998, Canada was the first NATO country to approve – by Order in Council, and without a debate or vote in Parliament – the strategically senseless expansion of the Alliance, an American initiative (driven by domestic politics and the military-industrial complex) breaking earlier promises to Russia and dealing a devastating blow to the hopes of progressives from Vancouver to Vladivostok for a demilitarized, denuclearized and democratized Europe. A quarter of a century later, expansion is on the verge of collapsing European security, and Canada is still expecting the problem – NATO – to somehow prove the cure.
Why is Canada still a part of NATO? It is an organization with a history of starting wars, never in defence of its members. Send something useful like medicine, food, shelters and coffins to Ukraine, not thermal binoculars. Recall all Canadian soldiers back to Canada, to defend Canadian borders.
The military interference by Western powers in just about any conflict in the world has been disastrous.
Will definitely make things worse, but fortunately, Canada’s influence is too small to make things much worse.
Diplomacy and negotiation are urgently needed. US power expansion to Russia’s borders is without justification, as are US nuclear bombs in four European nations and Turkey, and the US missile system in Romania. The world is hostage to nuclear catastrophe. The US and Russia — and China, France, England, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea — must drop deterrence doctrine, which masks nuclear attack; radically change their military practices; and eliminate their nuclear arsenals in a limited time-bound frame. it is past time to stop putting all of us at mortal risk.. As the nuclear ban treaty shows: enough!
Canada should withdraw from NATO. We have no business in Ukraine.
We’re a small player but, like many politicians, he’s playing to an internal constituency and not showing evidence of seeing the bigger picture. I would love to see Canada returning to a more neutral and/or peacekeeping stance.
It seems clear to me that Canada is dancing to the US’s foreign policy tune whenever and wherever they play it. So much for concerns about peacekeeping.
Not enough effort is being made for dialogue and peaceful solutions, but am happy no lethal weapons are being sent.
This Ukraine thing is insane. US (with subservient allies towing the line) foreign policy for the last 20 years is insane. Focus on the real problem: CLIMATE DISASTER CLIMATE CHANGE. Focus on other REAL problems: MILITARISM, THREATENING OTHER NATIONS, INSANE LEVELS OF INEQUALITY, POVERTY, PUBLIC HEALTH
Canada’s self-portrayal as a sort of “neutral arbiter” and peace-loving nation suffers when we subsume our interests under those of NATO and imperial powers.
Trudeau’s response to the Ukraine crisis reflects the militarism that has increasingly come to characterize Canada’s foreign policy. It is so dangerous, and a very disappointing sign of the power that the military industrial complex wields over our federal government.
If Canada is a country which truly stands for peace, and has a ‘feminist foreign policy”, we should demonstrate that be withdrawing from NATO and its militaristic approach to dealing with conflict. Canada has many wonderful resources for nonviolent conflict resolution. I want Canada to live up to its presentation of a country to committed to peace, and peaceful means to handling conflict situations.
Unlike our politicians and about ⅔ of Canadians (if the Toronto Star poll is applicable to all of Canada), I do not believe that more arms in Ukraine, nor the ‘training’ of Ukraine’s military by Canadians who are supposedly experts in the craft of war, will make the world a happier place. There are better paths to international peace than guns and tanks and fighter jets, and withdrawing Ukraine from its quest to join the Nato Alliance might be one of them. One bullet gone astray by one crazy soldier might be the spark that ignites a fire that engulfs many nations.
Canada’s response will make things much worse
Once again we see Canada in the imperial NATO alliance which has waged wars of aggression over the last two decades since the end of the Cold War stoking further aggression. This almost a generation since Mikhail Gorbachev was guaranteed no further expansion of the alliance. One wonders whether our Prime Minister has read history and seen how Russia has been repeatedly invaded from Napoleon, World War I, World War II and that is not including American, Canadian, and British troops who landed on Russian soil to halt the Russian Revolution in 1917. When will we have a leader who clearly states Canada will no longer be a participant in unjust wars of aggression. Canada out of NATO now!
Canada should work for descalation and stop supporting Ukraine membership in NATO.
It is one-sided and targeted to please the U.S. War mongering is risky. Reason must prevail. The media are the worst culprits as they keep us in the dark and steering us toward war and disaster. Shame.
War in not inevitable. It is a human choice. It is, however, a choice that Canada keeps making. Since 2001, with the exception of a few months in 2014, Canada has been endlessly at war: first in Afghanistan, then in Libya, and now in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine. The result? Much death, injury, destruction, grief, and trauma. We can choose not to make war. War-making is not written into our DNA. There are better ways to settle differences than war. We must all shout this from the roof tops: No more war! War is stupid! War is barbarous! War is an atrocity! War is a catastrophe for everyone it touches.
There is nothing necessary about war! Let us all work for peace—and for justice!!!
Russia is not and never was the enemy – every foreign policy action and diplomatic statement from Russia in the past two decades has been measured and reasonable. Look at the historical evidence, not the war hawk rhetoric parroted by mainstream media. The situation in Ukraine needs to be de-escalated, so sending military aid is the last thing that any country should do. We wouldn’t want a military “solution” to Québec separatism.
Most Canadians who inform themselves about the bigger picture, including history and background, understand that everything about NATO interference is simply different forms of colonialism, and we should know something about that these days..! As well, the continuation of Canada taking orders from the U. S. is blatantly obvious and makes us ashamed! We ask: “Is this what we elected you to do?!!”
NATO is a war machine and needs to be dismantled. Russia is not our enemy.
Canada’s policy toward Russia is fully linked with its defense of Ukraine’s anti-Russian stand since 2014. The US brought about a colour revolution in Kiev that paved the way for the crisis. NATO should not add new members. It has already gone too far eastward.
(Cover: Halifax, Canada – Nov. 20, 2021: Halifax international security forum. Canadian defence minister Anita Anand. Via Shutterstock)