Articles

Wednesday November 9, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Is Canada back? That’s what the government of Justin Trudeau has been telling us. If so, an opportunity to demonstrate this claim has just landed in its lap.

Canada practically created the International Criminal Court – and the court is in trouble. The ICC is the world’s first permanent independent tribunal with a mandate to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It is also a judicial institution operating in a tsunami of international politics. [more]

Thursday July 7, 2016, The Globe and Mail

It may be un-Canadian to boast, but in the wake of Brexit, rising European xenophobia and the bellowing of Donald Trump, Canada looks like an island of stability.

In historical terms, most Canadians are immigrants, meaning that our leaders have had to nation-build with nuance and compromise. Because of jurisdictional quarrels between federal and provincial governments; flare-ups of endemic resentments in Quebec; a culturally disparate population huddled for warmth along the country’s southern border; and a mouse-to-elephant relationship with the most powerful country on earth, steady pragmatism has been the key. We do that well in Canada. [more]

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, The Globe and Mail

If you have read John Hersey’s classic book Hiroshima, you may recall the sights that will confront President Barack Obama on Friday when he enters the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. There he will see a life-sized display of a wounded family staggering toward the Ota River. Their “skin” hangs in shreds, but their faces are intact, to protect the millions of schoolchildren who visit the museum. No melted eyes stream out of empty sockets. [more]

Friday May 6, 2016, The Globe and Mail

The controversial French comedian Dieudonné is booked to perform 10 shows in a small Montreal gallery starting next week – if he’s allowed into the country. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has called him persona non grata. Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has pointed out that discriminatory speech is not tolerated in Canada. [more]

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, The Globe and Mail

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/… And what rough beast, its hour come at last/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? – Yeats, The Second Coming

As Christmas approaches, these words, written in 1919 by W.B. Yeats occupy my mind. Within a few years, the first incarnation of the prescient “rough beast” came to power as Adolf Hitler, to be followed by Josef Stalin, then by the purveyors of hatred in Rwanda and Bosnia, whose racist bile culminated in genocide. The early 21st-century wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have spawned their own beast: Islamic State. [more]