Times Colonist

Afghan deaths a cruel waste

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It will take a leader of courage to step outside the cycle of violence we find ourselves in and begin building a better world. Until this happens, more soldiers like Capt. Richard Leary will die. Others will be crippled.

In Canada we had Jean Chrétien, who allowed our country to become part of the “coalition of the coerced” to appease Washington after we said no to the missile defence system and its illegal, pointless and stupid invasion of Iraq.

We then had Paul Martin who, wanting Canada to be a player on the world stage, allowed a poorly equipped battle group to be sent to the most dangerous region of Afghanista­n. This resulted in more soldiers being killed in supply convoys than in combat. Canada had a casualty rate more than double our NATO partners in Kandahar.

Now we have Stephen Harper, who follows the dictates of the Bush administra­tion. Not once has any Canadian MP spoken about the consequenc­es of the past American foreign policy in Iran, Iraq and Afghanista­n that our soldiers are now paying for. No one mentions the energy corridor through Afghanista­n our soldiers are dying to secure for the benefit of “big oil.”

And so, our soldiers die or are crippled, as we Canadians indeed have become players on the world stage. The problem is, the “game” we play helps big oil and the armaments industry. (Genocides in East Timor, Rwanda, and Darfur were allowed to happen.) Graeme Gardiner Sidney

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