Thursday, September 10, 2015, The Globe and Mail
“The United Nations should help,” said the Syrian refugee who had walked for hundreds of kilometres, only to be obstructed by police in Hungary.
What do we say to this man about our apparent impotence in the face of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad? What do we say about impunity, terror, and the imminent devastation of climate change that will create a new tsunami of people like him? Refugees are a UN responsibility, so the man’s plea was understandable, but curiously few continue to look in that direction. The world body still does a good job with certain agencies, such as UNICEF. It has made progress in ending extreme poverty. But in its core mission of maintaining peace and security, the Security Council vetoes on the part of Russia, China and the United States have disillusioned millions of supporters. [more]
Wednesday, June 17, 2015, The Globe and Mail
Move over John Le Carré. Your fanciful heroes can’t compete with real-world escapees from justice. On Monday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, twice indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in the ethnic cleansing of 300,000 of his country’s non-Arab citizens and the displacement of millions of others, fled an African Union summit meeting being held in Johannesburg. He left in secret from a small military airfield just hours before South Africa’s highest court was to rule on whether he should be arrested and delivered to The Hague. [more]
Friday, June 05, 2015, The Globe and Mail
On May 1, 2007, Gary Merasty, then the Liberal MP for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, stood in the House of Commons to move that the government of Canada apologize to aboriginal peoples for the decades of mistreatment their children had experienced. On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper followed suit by issuing a moving apology for the residential schools. This week, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported its findings and recommendations. The formal process was complete. [more]
Tuesday, Apr. 28 2015, Globe and Mail
A frail, anxious-looking man of 93 sits in a German courtroom – minus his SS uniform. Oskar Groening is charged with complicity in the murder of 300,000 Jews in the Auschwitz death camp during the spring of 1942. His specific job was to rifle through the belongings of new arrivals to confiscate their money (they wouldn’t need it any longer, he later explained). And, and as one of the few Nazis still alive, his trial may be the last from that murderous era. [more]
From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain explores the consequences of anti-minority politics, such as we are seeing in many places today, including Canada.
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