Commentary  Misrepresenting Canada


Re: “Misremembering warfare” (Commentary, November 11, page 11)

Whoever the authors of this piece are, they stepped over the graves of Canadians and hid behind the anonymity afforded to them by Demilitarize McGill. They tried to blur the lines between U.S. and Canadian military endeavors and practices, and pretended that we share the same history. Worst of all, they disrespected something they don’t seem to understand.

Remembrance Day isn’t about current or continuing warfare; it’s about the strife, hardship, and loss of life that has affected Canadian soldiers and their families. It’s not about celebrating war, it’s a continued practice so that we never forget the Canadians who fell in combat, regardless of why they were fighting. This is who we think of when we say ‘Lest We Forget’ and ‘Je Me Souviens.’

Seeing as the opinion of Demilitarize was published though, I should point out how they are shaming their cause with misinformation, generalizations, and loose conjecture.

First of all, just like the U.S. and Canada are separate and independent nations, the Canadian military is not, and does not represent, the U.S. armed forces. Canadian forces have not been fighting alongside the Americans in the Iraq War, and seeing as the authors are using the context of Canadian military presence on campus, I see no reason why the Iraq War should be cited. For decades the chief activity of the Canadian forces has been peacekeeping; but that doesn’t count, right?

As for “the people of colour targeted for distant assassination by CIA drones,” the authors are surely aware that the CIA is a U.S. federal agency. Also, the drones used by Canadians are unarmed and primarily for surveillance, such as in the far north. Finally, when it comes to the American Civil Liberties Union report on the recruitment of minors in the U.S. that was cited in the article, a simple control-f and we find that Canada isn’t mentioned once in the text.

Demilitarize McGill should focus on finding solutions for the issues they present rather than writing shock commentaries and thoughtlessly protesting Canadian traditions.

—Emilio Assuncao
U3 Linguistics and Psychology