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Letters, week of Jan. 14

Published on

The Syrian refugee backlash

Sir: I’d like to express my opposition to the recent letter: “Refugees should fight for their country.”

First off, it’s clear the author has not taken the time to research the civil war in Syria. Some 250,000 Syrians have died since 2011 while trying to fight for their country, deaths that include rebels, Sunnis, Alawites and civilians.

To say they are not willing to defend their own country is an understatement, and just uneducated.

The crisis in Syria is more complicated than training and arming the refugees (which the U.S. government is presently doing). The real question is whom exactly would these refugees be fighting?

Currently in Syria there are more than 10 groups fighting for land and power. The Americans and Russians are funding some of these groups (although not the same groups) to achieve their own agenda, which is, guess what, oil.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. We live in a democratic society where votes decide who leads our country and lays down our foreign policy. Canada has always been a safe haven for refugees when conflicts arise, such as the Syrian disaster. Why is this crisis any different?

If you oppose what our elected Government officials have implemented, than shouldn’t it be you who leaves the country, if it concerns you that much?

I invite everybody to research for him or herself the proxy war going on Syria. I’m not given enough time or space to fully go in depth on this issue, and I assure you, the more you read into this, the more confusion will sink in.

This isn’t just about a civil war. There is so much more the mainstream media won’t publicly make readily available.

Derrick Wilker



Refugees victims, not cowards

Sir: In response to the letter from Bernice Rade, “Refugees should fight for their country.”

Just whom should these fighting-age male refugees fight for in their country? Assad or “the rebels?”

One is the actual UN-recognized President of Syria, like it or not, and the others are illegal groups of revolutionaries comprised of Syrians, Iraqis, Saudis, and who knows who else, possibly paid mercenaries.

It’s not as simple as she makes it sound. Most of these fighting-age men who ended up refugees had nothing to do with either side in the so-called “civil war.” Just victims of massive bombardment from Allied air strikes and Syrian government barrel bombs.

Which side are these Canadian-trained, returned-home refugees supposed to fight for? Whichever side they choose, or would Mrs. Rade like to choose that for them as well?

These people are refugees of an unwanted conflict. Those who want to fight are, and those who do not want to fight should not be forced to.

The letter writer says they should fight for their country. Assad and his supporters would think that means fighting for them. On the other hand, those who choose to fight against the government due to intolerable conditions, or for whatever geopolitical or religious reason, would actually be fighting against the government in power.

No, Mrs. Rade, it’s not that simple. Maybe they can all flip a coin, eh?

Although her idea sounds rational and logical on the surface, it is far from it. The real logical answer would be to stop the Bush-era Western regime change policies, like the Iraq war (to remove Saddam), Libya (to remove Ghadaffi), Syrian war (to remove Assad) and the Ukraine war (to remove Yanukovych), which have caused these refugee problems in the first place.

People need to wake up. General Wesley Clarke was right when he said, “A policy coup installed a seven-country regime change agenda at the Pentagon.”

These refugees that Mrs. Rade wants fighting wanted no part of the consequences of this bad foreign policy. They are victims, not cowards.

Kim May



Canatara Park trails in appalling condition

Sir: We, in Sarnia, are very fortunate to have such a lovely place to walk and play as Canatara Park, with its beaches, paved paths and beautifully groomed nature trails.

This year, however, something has gone wrong.  A majority of the nature trails have not had any new wood chips put down.

As a result, the trails are dirt – or given the weather – mud. For example, the area south of the entrance known as ‘Tarzanland’ has wood chips on the southern third of one of the three trails – or about 10% of the area.

The chips that are there are overly deep and have six-inch shards in them, which are not good for dogs.  The trails around the west side of Lake Chipican are also mostly missing fresh wood chips.

I would guess such work needs to be completed in October in case of an early snowfall. This year there has been plenty of extra time to get the job done, but the trails are in an appalling state and getting worse.

On the morning of Dec 30, thinking the trails might be frozen, I took my dogs down through Tarzanland and had to leave the park and come back up via Christina Street as it was so bad.

This is very disappointing.  If we have the mild winter forecast due to El Nino, the trails will become largely unusable.

But if we do continue to have a mild winter – is there still time to fix this?

Lynda Jenkins



Drones give me the twitch


Sir: Last week I ordered something online for the very first time. I’ve been told a person driving a van will deliver it. That’s good.

But at least one of the big online retailers is promising that in the future they can guarantee delivery in one hour using drones.

These things do not park at the curb and walk up your path to your front door. They land on your front porch, which means at some point in time they will be the same height as a person’s head.

With a bunch of drones zipping around a nervous guy like me will quickly develop a drone twitch, or DT.

What kind of noise do they make? My ears will be twitching too as I listen for a neighbor yelling, “Incoming drone.”

And these things are not small. To carry a case of beer across town a drone would have to be bigger than a cowboy hat. How good are their guidance systems? What happens if one comes across a flock of stubborn geese? Oops, there goes another Canada goose.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said legal marijuana will not be sold in corner stores. That’s good. So, if I had a mind to, I would just have mine delivered with a case of beer via drone.

They don’t use liquid fuel so they are eco-safe. Research tells me drones are powered by batteries, and not your average AAA but something called a hydrogen cell.

The drones the military use can fly fully loaded for up to seven hours. The way the military uses them, they are a handy tool, but I don’t want to see them in my neighbourhood delivering eggs, milk or microwave ovens.

Jim Clarkson





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