Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:
As you have announced new plans for waging war with a different face, it remains what it is: war. Refueling and aerial reconnaissance are simply bombing by proxy. Training to kill in a nation that has known nothing but killing for more than a quarter century serves no purpose whatsoever, except for investors in weapons manufacturing.
This past weekend, Canadian bombers dropped 500-lb bombs on the devastated town of Ramadi, similar in size to Kitchener Ontario. It was the 57th bombing run since the election. Since you came to power, as many as 70 civilians have been killed by bombing runs in which Canadian aircraft took part. The blood of each of them is on your hands. And ours.
After all this bombing, rebuilding Ramadi alone will cost $12 billion ($12 thousand million). But the UN fund for Iraqi reconstruction only has approximately $50 million, or only one-tenth of what Canada has officially spent since 2014 to bomb Iraq and Syria. In addition to the scores of civilians murdered by bombing runs in which Canadian bombers have taken part, the ongoing toll on subsequent generations of Iraqis trying to rebuild their lives in incalculable. Diverting Canadian funds that could have built affordable homes in Canada to blowing them up in Iraq has equally lethal consequences for those freezing to death on Canada’s streets.
Nothing you have announced in this so-called “wholistic” approach to warfighting will change the circumstances. The only positive contribution right now is to pull out all Canadian military forces, including bombers, refueling and spying aircraft, and those on the ground who train to kill.
Irvin Studin, president of the Institute for 21st Century Questions and editor-in-chief and publisher of Global Brief recently stated on TVO’s The Agenda, that the Middle East is in such a mess that it will take 100 years for people to be able to live there in peace with one another. Please begin peaceful processes now and end all war-making activities.