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What’s happening to peace?

Connecting the Dots: What is this war really costing to soldiers? to civilians? to helper nations like Canada?
Anne Davison, reporter/editor

Remembrance Day comes and goes with ceremony, few of us have had anything to do with the battlefield. Cold war veterans have a different perspective and UN Peace Keepers have faced battle.

Now headlines speak of preparing for injury and loss among Canadian soldiers against a foe with nuclear missiles that are no longer in storage. That’s VERY different.

It was alarming in February of 2022 when we first heard that Russia had invaded Ukraine, but with a great ocean between us, we focused on flying yellow and blue flags and welcoming Ukraine refugees to Manitoba. So great we could do that, because while war is about maps and planes and discussion of weaponry, the human cost is what matters.

Men in suits, or in the case of Ukraine’s leader, a gym suit, decide the fate of their countrymen, particularly of young adults. Families are broken, how will life resume even when war ceases. That’s what has worried me for months.

New worry: what does it all mean for Canada? Story headline on Wednesday reads: “Canada to send 1,000 troops for largest NATO exercise in 36 years” by Tom Yun, writer.

Monday, a news piece arrived in the Empire-Advance inbox: “Canada’s health system needs to be prepared to support the Canadian Armed Forces in this time of crises” by Margaret Bourdeaux and David Pedlar. (Bourdeaux is Research Director of the Program in Global Public Policy and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Pedlar is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research and Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University.)

Bourdeaux and Pedlar state that Canada’s medical care system can and must prepare, “modeled on the CAF’s experience delivering tactical combat casualty care to wounded soldiers in Afghanistan, but anticipate higher numbers of wounded over shorter periods of time in a NATO-Russia war.”

Did we see this coming on two years ago, on Feb. 24 when Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared Ukraine would defend itself against a Russian invasion? I pictured a yearling bull taking on a ton of established bull power, on a hill.

People around the world have been able to view the recent interview from the Kremlin, between President Vladimir Putin and American journalist Tucker Carlson. Can we believe the version of history that Putin took about 30 minutes to present? Can we believe that Putin has no ambitions beyond a bit of Ukrainian territory? That’s on the record. The nations are ethnically close.

Billions of people stand to lose, the world is not big enough, if this conflict goes nuclear.

Listening to an interview on CTV with Dr. Ira Helfant with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. He confirms that the threat is real. Russia could use atomic weapons. Helfant believes Putin’s threats should be taken seriously. He says we are, and the world is, in an “extraordinarily dangerous situation.”

But he says it is at this moment that an agreement to banish nuclear arms should be presented to all world powers including China and Russia. Ask nicely! This conflict needs to end, for everyone’s sake. Let us pray.

I suspect this particular conflict needs more negotiations. You don’t hear much about our current Western leaders being anxious to talk with Putin.

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