Volume 93, Issue 19

Thursday, September 30, 1999

bandwagon


OPINIONS

Unionization, only with the stipulations

Campus tank a symbol of life, preservation

Tanks cease cleansing

Driver's ed needs some schooling

Public lust setting a media standard

Tanks cease cleansing



Re: "Beach tank a peace preserver or murdering machine?" Sept. 24

To the Editor:

I am responding to Aaron Wherry's article in the Friday, Sept. 24 edition of The Gazette in which he states that the army should remove its "nasty instrument of doom" from Western's property.

In the article, Mr. Wherry refers to the machine as a tank, but this is a mistake. If Mr. Wherry had done his research properly, he would know that the vehicle in question is not a tank, but a Light Armored Vehicle (which coincidentally, are made here in London).

The principal purpose of the LAV is to protect soldiers from enemy fire, not engage in offensive operations. The LAV is a multi-purpose troop transporter which performs both land and amphibious missions.

Many peacekeeping nations deploy this machine because of its success in protecting troops – such nations are Canada and the United States.

Furthermore, in this article, Mr. Wherry makes reference to the displaying of nuclear weapons and land mines in an attempt to demonize the army's presence on campus. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Canadian army does not have any nuclear weapons and since the signing of the Ottawa Accord, the army has destroyed its stock pile of land mines.

There is nothing evil about building LAVs, tanks, or other military vehicles because a nation has a right to defend itself against external aggression.

Every generation produces its own brand of tyrants. As a nation we have to be prepared to defend ourselves from possible enemy attack. Canada is also heavily involved in dangerous peacekeeping assignments so the LAVs and other armored vehicles provide protection for peacekeepers and the besieged civilian population.

The LAV, therefore, is not a symbol of mass murder, but a reminder of Canada's commitment to enforcing human rights in places where tyrants practice ethnic cleansing. Mr. Wherry may find this surprising, but talk will not prevent ethnic cleansing. Nor will peace treaties signed by oppressive nations who promise to comply one day, but murder thousands of innocent men, women and children the next day.

In order to truly prevent ethnic cleansing from happening, the West must be ready to deploy troops en masse anywhere innocent people are threatened with ethnic cleansing. I am sure Mr. Wherry would agree that the commitment to stop ethnic cleansing should be high on the university's "perception of larger issues and morals."

If this is the case, Mr. Wherry, then the West needs LAVs and other military weapons because tyrants do not seem to listen to idle talk and threats. A well-armed and determined peacekeeping force with clear objectives is the only way to prevent ethnic cleansing from taking place.

NATO's recent campaign in Kosovo and the United Nations' current mission in East Timor is proof that only armed intervention by Western nations can prevent ethnic cleansing.

The next time Mr.Wherry sees a "tank" somewhere, first, make sure it is a tank (i.e. tanks have heavy armor, caterpillar treads and a big cannon in the turret). Secondly, remember that the machine is a tool, it can be used for destruction, but it can also be used to defend the lives of peacekeepers and the people endangered with extermination.

God willing, the West will have the backbone to prevent the horrors of ethnic cleansing because no other nation has the resources or the will to do so.

Sean Adams

Honours History IV



To Contact The Opinions Department:
gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1999