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WHILE I FULLY SUPPORT AND ACTIVELY encourage rearming our military services, I have a real problem with the cost of such rearming, especially when taxpayers are expected to cough up some $3.4 billion for only four transport planes ("Canada Rearms," Jan. 29). We could buy 15 Russian-built Antonov transportation planes for $2 billion. Canadians want their Armed Forces fully equipped, with up-to-date and dependable transport, and armed military hardware equivalent to that of NATO countries, but not at extortionate U.S. military prices.


Bob Tarplett

West Vancouver, B.C.

MATTHEW STUART'S UNDERSTANDING OF "managed readiness" is backwards. Its purpose wasn't to create rapidly deployable units. In fact, "managed readiness" reduces the number of deployable units in order to maintain the command structure of the regular force. The question was, did Canadian Forces want fewer but larger and more cohesive rapidly deployable units, or the same number of colonels in command of smaller units incapable of operations without massive ad hoc reinforcement. Hillier chose the colonels, which is why it takes a year to form and train the battalion assigned to Task Force Afghanistan, and is one reason a force of 85,000 uniformed personnel seems so hard-pressed to keep a force of 2,400 in the field.

Michael Shannon

Baghdad, Iraq

JOHN LUIK'S ARTICLE ON THE DANGERS of wearing a bicycle helmet resonates strongly with me ("Better to be Careful," Jan. 29). It drives home the point that the security promised by government-mandated regulation is, more often than not, illusory. For me, though, the bicycle helmet is a metaphor that describes a much deeper issue: the extent to which Canadians' obsession with security and our collective faith in the power of legislation and bureaucratic oversight to keep us out of harm's way stifles individual development and personal happiness. The truth of the article certainly flies in the face of latter day orthodoxy--I can't wait to read the reaction from the professional fearmongers.

Tom Olson


I HEARTILY CONGRATULATE THE WHOLE Western Standard team for putting forth the effort to create such a refreshingly blunt, un-liberal magazine. I am particularly impressed with Mark Steyn's creative articles and the unabashed style of his writing. His column "Hitting Bottom" (Dec. 18) provoked much speculation and mirth amongst my companions. Thank you once again, and keep up the good work.

Christopher Wood

Pakenham, Ont.

TERRY O'NEILL CLAIMS EDUCATION IS inspired by the Judeo-Christian tradition (Whaddya Know? Jan. 29). That tradition comprises two religions, Judaism and Christianity, and I seriously doubt that Jews are comfortable being represented by the Cross, particularly since it's associated with the crucifixion of Jesus and has been used to disparage Jews. I am old enough to remember when Canadian universities employed quotas to limit the number of Jewish students in various faculties. This discrimination, based on Christian principles, was thankfully abandoned, but should hardly be celebrated. It seems reasonable that the conversion of Canadian universities to secular institutions should be undertaken. In no way will this ever diminish the history and traditions of these institutions. It will reinforce Canada as a secular country, an act that is essential in a world that is infected by a clash of competing religions whose aim is to eliminate the separation of church and state.

Larry Shapiro


CYRIL DOLL FORGETS A FOUNDATIONAL principle in his plea to amp up the fight against prostitution: individual freedom ("Legal Tricks," Jan. 29). It matters not what the results will be if the world's oldest profession is or isn't legalized and opining on the morality of it all is immaterial. Like it or not, as Murray Rothbard explained, "Prostitution is a voluntary sale of a labour service, and the government has no right to prohibit or restrict such sales."

Bruce Korol


I AM PUZZLED AT THE OUTRAGE expressed by some of your readers concerning the matter of Stephane Dion's dual citizenship and the challenges this might pose to his effectiveness as a prime minister (Feedback, Jan. 29). Dual citizenship not only implies, but demands under law, responsibilities independently owed both nations. Compliance can be enforced when you find yourself within any of the national jurisdictions to which you belong. There is an excellent possibility that during a hypothetical Dion prime ministership, he will be facing a resurgent secessionist movement, and another referendum with more meddling by France. To what extent would his freedom to act against official French policy be constrained in such a situation? It is not bigotry, as some have suggested, to raise these issues now, before it is too late.

Garth Klatt


SALIM MANSUR WAS FAR TOO KIND IN his article regarding James Baker ("Diplomacy at All Costs," Jan. 29). As secretary of state Baker infamously said, "F--the Jews," because "they didn't vote for us anyways." Baker is far too cozy with the Arabic establishment; the very establishment that many Middle East analysts agree knew that al Qaeda had plans on 9/11 for America. Thank God, George Walker Bush ignored advice from a friend of his father's, and has a plan for victory, not surrender.

Jason Bertucci

Victoria, B.C.

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Author:Tarplett, Bob; Shannon, Michael; Olson, Tom; Wood, Christopher; Shapiro, Larry; Korol, Bruce; Klatt,
Publication:Western Standard
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 26, 2007
Previous Article:What we don't know about Maher Arar: from the facts of the case to the consequences of the settlement, there's so much that hasn't been investigated.
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