Letters to the Editor

Afghanistan was not a war

Re: Legions honour Afghan vets (The NEWS, May 13).

Hooray for Operations Manager Warren Paterson-Welsh who, after a six-month stint in Afghanistan, slogging through 18-hour days of grueling filing and proof-reading, managed to make it safely home with nothing more than a few paper cuts. But, as he says, “That’s war — you just do it.”

Actually, that’s not war. That was a 12-year, $30 billion military expedition and occupation that decimated a country and left many thousands of innocent civilians dead and even more wounded.

Although we understand that as nice, compliant, patriotic Canadians, ours is not to reason why, it has to be asked:

• Why must we need to have bake sales to purchase new equipment for our hospitals?

• Why must one-legged amputees hobble across the country and people shave their heads to raise funds for cancer research?

• Why can’t we afford enough nurses so as to end months of suffering by people on long wait lists?

• Why are our city streets replacing mental hospitals, becoming sleeping quarters for the homeless and the hopeless?

• Why are children shuffled off into environments where they become abused or worse due to cuts in social services?

• Why have our indigenous people been boiling their drinking water for the past 20 years?

• Why can’t our farmers get the trains they need to get their crops to market?

• Why is our national public transportation system all but non-existent and our highways a dangerous embarrassment?

• Why are our schools closing due to lack of funds?

Perhaps it’s because our government deems it more honourable to squander billions of our tax dollars on disastrous, U.S.-led attempts to rebuild failed nations half way around the world than to invest in the well being of our own country.

But the most egregious of all their machinations is their continuing to propagate the lie that this long and costly military adventurism was all about defending our freedom and peace. One more insult to those who truly did.

Fern and Laurence Wayman

Qualicum Beach

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