Should we be in Afghanistan? III

By Bryan • canada, military • 5 Mar 2006

Unfortunately, my next point has now been reinforced by a recent axe/grenade attack on Canadian soldiers near Kandahar.

Again, this ties into my thesis that Canadians need to get out of their moral limousine discard the traditional notion of peacekeeping. When a soldier dies overseas, I often hear simplistic and disrespectful comments like “oh, why are we there, they died for nothing. We should get out”. At times, I am at a loss to comment on such statements, as I feel they demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge on the subject.

“Dying for nothing” is a rather subjective, yet (although I am not a member of the CF) I would bet my salary that every single man and woman in Kandahar wants to be there and believes in what they are doing. The soldiers killed died believing that what they were doing was right. In suggesting that we withdrawal our forces because of this, is an insult to their service.

Cpl. Paul Davis, who was killed Thursday near Kandahar, turned down an assignment that would have kept him home in Canada because he wanted to join his friends in Afghanistan, his family said.

Jim Davis and his son Cpl. Paul Davis, a Canadian soldier from Bridgewater, N.S.
“He had this sense of duty, but [also] comradeship with the other people he had been training with. He felt he wanted to go with them,” Jim Davis said in an interview from his home in Bridgewater, N.S.

“I am an extremely proud dad,” he added. “I’m very proud of my son Paul. I believed in what he was doing, 100 per cent.”

Canada is a developed nation, one of the richest in the world. We live in our houses, drive our two cars, drink our Tim Hortons, complain about taxes and debate about Olympic medal counts.

We need to be in Afghanistan. The alternative? We can let it burn and disintegrate into a land devoid of human rights and endless poverty. A land which will continually breed terrorism and intolerance. I’m at a loss to why someone would choose the latter. Throwing money at Afghanistan is not a solution; neither is donning blue helmets and painting our trucks white. We are going to take casualties; this is attached to the high risk nature of the project. Canadians are not special (although, for some reason, many think they are). We can no longer hide behind the so-called peacekeeping roots, and I fear that we have been using this excuse to shield our nation from the harsh reality of the real world. A veil, which allows Canadians can rest happily in their homes, convinced that they are not being apathetic, that they are making a difference. Lets’ get some balls, Canada.

There have been rumblings regarding a vote on the Afghan mission. I’m not a fan of the Conservative government, but I hand it too Stephen Harper for the following:

“I am very distressed, I was very distressed to read suggestions from some Liberal MPS this week at their caucus meeting, that they might now want to question that involvement, and might now want to have a vote,” Mr. Harper said.

“You do not send men and women into harm’s way on a dangerous mission, with the support of our party and other Canadians, and then decide, once they’re over there, that you’re not sure you should have sent them.”

Lacking the creative buzz I had yesterday (although I am still an extremely embarrassed Canadian) I end with this from the Globe.

Whatever the tenor of the debate, however, no one should forget this: Canadian troops in Afghanistan are not politicians. They are soldiers, all volunteers, doing an extraordinarily dangerous job because they believe in it. They are risking their lives to help people who desperately need help.

They deserve nothing less than strong, unqualified support.

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2 Responses

  1. Fraser

    In related news, Michael Loewen, whose parents live in Mackenzie, had his arm seriously injured in the March 3rd suicide attack in Afghanistan.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060303.wattack0303/BNStory/International/home

  2. Thanks for the link.

    Not even a small northern community is exempt from events happening half way around the world.

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