Letter to the Editor

Disrespectful columnist Re Al Pope’s The stopwatch war (the News, April 23): So it’s all about the stability of the country for you? I…

Disrespectful columnist

Re Al Pope’s The stopwatch war (the News, April 23):

So it’s all about the stability of the country for you?

I don’t believe it!

Were you not cheering for the Sandinos, Gueveras, Castros and whoever else was fighting for democracy and human rights, decidedly destabilizing a whole lot of South and Central American countries, African countries, Asian countries?

Were you not welcoming the destabilizing activities of the Vietcong and Khmer Rouge in their pursuit of “freedom”? I bet you were.

I also bet that it was not the struggle for more democratic rights that got you cheering. It was the Americans getting embarrassed and beaten; it was the American’s getting it in the butt, wasn’t it?

Now you have changed perspective: In Afghanistan it is stability that needs to be restored. What about human rights? Negotiating with the Taliban, offering international aid “tied to reform and development?” Fat chance, buddy.

Wouldn’t reform and development exactly mean de-stabilizing a stable Taliban state?

I think your posturing for stability in Afghanistan (and may I suspect by extension also Iraq, Syria and Iran, to name but a few) is driven by only one consideration: That the Americans are getting embarrassed or beaten.

Isn’t it ironic that the Americans used the “stability argument” for over half a century to prop up friendly, undemocratic regimes across the globe?

By the way, we better not put to rest “the notion that either side (in the First World War) was fighting for freedom.”

In case you forgot, the Second World War was indeed the “war against the Nazis,” with one side definitely being the good guys.

But you already demonstrated your disrespect for the motivation of the men and women in uniform in a previous piece.

Bernd Schmidt

Whitehorse

‘Ignorance is bliss’

Open letter to Al Pope:

You sure like to rant, don’t you?

You’re very concerned about the Canadian troops turning prisoners over to the Afghan authorities, as they might be tortured.

Pope, what do you think they were doing before our presence there?

Oh, excuse me. You don’t care about that, do you? They live there and you live here so it was no skin off your nose.

If it was about oil, why has the US not invaded Saudi Arabia? That’s where the oil is. Oh, excuse me. You don’t like to be confused with logic.

Our troops are risking their lives trying to make a difference there. I know this because they write to me. The letters are sealed and uncensored. You wouldn’t know that since you never bother to write them.

I’ll send you copies of my letters if you want, but you don’t want. Ignorance is bliss!

Dale Worsfold

Watson Lake

Hats off to Air North

My husband and I just returned from a trip from Calgary to Whitehorse.

We have never experienced such superior service as what we received from this airline — from start to finish.

We made our reservations at the last minute, then had to cancel and rebook. This was no problem.

From the person on the phone to the staff at the airport, to the aircraft staff, the service was exceptional.

Everyone was very helpful, kind and happy. It is a pleasure to have flown with such a company. Whitehorse should be very proud to have such service in the community.

We have lived most of our lives in the NWT and have done a lot of flying so have flown with a lot of airlines, and none of them compare with Air North. Thank you.

Lou and Cheryl Comin

Calgary

Wolves used as scapegoats

Re letter to the editor, Urges wolf kill (the News, April 20):

The many problems of this diatribe start immediately in the opening paragraph: “I have made several trips by snowmobile to the back country on a local lake within the last two months and have come across six deer carcasses and two moose within an area of 30 kilometres.”

I ask the writer if he can see the irony and hypocrisy of that paragraph considering his choice of subject matter.

Why are you blazing game corridors for two months all over hell’s acre with your sled?

If I were a wolf, moose, deer, dog or human I would be taking full advantage of those trails.

Talk about a smorgasbord for any predator including a poacher.

All species in the area will use your highway. But then you knew that, right. You are an experienced backwoods hunter.

Next you go on to say that you have spent considerable time in this area over the years and in one area it was not uncommon to see 20 moose and well-used game trails crossing the valley.

So you have been doing this sled thing for years? If I were you, I would shoot my sled.

You can believe all you want that animals may have disappeared because of wolves, but it’s just belief. Wolf sign does not entail wolf kill.

You have no physical proof. Everything you claim is hearsay.

It’s just as likely that they have, in fact, moved on or have run out of food supply or have been taken by poachers.

You can’t, on the one hand, suggest it could not have been over-hunted and then claim you know this because it’s a permit zone.

I mean, I thought you said moose were territorial?

It’s at this point where it becomes clear to me that your own little hunting ground is no more and that you believe the wolf to be your competitor and scapegoat.

Let’s move on to your statistics.

Just what is an estimated count?

The figure of 5,000 used is of no use.

There could be 2,000 or 3,000. How are these counts done?

You claim, if these numbers are true, there are 1,000 packs because there are usually five to seven wolves in a pack.

Wolf packs are just as likely to have 12 or three members.

The world record is 37. These statistics only prove other statistics exist.

You claim a pack takes a moose every four to five days. For your information, wolves are successful in about seven per cent of their attempts. They have been known not to make a kill for as long as two weeks and sometimes longer.

And how do you presume to know that if it’s not a moose, it’s two deer or two caribou?

Wolves will eat rabbits too. And berries. For the record, and I will supply proof if need be, using your numbers a moose can last a pack two weeks and also feed lynx, fox, coyotes and birds.

The closing of your letter made me physically sick.

You want an increase in this wolf harvest, as you call it, from three to unlimited and, in the very next paragraph, claim not to want to drive the animals to extinction.

They are not a crop.

You keep reminding the reader that you are this long time Yukon hunter.

So what?

That does not give you omnipotence by proxy.

I know hunters who could not tell the difference between a chicken and an ostrich.

Yup, all Yukon hunters should find it alarming that wolves are actually killing ungulates.

Here is a novel idea: why don’t the hunters have a moratorium on hunting for a year or two instead of expecting the animals to do so?

The relationship between the wolf and the animals it hunts is thousands of years old.

The open-season mentality perpetuated by our species as a whole needs to stop.

The arrogance that humans alone are sentient and that we have a right to kill that which isn’t human will be our downfall.

To the writer, I suggest you educate yourself in the subject that you claim to know just because you can pull a trigger.

Have a look at the Isle Royale in Michigan as it serves as a living laboratory.

Kevin Sinclair

 Marsh Lake