OP/ED: Setting the stage for peace

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
November 12th, 2010

As we took time today to honour those who have fallen in wars over the ages, my heart is saddened by the need to do so. I am not a believer in the need for war, but I do believe in creating change for humankind. It is unfortunate that those who seem to overtly support the peace movement have dwindled in numbers in a time where tensions between countries and people are on the rise.   While in this day and age these tensions have often been turned into economic threats, which are just as powerful as war, there continues to be the need to try to right the wrongs that can be seen across the world.   Do we turn on Pakistan for helping Al Qaeda? Should China feel threatened or threaten Japan? How can we turn our backs on the rising numbers of places that are ruled by governments who torture and kill thousands?   We live in an ever shrinking world where news can travel in seconds across the entire planet, and it is impossible to not feel the need to help. While the help can come in terms of aid and relief, sometimes it is impossible not to help with force.   How do we resolve those needs? Are peaceful solutions always possible? Or do we just stay home and keep ourselves safe, forgetting that others are living in terror?   There are certainly more than enough challenges in our own country. Even in our small town we face homelessness, poverty, child abuse, and more. As a country there is definitely a need to balance our actions at home and in the world.   Canada was recently voted off the United Nations (UN) Security Council, a move that Stephen Lewis, past ambassador to the UN and best known for his humanitarian work in Africa, said was not surprising. Canada, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has reduced international aid programs severely over the past few years. One cannot hope to have the respect of these struggling countries if you don’t live by example.   Should we send our people off to war? I would like to see a time when we don’t have to, but the reality of today is that we do need to send help. Sometimes that help sees our military people hurt.  So while I don’t support the war machine and the pain that it brings, I take this time to honour those who have taken steps to help people in our world. They saved lives in their time, and we’ll never truly know just how many. 

Categories: GeneralOp/Ed