Friday, June 23, 2017

Open Letter to Canadian Prime Minister re: Canadian "sniper" killing indigenous fighter in Iraq

A Canadian 3RCR Battlegroup sniper walks
up a hill to his position during a mission
near Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003.
(Stephen Thorne/Canadian Press)

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I am writing this open letter to you to inquire about the shocking news that Canadian soldiers are killing indigenous fighters in Iraq.  I refer to the recent news story about a Canadian "sniper" killing an "ISIS" fighter in Iraq.  Did Parliament ever authorize the combat mission that this soldier is being publicly praised for engaging in?  Even the CBC says that the formal mission statement was to "aid and assist".  I note that the current leader of the Federal New Democratic Party has also written a public letter to you today.  I have copied the CBC report with a link to NDP leader Tom Mulcair's letter below for the benefit of my blog readers.  Please read the following and I will have further thoughts in comments to follow:

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is foregoing the celebration and raising red flags following reports that a Canadian sniper in Iraq shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill. In a letter Friday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mulcair said the incident "seriously calls into question your government's claim that Canadian forces are not involved in direct combat in Iraq."

National Defence says the sniper is part of the Joint Task Force 2 special forces unit and was supporting Iraqi forces in their fight against the ISIS when he shot an enemy fighter from 3,540 metres away.That is more than a kilometre farther than the previous record, held by a British sniper who shot a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2009. 
'Hell of a shot': Sniper record latest example of deadly Canadian marksmanship
Read Mulcair's letter to Trudeau (pdf)

Officials have refused to provide any other details about the incident, including where and when it occurred, citing operational security. But they maintain that the soldier was operating within the established limits of Canada's so-called "advise and assist" mission in Iraq. Those limits, however, have been repeatedly questioned over the course of the nearly four-year mission, with much of the debate revolving around whether Canadian soldiers are engaged in combat. 

Questions over role

While news of the shot has spread like wildfire, prompting accolades and even disbelief from current and former military personnel around the world, Mulcair demanded Trudeau provide answers about the mission in Iraq. "Will you now confirm that Canadian troops have engaged in ground combat since your government took office?" he wrote. "Why have you not declared that the current military operation is now a combat mission? Why has there been no debate in the House of Commons regarding this change of mission?"

Opposition parties have repeatedly accused the Liberals of misleading the public about the nature of Canada's mission in Iraq by claiming that Canadian troops are not in combat.That includes revelations three years ago that Canadian troops were calling in airstrikes on ISIS targets, and last November when it was revealed they could shoot in situations other than self-defence.
But National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier stood by past assertions Friday that Canadian soldiers are not engaged in combat in Iraq, despite the record-breaking shot. "Members of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force do not accompany leading combat elements, but enable the Iraqi security forces who are in a tough combat mission," he said.

"This takes the form of advice in planning for their operations and assistance to defeat (ISIS) through the use of coalition resources." The latest controversy comes as the clock ticks down on the current mission in Iraq, whose mandate is set to expire next week.

The Liberals have said Canada will maintain a presence in Iraq and the fight against ISIS, though officials say no decision has been made on whether to extend the current mission or change it.Canada has about 200 special forces operating in northern Iraq, including inside Mosul, supported by a combat hospital, a helicopter detachment, a military surveillance plane and an air-to-air refuelling aircraft.

So, in the second last paragraph of the CBC report we finally find out the reason for the braying and arrogant announcement that a Canadian "sniper" has set some sort of "record" by killing an indigenous fighter in Iraq.  The perps want Canada to sign on for another they're greasing the skids with appeals to the warped egos of those who enjoy killing and warfare for its own sake.  The entire world knows that ISIS is a creation of the CIA and that these young ISIS fighters (many of them children or little more than teenagers) have been manipulated into becoming cannon fodder for the Imperialist perpetual war mongers.

The most egregious aspect of this military involvement of Canada in Iraq is that, even the Americans have admitted that the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq and killing its elected leader, was based on a lie about WMD.  So, why are Canadian soldiers fighting on behalf of liars and murderers? Additionally, the United States was supposed to have "ended" it's occupation of Iraq many years ago.  Why are we still there?  Since ISIS is a creation of the US and since the US is supposed to be out of Iraq there is absolutely no reason for Canadian soldiers to be "sniping" at anyone.

This latest incident reminds me that, during Putin's Interviews with movie director Oliver Stone which were shown on TV last week, Putin said that Canada was also involved in Syria.  Was Putin telling the truth?  Canadians certainly do not want our soldiers involved in (yet another) illegal invasion of a country.  Please say it isn't so.

It seems to me that the short-sighted and scofflaw approach to the Articles of the United Nations Charter and of International Law will only come back to haunt Canada.  Like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and other non-nuclear countries, Canada is a militarily vulnerable nationIf we support those who do not respect International Law...then it is only a matter of time before they turn on us and invade us.  What is Canada going to do then?  Cry out to the UN and to the International Community to come and save us?  

A Loyal Canadian,


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