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Navy movements

To the editor,

On April 19th, 2008, four to six Canadian Navy ships will be leaving the Port of Halifax bound for Dubai in the Straits of Hormuz. The ships and crew will be stopping in Costa Rica, Spain, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, and most notably the Czech Republic, before being stationed in Dubai. This deployment is supposed to be kept hush-hush until the day of deployment. Why is that? What is the government trying to hide from the people?

It is worth mentioning that last fall, also in a veil of secrecy, the largest one-time naval deployment of Canadian vessels (10) left Halifax bound for Virginia, USA to train with the US Navy. At that time, I told everyone who would listen that within a year this same group would be deployed to the Straits of Hormuz to meet up with their US counterparts off the coast of Iran. Now the deployment is set to leave for that location.

I have a few concerns and questions.

Regarding the Czech Republic: I know the Canadian ships have many weapons-technology officers on board, who, after the Virginia trip last fall, were asked to attend a second training course to prepare for their upcoming deployment. These officers have been given orders to enter the Czech Republic, which has just agreed to host 10 missile sites for the proposed US missile shield---a first strike weapon against Iran and a known issue for Russia. Were these officers being trained about the US missile shield and will they help construct, design, or test the shield sites in the Czech Republic?

Regarding Iran: There has been a known NATO build-up of ships in the Straits of Hormuz for some time now. Why is such a large deployment of Canadian vessels going to the Straits of Hormuz, when we don’t have the ability to patrol our own waters---we allow US ships to do that job for us on the east coast. I would like the government’s word that these boats will not be used for any attack on Iran.

Canadians deserve to know every aspect of this mission, as it will impact every single one of us, as seen by the government release of the budget, which they claimed had no room for unneeded spending. How can the government justify this deployment, after the statement it made about the financial situation here in Canada and its unwillingness to spend?

By Adam Campbell

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