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Nearly a third of poll respondents don’t want Canada to send troops to stop geno


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By Jordan Press - The Canadian Press

A poll probing people’s knowledge of the Holocaust has turned up a finding that suggests there are some in this country who believe Canada shouldn’t intervene militarily if there was a genocide taking place in the world.

The poll commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies found that 29 per cent of respondents disagreed with the idea that Canada should send troops to a place where a genocide was occurring.

A further 11 per cent preferred not to answer the question, which the association’s president suggests could mean even more people disagree with the idea, but did not want to be counted as being opposed.

The online survey of 2,295 Canadians by Leger Marketing was conducted the week of Nov. 11, 2019 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because, according to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, internet-based polls are not considered random samples.


The findings are being released as global leaders prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp during the Second World War.

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will be among those attending the commemoration on Jan. 27, the date in 1945 when Soviet troops liberated the camp. The Auschwitz Memorial Site and Museum says some 120 survivors, including some from Canada, are expected to make the trip for events.

Fifteen years ago, the United Nations adopted the date as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Canadians by and large understand the concept of genocide, so opposition to military intervention stems less from ignorance and more from a belief that it’s not our business, said Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies.

It’s also difficult for people to feign ignorance about similar situations today because of today’s connected world, Jedwab said.

“All this is very unfortunate because the lessons of what transpired 75 years ago — as we’re on the verge of marking the liberation of Auschwitz — the lesson is that those people were victims of the most horrific crime of the 20th century because there were lots of bystanders.”

Auschwitz-Birkenau, built by Nazi Germany when it occupied Poland, was the largest of the extermination centres the Nazis built during the Second World War. Some 1.1 million people, the vast majority of them Jews, were killed there.

About six million Jews were killed during the Second World War, a figure that respondents in the association’s survey identified 43 per cent of the time.

Ahead of next week’s commemoration, the International Court of Justice will issue a decision Thursday over whether it will order a halt to a campaign in Myanmar against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

In anticipation of the decision, a report on Monday by a Myanmar government commission said there was no evidence of genocide. But it said there are reasons to believe security forces committed war crimes in counterinsurgency operations that more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

In September 2018, the House of Commons unanimously supported a motion calling the crimes against the Rohingya people a genocide.

The survey results suggested that those who disagreed with military intervention to stop a mass slaughter were more likely to show anti-immigrant sentiment and a higher distrust of Jews.

Jedwab said that may stem from a belief that situations elsewhere are viewed as conflicts between different groups of ethnic people, with whom we don’t feel a connection.

“There are a number of people who say that these situations are not our business,” he said.

“It’s a function of people who don’t think that those issues are matters we should deal with — that they’re not our problem.”

The youngest respondents in the survey, ages 18 to 24, were the least likely to disagree with sending troops should a similar situation take place again. They too also most often preferred not to answer the question.

Those aged 45 to 54, members of so-called Gen X, were the most likely to disagree with sending troops.

In my VERY HUMBLE and PERSONAL opinion - just as a human being, not as a former member...there is absolutely no greater deployment or honour than to be deployed & tasked with interfering with, or preventing a genocide.  Period.

Young people, for the most part, don't join the military with romantic visions of supporting corrupt corporations vying for resources.  They don't dream of dying to secure oil fields or other precious natural resources. 

They don't want to leave their families, girlfriends, and lifestyle they have here so they can go put out the fires the diplomats weren't skilled enough to prevent.  They don't want to be used as pawns when politicians of different, well developed and cultured countries can't agree on something...so the media manipulation begins to fire up their respective populations.

If your going to go into harm's way, and put yourself in a position where people may be very deliberately and enthusiastically trying to kill you - and your in a position where you will be doing the same to them - allow it to be for a just and moral cause.  And what greater cause is there than protecting people who cannot protect themselves? 

What greater sense of fulfillment can there be in knowing that an entire group of people - who were targeted only because of some insane religious or extremist nonsense - are alive and safe because of you & your comrades?

If your going to kill people & play on these playgrounds for a while... does one want to kill others for the sake of natural resources and politics?  Or kill some genocidal a**holes who are raping, torturing, and murdering scores of people simply because they are a different ethnic group?

In my own opinion, the latter is a privilege and a responsibility.  If you have the power to prevent atrocities from taking place, than I genuinely believe you also have the responsibility to act if the time ever comes.

The same useless people, sipping on their expensive coffee & wearing their suits to their offices, are the same people who can't do s**t about situations revolving around genocide.  These same people run out of a building when a crazy person shows up with a knife or a gun, and wait for our brothers in blue to show up and save them...now imagine that situation x10,000 worse.

They don't support us getting involved?  Oh well.  I don't remember the last time I needed or even valued their opinion on such matters.

If we don't get involved, then what?  We turn a blind eye?  We turn our backs on people who are being raped, tortured, mutilated, and murdered en mass?  Do these same people support that, but they don't support stepping up and getting dirty when need be?  Do they support the moral vacuum that comes with inaction, yet oppose us using our military to do what it's there to do?

As Edmund Burke once quoted - "Evil Only Requires Good Men To Do Nothing".  I have that quote in Latin tattoo'd on my shoulder, hidden amongst a larger piece.  There are plenty of useless people out there...we don't need to count ourselves amongst them.  :2c:
We already have a pretty good track record of ignoring genocides, and the more euphemistically entitled 'ethnic cleansings' etc, and I don't see why that policy would change drastically in the future.

Myanmar is just one example: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/30/western-officials-ignored-myanmars-warning-signs-of-genocide/

I'm not saying that's a good thing, of course, but just the reality we face....
Context is important too.  It's fine to say we SHOULD intervene, but what if we don't have the military capability to prevent it?  Do we send our troops anyway even if we know/suspect they might get slaughtered? 

Should our Rwandan peace keepers have sacrificed themselves in a hopeless cause in 1994? 

What if the genocide is being supported by an opposing major power?  Do we risk starting a major global war that could end up killing countless millions of people to prevent a comparatively small atrocity?

Over simplified questions can result in over simplified answers. 

Question 1:  Should we stop pumping massive amounts of toxic environmental poisons into the atmosphere to prevent mass extinction of  countless plant and animal species?

Answer:  Of course!

Question 2:  Did you drive to work/school in a vehicle that runs on an internal combustion engine or uses electricity that was generated using fossil fuels and/or highly radioactive nuclear energy and/or hydro-electric power that created large water reservoirs that submerged vital carbon sink boreal forests, etc. etc. etc.?

Answer:  ummmm...

We ignore genocides on the daily, that's not going to change.

Look at what China is doing to the Uighurs at the moment. At the minimum its cultural genocide, I would argue its standard genocide though as with all the secret 'trials', unknown death sentences, and lack of information leaving the area they can be killing people off in significant numbers and we are completely unaware. We aren't even able to determine if people are alive or dead for those few the West have been following.