Let’s Cancel the F-35!
The following are a sequence of letters that were published, starting with Ken Stone’s letter to the Hamilton Spectator about cancelling F-35 purchases.
The original letter, by Ken Stone, can be Seen Here:
Following Ken’s letter on the F-35’s published in the Spec, the Spec published two contrary letters full of baiting and ad hominem attacks on him. He would like to thank Mark Hagar and Tom Baker for sending in replies to these letters to the Spec.
Below are their published letters:
Regarding “Tangled F-35 journey” (Jan. 13): I appreciate The Spectator’s open-mindedness in permitting debate in its letters section. The challenge of Canada’s F-35 jet purchase (Jan. 6) was an articulate, fact-based, respectful opinion that should have all Canadians thinking critically. Later letters (Jan. 11 and Jan. 12) seem void of these skills in their rebuttals using untruths and personal insults.
All Canadians should pause, asking why finite tax dollars are buying aggressive fighter jets designed to invade other sovereign countries, evade their defence systems, drop nuclear bombs and kill foreign civilians upon orders from the U.S. (NATO)? Ask someone on the street where tax resources might go; aggressive fighter jets to bomb foreign countries is not the first need of anyone I know. The author of the original letter is quite in touch with the values of Canadians I know.
Mark Hagar, Hamilton
Regarding “Scrap fighter-jet purchase plan” (Jan. 6): I have serious reservations about the Trudeau government’s decision to procure F-35 fighter jets at a life-cycle cost of over $70 billion. Despite previous Liberal government statements that the F-35’s “stealth first-strike capability” was not needed to defend Canada, Minister Anita Anand now asserts that the F-35 is needed to protect Canada and fulfil its obligations. In truth, funding these costly carbon-intensive war machines will drastically undermine our capacity for Indigenous reconciliation, adequate housing, accessible health care, education and urgent climate action.
I object to the ad-hominem and red-baiting attacks in two response letters printed by The Spectator. Before and during every war that Canada has participated in officially or covertly, there has been a segment of the population in opposition. Pacifists and socialists often initiated what became popular antiwar movements including women’s right activists, labour organizations, churches and students. Political discourse including demonstrations against the F-35 boondoggle should be encouraged in a democratic society, not stifled.
Tom Baker, Hamilton