I published the following essay on Monday, February 07, 2005 at “Blatherings:”
Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Bob McKeown was hosting a TV broadcast “The Fifth Estate,” on January 26 which devoted one hour to show Canadians how the American media have been high jacked by conservative bullies. Strident conservative pundit and personality, Ann Coulter, was interviewed during which the following exchange occurred:
Coulter: “Canada used to be one of our most loyal friends and vice-versa. I mean Canada sent troops to Vietnam – was Vietnam less containable and more of a threat than Saddam Hussein?”
McKeown interrupts: “Canada didn’t send troops to Vietnam.”
Coulter: “I don’t think that’s right.”
Since that interview, (Video from CBC of Ann Coulter and Bob McKeown), Coulter has been unmercilessly attacked for saying that Canada sent troops to Vietnam. She has been called an epithet-throwing fictionalist, liar, loudmouth ignoramus, outrageous nationalist and described as empty-headed and shameful, and this in just one editorial, by Doug Ireland at Driland! By doing a short Google search, I discovered that Ann Coulter was correct. There is nothing like the truth to send the liberals into the out of control spin zone.
In 1973 the International Commission of Control and Supervision Vietnam (ICCS) was responsible for securing the armistice that lasted two years from 1973 to 1975, known as Operation Gallant. Canada, a member of the commission, contributed 240 Canadian Forces whose role was to monitor the cease-fire in South Vietnam, according to the Paris Peace Conference, and to arrange the release and exchange of more than 32,000 prisoners of war. In addition, ten to forty thousand Canadians, voluntarily served in Vietnam or during the Vietnam era with the American military, of whom 111 Canadians, were lost. One Canadian soldier, Toronto born Peter C. Lemon, won the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The Canadian government believed that because of its membership in ICCS, that Canada had to remain impartial during the Vietnam Conflict. While Canada as a nation was not involved in the fighting, Canadians themselves formed the largest foreign contingent in the U.S. military during the Vietnam era. Although exact numbers are not obtainable, some estimate that between 30,000 and 40,000 served and that 12,000 Canadians actually were in American uniforms in the war zone. The Canadian Armed Forces won a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in Vietnam.
When the Canadian Vietnam veterans returned to their homeland, they were even more unwelcome than here in the United States, where at least returning veterans had access to government resources. Today, there is a memorial, “The North Wall”, at Assumption Park, Windsor, Ontario, overlooking the Detroit River. It honors the 103 Canadians who lost their lives in Vietnam and the seven who went missing in action. It is a fine tribute to those Canadians who served and sacrificed all for their belief in freedom.