Letters to the editor: Chaos in Kabul


Writing was on the wall in Afghanistan

Today, 28 August 2021, our friends stood knee-deep in a ditch of sewage-infested water and watched as their last hope for a safe return to Canada took off from Kabul airport.

First, they were told to apply in-country at Canadian consulates and the embassy. But we closed them.

Then they were told to apply online, on long, complex English-only forms. But email and the Internet became intermittent.

Then they were told to leave their houses and run the Taliban gauntlet of checkpoints to the Kabul airport where they were to wear red and jump up and down and yell “Canada” and maybe someone would hear them. They were ignored. They might as well have rolled up to the nearest Taliban checkpoint and said, “Hey there, I worked for the infidels.”

Some of those we left behind are Canadian citizens with papers to prove it.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, Justin Trudeau and Erin O’Toole were squabbling over whether O’Toole did or didn’t say he would let the private sector into health care. (FYI, it’s already here.)

That we abandoned those who served with us is beyond unprofessional. It’s beyond incompetent. It’s criminal. It’s a reputation-shattering deed.

There was plenty of time to act. When Donald Trump struck his deal with the Taliban a year and a half ago, the writing was on the wall. Afghans have defeated three empires – the British in the 1800s, the Russians in the 1970s and now, the Americans.

For that matter, back in 2001, Jean Chretien could have told George Bush ‘Hell no, we won’t go.’ And Stephen Harper could have returned us to our old and honourable role as peacekeepers instead of pretending we were a nation of warriors.

We spent two decades making war on a nation of shepherds and farmers. And then we left behind our friends. We deserve whatever level of hell awaits us.

David McLarenNeyaashiinigmiing

Hell no we won’t vote

Political editor Enzo DiMatteo’s observation of the zombie-like lethargy of the Liberal party (NOW Online, August 23) is made apparent by a phone call I received from LPC headquarters.

When asked if I would vote for Trudeau and whether they could count on my support, I laughed and enthusiastically declared, “Hell no!”

The woman’s response, uttered in a sort of tragic resignation and defeatist monotone, was merely, “How can we solve the problem for you?” How indeed! 

Christopher MansourToronto

“Freedom-loving Canadians” want private health care

Re Erin O’Toole Flips The Script On Private Health Care (NOW Online, August 24). What a blatant partisan twist to a simple story of deception. This is the first and last time I’ll be reading articles from this obviously biased source of news. It’s simple to see that the media is bought and paid for. It’s shocking! Where are the freedom-loving Canadians?


Anti-vaxx crowd are a menace to society

Bar Vendetta owner Jen Agg was my boss 20 years ago, and without getting into my experiences, I can say her memoir is aptly titled.

That said, I absolutely defend her and her staff and customers in the face of the proto-fascist anti-mask/anti-vaxx crowd (NOW Online, August 24) that has congregated around Bar Vendetta since Agg publicly demanded the Doug Ford government institute a policy of vaccine passports. 

All over the world but especially in structurally white supremacist countries like the US, Canada, and Australia, the anti-vaxx crowd has become a growing menace to public health and safety. 

These authoritarians who decry the “tyranny” of wearing a mask are increasingly emboldened not only by adhoc government policy that values corporate profits over public health but also inaction on the part of the police, many of whom share the anti-vaxx ideology.     

Toronto police seem unwilling to deal with the violent and disruptive protesters in front of Bar Vendetta. Would a protest be policed the same way if social justice groups picketed Ford’s label-making business or his daughter’s questionable cookie company?

Ultimately, the local community will have to defend itself, and herein lies the rub.  

David Julian WightmanOttawa

Drake Commissary was a bit out there

Re The Closing Of The Drake Commissary (NOW Online, August 26). The Commissary had good coffee but was a bit out of the way.


Free Guy in touch with younger audiences

Watched Free Guy yesterday (NOW Online, August 12). I found the movie amazing and ended up providing a great review on Rotten Tomatoes. Noticing there was an abundance of bad reviews I decided to take a look. Lo and behold – the author of your review from my home city of Toronto gave the film 2 out of 5. I can only say that everyone I know who watched the movie loved it. I suspect your reviewer is no longer in touch with audiences under 45.


Ontario’s AstraZeneca catch-22

I am happy that our Government has decided to give the third vaccine to those in a vulnerable position (NOW Online, August 17). In the past, our government strongly recommended people take the first vaccine available. Now our government is not saying this, they are ignoring any discussion or even the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine. In fact, such vaccines are now not available in Ontario. Is it because the effectiveness is this vaccine is sub-standard compared to the mRNA vaccines? If so, perhaps those that have had two doses of the sub-standard AstraZeneca should then be on the eligibility list for a third vaccine.





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