EDITORIAL – Why is killing an enemy soldier something to celebrate?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Image: CPAC)

An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IT’S A STRANGE world when a Canadian prime minister celebrates the killing of an enemy soldier. But that’s what Justin Trudeau was doing this week after it was revealed that a Canadian sniper has set a new world record by picking off an ISIS fighter in Mosul from three and a half kilometres away.

“What happened there is, first of all, something to be celebrated for the excellence of the Canadian forces in their training, in the performance of their duties,” Trudeau said.

“But it’s also something to be understood as being entirely consistent with what Canada is expected – and Canadians expect our forces – to be doing as part of the coalition against Daesh (ISIS).”

In the past, Canadian marksmanship has been celebrated in the Olympics. In times of war, Canadians used to be peace makers. Now, we’re peace makers as long as we do our fighting from a distance. Now, killing a person on the battlefield is something to celebrate if it happens from a long way away, according to Trudeau.

It’s also interesting to know from the prime minister that this doesn’t change Canada’s non-combat role in Iraq.

During the 2015 election campaign, he promised to end this country’s combat involvement there. After the election, the Liberals pulled six CF-18s out of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS and put 200 special forces troops on the ground in support of the Kurds.

But taking the first shot at an enemy — even from 3.5 kilometres away — seems a lot like active involvement in a war. As Opposition leader Tom Mulcair said, “You can’t have people shooting people to death on the frontlines and still claim this is not a combat mission.”

Used to be that killing someone, even an enemy soldier, wasn’t anything to celebrate, even when necessary and for the best of military reasons.

But the times, and our definitions, are apparently changing.

About Mel Rothenburger (5858 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Why is killing an enemy soldier something to celebrate?

  1. I disagree, Mel. That “first shot” prevented ISIS fighters from ambushing a group of Iraqi police officers who didn’t know they were there and were walking/driving right into a trap. We are not sheep, nor should we be. We’d all rather have peace, yes, but if we can’t have that we need to discard this notion that there is anything “honorable” about guerilla fighters, which is what ISIS is. Our goal is and should be to prevent losses to our soldiers and allies, not to be “fair” to the other guy. If that involves taking the first shot, kudos to the man or woman who does it.

    • Mel Rothenburger // July 2, 2017 at 12:31 AM // Reply

      The editorial mentioned military necessity, but questioned celebrating the violent death of another person.

  2. tony brumell // June 29, 2017 at 11:31 AM // Reply

    Thanks Mel!
    I was very upset at Trudeau when I saw the news clip.For non combatants we seem to combating a lot,and at a distance that makes self defence impossible .Maybe the shooter practiced on Grizzlies at similar distances.
    Maybe this gives “the enemy” incentive to acheive their dream too.I will bet you that if we lose someone at a similar range we will no doubt call in monstrously unfair.

  3. Didn’t Justin recently march in the Pride Parade to celebrate all cultures, beliefs and sexual orientation?
    I guess it didn’t include the target whose death Justin now celebrates.
    No rainbow flags in Mosul, I suppose.

  4. It is unfortunately quite painfully obvious and downright disturbing the so-called leaders of the country are no longer people of value. I can deal with a fiscal imbalance but the moral one is frightening. What are they teaching?

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