letter_to_parlaiment - Burl - Oak Naval Veterans - FOR GOD AND .rtf

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					To every Member of Parliament
Please do not forward this letter, as it went to All Members
This letter is inteded for you personally.

RE: DEPLOYMENT OF OUR ARMED FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN

Ladies and Gentlemen

Why are the press and many Politicians so pre-occupied with counting the number of slodiers killed in
Afghanistan? Granted, one such death is too many deaths. Yet in military terms, any person joining the
military and going "to war" is voluntarily taking a rsk that he or she might be killed. That is the brutal
nature of fighting. Actually our record in that regard is commendable.Canada has deployed over 18,000
troops to Afghanistan on a regular rotation over five years and to date of writing, some 70 have been
killed in those five years. That amounts to less than 0.4% casualties - which is amazing in military terms -
roughly in the same category as the US success during the liberation ok Kuwait a few years ago. By
comparison, in Korea over 500 Canadian troops were killed over three years. Much as we mourn the
losses of our troops, we should also be proud of their professionalism and their dedication to their mission
in Afghanistan. We especially remember those who gave their lives in defence of freedom.

We have yet to hear even one of our troops returninf from Afghanistan saying critical things about the
intent of the Canadian presence there, nor have they criticised the way the deployment is being handled.
Even parents of those who have been killed say that their son or daughter was fully committed to the
work in Afghanistan. Some troops have gone back for a second tour of duty. It is not our Military that
questions the need for our presence there.The comp;ainers are generally persons who know little or
nothing about military matters, and who are persinifying the "wimps" that they are, and they seem to want
Canada to be regarded as a wimpy nation. To Canadian Veterans who served us so gallantly in past
wars, this attitude is extremely abhorant. Canadian troops have been known and respected far and wide
as very professional, resourceful, dedicated, friendly and well aware of the purpose for which they were
sent. Those who want our troops out of Afghanistan, defame those who went there. Those who want our
troops to desert the mission, especially defame those who paid the supreme sacrifice, by giving their lives
in the service of their country and more especially in defence of our freedom, just as much as the
Veteransof the World Wars. We as Veterans will always remember them.

Now that our troops have been there abot five years, the Canadian Press seems to think that we should
bring them home sometime in 2009. That is extremely short sighted. The country was out of control when
Alexander The Great conquered it around 200 B.C. The Moghul Rulers of India were not able to control
Afghanistan although they did try to. The British ruled India for about three hundred years, and they got
nowhere, except that they continuously maintained a significant armed force on the border(now the
Afghanistan - Pakistan border). The Russians had a go at trying to control Afghanistan, and they
committed thousands of troops to the task, but they also failed.

The attitudes and beliefs of the Afghanistan People has been developing for more than 2200 years.How
can we expect any armed force to make a difference in that country in just a few years. To make a real
difference, we have to be prepared to stick it out there for at least 30 years. We were in Cyprus for over
30 years. We will be in Bosnia for 30 years before our task there is over. We better get used to the fact
that Canadian troops will be needed in Afghanistan for the next 30 years. It takes a full generation in
order to change deep seated attitudes, and to make meaningful improvements to the lives of the people
there.

Before the NATO mission in Afghanistan began, the Taliban were dominant. Under heavy influence of
that regime, women were treated very badly by our standards, and girls were not allowed to go to school,
while most boys were sent to militant schools wherevthey were taught to hate the Western People and
the Wecstern Culture. The hind of social infrastructure that we know in Canada, does not exist in
Afghanistan. To people living there, the social culture is largely controlled by guns and influenced by
fanatics who hate western ways. The developments in Afghanistan went un heeded by us in the west
until the 9/11 attack on New York. Then suddenly instant experts appeared everywhere, all intent on
crushing tha Taliban and trying to disrupt or dismantle al Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden who had
chose to live in that country.Nw Afghanistanbecame a household word in Canada. After much debate our
Government agreed to deploy some 2000 to 2500 troops in Afghanistan in support of the Nato mission
there. You may ask "Why should we care about the people that live in a far off country like
Afghanistan?" To us the answer should be obvious, but let us remind you that the world is constantly
becomming "smaller". We can now travel anywhwere on this earth within a day or two(whereas only 60
years ago, when WW II ended,it took about six weeks to travel from Canada to Asia). We can now
tlephone almost anywhere on earth and that only takes seconds to connect. Our television news gives us
graphic pictures of events in far off lands, and many more people are becomming familiar with geography,
the peoples, and the cultures of those far off lands.

oday, what happens in those far off places does have an effect on our lives and our way of life. The
danger of one of these "regional" wars getting out of hand is real and if it does, there is nothing we can do
unless we already have presence in the region, preferably an armed presence which has been there long
enough to have earned the respect and goodwill of the local people.

That is what our troops are doing for us in Afghanistan. In the long run, they are defending our freedom in
Canada and elsewhere.ithout their presence there, Canada will have done nothing to diminish the
terrorists aims, which areto dominate us all, and impose their harsh will upon us.Is that what the Politians
in Ottawa want?

Respectfully submitte                            Also signing Members
Fred Norman Chairman                             Donald Schofield
                                                            Ron Danks
                                                            Robert Black
Mike Vencel                                           Jack Ross
 Vice Chairman                                       Eugene Tobin
                                                             Alex Bramson
Harold Wilkinson                                    Keith Wood
Secretary                                               George Donnelly

Dennis McNiell
Treasurer

				
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