LETTERS: Canadian military would be outmatched | Opinion

Dear Editor: Wow! Canadian politicians have to eat a ton of spinach to even think that a few special forces sent overseas to thwart Russian thoughts is admirable…but surely that’s a joke.

Russia on one side, China on the other… it doesn’t get more exciting than that.

The big red bear must be shaking with laughter in his boots. Unfortunately, a brave face and 10-pitch dirty words are no match for knockout heavyweights who also have powerful friends and allies.

I give Canadian politicians a zero out of 10 for sending other people’s children to maybe fight, while they stay at home with all the safety and comforts of home as usual.

Tom IsherwoodOlala

Putin is not afraid to use military force

In 1989, US Secretary of State James Baker visited Moscow with assurances for Mikhail Gorbachev that “there will be no extension of NATO jurisdiction one inch further east” . Even when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, British Prime Minister John Major repeated this promise: “We are not talking about strengthening NATO.

Yet, that is exactly what happened. The NATO alliance has expanded more than 1,000 km east of the former front line dividing Germany.

The Americans admit to offering past assurances, but point out that Russia voluntarily acquiesced when NATO invited the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to join in 1997. The West knowingly took advantage of a weak Russia – after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country split into 15 independent states — in need of financial assistance. Suffering from the collapse of the Soviet system and falling oil prices, Russia was unable to help.

Pro-democracy reformers in former Soviet satellites could not resist Western pleas, nor the lure of Western loans. Russia naturally felt threatened and to halt NATO expansion, Boris Yeltsin signed a “Founding Act” with NATO in 1999.

Nothing came of it.

Bulgaria and Romania joined NATO in 2004, while pro-Western agitators sparked both the 2003 Pink Revolution in Georgia and the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Hopes of working with Russia were gone, in Bucharest in 2008 America persuaded NATO to invite Georgia and Ukraine to become members, a promise NATO repeated last month. Bringing NATO right to Russia’s doorstep.

Putin is not afraid to use military force to secure his borders. He invaded Georgia in 2008, he seized Crimea and the Ukrainian province of Donbass. He sent military forces to Kazakhstan to help a pro-Russian government kick out Western agitators.

For Putin, it’s business as usual and it’s worth it, better to start a war now than risk Ukraine bristling with foreign troops and missiles later.

Canada reaffirmed its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. But, to boil the pot, NATO could take the position that if enlargement is the goal in principle, Ukraine must first reform, once embroiled in former Vice President Joe Biden , it will be a heavy blow for the Ukrainian reformers, but not extinguish their efforts. Canada can focus its aid on reforming its fragile machinery of government, which could defuse the situation without Russia appearing to have a veto.

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

Sanders would have been the best choice

Subject: “Not Stupid Americans Must Be Vigilant,” by Paul Crossley (Letters, January 20).

Even before Joe Biden’s election victory, I seriously doubted that his presidency would be allowed to deliver a noticeable practical improvement in the quality of life for poor and low-income Americans that now includes the right to vote.

Quite frankly, I strongly suspect that any American president who would seriously try to implement truly humane and progressive policies – including a significant reduction in military spending, a genuine anti-war effort, universal single-payer health care, the canceling student debt, raising the minimum wage while he reigned on Wall Street – would probably be murdered, sooner rather than later.

I believe the DNC refuses to allow a presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, regardless of what Democratic Party members/voters want.

For example, every county in West Virginia voted for real progressive Bernie Sanders in 2016, but the Democratic National Committee declared them as wins for Hillary Clinton; Clinton’s neo-liberalism, unlike Sanders’ fiscal progressiveness, was already known for not rubbing against big bucks, corporations and grains of power.

Conservative fiscal ideology/policy, big business interests, and most mainstream news media resist effective implementation of sufficiently progressive ideas. They seem to favor the interests of the big bucks over the people.

Frank Sterle, White Rock

Adding COVID days to insurance programs

Here’s a better idea for mandatory sick leave.

First of all, five days is hardly enough. Second, five days per employee could be very difficult for small businesses.

An alternative solution could have been to add “COVID sick days” to the EI program.

Either the worker could apply without a waiting period, or the employer could continue to pay the worker and then apply for EI.

Employers who already have sick days in their agreements or those who have salaried employees would still cover until those agreed sick days are used.

Andrea Racicot, View Royal

Comments are closed.