Letters to the Editor: Jan. 28

The costs and dubious consquences of using our armed forces to combat "global terrorism."

Mission Creep

Our MP David Wilks stated in a recent letter to the editor that we live “in a world of global terrorism”  and  went on to extol the virtues of Canada’s military. If  Mr. Wilks  thinks that using our armed forces to combat “global terrorism” is a good idea then I suggest that he be a little more forthcoming about the costs of such action and it’s dubious consequences.

Our very brief bombing campaign in Libya cost the taxpayer close to $350 million  and what did we get for our money? Last time I read about Libya embassies were being evacuated and Westerners were fleeing the country as various factions battled for control of Tripoli. The hunt for Bin Laden is said to have cost over $500 billion US!

Obviously this is an expensive  game to play and I wonder if it is even an effective strategy regardless of the cost. ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) will soon be pulling out of Afganistan and will be leaving behind a country which 90 per cent of it’s GDP is dependent on foreign military spending and aid and is still grappling with civil war and crippling poverty. If Canada  allows itself to get caught up in this unwinnable cycle of violence it will soon spiral out of control and the inevitable “mission creep” phenomenon  will take hold.

Nothing would make the commanders of Islamist militant groups happier than “boots on the ground” — otherwise known as targets. There is no way forward in a strategy that involves the use of force that will not result in civilian casualties; especially in a guerrilla war situation. This is a sure fire recipe to cause resentment and hatred.

The situation with ISIS is not our problem unless we choose to make it so. The recent events in France do underline the possibility of bloodshed in the name of militant Islam but to respond in an aggressive manner only fans the flames of bigotry and xenophobia.  I would not like to see us reduce our civil liberties for some vague assurance of so-called “security.” I would rather live with a minute amount of risk than to give up my freedom of expression, assembly and so on.  There is always risk in life and I don’t trust the Harper government one iota when it comes to preserving that freedom.

In closing I’d like to comment on the recent tragic event in Ottawa. That was the action of a mentally unstable individual. He stole an antiquated hunting rifle  from a relative which he used to commit the crime. He supposedly had some loose connection to the Islamic faith but to present this as a politically motivated terrorist attack is pure rubbish and fear-mongering. We need to spend more money on helping individuals like this get the help they need and not use sad events like this to justify inching us towards being a clone of the paranoid and patriotic neighbor to the south.

Jim Campbell/Kimberley

In gratitude

The family of Donna Kennelly, who passed away January 19, 2015, would like to thank those who were supportive of us and giving of their time. Our appreciation goes out to Doctors Ingram, Smith, and Wik, her Caregivers and supporters Joan Taylor, Sherry Ogilvie, the staff at VitalAire, and Interior Health Home Support Services. You all made Donna comfortable and content, her passing was eased by your kindness and support.

The family of Donna Kennelly/Cranbrook