Skip to content

LETTER: Link to Afghanistan

This letter to the editor appears in today’s Ottawa Citizen:

After reading Janice Kennedy’s thoughtful column (“Poppy-wearing is not simple,” Nov. 8th) about the Remembrance Day poppy, I noticed the photo of Rick Hillier in the books section beside the review of his new book, A Soldier First.

The photo shows the former general wearing a poppy with a “Support our troops” pin in its centre, thus linking the poppy to support for the war in Afghanistan rather than as a symbol of remembrance and the imperative for peace.

The book reviewer David Pugliese notes that Janice Gross Stein and Eugene Lang argue that the general had pushed for Canadian soldiers in Kandahar “as part of an initiative to impress the Pentagon and then-U.S. president George W. Bush.”

While the deployment may have impressed those Americans, there is no doubt that the war that has claimed the lives of 133 Canadian soldiers, numerous more with life-altering physical injuries and mental traumas, diverted $18.1 billion from the social good, and by many accounts cannot be won, has left a deep impression of sadness on this country.

No wonder Gen. Hillier is defensive about his role in leading Canada into one of the most offensive military ventures it has ever undertaken.

Brent Patterson,
The Council of Canadians

To read Janice Kennedy’s column ‘Poppy-wearing is not simple’, go to http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Poppy+wearing+simple/2198886/story.html.

The letter to the editor can be read at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Link+Afghanistan/2204670/story.html.