Ottawa Sun | 09Oct2010 | Orest Slepokura

Semrau so wrong

In 2005, Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada’s former chief of defence staff, while decrying the illiberal nature of Islamist terrorists, stated: “We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is to be able to kill people.” By showing mercy and dispatching a mortally wounded Taliban fighter in his death agony, Captain Semrau fulfilled the stated purpose of our forces, according to the general.

Apologists for the general argued that his stark delineation of our mission in Afghanistan was an instance of the “testosterone talking,” insisting the Canadian forces are not some kind of cold-blooded killing machine, etc. But we knew that all along.

In the Semrau case, the captain did what he did after his patrol was ambushed, after emerging from a life and death struggle. I now look forward to Gen. Hillier speaking out in the captain’s defence, and appealing to Minister Peter MacKay to overturn Semrau’s dismissal from the Canadian Forces on a charge of disgraceful conduct.

Orest Slepokura

(We think you’re misapplying Hillier’s words.)