The following is a letter to the editor as submitted to the Ottawa Sun in response to its May 25 editorial (Do more on defence).
The jingoistic hoof-stomp of the Western mindset dictates that the imperative to ‘go after the Islamic State’ is best expressed through increased defence spending, rather than taking a more balanced approach to foreign policy.
Even as the U.S. was waging a militaristic and propaganda ‘war on terror’ a decade ago, that country’s own military intelligence was discovering that cooler heads should have prevailed. According to a recently-uncovered 2004 report of the U.S. Defense Science Board Task Force, commissioned by Donald Rumsfeld: “American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.”
The report went on to say that “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedoms,’ but rather, they hate our policies.”
Ergo, is the ‘war on terror’, even in its current iteration, really about defending against some threat, or is the Middle East being intentionally destabilized (and the threat being therefore manufactured) for the sake of pursuing Western economic and political dominance in that part of the world?
Before throwing more money at military offensives abroad, we should evaluate how existing dollars are being spent, which should include making sure that our veterans are being properly looked after, and not flinging our current military personnel into harm’s way for ulterior purposes like so many toy soldiers.