Letters to the Editor: July 8

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Terror rewarded

An award of more than $10 million for Omar Khadr is disgraceful, shocking and a reward for terrorism.

Khadr is from the same family who on national TV called Canada a country of druggists, immorals and anti-religion people. This family fought, along with Taliban, in Afghanistan against NATO alliance, Canada included.

Khadr killed a U.S. soldier. He has been awarded this sum for his suffering, torture and unjust treatment. Do we not have poor and homeless people in Canada who deserve more than Khadr?

All Canadians are paying for this. I call it a reward for terrorism, which sets a very bad precedent. It is a mockery of our justice system and a bonanza for lawyers and Khadr.

Canadians must raise a voice against this.

Wishwa Bali


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U.S. to blame

Forget about Omar Khadr’s rights being violated; our rights are violated if the government gives him a cent.

Maybe Khadr’s rights were violated, but he was incarcerated in a U.S. jail, not a Canadian one. He killed an American soldier while fighting for a terrorist group and was kept in jail for doing so. Now free, he is at liberty to take those who imprisoned him to court. Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama or Prime Minister Stephen Harper all made decisions to keep him a prisoner.

Paul Leinweber

St. Marys

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Image tarnished

Regarding the column Khadr is doing all right without our money (July 5).

As stated in the article: “If nothing else, at the very least, it’s a brilliant victory for the Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIL and all the other extremists: A young jihadist is now a hero in Canada for killing an infidel. And look, he got a big payday and an apology to boot.”

After feeling so proud to be Canadian, I am now sickened and embarrassed about Canada awarding this person $10.5 million after his past terrorist activity, no matter what his age.

Our image around the world, especially in countries experiencing terrorist attacks, will be forever tarnished.

Lori Trevail


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Hmm. Can I sue?

Only in Canada could a citizen go to a foreign country, join a terrorist group, be photographed making improvised explosive devices, kill another foreign national, then after being released from that country’s prison, claim his rights were abused, and end up with a Supreme Court ruling that could result in him being awarded $10.5 million.

I hope the victim’s widow is successful at suing him for every nickel he’s got.

I will have to look back at my life to see if there is anything that happened to me for which I could sue, even for a tenth of that.

Robert Drummond


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Ride defensively

Regarding the article Novice biker’s dream comes to tragic end (July 4).

The death of Eric Dye on Saturday was a tragedy for his family and friends. My sympathy and condolences go out to them.

However, as is the case in many motorcycle accidents reported by The Free Press, we get the standard quote from OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor. “I rode motorcycles for four years but gave it up two years ago because of all the carnage we see out there on a daily basis.”

Well, I have owned and been riding motorcycles since 1967. Not every rider will have a life-threatening experience on his or her motorcycle. Training, experience and awareness of one’s situation all mitigate the chances of that happening. Rektor gave up what to me is an enjoyable everyday adventure.

Dave Gibson


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SIU can’t say much

Regarding the article Salih to SIU: Tell us more about city cop probes (July 4).

Coun. Mo Salih thinks the Special Investigations Unit is vague in its reporting of police incidents it is required to investigate. It seems to me no matter what the London police service does or does not do or how it gets reported, Salih is not pleased.

I am not a great fan of the SIU but do have knowledge, however slight, of how it conducts its investigations and how much information it is allowed to divulge during or even after an investigation.

Salih should climb down off his high horse.

Peter Foy


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Stand on guard

Although not active participants in this year’s joyful revelry on Canada’s 150th birthday, our red and white maple leaf was respectfully unfurled and displayed in the front yard. Several times during the day my thoughts embraced gratitude because the intensity of our good fortune to be Canadians is magnified tenfold by the backdrop of dark shadows enveloping our precious little blue planet.

The frustrating ham-fisted security delays experienced by enthusiastic citizens wanting to partake in the Parliament Hill celebrations vividly demonstrates how a cadre of evil-­minded pseudo-religious fanatics can create costly confusion in every corner of the world by occasionally wreaking deadly havoc in some unfortunate other corner. Our cherished freedoms and liberties can not be taken for granted. The words, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee” need far more than lip service.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon, B.C.

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Good work, but . . .

I spent the better part of three hours browsing through the special section titled Our 150, which arrived with the July 1 Free Press.

It was a wonderful effort from the staff of The Free Press to capsulate the places, things, moments and people — heroes and villains — that have defined the history of Southwestern Ontario during the last 150 years.

Having spent almost 35 years in the Canadian military, mostly in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and having an interest in history, you might understand my chagrin when I found nothing concerning the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It made a significant contribution to the Allied cause during the Second World War.

London consisted of No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) and No. 4 Air Observers School. St. Thomas had No. 1 Technical Training School. Fingal was home to No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School. Aylymer hosted No. 14 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) and No. 1 Flight Engineer’s School. Goderich had No. 12 EFTS and Centralia No. 9 SFTS. Station Clinton was referred to as Royal Air Force No. 31 Radio School.

Between 1940 and 1945, 151 schools across Canada were conducted, taught by 104,113 male and female instructors. During the plan, 131,553 aircrew were produced. The cost to Canada was about $1.6 billion.

Sam Newman

427 (London) Wing

RCAF Association

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