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Responses to The Iceberg of Ignorance editorial

RE: 54/102 CEF's post, specifically the Globe poll.


With popular support for NATO at this low Canada should pull out from NATO and become non-aligned. Of course this would mean Canada would have to double or triple or defence budget to come more online with other neutral countries and probably have to introduce national service (viz, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland), but who cares then we would have tonnes of toys to play with!!!(LMAO)

I wonder if this fact ever occurred to the lame-brains voting on the poll? Not too scary to think that this is a straw poll on a website, what is truly scary is that each and every one of these folks would put the same amount of thought into a General Election vote.

IMHO, a lot of these folks think that voting out of NATO would make the Canadian world a lot simpler, too bad they are completely wrong.
I am more likely to think that the Globe and Mail Poll was 'Spammed' by a bunch of Lefties.  Five or six twits posting numerous votes and then spreading the word amongs their like minded 'friends'.
I am proud of all the members of the Canadian Forces, living and dead.  When any member of the Canadian Forces dies, I feel a lump in my throat.

Kathleen Harris' article motivated me to check via web to verify that the forces/reserves "drill" the dangers of the job at a number of steps along the training process to ensure that the men and women in the forces are aware of the dangers.  I am satisfied (I believe more than any other armed force in the world) that the Canadian Forces do not "market" men and women to become recruits.  And we do not have an economy (yet) that requires the poorest to become recruits in order to have any meaningful opportunity in life.  The men and women who enlist do so because they want to.  I believe my nephew will be one of these fine young recruits one day.

But the voices of opinion/opposition, regardless of political leanings, cannot dishonour the work that our forces undertake. They cannot dishonour the memory of brave young men and women who choose to put their life on the line for their beliefs.  I encourage more, not less, voices to be heard, and in true intelligent Canadian fashion, the truth - like cream rising in fresh milk - will surface to the top.  Both my grandfathers survived WWII: one conservative-leaning, who served as a Canadian Engineer, and one left-leaning, who served as a British Army Regular Master Sergeant, and both told me to always believe 25% of what I read - and to read from all sources (and to consider who sponsors those writings) to obtain a picture that is closer to the truth.

I have come to the conclusion that it is extremism - far left, far right, and now religious fundamentalism that is the enemy of peace and opportunity.  Left and right extremism have traditionally been represented in a linear model, but the truth is they are far more represented by a circle - a point at the top of the circle is balance, and a point at the bottom is co-occupied by the far left and the far right (who exhibit the same internal and external repressive tactics and where true power is exercised by a few - typically the wealthiest and most privileged unmitigated by concern for others).

The newest threat, religious fundamentalism, cannot be overcome solely on the battlefields of this planet.  When individuals cannot hope to have economic prosperity or even sustainability on a family level, they will look to the next life for their happiness.  As a collective, they are potent beyond their numbers.  In contrast, the opponents of fundamentalism generally look to this life for their happiness (or the happiness of their families back home).

I suppose my model will have to change from a circle to 3D - to that of a ball - but the result is the same: the top is balance, and the bottom is extremism demonstrated by subjugation, repression, and impoverishment of the many by the few.  And we must recognise, perhaps reluctantly, that since annihilation or genocide will never be OUR goals, the point and the butt of the spear will always have to be diplomacy.  The space between is the domain of our Canadian Forces and our mission allies.

The current role for the Canadian Forces does cause me some concern.  I support the Afghanistan mission, but I have always supported the "Powell Doctrine", and adapted for the Canadian context, I believe this should mean providing the Canadian Forces the numbers of troops and materiel sufficient to support a well defined mission.  Essential to the end game is a follow-up modern economic "Marshall Plan" for Afghanistan - to provide for a non-drug based economy.  I always have been intensely proud of Canadian Peacekeeping operations throughout the world.  Again UN policy does cause me some concern.  Rather than simply being a roadblock between belligerents, peacekeeping forces should "enforce the peace".  This does come with its own political dangers and economic costs.  I am saddened by the conditions our veterans endured, and are still enduring, from Somalia, the Balkans and Rwanda.

Again, the voices of opinion/opposition, regardless of political leanings, cannot dishonour the work that our forces undertake. I encourage more dialogue, not less.  The very reason we should use our Forces is to preserve this fundamental freedom.  Leave the tar and feathers at home.  These are tools that are used by our opponents to convey the illusion of criminality to legal acts.

To all of you who serve in the Canadian Forces now, who have served in the past, or are about to enlist and serve around the globe, a sincere personal THANK YOU from me, a private citizen.
Polls don't leave much room for anything other than a yes/no option.  Sadly some things don't easily fit into that pattern.  Imagine how the result might have changed if the lives of females under the Taliban was described, then folks were asked if they believed Canada should pull out.  Suddenly things are less clearcut.  The chief goal in the media increasingly appears to be to stupid things down to fit into the 30 second sound bite.
It sounds like the Vietnam syndrome 2006 style