Monday, December 18, 2006

Criminal Cluelessness Regarding Afghanistan

(Cartoon by Graeme Mackay-click toon for link)

Our western socialists and liberals constantly whine about how cold hearted and mean-spirited conservatives are towards those less fortunate than us. Whether it were peace, prosperity, or the pursuit of happiness, they like all spiritual communists, would much rather enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour than pay the price themselves.

So now we come to the war on terror, and more specifically, the Canadian Army’s contribution to the rebuilding of Afghanistan. Until recently, stories about Canadian casualties in the war on the Taliban have occupied an increasing amount of space in Canada’s news services. I’d become increasingly cynical about the way the media deliberately ignored that part of the Canadian mission that had to do with the rebuilding of that country. Barely a word appears about the reestablishment of schools, medical services, water treatment and other infrastructure that couldn’t survive more than a decade of destructive Taliban rule. I’ve met an appalling number of people here who are so poorly informed that they think we’re in Afghanistan to help George W. Bush get rich.

The clueless ones would have us bring the troops home. I live in Western Canada; Quebec’s separatists have had little or no impact on my awareness for most of my life. (As long as Alberta continues to pay the lion’s share of the daneguild that keeps Quebec in confederation they’re mostly willing to ignore us too, I think.) But separatist leader Gilles Duceppe’s recent pronouncements that the Canadian military mission should be retooled to concentrate solely on rebuilding instead of fighting shows a cluelessness that is criminal in a Member of Parliament.

NDP leader Jack Layton is another prime example. To hell with rebuilding; he just wants Canada to abandon the Afghanis to the Taliban, and bring our soldiers home. I’m sure he’s a good man, means well, and works hard. Unfortunately Jack Layton would not be able to get a clue even if he went out in a field of horny clues during clue mating season, smeared his naked body with clue musk, and danced the ritual clue mating dance.

(I really wish I’d said that first, but I stole it from author Ian Douglas, “Luna Marine” ISBN 0-380-78829-2)

Canada’s Chief of Defense staff General Rick Hillier pointed out today that Canadian forces in Afghanistan aren’t fighting Taliban forces because they want to, but because the Taliban will happily slaughter anyone involved in reconstruction projects.

Is it possible to sit in Parliament as a Party Leader and be ignorant of this? Over the years I’ve met quite a few politicians. Not one seemed to be willfully ignorant or stupid. It takes a certain minimum amount of intelligence to get elected to Federal office. I can therefore only conclude that if I'm wrong, and Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton are not clueless idiots, they're a couple of like-minded assholes in the pursuit of their own political gain. Either way, the cost will be borne by others …Either in the endangerment of our soldiers by ordering them to ignore security concerns, or by the suffering in a new Taliban-led Afghanistan after we abandon our international commitments.

It should be criminal.

The Night Before Christmas - A Soldier's Request

T'was the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house,
Made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney,
With presents to give,
And to see just who,
In this home did live.

I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.

No stocking by the mantle,
Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures,
Of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought,
Came through my mind.

For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor,
In this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured,
A Canadian soldier.

Was this the hero,
Of whom I'd just read?,
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realized the families,
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers,
Who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate,
A bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom,
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder,
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas eve,
In a land far from home.

The very thought brought,
A tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees,
And started to cry.

The soldier awakened,
And I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry,
This life is my choice.

I fight for freedom,
I don't ask for more,
My life is my God,
My country, my corps."

The soldier rolled over,
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it,
I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered,
From the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave,
On that cold, dark night,
This guardian of honour,
So willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice, soft and pure,
Whispered, "carry on Santa,
It's Christmas day, all is secure."

One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right,
"Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night."
My good Friend Bill Lewchuck sent this to me, asking for me to pass it on. I never pass on chainletters and similar crap, no matter how "nice" the subject matter.
But Christmas will be coming soon
and some credit is due to our Canadian service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. I think people should stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

Photo Credit: MCpl Robert Bottrill / Department of National Defence