Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: No justification for military strike

There’s nothing acceptable about nerve gas attacks

Before the Russian public had even awakened to learn of the U.S. attack on the Syrian airbase, Donald Trump had justified the attack by referring to the “beautiful babies” that had had the life choked out of them by chemical weapons deployed earlier by the Syrian government.

In a short, 250-word speech stuffed with religious references and claims to moral action, he referenced chemical weapons five times and called on the “civilized” to oppose the “barbaric.”

Panels of CNN pundits responded by goading each other to outrage over Syria’s use of “weapons of mass destruction.”

There’s nothing acceptable about nerve gas attacks, but what weapon in today’s arsenals, including the 59 cruise missiles rained down on the Syrian airbase, is not a weapon of mass destruction?

Of course, it’s criminal that 100 innocents died and 400 were injured in the gas attack. But how is it any more criminal than the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that killed as many as 1,000 civilians just last month?

On March 17, nearly 300 were killed and an untold number injured in a single airstrike in Mosul. The U.S. admitted there was “at least a fair chance” they were responsible, while Iraqi counter-terrorism officials blamed Islamic State.

Islamic State doesn’t even have airplanes, so let’s assume the Americans were right about their culpability.

Did the historically important airstrike, which according to the L.A. Times resulted in “the largest civilian death toll since the battle against Islamic State began more than two years ago and (was) among the deadliest incidents in decades of modern warfare,” get adequate media coverage?

Or, does adequate coverage require Trump to create a hoopla that no respectable media outlet can ignore?

The crucial point is that the classic distinction between weapons of mass destruction and other kinds of weapons is a false one. The red lines that pundits say cannot possibly be crossed are arbitrary and meaningless.

We should not believe for an instant that it was morally or militarily necessary for the U.S. to respond to the gas attack by launching its own weapons of mass destruction.

Dianne Varga

Penticton

Just Posted

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Rollover closes road

No serious injuries reported in a rollover off South Main in Penticton

Raven story shines light at Children’s Showcase

Season opener of the Children’s Showcase in Penticton

Student leadership conference hits home

Nearly 500 Grade 5 students taking part in leadership conference in Penticton

Penticton dancers headed to Germany for world championship

Penticton dancers representing Canada at World Dance Championships

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Have you heard about Black Press scholarships?

Up to 37 scholarships are awarded each year to students throughout British Columbia

Most Read