Thanksgiving is upon us once again, but finding reasons to be thankful seems to be a harder task this year. I realized long ago that the news business, which has been my career path for more than 40 years, is mostly about ‘bad news’, but lately so much of the news is just plain horrible.
Topping the list are those characters dressed in black in Iraq and Syria and heaven knows where else. They take hostages and cut their heads off in a very public way, and they are masters of social media.
Stephen Harper has decided that Canada’s contribution should be using fighter jets to bomb targets in that part of the world. When putting members of our military in harm’s way, it’s always better if parliament gets behind the effort with something resembling a unanimous vote. But the vote on this one was strictly along party lines with Harper’s Conservatives supporting the plan, and the NDP and the Liberals voting NO.
It is potentially a very scary path, and a long way from Canada’s traditional role of peacekeeper. I don’t begin to understand the various factions that are involved in that part of the world.
Given hundreds of thousands of refugees in nearby Turkey, the potential for humanitarian disaster is enormous. There’s a strong case to be made for this country to focus our resources on that, and leave the shooting and bomb dropping to Uncle Sam.
There is a never a shortage of humanitarian crises that beg for our help and attention. In recent memory, has there been one as tragic and compelling as Ebola ? The pictures and stories from west Africa are truly heartbreaking.
In the past at this time of year, it has been easy to say we’re thankful that we don’t have problems like that staring us in the face. In 2014, I can’t help but think that a more ‘global’ response is appropriate, and I’m not thinking about planes and bombs.
I’m Roger Currie