Friday, October 22, 2004

Peacekeeping - The Real Thing

19° 00' North; 72° 25' West

Peacekeeping does not always have to come from the barrel of a gun.

Because sometimes something as simple as true goodwill can go a heck of a long way.

Take Haiti, for example.

Unlike the situation in Iraq, BushCo has already run away from the mess that it created there when it facilitated the most recent ouster of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. And now it is UN peacekeepers that have to deal with the aftermath:

"Young gangsters torched cars, fired in the air and terrorised people not far from the presidential palace as violence flared in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

UN peacekeepers were on high alert as supporters of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide were expected to demand his return to the Caribbean country.

Today is the 10th anniversary of Aristide’s return from his first exile...."

This is bad news indeed for the blue helmets. And it is a situation that was made much, much worse by the recent spate of hurricanes and bad weather.

Luckily, ordinary Canadians, and especially folks from Quebec have stepped into the breech, raising huge amounts of money and shipping tons and tons of supplies, no strings attached, to the Carribean Island.

This is the kind of thing that people remember, and it is one more reason why all North Americans, no matter which side of the 49th parallel they live on, sew red maple leaves on their backpacks when they travel overseas.


A Vancouverite, by way of Montreal, who is also making a difference sans firearms, is a sharp young fellow named
Per Unheim

Mr. Unheim has gone overseas to help out at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights and the Centre for the Treatment of Trauma (ie. Torture) Victims. He is also a blogger, and his eyes-wide-open posts are well worth reading.

(Thanks to frequent AllSpinZone poster eteba for the tip on Quebeckers' helping hand for Haiti and to Crawford Kilian for updating us on the work of PerU).

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