Do it to them, before they do it you. Update to this previous story.

Via Toronto Star:

A Canadian soldier now holds the world record for longest fatal shot by a sniper, after killing a Daesh fighter in Iraq from a distance of over 3.5 kilometres.

Justin Trudeau, discussing the record last week, said it was “something to be celebrated for the excellence of the Canadian Forces in their training, in the performance of their duties.”

The prime minister is commendable in his desire to mark Canadian achievement, and the marksman in question seems to have done his job well. But to celebrate our military’s killing power, no matter how many records it breaks, shows a crude and simplistic view of Canada’s role overseas – and of the value of human life.

The issue isn’t the shot itself, which by all accounts was justified, but how we choose to talk about it.

However heinous we may find members of Daesh and their sympathizers, they are human beings. They have homes and families and histories. No matter their crimes, their lives are valuable in the sense that all lives are valuable, and deserving of at least some degree of respect.

We revile terrorists largely because they seem to have so little regard for human life. They measure their success by the amount of carnage they cause, and appear to find genuine joy in killing people. That, supposedly, is what sets us apart from them.

Canadians have a long tradition of measuring our military success, and even our national worth, by the number of notches on our gun barrels. […]

Canadians should, in the 21st Century, be able to take pride in our military for reasons other than its ability to end human lives. A peacekeeping mission in Africa, for instance, would be genuine cause to celebrate, but the government has continued to drag its feet on fulfilling that promise.

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