Our erstwhile Governor General has done it again. Governor General Michaelle Jean has apologized to Rwandans for Canada's "inaction" during the 1994 genocide there.
What gives this frivolous idiot reason to believe she has the right to issue apologies on behalf of Canada? Oh that's right, in her curious little mind, she gets herself confused with our Head of State who, the last time I checked, was the Queen.
Just what action did she think Canada would have been capable of taking in Rwanda in 1994? Does she believe it was within our power to send phantom divisions of troops racing over there to separate Hutu from Tutsi? Maybe she thinks Canada held a seat on the Security Council in 1994 (we didn't). Maybe she can't get it through her pointy little head that only the Security Council could have acted and both the United States and Britain blocked the notion.
I sure as hell hope this buffoon doesn't let the front door of Rideau Hall hit her on the ass on her way out. Thinking of just how far she has lowered the bar for Governors General, maybe William Shatner wouldn't be all that bad a pick after all.
Every country that is a member of the UN bears some of the blame for the inaction. Our GG was probably the first, and most moral person, to publicly acknowledge that to the survivors.
I, as a Canadian, am glad that she apologized on my behalf.
Sorry but that's nonsense. You plainly have no grasp of how the UN, much less its Security Council, works. In any event, it's not her place to decide when and why Canada will apologize and for what. She doesn't apologize on your behalf or mine or any other Canadian or our country, she doesn't have the right. The sooner she's gone the better.
a) She acts as Canada's head of State, in the absence of the Queen/King of Canada. As such, she acts on the advice of the PM, ie. the government. Consequently, as acting head of State, embodying the nation, above politics, there is no-one more qualified to make such an apology, on behalf of the whole nation.
b) All countries, including Canada, have long since acknowledged their responsibility in the genocide, both by what they did and didn't do. They were all in fact in violation of the legally-binding UN convention against genocide, also part of the UN Charter. We committed, back in 1948, pretty much the first thing the UN did, to have as our obligation, in a meaningful way, "never again": http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html
c) Jean has made mistakes. This was not one of them. She did her job perfectly in this case.
Wait a second, Gene, she was wrong, completely wrong. Unless, that is, Harper instructed (advised) her that Canada wished to apologize and, if you've got the skinny on that, by all means share it.
You have a fairly incomplete view of the structure and operation of the UN Security Council and that shapes your assessment of Ms. Jean's chicanery.
Because we have denounced genocide doesn't give us the authority to intervene unilaterally anywhere absent Security Council authorization. If you read Dallaire's book you'll find that Britain and the United States opposed any action in Rwanda and were prepared to use their UNSC veto if necessary.
And it's always useful to think back to 1994 and the missions Canada's military was conducting overseas. Just where were we to muster a suitable force to intervene in any case?
If we're looking for something to apologize over, let's look at the DRC where some five million have been butchered while the world did nothing. Of course Canada's military was up to its alligators ensuring that Hamid Karzai could manipulate and abuse his subjects.
Unless she was acting on Harper's behalf, she should have kept her pompous mouth shut.
MoS, you're wrong on this one. Apology was written by Foreign Affairs and was done with the full knowledge of PMO. It was on CBC evening news. Go figure.
You more than anyone else know very well the GG does not do anything unless instructed by the PMO's office. So stop with the heart wrenching partisanship that is a screeching uninformed tactic.
Is that so Anon? Then are you telling me that she repeatedly proclaimed herself Canada's Head of state on the instructions of Harper? Whatever you do, don't let facts get in the way of your argument Anon.
The fact of your blog is.....the GG offered an apology to Rwanda on her own volition. I don't care if she is the worse GG ever, she does what the PMO's office tells her to do. If you feel so strongly about it then put the blame where it belongs....in the PMO's office.
Anon, in a subsequent post I noted the correction. Yes it appears she was 'advised' to make the apology. That doesn't make it any less suspect as you may grasp if you read my post "Steve, About That Apology Thing."
Many countries have specific cause to apologize to Rwanda, notably Britain, the United States and Belgium. Canada does not stand with them, not even remotely.
If you read the captioned post you'll be reminded that, not only was Canada in Rwanda at the time, but our military was also overcommitted at the time in a plethora of hellholes around the world.
Even if the Security Council authorized intervention in Rwanda (which is the only legal means we could have gone) we had no residual capacity to act. That's the consequence of living in a "shit happens" world. When you go to aid one country it inevitably forecloses your ability to assist another.
As I mention above, we were unable to offer to help in the Congo because our military was tied down with Bush's American Foreign Legion keeping Afghanistan safe for corrupt politicans, warlords and drug kingpins.
More than curious that Madam Jean didn't offer any apologies to the Congolese for Steve not sending forces to their aid while five million were butchered. She was there, she could have.
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