Letter to the Editor – John E Milnes on Dictators and the Harper Government – March 17, 2011

Dear Sir:

Once upon a time there were two visible despots in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi.  The scene changed when Britain and the USA, against world opinion, willfully took out Saddam Hussein.  But what is a despot?  ‘A ruler with total power, especially one who uses it in a cruel way”.  The one who is left of the two despots, Moammar Gadhafi, has publicly stated he will kill every freedom fighter and the families of those freedom fighters.
He has, through previous actions, shown the world he can fulfill his threats. Has Britain and the USA been able to pluck up the courage to take out this more dangerous dictator?  No way.  Every news report has clearly demonstrated the fact the free world has done absolutely nothing to help the people of Libya, who are desperately trying to get from under the clutches of this maniac.  The free world has sat on its hands and has talked its way out of taking any action.
The United Nations has, once again, proved to be a useless organization; the USA has proved it can be bought off by a threat of not getting the oil it needs from Saudi Arabia – as have Russia and China.  The other nations have simply fallen into line and done nothing.  Of course, Canada did send a warship to the Middle East but this was a total waste of taxpayers’ money for it was never intended it should do any more than stand off the coast and watch as so many freedom fighters were annihilated by Gadhafi, the madman.
Canada has even allowed the Libyan ambassador, a Gadhafi appointee, to return with false words of condolence for those seeking a democracy. What price the Lockerbie massacre? Canada did have a role to play, it was Canadians who Gadhafi killed in that air disaster.  On the basis of that fact alone Canada should have aided the freedom fighters. Instead we have endorsed the Gadhafi philosophy of death for anyone who strives for a good life. Where is the Canadian conscience?  What price democracy?
My reading of the scenario, because nothing else explains the inaction, is as follows:  The royal family of dictators ruling Saudi Arabia contacted the USA and explained they needed to have a dictator survive in the current Middle East upheaval to show that those seeking freedom from dictatorship can be defeated.  Gadhafi was the ideal candidate for he has thumbed his nose at the rest of the world with regularity.  This madman does not care what the West sees as democracy. What he sees, as being more important, is a continuation of his despotic rule.
The United Nations and the United States willingly obliged and Canada, taking its orders from the USA, willing sat on both of its hands.  Canada even wasted taxpayers’ money by sending a government minister to Europe and Cairo to blather the inappropriate words, “we are consulting with our allies”.  This, of course, translates to the usual Conservative mantra of “let’s do nothing” when it comes to international affairs. We must ignore the millions of unaccountable Canadian tax dollars spent in Haiti and fighting a losing war in Afghanistan.  Both the latter are pet schemes of this Prime Minister so they get our taxpayers’ money.
Why can’t we help people fighting for their freedom by simply giving the freedom fighters the tools with which to defend themselves, weapons, food, water and medical supplies?  There was no need for boots on the ground, just supplies.  No, that would be contrary to the instructions Canada has received from the USA and, heavens above, we cannot do that.
It is time we had a new federal government, one that acts in accordance with Canadian public desires and rules with honesty.
John E. Milnes  – South Stormont
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  1. This is all so sad. The serious slaughtering will begin in the next few hours. The UN has clearly outlived its usefulness. Did SNC Lavalin get Gaddafi’s prisons completed in time?

  2. John I don’t know where you get that Afghanistan is a “pet scheme of this Prime Minister so they get our taxpayers money”. If you can cast your mind back aways, you can perhaps remember that it was Jean Chretien (Liberals) that put us in Afghanistan in the first place and not Stephen Harper (Conservatives).

  3. It matters not who put us in Afghanistan, but that we all stick together in crisis situations as loyal Canadians should – those are our “boys” over there – pray for them!

  4. Wow! It could have started sooner, but at least it’s happening. For the first time in recent memory, the Americans are using their military might for something other than plundering resources. This is to be celebrated.

  5. Stan, you are correct it was Chretien who first put us in Afghanistan. However, it is Harper who is perpetuating the action there. Further, I tire of the old Conservative mantra “the Liberals did this or that so we can do it”. It’ is almost as bad as the other Conservative mantra, constantly put before us when they do not know what to do “we are consulting with our allies”. I agree with Joe, now we are there we MUST stick together.
    With respect to Libya I can’t understand why they are even prolonging the conflict. As a past military commander, my strategy would be to take out the problem by destroying the one who is behind the destruction of civilians, Gadhafi has been a world problem for so long it is difficult to understand why he has been tolerated by the free world. Saturation bombing of his ‘palace’ would surely do the trick. There would be some collateral damage since Gadhafi loyalists are in droves around the building. However, if the loyalists desire to back a madman they can be little different and I would rather they be sacrificed that all those liberation fighters seeking their freedom and ready to begin life anew in a democracy.

  6. John, Is there anything in the UN resolution that would prevent them from doing that?

  7. Furtz, There is nothing in the UN resolution to prevent them taking the action I prescribed.
    The major problem is the UN waited too long. This is much like Rwanda. The UN and most of its members are stuck in talk mode [they talked while Libya and its people burned] and, in this instance, too many have died whilst they tried to talk the subject to death.
    Canada is the classic example at this talking, almost every question to the government with regard to action in Libya, has been met with “We are consulting with our allies”. Ergo, we cannot make up our own minds! During all of this killing time, Cannon was in Paris and then in Cairo on our dollar, just talking the talk but being unable to walk the walk. On the same subject have you noticed how derelict Harper is on any overseas action. First the empty planes going into and out of Libya, 200 hundred got out with the help of other countries before Harper even got his empty plane in and out of Libya. Then there was the denial of some charter companies to fly into Libya because they would have no insurance. Surely, after all this time as our government, the Conservatives must know how to evacuate Canadians from a conflict zone, surely they must know they should have contingency plans, with insurance problems resolved, BEFORE a problem surfaces.
    The latest Conservative fiasco – being the first to commit planes to fly to the region of the combat zone, but being the last in the field because there were no contingency plans for such events. Logistically there HAS to be a strike force serviced by an array of support staff and equipment. In such an event a charter company could fly the support staff directly to the operational base, but the support staff needs equipment. That should be on a stand-by arrangement using any of the load carrying planes Canada already posseses. A slick government should be ready for all contingencies – remember the Iranian embassy affair, when Canadians saved Americans, whilst we had a Liberal government? No time talking with our allies they did the job, got out, and we could hold our heads high.
    A final question would be, do we really need the new fighter planes, when we cannot even manage our present equipment? Harper has shown us it would be a total waste of money.

  8. I would imagine Haiti was a pet project of the past GG, plus Canada looks better to the Francophone countries.
    Will have to check the time frame, but I thought Paul Martin or Jean C. had more to do with the big sandbox adventure.

    I want my government to help look after me, but if I am on vacation and tradegy happens, it is my responsibilty to find safety.

    You want us to hold our head high in one sentence, and the next we do not need new jets to respond. I for one do not want our pilots flying aircraft built in the early 80’s.

  9. Way to go Eric!

  10. Obama said today that taking out Gadhafi isn’t part of the mission’s objective. However. he didn’t say it wouldn’t happen. As far as buying these new fighters goes, “cutting-edge” technology costs at least twice as much as two or three year old technology. Once these planes are delivered, their technology will become old very quickly. Also, these single engine, relatively short-range planes aren’t best suited for patrolling our vast coastline and Arctic region. The purchase of the CF-35s looks like a case of feeding the “military/industrial complex” that Eisenhower warned us about.

  11. The CF-35’s are 5th Generation fighters. The Russians and the Chinese are both presently building 5th Generation fighter planes. At least we’ll be well equipped to face off against them if needs be!

  12. @Concerned Citizen. Are you saying that we should blow a fortune on sixteen fighter planes that are gonna save us from the Russians or the Chinese?

  13. It is not a matter of whether these fighters are a good buy nor is it a matter of, to which generation do they belong. What matters is do we need them? In my humble opinion we should be using this vast amount of money to help the third world people [ aboriginals of the north] who are living in this country and do not even have clean drinking water and sanitation in their communities. The Russians and the Chinese will just walk over us while our politicians “consult with our allies” should the present political party gain office for another term – fancy jets will not save the day.

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