The world’s focus is on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria. The eyes are open to see the plight of people seeking safety and freedom.
Two decades ago the world watched the slaughter of citizens in Rwanda and how Canadians were involved in trying to protect them. Rwandans did not have the capability to march out of their country into an influential part of the world.
Today, millions in Iraq and Syria fled to camps as homes were destroyed and victims of civil war were systematically slaughtered. Suddenly, critical mass provided the impetus for people to rise up and walk in search of new beginnings, and our eyes are glued to our televisions to watch horrific scenes of how far the human spirit can motivate people.
Our first approach should have been to neutralize the threat and help citizens reclaim their lives in their homeland.
A few nations, including Canada, attempted to stabilize the area. Not only have we spent considerable money but we have “highways of heroes” who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Canada’s government also committed to taking 10,000 immigrants, which is 8,600 more than our neighbour, but who has spent considerable money and lives trying to intervene. North Americans are active interventionists for stability and freedom.
Much of the world sat on the sidelines during the displacement stage. The UN, again, was inept! Even other countries in that region kept their gates closed as much as possible.
The media found it difficult to energize our emotions in the conflict stage because their own lives would be greatly imperiled. How much sooner the world might have intervened if their reporting had been equally available in the conflict stage.
Now the path to Europe is opened and the spectator nations are brought into the crisis.
When will the Great Trek end? One year ago this one was not seen. One year from now, it is unknown how many millions more will flee. Unless more nations get involved in trying to fix the cruelties and uncivilized nature of the region, the path to Europe will become a highway.
This Canadian is proud of the government for stepping up on both fronts: intervention and invitation. We do not have to compete, however, with those countries who failed to participate in the first half, and are only being forced to get involved in the second.
Is the tome now that the other nations be called upon to assume their share? After all, they represent the majority.
Jim Dueck, Abbotsford