Opinion Letters

Expanding on McCleary, commuting, Khadr: LETTERS

Expanding on McCleary's letter

(Re: 'Europeans brought an administrative structure' in the July 11 edition of the Examiner)

Examiner readers owe Joffre McCleary their gratitude for opening up a discussion about the relative merits of Indigenous and European societies.

It provides an opportunity to expand on some of his points.

While using words like "savage" and "stone-age" to describe the Indigenous experience in North America, he neglects to mention that, at the very time when such European heroes as Christopher Columbus, Jacques Cartier, and John Cabot were setting sail to bring their brand of civilization to the world's fortunate masses, their kings and queens were burning people at the stake for committing such sins as saying the earth revolves around the sun.

Indigenous peoples had figured that out a long time before.

Indigenous peoples were the world's greatest agronomists, cultivating rice, corn, tomatoes and, yes Mr. McCleary, even potatoes, before anyone else on the planet.

As a matter of fact, when the Six Nations Mohawks heard that the Irish Potato Famine was starving to death a million peasant-slaves, they sent $100 in aid, a significant sum in the mid-19th century.

And you've simply got to stop watching those re-runs of old John Wayne westerns, the ones where half-naked Indians ride whooping in circles around the wagon trains until the settlers have time to pick them all off.

As for governance structures, on the 200th anniversary of its constitution, the United States of America, arguably the world's greatest democracy before a certain Mr. Trump came along, passed a unanimous resolution of both Houses of Congress thanking the Iroquois peoples for sharing with them their system of central and delegated jurisdictions, which people like Thomas Jefferson used as a template for the U.S. division of federal and state powers.

Yes, Mr. McCleary, today I am feeling very appreciative of what another European has brought with them. You have provided this wonderful opportunity to use the flame of knowledge to shed light on history, rather than merely to try and create more heat.


Maurice Switzer

North Bay

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Commuter logic illogical

(Re: ‘Orillia advantageous for newborns, retirees’ letter to the editor in the July 12 edition of the Examiner)

Letter writer Ann Watson says Barrie is a better place to live than Orillia because Orillia is “past the line for a commuter.”

Following this line of logic, Barrie’s proximity to Toronto also renders it superior to New York, London, Paris and Rome.

Not to mention Dogtown, Ala., Frankenstein, Mo., and Bacon Ridge, Man.

Philip Jackman


* * * * * 

Khadr made his choice

(Re: ‘Khadr was a kid’ letter to the editor in the July 14 edition of the Examiner)

Regarding Jim Rice’s letter on the settlement given Omar Khadr and the apology issued on our behalf by the government, to keep it simple, I disagree with everything he says, except the wishing of Mr. Khadr well.

He assumes that Khadr confessed to get out of Guantanamo and his source for that was Khadr, after he got out.

He says that Khadr suffered horrendous abuse for a decade, but offers no source, not even the eloquent Khadr.

He keeps saying that Khadr was 15, and that is true. Our courts are full of 15-year-olds, some charged with very serious offences; we hold them responsible for their action in spite of their families, who often lead them into the drug and gang culture when they are very young.

Under the charter, Khadr was a child soldier. It was, however, drafted to protect those thousands of African children kidnapped and forced to bear arms, not a Canadian-born child who lived for nine years in this country until his dad took him to be what he is.

Mr. Rice ignores the video of Khadr cheerfully making IEDs and planting them on roadways in Afghanistan where 97 Canadians soldiers were killed.

He was detained after two Afghanistan policemen were murdered by people in his compound and the resulting firefight with American soldiers where American soldier Sgt. Christopher Speer was killed.

Canada, according to the Supreme Court, violated his rights. Three Canadian governments didn’t have much sympathy for Khadr.

His rights were violated, he deserved protection, but he was the author of his own misfortune.

Fifteen-year-olds can make a choice, he made his.

Take my name off the apology and I hope Sgt. Speer’s wife gets the $10.5 million.

Frank Madigan

Wasaga Beach


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