Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A is for Afghan; Like Granny used to Make

Another 6 Canadians hurt to-day in Afganistan. The prime minister's doing an arctic tour and dodging the AIDS conference.

Some yankee had posted video of Canadians engaging the Taliban on a US web-site last week, which drew some negative commentary from the Canadian Government, but raves from US shootin' fans. Apparently, the Canadians are very good at fightin' and that makes our friends south of the border very happy. Obviously the 'U.S. newsy' didn't stick around for the counter-attack the next day that saw some Canadians fighting for survival (four were killed) in a deserted school building. Had he been there, he might have had the sense and the humility to keep his video to himself. The yanks all said we should be 'proud'.

There is a disturbing jingoistic streak starting in Canada about this Afghan thing. The 'support our servicemen' theme - easily slips into - 'you're not a real Canadian if you don't support the war in Afghanistan'. There is also the natural comparison between what's going on in Afghanistan and what went on in World War 2. Other than Canadians killing and being killed, there is no comparison. We've got the old 'they fight so you can be free' crap springing-up, and a host of other recycled red, white ( and blue) "isms" from south of the border, emotional e-mailed sentimentality about airport salutes and kissing babies. Not bad for an undeclared war we joined without cause, or national debate. I think Mr. Harper's dodging this issue as well.

Americans, and most Canadians I think, don't know squat about Afghanistan and most Americans, I know, care less. I think Canadians would like to see the Afghans get started on the road to moderation - they've almost been there before the Russians and Americans destabilized the place to fight their 'cold war'. But we're buying into that stupid American idea that sometimes ya gotta kill them to save them. And while I don't think our guys are that inhumane - it doesn't take long to pick up a negative and nasty attitude. Particularly when you start losing guys. In Kandahar the yanks poked the hornets' nest for three years until they got somebody else to jump in - us.

In a refreshing revision of outlook, the recently appointed Brit commander in the area, was fairly outspoken in his prognosis. 'Three months, of going at it hard, should change things around. If things don't change, they never will and we should be rethinking our involvement.' The Yanks will probably want him dumped for his 'negativity'.

I think the services are a great experience for young Canadians. I think young Canadians who serve are a cut above the rest. As far as sending these young people to fight a war in Afghanistan - that verges on criminally stupid!

No comments: