How many kids can you shoot?” asks Lt.-Gen. the Honourable Roméo Dallaire (ret’d), fixing me with a penetrating blue stare. “Even under the mandate of protecting other people? Or under the international law of self-defence?”
“I like snapshots,” Gillian Sze says brightly. There is a plate of charmingly small cookies between us, and she is taking a picture of them with her phone. “I like trying to crystallize moments or little details. But then again, maybe all poets are trying to do that.”
There is a whole branch of philosophy about the Just War, but Dimitri Nasrallah remains sceptical. “Ultimately, war is chaos,” the Montreal author says. “The vast majority of people are caught in the middle. They’re waiting for the shelling to die down so they can go to the store, hoping that the electricity doesn’t cut off long enough for their food to go bad or that a bullet doesn’t come through their window.”
The conventional wisdom is that history is told from the perspective of the victors. But in Canada the “winning” side doesn’t always control the narrative.