I believe that it would be very difficult for our young men and women to win a war in a foreign country if they had to fight an enemy from within their own country at the same time. When that enemy within the military’s own country happens to be the sitting government, with a majority status as is the case in Canada right now, it means that the what was very difficult in the 1st scenario, becomes impossible. As the Conservative Government of Canada gets ready to unilaterally send our young men and women serving in our military into war once again in a combat role, I think that we as the parents and loved ones of these brave young men and women need to ask ourselves some pretty important questions like:
- Has Steven Harper and his strong, stable, majority Government done all that it can to ensure that our military has the best military equipment that will enable it t do its job effectively, offer them the best protection available, in a real attempt to give them the best chance of returning home physically uninjured, and ensuring they are not having to make the ultimate sacrifice needlessly? The only reason our pilots have to fly refurbished CF-18 fighter jets is because the Conservative Party of Canada messed up the procurement of the F-35 fighter Jets it said were needed to replace the CF-18 Hornets, that they themselves called outdated and dangerous. Stephen Harper at that time said that the CF-18’s were too dangerous to use when helping in joint operations with some of our allies, because they lacked the up to date technology needed to communicate with our allies, putting our pilots along with our allies both in the air and on the ground in unnecessary danger. The Conservative Party of Canada insisted at the time that the procurement of the F-35’s was the only option and that it was needed so desperately that cost was no object and only makers of the F-35 were even considered; talk about a total flip-flop; all of a sudden refurbished jet fighters will do instead of the F-35 Fighter Jet that was supposed to change all that. Why would the Harper government choose to send our young men and women to war in fighter jets, that it has already deemed unfit for service just to make the USA look better when there are other ways we are better equipped to serve if indeed the government feels we must participate in the USA call for support?
- If this mission should call for Canadian boots on the ground in the near future as I think is inevitable, has Steven Harper and his strong stable majority government done all that it could to see to it that our young men and women serving in our military have the best military equipment available. Equipment that will ensure that our military can function effectively and offer them the best chance of returning home physically uninjured, or having to pay the ultimate sacrifice? Considering that it was Stephen Harper and his strong, stable majority government that decided to cancel its procurement of new “Close Combat Vehicles”, in yet another attempt to gain political points by balancing the budget by the start of 2015 federal election on the backs of our military. This cynical and shameless group of politicians found that they could save millions of dollars by just refurbishing our old vehicles instead of buying new and without caring about how they were endangering the lives of our young men and women solely for political gain, shot our military in the foot in terms of combat readiness for our troops who could be deployed on the ground. When you consider these facts I feel it is impossible not to conclude that Stephen Harper has deliberately sent our troops into war knowing that he and his party have not given them the best tools that are available to win, because he is out of touch with Canadians and really believes that if given a choice Canadians would choose a balanced budget at the cost of ill equipping our military, whether it be in the air, at sea, or on the ground. I have to agree with both opposition leaders when they say that the government of Canada is not using our limited resources in the best way given that this government has reduced it to a peace time force and not a full wartime combat ready force. We must ask ourselves,
- Does this government have the right to ask our brave men and women to go to war in refurbished out dated equipment it could have changed with it majority status?
- What has Harper’s strong, stable conservative government done for our veterans lately, besides (a)refuse to subsidise fully the last move of our soldiers retiring after multiple years of service to their country, close down veteran’s hospitals all over Canada, (b)refuse to take care and provide adequate treatment for our veteran’s returning home with mental illnesses as a result of serving their country, such as post traumatic stress disorder, (c)ignore the fact that too many of our veterans are ending up sleeping and begging on the street, because they cannot find jobs after this country no longer needs them, or they are deemed unfit to serve?
- What is it about this Stephen Harper strong, stable majority, conservative government that makes it incapable of seeing that how a country treats its veterans during peace time will directly impact and affect psychologically, philosophically and ideologically those who are called upon to serve in times of war, ? (1)Master Cpl. Martin Pitre said, “I feel like I am being thrown to the garbage, pretty much!” (2)Right on live television we saw the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino intentionally running away from Jenny Migneault the wife of a veteran, Sgt Claude Rainville; a wife seeking information about how go about getting help for her husband suffering with PTSD . Why did this government not support and help this veteran of 20 years service, who now feels the department of defense is out to hurt him in any way they can?
It is impossible for soldiers to go into battle and give their full attention to winning that war when they are worried about what will happen to them and their families if they get injured, because they know how this government is guilty of mistreating veterans and their families of past wars? I think it becomes hard for our soldiers to risk their lives for their country without worrying about their loved one’s they will be leaving behind, because they see how poorly this government takes care of veteran’s families from past wars. This government goes as far as penny-pinching when deciding how much they will contribute to a veteran’s funeral.
Stephen Harper’s strong, stable, majority conservative government continues to ram through parliament all manner of laws which it considers to be priorities. This government knows full well that their majority status in both chambers does not allow for the stoppage of anything they wish truly to pass, like this combat mission in Iraq. This means to me, that this government does not think that certain things are a priority like (a)getting the most up to date equipment for our military, (b)getting our veterans the help they need for illnesses such a PTSD, or keeping veterans affairs offices and hospitals open and easily accessible to all veterans. This government’s commitment to our troops whether in peace time or war-time I find to be lacking and shameful. I feel that our troops are being used in this instance as a political tool to satiate Stephen Harper’s personal need to feel important, respected and effective as a leader on a global scale and to add another flag to the coalition task board. Canada once known as a peace-loving nation is now paying its coalition dues by not only supporting the USA’s bombing in Iraq and Syria, but by taking an active part in the bombing.
I think that if Prime Minister Harper wants Canada to be a warrior nation then I think that he owes it to our military to (a)beef up its budget, so that they can purchase the equipment they need to defend Canada, (b)increase the size of our armed forces, so that we can be of more assistance to our allies then the 6 refurbished jet fighter symbolic commitment we are capable of offering for this mission. (b)I think that we need to treat our veterans and their families better, providing and paying for their treatment, recovery and retraining when they are injured either physically or psychologically, while serving their country.
I will end by saying that I feel that sending troops into battle who will be forced to use refurbished equipment just to save the government money, is despicable; add to that sending troops into battle who are worrying about what happens to their life and families if they get hurt or killed in the service of their country is not a recipe for victory, but one of impending disaster.