Dark Threats and White Knights: The Somalia Affair, Peacekeeping, and the New Imperialism / Edition 2

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Overview

Somalia. March 4, 1993. Two Somalis are shot in the back by Canadian peacekeepers, one fatally.

Barely two weeks later, sixteen-year-old Shidane Abukar Arone is tortured to death. Dozens of Canadian soldiers look on or know of the torture.

The first reports of what became known in Canada as the Somalia Affair challenged national claims to a special expertise in peacekeeping and to a society free of racism. Today, however, despite a national inquiry into the deployment of troops to Somalia, what most Canadians are likely to associate with peacekeeping is the nation's glorious role as peacekeeper to the world. Moments of peacekeeping violence are attributed to a few bad apples, bad generals, and a rogue regiment.

In Dark Threats and White Knights, Sherene H. Razack explores the racism implicit in the Somalia Affair and what it has to do with modern peacekeeping. Examining the records of military trials and the public inquiry, Razack weaves together two threads: that of the violence itself and what would drive men to commit such atrocities, and secondly, the ways in which peacekeeping violence is largely forgiven and ultimately forgotten. Race disappears from public memory and what is installed in its place is a story about an innocent, morally superior middle-power nation obliged to discipline and sort out barbaric third world nations. Modern peacekeeping, Razack concludes, maintains a colour line between a family of white nations constructed as civilized and a third world constructed as a dark threat, a world in which violence is not only condoned but seen as necessary.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802086631
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherene H. Razack is a professor in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
'The White Man's Burden,' Rudyard Kipling xi
Introduction: 'Savage Wars of Peace' 3
1 Those Who 'Witness the Evil': Peacekeeping as Trauma 15
I. Those Who 'Witness the Evil' 18
II. On Being the Hero's Friend: Canadian Investments in Peacekeeping 32
III. Sending in the Warriors: 'The Spread of Non-Democratic Regimes and Human Rights Abuses' 39
2 Men from the 'Clean Snows of Petawawa' 51
I. Masculinities That Make the White Nation 57
II. Operation Deliverance 67
3 'Outwhiting the White Guys?' Men of Colour and the Murder of Shidane Abukar Arone 87
I. 'A Significant Opposition of Values' 91
II. The Bully and the Weak Soldier 101
4 Bad Apples and a Nation Wronged: Public Truth and the Somalia Affair 116
I. The Disappearance of Race 119
II. Race as Culture 135
III. Ill-Prepared and Rudderless Soldiers and a Nation Wronged 141
Conclusion: Acting Morally in the New World Order: Lessons from Peacekeeping 153
I. The Role of Racism in the New World Order 155
II. Superfluous Human Beings and Evil as Policy 158
Notes 167
Bibliography 207
Index 227
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