Canada Declares Peace


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Normally you would find a satirical article here. In this case, it would attempt to skewer the fetishization of war so banally common in the world today – and which this week tragically cut short the lives of 176 innocent people – by juxtaposing it against a more hopeful way out of the cycle of violence. That of peace.

There would be fictional quotes from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and thinly veiled disgust for the chest-beating of U.S. President Donald Trump, and Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The article might conclude with a bitter statement from an average person, asking what war has done for them lately; or a final word from Trudeau, underscoring that while Canada is angered, and deeply hurt, it will not perpetuate the endless cycle of violence.

But we aren’t going to do that. Because the people who were on that plane – those who expected to simply go home, like you and I did last night, while they never will – deserve a great deal more than that.

Unable to be brought back, they deserve to be remembered. And, when that is done, for us to stop supporting the escalating, and self-perpetuating, cycle of global militarization.

From top left: Delaram Dadashnejad/ Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand, and daughters Daria, and Dorina/ Arash Pourzarabi and Pouneh Gorji/ Bahareh Hajesfandiari, Mahdi Sadeghi and Anisa Sadeghi/ Iman Aghabali and Mehdi Eshaghian/ Mahdieh Ghassemi, and her two children Arsan Niazi, and Arnica Niazi/ Iman and Parinaz Ghaderpanah/ Suzan Golbabapour/ Samira Basher and Hamid Setareh Kokab/ Siavash Ghafouri Azar and Sara Mamani/ Sahan Hatefi Mostaghim and Shahab Raana/Masoumeh Ghavi. All photos from this CBC article. 

These are just a few of the people killed. They are, of course, just like any of us. Not soldiers, not agents of war, just people who were going about their lives, only to have them stopped by a missile. One which was at the ready because just a few days earlier a different missile had descended in a nearby country, to kill a man who had himself authorized many, many killings. War conducted cavalierly, and at a radio signal’s removal for the men who authorize it – those who would rather hurl missiles than undertake the difficult work of solving complex geopolitical problems. 

What a terrible thing, for those whose loved ones died this way: to lose your people because peace was too hard. 

Many have blamed this tragedy on Donald Trump, and there’s no argument that without his actions it is very unlikely that this flight would have been shot down. But the pattern of senseless violence is too etched in our history to ignore the fact that fundamentally, this is us. And until we stop it, this pattern will simply continue on.

That is why everyone who is horrified by this event, which surely must be the vast majority of people, should ask themselves what they’re doing to stop it. As surely as we know that we must change our ways globally to avoid life altering climate change, so must we embark on worldwide demilitarization to avoid life destroying violence and war. 

If we are successful in this, future generations may yet look back on our sprawling military and security complex in the same way we here in the 21st century view the squalor and superstition of the Dark Ages. A relic from a time that we have now almost entirely progressed out of; learning as we did to live cleaner, healthier lives, and ones embued with reasoning and higher logic. 

How far in the future that dreamt of time is, is up to us. We have to take steps towards it, ones that will be difficult, and at times challenging. But if we don’t, the anguish we feel today over this senseless loss of life will repeat. Again and again. 

Breaking that cycle isn’t something that will just happen. War is what happens when we give up. We have to choose peace. 


Updated to include the below link to an article from the Toronto Star, which contains information on 100 of the 176 victims, and a link to a memorial page set up in their honour:


Categories: News

27 replies »

    • Those victims did not deserve to die under these circumstances and Iran needs to be held accountable for there actions. As well the leader of Iran needs to be held accountable for murder. No matter what excuses they may give, Iam sure that airplane had right of passage and therefore Iran and it’s political leaders are guilty of mass murder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Trump is ultimately the guilty party here, despite the fact that Iran launched the missile. If not for that war-mongering lunatic trying to distract from his own impeachment, none of this would have happened.


        • With respect, By that illogical standard of measurement, ford, GM, and Chrysler would be responsible for every person that has ever died in an automobile accident in one of vehicles they manufacture.


  1. Thank you. You are right, we all need to raise our voices to challenge our governments to tackle what can only be done with leadership and coordination. It will always be hard, but this is not reason to not try harder. (Is that decent grammar?)


  2. In a country and a world where tragedies a minimized by the self-serving cacophony political rhetoric, thank you for bringing the lives of those lost back to the forefront, My heart hurts for the families; suffering such great and traumatic losses while the talking head forget the people affected – may they find peace and may we all pursue it at the global level.


  3. I can’t help but notice that none of the comments speak to what individuals are going to do to stop this violent cycle. I for one am going to email and call my MP to find out what he is doing to stop global violence. Come on folks, I don’t think Mr. Duncan wrote this article so we could compliment his literary style, pontificate about how we agree with his point of view or express our moral outrage. Mr. Duncan, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you are asking us to get off our collective backsides and take action. Write a letter, make a phone call and/or join an action group. DO SOMETHING.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you so much for your heart-centered and beautifully thought out response to this tragedy. Sometimes we have to take off one hat to reveal a second equally as important and special hat.

    Well done. ❤️


  5. Not sure stepping back is always the solution… even though…I want peace in the world. Dealing with leaders that have extreme personalities and no respect for human life need to be addressed differently. If the world hadn’t joined together and fought Hitler many more people would have died and if Hitler had been addressed earlier instead of people waiting…more people would have lived. Peace is a nice thought…but it isn’t always the best


  6. It was a mistake, plain and simple. They accidentally shot a plane down that carried their own people, believing for good reason, thanks to Trump, they were under attack. It was a mistake!


  7. Yes it was a tragedy, and no one can take it back on what happened. The plane was there at the wrong time, and the people on the ground should of had the right clearance to proceed what they were doing. I would say that the people that did launch the missile, feels really bad to what happened. The people that are truly responsible for what happened has to go before judgement day. And his faith will be known at that time. Us we cannot judge who is right or wrong. But Trudeau is declaring Peace and that is what everyone needs right now. No one in Canada wants to go to war.


  8. Wise words. I choose peace, but at what cost? If the Allies did not fight against the Nazis, our world would be so different now. No, I don’t think wars solve things, and I HATE war, but in some instances, if we don’t fight those who want to overpower and annihilate those who are not “like them,” peace will be useless.

    Liked by 1 person

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