Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Anti-War Rally in Ottawa about ISIS

How should Canada deal with the new Islamic State (ISIS)?
  1. Send the military to the Middle East to engage in more war?
  2. Negotiate a non-killing peace?
Our government is about to make a decision. Here's what my co-peacemakers are doing now.

Yesterday, 6 October 2014, while our government was holding hearings about going to war again, about 40 anti-war protestors were summoned to Parliament Hill. The Raging Grannies notified me by e-mail, so I went to participate. See 20 photos posted online.


The protestors were from both peace and environment groups — Project Plowshares, Nowar Paix, Hands off Syria & Iraq, Rojava YPG-YPJ (Kurds), a housing co-op, etc. I recognized about half of the people, but many faces were new to me. One fellow did not know about the Ottawa Peace Festival which just finished.

When I got home, I found that others sent e-mails of protest. Most are reacting spontaneously as independent individuals and clusters of peacemakers.

Two days ago Peggy Mason, President of Rideau Institute and former Canadian Disarmament Ambassador, wrote:

Yesterday I got an article from Paul Maillet, retired Canadian Air Force Colonel, founder of the Center for Ethics, an Accredited Peace Professional, and Co-Chair of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Peace Initiative. Early this morning he posted 2 articles on his blog, Awakening the Peacemaker Within:

Today Tomas Mulcair, leader of the official Opposition in Canada's Parliament, sent this:
Tonight, Parliament will vote on Stephen Harper's desire to send Canadian soldiers to war in Iraq. However, there is no reason to believe that six months of bombing will succeed where more than ten years of occupation by the US military failed.

Watch my speech on Youtube.com to hear more about why the NDP cannot financially support this combat mission. And, help to spread my message by:
  1. Sharing this email with your friends and family
  2. Posting a link to my speech on social media
Mr. Harper has failed to answer the most basic questions on why Canada is signing-on to this war, such as:
  • What are this mission's objectives and how do we define success?
  • What rules of engagement are in place to avoid civilian causalities?
  • How much will this mission cost?
  • How many years are we willing to be embroiled in Iraq?
  • How can we effectively contain ISIS without deploying substantial ground forces or expanding into Syria?
  • What is our exit strategy?
  • Do we have a plan to take care of our veterans after we leave Iraq?
Canada needs effective leadership. New Democrats think that we should be using every diplomatic, humanitarian and financial resource to respond to the human tragedy unfolding on the ground, and helping to strengthen the political institutions and security capabilities that Iraq and Syria need to achieve lasting peace.

Canada rushing to war is not the answer.

Today I got an update from Paul Maillet:

I have been blitzing MPs and the PM with emails yesterday and today. I  visited 4 of them including Dewar. I  have been on Global TV, CTV Powerplay, and featured in CBC.
Do something say something feel something.  I have said about all I can. ... and all is now dumped on my blog site: PaulMailletPeacemaker.wordpress.com/

Feel free to link to your blog sites if you wish, or use whatever you wish.

In peace, Paul Maillet
Email: pmaillet@magma.ca
Tel: 613.841.9216   Cell: 613.866.2503


October 12, 2014
October 13, 2014
October 16, 2014


  1. Dr. Dale Dewar, Wynyard, Sask. Here is my letter to the editor of Saskatoon StarPhoenix before editing:
    Canada going into the fray? The West supporting the guerrilla Peshmerga? The Peshmerga have been fighting a generations-long battle for an independent Kurdistan. The US was killing them a short decade ago. How could Western Intelligence get it so wrong? How could they failed to predict the rise of ISIS? The joke we’ve had for years is reality: “Military intelligence is an oxymoron.” (an internal contradiction.)

    Canada should not be adding violence to violence. What should we be doing? We should be recruiting hearts and minds by prominently supplying humanitarian aid to victims; we should be supplying well-trained peace-keeping troups to provide security. We should be searching for ways to decrease the levels of violence, to give the next generation less fertile ground for extremism. We should supply teachers and community development workers, mental health counselors and “lady health workers”. Diverting the cost of those CF-18’s to decreasing violence would be far more courageous than dropping a bomb from an airplane.

    In 2003, we met a convoy of trucks, Iraqi building contractors who were returning from a fruitless attempt to repatriate the contracts for rebuilding infrastructure. The spokesperson said, “Around the construction site are hundreds of young men with nothing to do. If they aren’t given jobs they will make trouble.”

    Well, they didn’t get jobs. Billions of dollars went to US contractors to do shoddy work on bridges, sanitation systems, etc.

    Another example of what we might do: women are still having babies under those drones and fighter jets – and they and their babies are dying for lack of care. For eight years, the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) sponsored a project in Northern Iraq. We were teaching emergency obstetrical skills. Seems now would be the time to launch another project, one of "working with" doctors, nurses, midwives and others struggling under difficult circumstances to care for the women and newborns. The previous project was cut by the Harper version of CIDA. Maybe it could be revitalized in the light of Harper’s verbal commitment to the health of women and babies.

  2. Hands On Humanism7 October 2014 at 15:33

    There are other options besides military/combat missions. Here is a video we made to try to help spread the message of peace and tolerance - there are other ways to make our views known.


  3. Hands On Humanism7 October 2014 at 15:35

    P.S. The video is called: NICEIS VS ISIS!

  4. Thank you for this collection of responses to the debate about whether to go to war against ISIS. I particularly appreciated being introduced to Paul Maillet's site. Please go to www.peacequest.ca for my blog, "Why is the war on ISIS a mistake?"

  5. Virginia Svetlikov7 October 2014 at 19:53

    Virginia Svetlikov, Penticton, British Columbia

    If killing and war is the solution to peace, we should have had peace for centuries.

    Even hundreds of years prior to the Roman Empire.

    Have we learned nothing? If you want peace you have to teach peace, you have to live peace, you have to turn your back on war and killing. You have to not make games for children that show killing as a point in your favor, as being the winner. You have to teach peace at home, in your school, in your village, in your city, in your country. You have to have people who are leaders of your community who believe in peace as an alternative as opposed to war as an alternative.

    In the end we have to become human once again and reflect on who we are as a species. Animals in the wilderness are less of a threat to society than humans, as we are today. We kill for the sake of greed, power and money. War has nothing to do with guarding our borders because if you look down on our planet there are no distinct lines that separate you and I.

    If one believes in everlasting life, in any form, or doesn't at all, should think about this: If you and I picked up a weapon and fired it simultaneously at each other and we both died, would you and I join hands on our walk to the other place, wherever it may be? Would we look back our eyes filled with tears at what we had done for the sake of someone telling us that killing each other was the way to go? We have to stop listening to politicians that have no concept of what peace really means.

    Peace means lack of war, lack of killing, lack of dissension, lack of building up of arms for the sake of money, lack of playing footsies with high-powered corporations that want nothing more than to sell their weaponry on the world stage, to the highest bidder. That highest bidder has often come back and put a bullet into the head of the one that sold it to him.

    It is with sadness that we listen to the likes of Stephen Harper who believes that war is the answer to everything. Does he not treasure his own children? Is he so blind that he thinks the repercussions will never reach his door?

    When you shoot a weapon that bullet paves a road directly back to you.