Canada Forgets or Rewrites History?
The following post was made by Kerfuffles on 11 November 2005. It is repeated here due to revival of interest in the subject of Canada’s Involvement in the Vietnam War.
As Canada prepares to honor her veterans during Veterans’ Week 2005, the following was posted at their Department of Defence Web site:
“During Veterans’ Week November 5-11, Canadians will pay tribute to those who fought in the two World Wars and the Korean Conflict. Their thoughts will also extend to CF members who died while serving Canada in peacekeeping and peace support operations during the past 50 years.”
Notice anyone missing amongst the veteran honorees? EARL McRAE of “The Ottawa Sun” explains as he reminds us of how Canada is treating her prodigal veterans on this Remembrance Day 2005: “Soldier won’t be attending today’s war memorial. Why? He fought in Vietnam.”
“I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” –Isaiah 6:8
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 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. The image here is of the Service Vietnam medal issued by the government of Canada to 253 members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Vietnam. **The Canadian Armed Forces won a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in Vietnam. This number does not include the thousands of Canadians who served in Vietnam or during the Vietnam era, nor does this figure include the 104 Canadians killed in that war, nor the seven missing in action; not to mention a winner of the 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.
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’s Canadians have been “re-educated” to believe the fictional propaganda that Canada “took a pass on Vietnam”, as was told to them recently by Bob McKeown, a journalist of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. For Canadians to continue to see themselves as the world’s respected nation of “peacekeepers”, they cannot ever acknowledge the sacrifices of their fellow countrymen who fought on the battlefield against the scourge of Communism during the Cold War.
Canada did not “TAKE A PASS ON VIETNAM”! Canada was allied alongside the United States. With the advent of the Internet and Google, Canadians and Hate America Liberals can no longer get away with rewriting Canadian history.
Near the U.S. border there is one 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.
The Road to Hell – Canadian Forces in Vietnam 1954-1973 (pdf), by Major Shane B. Schreiber
“In Vietnam, the Canadian government’s good intentions created a road to Hell that was made all the more slippery by a policy designed to be deliberately ambiguous.”
Oh Canada, We Stood On Guard for Thee
**The Nobel Peace Prize referenced was awarded in 1988, when United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces were awarded THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE for all peace-keeping duties up to December 1988.
I don’t see your point. Some Canadians felt they had to go fight in Vietnam and joined the American army to do it. I have no problem with that. But Canada (unlike Australia) did not send troops to fight in Vietnam, so we’re not really responsible for them. They made their personal choice, so naturally the American government owes them the benefits. After all, the American government doesn’t officially recognize any of its citizens who go off and fight for foreign armies, so why should we?
Those troops sent in the 70s were peacekeepers sent by the Canadian government and should be recognized as such like all Canadian peacekeepers. They were, after all, serving THEIR country.
The Canadians who served in the American Army in Vietnam are no different in my mind than the Canadians (and Americans and British) who fought in the Spanish Civil War to keep Franco and the Fascists out. Their countries did not send troops, so they followed their conscience and fought in their own way. The Canadian government doesn’t recognize them as official veterans either though. Some people see them as heroes, like the Vietnam vets, and that’s fine. But their choice was a personal one, and they have to live with it.
Colin – My point is that Canada’s true role during the Vietnam War has been revised by the Canadian government in a deliberate effort to rewrite its own history in regards to that era.
No one is saying that Canada sent troops to fight in Vietnam. Even Ann Coulter did not say that. She said Canada had troops in Vietnam, which statement is true, not even counting the thousands of Canadian citizens who served with the American Armed Forces. I am saying that Canada supported the American side during Vietnam, in many more ways than sending troops.
If Canadians choose to ignore and disparage the gallant service of their fellow countrymen in fighting the greatest scourge of the 20th Century, Communism, so be it. I remain one American who is happy that my father and his family left Canada so that I am a privileged citizen of a country that is willing to preserve freedom, not only for itself, but for Canada and the rest of the free world.
Canadians can continue to take pride is saying that they “took a pass on Vietnam”, if that is their wont. Americans, likewise, can take pride in saying that they “did NOT take a pass on Communism”.
“My point is that Canada’s true role during the Vietnam War has been revised by the Canadian government in a deliberate effort to rewrite its own history in regards to that era.”
But you don’t prove that point. You go on about Canadian soldiers fighting for the American Army, which is irrelevant. Canada still helps in many ways:
Coulter seems to forget (and most Americans are unaware) that Canadians have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for several years now. Belittling that contribution just because the Canadian government didn’t send troops to Iraq is really insulting and really quite ignorant of the facts.
Colin Doyle – I take great offense at your accusation that I am “belittling” the contribution of Canadians fighting and dying in Afghanistan. I have NEVER done such a thing! In fact, as far as I can recollect, Colin, I have written virtually nothing about Canada’s role in Afghanistan nor Iraq. My critique of Canada and “some” of the so called “peace-loving” Canadians is in regards to the rewriting of the history of Canada’s involvement in the Vietnam War and of the shunning of the Canadian citizens who returned to Canada as veterans of the Vietnam War.
I have no opinions nor do I see any relevance whatsoever to whatever is happening currently with Canadians in or not in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the Cold War of another century and the long fight against communism in which the Vietnam War was but one battle.
Neddy is not interested in the truth of all of this. and refuses to see the distinction between Canadian Peacekeepers serving in disarmament and Canadians who served with United States Forces in Vietnam.
I have, consequent to this continued confusion – not helped at all by Neddy et al, put up a clarification on the website above.
This blog – and, respectfully, your time.. is wasted here with this individual and her position only furthers this continued obfuscation of the “truth”.
There has been so much misinformation about the Vietnam War across the Board, that one would hope that it would not be perpetuated as it is here by Neddy. It seems to me that if she is so concerned about Canadian Vietnam Veterans, she would want to have the truth surrounding the details of their service known.
She inferred to me once that she is a Canadian (I’m still not sure..), but if so, one would “think” that she would also want the truth about the service of our Canadian Peacekeepers.
It has to do with honour, respect, remembrance, lineage and country. I haven’t found it on her blog.
Anne Faulkner – As all of the blogosphere who read my writings knows, I AM AMERICAN! I had no idea you would interpret my comment HERE, that I was “progeny of Canada” to be: “She inferred to me once that she is a Canadian ….” I was not aware there was such a gulf between Canadian English and American English. FYI, almost all Americans are progeny of some other country. I have never claimed to be a Canadian; only that my father and his parents and family immigrated to the U.S. from Canada. I am American – born and bred!
We’re all kissin’ cousins.
Which brings me back to my question raised before you did not answer, because I, as a Canadian, would not presume to dictate American military history.
How can you dictate and present as “fact” that Canada sent our Forces to serve “in” the Vietnam War. We didn’t. This does not in any way diminish the service of those Canadians who crossed the border to serve with United States Forces during that War at all.
YOu yourself, in your uneducated insistence that Canada did send troops to Vietnam – by virtue of Ann Coulter’s amazing lack of research – and, given your support of Canadian Vietnam Veterans by your statements – would think that you would honor their service in United States Forces by getting it “right”.
One would also think that you would have enough respect for Canadian Forces to get their service and lineage “right”.
And, again, you would stop using photographs from Canadian Vietnam Veterans websites on your blogs to prove your point as you have done without permission. I refer to the KheSanh photograph you lifted from Charles Dowell’s website.
It is a further indication of your lack of education in these matters, as I said before, that you would use a photograph taken by a Canadian who served in United States Marine Corps to “prove” that “Canada sent troops to Vietnam”.
What a maroon..
here’s a for you.. to the Khe Sanh Veterans’ Association homepage
Write and ask them if there were Canadian Forces at Khe Sanh. “Not” if they were Canadian in the Marines at Khe Sanh, but if they (Khe Sanh veterans in the Association) served at Khe Sanh with “Canadian Forces sent by the Canadian government.”
Rest assured the Khe Sanh veterans have respect for honor, lineage and service and will respond accordingly.
(link removed at request of poster)
You’ll see a photograph he took at Khe Sanh..
Khe Sanh bomb.
Ask him if there were Canadian Forces sent by the Canadian Government at KheSanh or in Vietnam.
Find out the truth and speak to it.
Anne Faulkner – you portray your “lameing fliberal” (means “liberal” in Canadian English) leanings as when the facts fail, you instinctively resort to name-calling: “what a maroon….”
Calling someone a “maroon” is certainly not the way to get any message across, so I have no idea what your true motives are. Perhaps because my avatar shows a “black” cat, you think “maroon” is appropriate for me. Or, perhaps you are just a professional “Troll”. Or, perhaps, most likely, you are CLUELESS!
You think I’m a “liberal”????? Heh.
What a hoot!
I can show you an avatar – and I won’t hide behind clipart, but I don’t know how to add it here 🙂
A troll? you shouldn’t project, you know 😉
I’m here only because you misrepresent both the service of Canadian Forces and United States Forces – including Canadians who served with United States Forces in Vietnam – all have equal pride of place in my heart and mind.
In point of fact, speaking of trolling, let’s examine the facts. I began responding to you in your feed/thread about Anne Coulter being right in her comments that “Canada sent troops to Vietnam”.
Now I find that you have transferred it over to other threads (or wordpress does it) that have nothing to do with my original context.
Who’s the troll here Neddy – “if” that is your real name.
I have given you links to information you have not bothered to read or, if you have, you have chosen to ignore it and continue oon with your misrepresentation. Who is the troll?
You have taken – without permission – photographs of a Canadian Vietnam Veteran website – to wit, Charles Dowell’s, Canadian Vietnam Veteran, who is someone I know for whom I have much respect. Fuuther, You have used that photograph to advance your agenda. It astonishes me that you would get on some high horse about conduct and ethics, proclaim your concern for Canadian Vietnam Veterans and yet have no problem stealing graphics/photographs from their websites.
BTW, stealing graphics from veterans – especially personal photographs – on either side of the border is not something that commands respect. Kind of puts you in a class with Phil Coleman.
As for that photograph – and I do know about that photograph. Charles Dowell is the only person that has permission to use it from the photographer – you know, the vet that took it?
Apparently, this means “nothing” to you in your “concern” for Canadian Vietnam veterans. All you’ve done is reveal yourself as someone who, without authorization, rips photographs off – from veterans’ webpages to put on your blogs. Are you really of the belief that this will command respect or trust?
And I am not the one that keeps switching the topics. I am responding to your Anne Coulter thing. You are spreading it to other threads out of context. This is, of course, an exhibtion of troll behaviour.
As for avatars of black cats – don’t need to hide behind avatars. Never have, never will.
Have a nice day Neddy.
btw. I called Charles Dowell yesterday. He did not give you permission to use that photograph. If that changes, after his review of what you have done, I will hear directly from him. You have no credibility in my house.
warmest personal regards,
The Charge of the Canadian Internet Police Brigade!
Why? because I called and asked a friend if he had given you permission to use his photograph? Which he hasn’t.
If he “had” given permission, I would have said so here and apologized to you.
He didn’t even know you existed.
You, Madam, are a thief in this. Calling me names won’t change that.
btw.. it’s Kipling. To include me in such company is an honour that I cannot claim.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.
Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870
Here is the history of the Charge of the Light Brigade. Please do not insult their valour by using this action in your personal issues.
Anne Faulkner – You have called me a lot of names in these rants here of yours, including a “maroon”, and you have accused me of writing innumerable comments that I never have written. However, I will not allow you to call me a thief. That is beyond the bounds of civility. Familiarize yourself with the Copyright Law of the U.S.A. before you get yourself into more trouble and disgrace than you already have. Have you ever heard of “The Fair Use Doctrine”? I give you opportunity to remove that disgraceful comment from your post, or I will ban you from posting here, henceforth and forever more. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Furthermore, you now accuse me of transferring your comments. That is after you accused me of deleting them. I have no idea what you are talking about when you say: “Now I find that you have transferred it over to other threads (or wordpress does it) that have nothing to do with my original context.” I think you have lost it, Anne. I’ve not done anything with any of your comments; they are all here right where you left them for the world to see and judge you by.
And BTW – What in the world did I ever write about “The Charge of the Light Brigade”? You need to get a grip on reality .
Anyone who has read any history about War would immediately note your reference to me as the “Canadian Light Infantry Internet Police” or whatever it was, as a take-off on that action.
Familiarize yourself with Intellectual Property Rights on both sides of the border.
You took that photograph without permission.
I am stating that and I stand by it until I hear back from the vet you took it from without permission either by email or he posts his permission (or not) to you here.
I am very familiar with the art world/photography and copyright permissions, including intellectual property. You are the one at fault here. If you really believe that you can take without permission (steal a la Philth Coleman) photographs from Canadian websites without permission, you might want to recheck your sources. Library of Congress has a great section on it.
you might want to check out the Canadian National Defence website page with respect to Copyright/Reproduction permissions – with respect to reproduction of insignia, ribbons, etc. as you have for the award for Operation Gallant.
You are not allowed to do this on a political platform such as yours.
Certainly you are required to post that it is not being used as representative of their official position on your “comments”.
Anne Faulkner, you are banned from further commenting at this site because of your outrageous misbehavior. Try to find a charm school up there in Canada or a psychiatrist before you do more damage to your reputation.
BTW – Try clicking on the image of the Operation Gallant ribbon and see what happens.
Lets go back to the days of the Icc during the years 1964. They were very active in Laos and Canada was also a part of the team. I was in Laos during that period and on many occasions have run acrossed Canadians serving with the ICC. I spent 5 1/2 years in both Viet Nam and Laos with Special Operations and ran into Canadians serving in various positions under all kinds of conditions. A funny thing about war. I did not stop to ask if they had come from Canada to serve with the U.S. troups or otherwise. Sometimes it is best not to know where your allies come from. As to the picture at the start of my Website of a 750lb bomb halfway thru a tree at K.S. it was a dud that was dropped and skipped right past one of my troops who took the pic when it finially found a home in that tree. Needless to say he was somewhat alarmed to hearing it bounce right past his right side. One should exercise caution when making definative statements about who was and who was not there as in Special Operations what you see is not allways what you get. Sincerely Yours SM/SGT David Harrington USAF Ret
David, If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you encountered Canadians serving in Laos and VietNam between the years 1964 and 1970, when you were there. Yes, as you say, with “Special Operations”, no one can really discern who is who or what. Thanks for your information.
Wikipedia defines “Special Operations Forces”, however they include nothing about the Vietnam War. Interesting.
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