Canada’s not the only one

So the Canadian Forces is the only one that has special forces involved in combat in Iraq?

So the Canadian Forces is the only one that has special forces involved in combat in Iraq? And the only ones who decided to brief the media on their activities last week?

Problem is, several reports state other nations’ special forces are helping their charges — with the U.K.’s SAS having been in heavy firefights.

None of those nations went public about their activity, mostly because of the reaction seen to such honesty in Canada and because these are special forces, exceptional units who operate with little or no publicity.

More importantly, no instructors will send their students off to battle unaccompanied. They will indeed be there for them, even though the PM may have thought or been briefed otherwise.

To abandon these troops who had been traumatized earlier by ISIS would be unwise. That is why Canadian special forces (all 69 of them) were assigned to this mission. They can look after themselves nicely in battle while continuing to provide guidance (and example) to the newly-formed Iraqi government units.

And for those that are squeamish about our and many other nations’ forces helping the Iraqis in this conflict, the alternatives are far, far worse — with even more thousands of Iraqi civilians to be killed, beheaded (if unwilling to convert), enslaved if of the female gender and many other horrific barbarities.

I detect in these critiques not only the usual “let’s find something to hang Harper with” but also an unseemly and un-Canadian isolationist approach to assisting these folks — the rationale being that someone might attack us at home!

Perhaps some hardening up on our part is required as it is clear that no gentle persuasion or infusion of humanitarian aid will meet the aim of stopping ISIS before they permanently damage Iraq and adjacent nations. Folks back home, shrilly, daily parsing these training/assistance operations while having no idea what they are talking about is far more unseemly and un-Canadian than anything the PM has said/done in this.

Paul Crober, North Saanich

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