Canada also seen as 'villain' by Iraqis, peace delegate says

By Maureen Murray
Toronto Star

The average Iraqi views Canada as much a 'villain' as the United States in foreign policy in the Persian Gulf, says a Mennonite who has returned from a peace mission to the region.

"I was dismayed to feel myself, as a Canadian, being lumped in with American policy," said Ron Rempel, an editor for a bimonthly Mennonite newspaper.

Rempel was one of three Canadians who took part in the trip sponsored by Christian Peacemaker Teams, a Chicago-based organization that represents a group of churches, including the Mennonite Church.

During their six days in Baghdad, Rempel and his colleagues met Iraqi government officials, schoolchildren and health care workers, along with average Iraqis in open markets.

They also met with 15 of the Canadian hostages still in Iraq.

The group, Rempel said, acted as an informal delegation trying to assess the mood in Iraq as well as attempting to encourage the process for a peaceful, negotiated settlement.

He said the delegation represented the "moral authority of churches with a 450-year history of concern about militarism and peacemaking."

Upon his arrival at Pearson International Airport yesterday, Rempel spoke of witnessing a "chilling" rally at an elementary school where young Iraqi children chanted: "We will give our blood, we will give our lives."

(article from December 3, 1990 Toronto Star)

Say! Doesn't this annotated passage remind "all of us" of some things elsewhere on this website? Try here and then come back and try here.