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Wait for the Book

August 28 2008 at 2:29 PM
Roger Lucy 

Response to Thanks Clive!

I did not mean to spark this little exchange, I should have known better, but I did want to point out that Orders of Canada are not named, and that apparently if returned to the Chancery just get recycled.
The fact is back in 1980, the rules of the Order of Canada were somewhat stretched to justify it being awarded to us (it's meant recognize a lifetime of service not single acts) but at the time there no other appropriate decoration available- the Meritorious Service Cross was later created to cover such contingencies, and has been awarded to cover similar acts of diplomatic endurance (like the poor sods who hung on for several months at our Embassy in Kuwait during Gulf War I, living off cocktail weenies and drinking from the swimming pool.)
Most of what has been written or shown on documentaries/docudramas about the "Canadian Caper" is less than accurate, things have further been muddied by efforts south of the border to refurbish the reputation of a certain intelligence agency, and after almost 30 years the memories of those involved should not be taken as gospel either.
Fortunately, a Professor of History at Trent, Robert Wright, is preparing a serious properly researched book on the subject, he has access to all or most of the files at External Affairs and he is being diligent in cross checking his sources. I believe he has even gone over to Iran to get their perspective. It does not have a title yet, but his book should be out in about a year. Keep an eye on his website
So I suggest that rather than plying me with booze for some half-remembered well laundered anecdotes, folk save their money and help support Canadian historical scholarship by buying Dr. Wright's book when it appears.
PS I have no idea if he will say good or ill of my role there, if he is at all objective, it will probably be both.

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