BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at email@example.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled 'Ottawa commits to resettling potentially thousands of Afghans, provides few details,' published on July 23.
In a military memo quoted by the Toronto Star, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre philosophizes about whether Canada — the West — accomplished anything by going to war against Islamic terror groups in places like Afghanistan.
He asks whether the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers and their Afghan allies really enhanced global security or generally “made the world a better place?” Was the entire endeavour “worth it?”
The only genuine answer to that horrible question would appear to be ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ But how do we measure that nebulous observation in relation to all the wars Canada fought?
If we compared the situation to the conclusion of the Second World War, we might say that the Allies won a lasting peace in the sense that Germany and Japan eventually became trusted allies; one might patronizingly say that the Allies ‘tamed the savage hosts’ of two inhumane tyrannical states. There wasn’t a lasting peace because the defeat of two savage regimes led to new hostilities with Korea, an empowered Chinese nemesis, and the Soviet Cold War.
The War on Terror did not create any kind of peace because the nature of the enemy is fluid, subtle and untraceable. The Taliban, ISIS and numerous factions do not always attack from fixed positions, discreetly hide their members’ identities, and can attack our forces seemingly at whim before disappearing amongst civilians.
We continually underestimate their capabilities. They will not stop hounding us because they are relentless. The Taliban, Hezbollah, and scores of African insurgencies come from cultures where death and violence are glorified. By withdrawing from places like Afghanistan, we are empowering our enemy to regain strength and attack us again.
It is therefore our moral obligation to evacuate Afghans who helped our soldiers. But we must tread very carefully because our conflict is not with Islam the religion or Muslim peoples, it is a struggle against the forces of darkness using religion as a crutch.