Face to Face

Is war inevitable?

The word ‘inevitable’ sets me off. It suggests that wars simply happen. Wars become abstractions, beyond human control, explanation and history. That is nonsense. A century on, the notion that the First World War was inevitable still lingers. Many children (including my own) pass their Grade 10 history classes with lofty ideas about how...
  • Twenty-five men were executed during the First World War. Twenty-two men faced the firing squad for the crime of desertion, two for murder and one for cowardice. Whether these executions should have taken place has been fiercely debated for decades. While our modern sensibilities likely...
  • Those Newfoundlanders who voted for Confederation in the 1948 referendums did so for pragmatic, unsentimental reasons. The country, especially that part of it beyond the Avalon Peninsula, was indigent, isolated, poverty-stricken, dependent on the whims of a fickle fishing industry. Most of these people had never been...
  • Should Canada send ground troops into Syria?

    March 1, 2017 by Legion Magazine
    On its Global Affairs website, the Government of Canada describes the conflict in Syria as “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.” It quotes UN figures: 13.5 million people inside Syria in urgent need of help; more than a quarter-million dead, hundreds of thousands...
  • Face to Face

    January 3, 2017 by Legion Magazine
    Sometimes political leaders do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s 1963 non-decision on arming U.S. Bomarc air defence missiles stationed on Canadian soil with nuclear warheads was a case study in how not to govern. It flew in the face...
  • Should Remembrance Day be a statutory holiday?

    November 1, 2016 by Legion Magazine
    Both sides to this debate seek the same outcome: heightened awareness of, and greater public participation in, Canada’s annual Remembrance Day observances. The question hinges on the most effective means of achieving this goal. By enshrining Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday, on a par...
  • Canada’s mission to Kandahar was a success because the Canadian Army, and civilians operating alongside the Army, achieved their mission goals. When Canada’s armed forces moved to Kandahar province in 2005, they were to undertake three related missions. First, to launch a Provincial Reconstruction Team...
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