Christie Blatchford demonstrates that Canada's armed forces are (still) primarily white, male and small-town based, and then uses this to smear both immigrants and urban dwellers, implying that neither seem interested in the "heavy lifting" soldiering requires.
Perhaps Ms. Blatchford would like to consider this problem from the opposite side of the coin. A democratic, peaceful, largely urban and fully industrial society like Canada has moved beyond the notion that a substantial armed forces is the key to prosperity.
Most Canadians do not want our troops in Afghanistan. Those of us who hold this view are not lazy; we simply disagree with the ideological underpinnings of armed combat or professional soldiering.
I respect those who toil in the armed forces; I grew up minutes from what was once one of the largest army bases in Canada. But I refuse to accept the red-necked rhetoric that being in the army is noble, while resisting its self-sacrificing lure is unpatriotic.
That is a sentiment best reserved for a nation far less free than ours.
Kim Solga, London, ON
Speaking of nations far less free than ours, how about this from the US military.
A veteran who has been out of the military for 15 years and recently received his AARP card was stunned when he received notice he will be deployed to Iraq.
The last time Paul Bandel, 50, saw combat was in the early 1990s during the Gulf War.
"(I was) kind of shocked, not understanding what I was getting into," said Bandel, who lives in the Nashville, Tenn., area.
In 1993, Bandel took the option of leaving the Army without retirement and never thought he would be called back to action.
"Here he's 50 years old, getting his AARP card, and here he's being redeployed with all these 18-year-olds," said Paul's wife, Linda Bandel.
"I can understand, say, 'Here, we have this assignment for you stateside. Go do your training,'" said Paul Bandel. "But, 'Hey, here's a gun, go back to the desert.'"
Involuntary recall allows the military, regardless of age or how long someone has been out of service, to order vets back into active duty.
Is it any wonder the US military needs "involuntary recall"? They have long since run out of sacrifices based on informed consent.
Involuntary recall is usually known as "stop-loss". Please remember that the next time someone says US war resisters should be deported from Canada "because they volunteered".