Now that the Gulf War is over, it is time to examine the behavior of President George Bush (“Coming home,” World/Cover, March 11). The news media, including your magazine, gave the distinct impression that if one spoke out against Bush’s manipulation of the United Nations to set his agenda to destroy Iraq, one was against Canadian soldiers fighting in the Gulf. That was a type of blackmail. Bush deliberately magnified the military power of Iraq to justify its destruction. This was no great victory for the allies, and should be viewed as an embarrassment. It was nothing short of a con job by Bush, and the culmination of his perfidy was the ground war. Canada cannot be proud of participating in this massacre.
Constantine Palmer, Winnipeg
Saddam Hussein has lost and his mother of all battles has turned out to be just another bloody miscarriage. However, there will be another loser in this war. Who? You. You media folk have really done it this time. Not only has your news reporting been biased, it has also been wrong. First you said there would be no war. Wrong. Then you said it would be a long war. Wrong. You said the lesson of Vietnam was that air power could not win a war. Wrong. You bought Hussein’s story that Americans would swim in a sea of their own blood. Wrong. Allied casualties may well be the lowest ever seen in a major war. Why were you so consistently wrong? You had an image of the war and you tailored the facts to preserve that image. So much for truth. We shall have a new maxim: The last casualty of war is the media. For me, that makes it almost worthwhile. Why? Because the media have become the greatest threat to the democratic process now extant. Their fall from grace is exactly what we need to save the system.
Thomas P. Millar, Vancouver
THE WRONG REPORT
Please let me correct an inaccurate statement in Peter C. Newman’s March 4 Business Watch (“Wilson’s vain struggle with a killer debt”). Newman quoted from a report that was corrected shortly after his column appeared. The C. D. Howe Institute had indicated that Veterans Affairs spent $410 million to deliver $1.3 billion in pensions and allowances. The report was wrong, and the institute published an erratum notice on Feb. 27. The fact is that Veterans Affairs Canada spends less than 10 per cent on administration, and that is a source of pride to our employees and to myself.
Gerald S. Merrithew, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Ottawa
A WAR BY ANY OTHER NAME
We old veterans of the Second World War would have had more comrades come home with us if we had fought under the new language of war introduced in the Persian Gulf campaign (“The word they dare not speak,” Column, Allan Fotheringham, Feb. 18). “Deg-
radation” of the enemy certainly has to be better than our method. The duty of the Germans and us was to tear holes in each other’s bodies so that blood ran out and we died. It was called killing. We did an awful lot of it. I do not know the details of this degradation stuff, but I imagine bullhorns would be used for one thing, to shout degrading insults at one another such as “Your mother wears civilian boots.” “Ordnance” instead of “bombs” sounds pretty good, too. It was about time war was cleaned up and became more a part of TV programming and commercial time spots.
John Raycroft, Prescott, Ont.
Fotheringham takes exception to the terminology used by army personnel to describe the Gulf War. Is this the same Fotheringham who, in his Feb. 11 column (“Too cold for even a ‘technical country’ ”), wrote that a person went to an encyclopedia “to background himself,” and then went on to use the phrase “If I were him . . . ”? Perhaps Dr. Foth is the one who should revert to the English language.
Charles Crockford, Waterloo, Ont.
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