Canada’s place in the world has evolved in the years since it was seen as a friendly country

Canada’s place in the world has evolved in the years since it was seen as a friendly country

LETTERS: No longer a peace-loving nation

Editor:

Re: Educate in order to eradicate terrorism, Jan. 15 editorial.

Editor:

Re: Educate in order to eradicate terrorism, Jan. 15 editorial.

Canadian media report on the daily details of terrorism, making us more fearful, which is what the terrorists want.

The only way to reduce the threat of terrorism is to understand the why of it, so we can address the root causes. For example, why does a terrorist risk or even sacrifice their life? Why has Canada become a new target?

Asking “what motivates a terrorist?” can in no way justify the violence. Understanding a killer’s motive doesn’t condone the murder. We just need to get inside their muddled heads so we can turn them around.

Are they driven by religious fanaticism or mental instability, like the two Canadian cases last fall? Or, are they desperately trying to defend their homeland or way of life, when traditional warfare isn’t an option?

Are they perhaps seeking justice for innocent friends and family unintentionally killed by a Canadian bomb? Let’s not forget that the bombs currently dropping from our planes kill more civilians than combatants. Wouldn’t most rational human beings want to defend or retaliate against a country slaughtering their fellow citizens?

The more bombs we drop, the more people will hate us.

If, as stated in your editorial, Canadians “want to get back to the peace and order that usually characterizes Canada,” we need to accept the fact that Canada has lost its reputation as a peace-loving nation.

Since at least the time of Lester Pearson, the world saw Canada as a kind and friendly nation. Americans would sew our flag on their luggage. Not any more.

We are no longer a neutral country trusted to peaceably intervene in co-operation with other countries under the United Nations. Now, under NATO, we’ve become an invader of sovereign nations like Haiti, Libya, Syria and – our longest-running war – Afghanistan. All with highly questionable results, and in countries that never posed a threat to Canada.

Let’s stop escalating international conflicts by participating in wars that are none of our business. Yes, the world is a crazy place and people are slaughtering each other. Does adding to the slaughter help?

After successive governments had the good sense to decline an active role in the two Iraq wars, suddenly we are neck-deep in that quagmire, as well. Why was Prime Minister Stephen Harper so eager to kick the hornet’s nest? It’s like Canada saying to ISIS, “bring it on!”

We have wholeheartedly joined the never-ending War on Terror, which has only served to create more terrorists. Regardless of what justification we might find for our new militarized foreign policy, Canada is now perceived by many nations as a belligerent aggressor.

If we’re serious about combating terrorism, we need to reverse direction and stop the war mongering. Let’s return to the Canada we once knew. The War on Terror can only be fought by promoting mutual understanding, tolerance and diplomacy. If we returned to a peace-making Canada, perhaps we could afford to restore support for our veterans instead of declaring war on them, as well.

Larry Colero, White Rock