In a recent issue of The NEWS, Bernie Smith declared his opposition to RCAF aircraft firing missiles at ISIS jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
Too costly, he said, and besides the Middle East is going through just another of the religious wars that have plagued us over the centuries — so best to stay clear. To support his case, he meanders around a historical/religious mulberry bush (Mohammed, Irish battles, Henry VIII) trying to establish an impossible moral equivalence between the past and the Middle East situation today.
To those of us who believe that Canada is right in taking part in the allied effort to stem the ISIS tide in Iraq and Syria, the justification is simple and straightforward and follows a moral compass. ISIS is unquestionably the most evil force in the world today. Not since Hitler and the Nazis has the world faced the kind of savage brutality that ISIS has imposed on the Middle East with the aim of bringing Iraq/Syria and other regional countries under its rule and of waging war against the non-Muslim world.
It has accumulated an army that has already slaughtered (beheading Christians), raped and enslaved thousands of men, women and children that it has encountered, unless they are a particular kind of Muslim. And before Canada even considered sending aircraft in their direction, we, along with the U.S., U.K., Australia and France were named by ISIS as targets for their ex-Middle East terror attacks.
In the circumstances, for Canada to stand back and not become involved would be a dereliction of a moral and compelling responsibility to act. Obviously, our contribution of CF-18s and Aurora aircraft and those of other countries will not alone win the war with ISIS, but it has already demonstrably helped to stem the tide. As Edmund Burke,the British philosopher/ parliamentarian once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Michael BerryQualicum Beach