The Mail

The Mail

October 8 2001
The Mail

The Mail

October 8 2001

The Mail

As an American, I am so glad I subscribe to your magazine. Your coverage of the World Trade Center catastrophe was the best I have seen and the most surprising: a Canadian magazine contributing an entire issue to a horrific tragedy that took place in the United States (“After the terror,” Special Report, Sept. 24). I’m sure that is unheard-of. The world has been changed because of this event, not just our way of life. The economic impact is just now rippling through the airlines and tour industries —and we haven’t even finished grieving. Stephanie Monyak, Washington

'The day freedom died’

Given that the refugee camps along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border are fertile breeding grounds for even more kamikaze-style “martyrs” in the bin Laden cause, by all means bomb them with the full might of the U.S. air force. But bomb them with tents, with blankets, winter clothing, portable toilets, medical supplies, food and bottled water. Smother them with kindness and maybe we can render bin Laden and his ilk irrelevant. There is nothing a terrorist fears more than the fact that he has no reason to exist.

Jim Armstrong, Victoria

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The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a day that will live in infamy, but the destruction of the World Trade Center towers will be the day that freedom died. We now know that madmen bent on worldwide terrorism can make us cringe at the thought of flying to distant lands, of working in a skyscraper, of visiting national monuments. They have taken from all of us, in one horrific act, our sense of freedom. We pray that world leaders will have the courage and the wisdom to make the right decisions. We pray for healing for those who grieve, for recovery for those who were injured, for safety for the firemen and policemen. And we pray for our children who will inherit an increasingly difficult world. From every Canadian to each of our American brethren we say: “Be of stout heart—and God bless America.”

Bob Thompson, Victoria

So why didn’t Canada rate even a mention in President George W Bush’s address on Sept. 20? Because, unfortunately, there is nothing to say. The so-called leader we have in Ottawa continues to employ the only political strategy he knows—say little and do nothing. While this selfish tactic has ensured Jean Chretien’s political longevity, it now results in making us look like a country populated by wimps.

Michael Whelan, Brampton, Ont.

My generation grew up expecting the Third World War to start with nuclear fireballs over a thousand cities. We were wrong. What the WTC attack has surely taught us is that the war has already started, indeed been among us for years. From the streets of Belfast to the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic to the ethnic cleansers of Yugoslavia to the streets around a conference on world trade, the bullies are out with their rocks, their firebombs, their guns and now their stolen airliners, to convert by force what they cannot change by persuasion, to destroy what they cannot convert. This is not “America’s new war.” This is my war, humanity’s war, your war.

Grant Hallman, Thornhill, Ont.

Prisoners of war

Like Peter C. Newman, many are confirming that the world is at war with terrorism (“The day the war began,” Sept. 24). In the past, countries that were at war incarcerated captured combatants in prisoner of war camps. These prisoners remained confined until peace was declared. I hope that prisoner of war camps will be established in countries waging this war. Terrorists who are taken into custody would not then be processed through the normal prison system. Thus, we would avoid releasing these terrorists from prison after they had served a limited term, only to take up their terrorist activities again.

Dr. Peter Coy, Victoria

We have individually and collectively ignored the world’s Muslims for far too long and it is time to say hello. If we can do this in sufficient numbers, we will have a better chance of having a more stable world for all people to enjoy after the terrorists have been destroyed.

Ralph D. Hindson, Blue Sea Lake, Que.

As a Canadian citizen living in the U.S., I was mortified to see the town-hall forum from the CBC on C-SPAN. There are folks here in Oregon who are so incensed by what they saw that they may never be swayed to believe that Canadians are friends of the U.S., or would ever help in time of need. I implore Canadians to stand united and make a show of yourselves to your southern neighbours. A little support right now would go a long, long way. Chuck Whitehead, Portland, Ore.

In the face of human disaster, the calls for revenge and retribution are predictable, but these calls should be resisted. The rule of international law must be respected. For too long, many member states of the United Nations have failed to respect the International Court of Justice in The Hague. In Question Period on Sept. 19, Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley claimed there was no recourse through international law because the International Criminal Court proposal has not yet received the 60 signatures required for its implementation. The U.S. is one country that has refused to sign. On the other hand, the International Court of Justice has existed for more than 50 years and is responsible for hearing cases brought to it by member states of the United Nations. The global community should support the International Court of Justice as a means for preventing the potentially devastating cycle of revenge and violence.

Joan Russow, Victoria

Thanks to Arthur Kent for having the guts to say what needed to be said (“ ‘Insult to injury,’ ” Special Report, Sept. 24). None of us can fail to sympathize with the U.S. in its time of shock and grief at the foul deeds of Sept. 11. But we can still recognize that some things must change if a permanent solution is to be found. A medical colleague was all for retaliation. I asked him: “What would you think of a doctor who always used a method of treatment that invariably made the patient worse for a time, and then left him or her the same as they were before?”

Dr. Cleaver Keenan, Española, Ont.

Arthur Kent parrots too many so-called analysts, promulgating changes in American foreign policy as a balm to the angry unwashed all over the world. This, I must assume, will heal the hatred, the murderous resolve of those Muslims who misinterpret the Koran—and all will be peace and light. Where is the anger of these selfsatisfied pundits, these supercilious experts, the downright visceral disgust at this underhanded attack on innocent people? Noel Hershfield, Calgary

In praise of dialysis

I found your article on Janet MacNaughton’s difficult experience with dialysis disturbing, as I believe it will give the public the wrong message (“When the kidneys fail,” Health, Sept. 17). I am 67 years old and have been on hemo-dialysis for 11 years. I keep well and lead a productive and active life. I drive myself to and from dialysis three times a week and set up my own machine, and when I have completed my dialysis, I wash down my machine, chair and table. Most of my renal friends, despite the requirements of hemo-dialysis, also lead normal lives. We all have a very positive outlook.

Pat Chadwick, Victoria

I was fortunate enough to receive the gift of someone’s liver for a transplant in June, 2000. Following the surgery, my kidneys shut down, resulting in four weeks of dialysis. This was probably the most uncomfortable part of my experience, and I can only imagine what it must be like to need dialysis for a great length of time, while waiting for a transplant. Please continue to raise awareness of the importance and successful results of organ donation.

J. Cormac McGettigan, Saskatoon

Ending child poverty

Despite many government promises to eliminate child poverty in Canada by the year 2000, the task of establishing a serious long-term strategy remains a national failure (“Child poverty,” Cover, Sept. 17). In his response to the 2001 speech from the throne, the Prime Minister pledged to make the necessary investments to ensure equal opportunities for all children and to address the issue of child poverty. Faced with an estimated $ 17-billion surplus, our government now has the fiscal capacity to put a decade of failed promises behind us. To underscore public commitment, hundreds of Canadians of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith are calling on our gov-

ernment to take seriously its agenda for children and families. Between Sept. 27 and Oct. 4, faith leaders across the country are calling on their communities to skip a meal and pray for Canadian families living in poverty. They will also urge their political representatives to take action on the urgent need for increased access to quality child care, affordable housing, and ensuring the national child benefit is increased in the interest of all children.

Rev. Lillian Perigoe, United Church of Canada, and Rabbi Emeritus Arthur Bielfeld, Temple Emanu-EIJoronto

The “poverty” of the subjects in your article is not our fault, and it is not our responsibility to improve their situations. The government is doing plenty for these people. Let them take responsibility for their own choices and henceforth make better lifestyle and financial choices. I will not be guilt-tripped into paying so that they can live better than I can.

M. K. Paquette, Edmonton

My heart goes out to the children of Canada who live below the poverty line. I hope I am not the only one who thinks the government should be more worried about teaching family planning than raising the welfare rolls. When you are down on your luck, the last thing you need is to bring another child into poverty.

Rob Runge, Trenton, Ont.