Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Dear Big Daddy:
Your hypocrisy and opportunism sometime overwhelm me. Highlighting the “Afghan mission as an example of Canadians' spirit of generosity” proves that you’ve never met a talking point that you can’t hump until the cows come home. And that, once again, you really couldn't give a shit about what the average Canadian wants, only what you think we should want.
Just a little friendly advice from someone who will never vote for you, I wouldn’t recommend using “generosity” as a central plank in your neverending re-election platform/campaign. It just gives your opponents the chance to gleefully point out stuff like this. Or this. Or even this. I'm just sayin'.
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I have to take issue with you on this, because I think it IS actually a demonstration of our collective spirit of generosity. Unfortunately, in this case, it’s one that I believe may well be tragically misguided for various reasons that need no elaboration here. The fundamental goals and objectives of the mission are indisputably well-intentioned, and one most certainly cannot deny the very real sacrifices that have been made; including the ultimate one, scores of times over by young men and women in service of their realization.
That said, “generosity” may not be best word to describe the efforts made, connoting as it does a benign sort of charity and reeking more than a bit of patronizing, self-congratulatory smugness. However, in the sense of extending aid, assistance and encouragement to an aspiring democracy (deeply flawed and corrupt though it may be in actuality), Canada has indeed been “generous” in its commitment to fulfilling the mandate of the U.N. and NATO initiatives.
For all that this government’s direction of the war in Afghanistan may be subject to legitimate criticism; we should still take some measure of pride in the truly excellent, highly professional manner in which the troops have carried out their tasks for the most part. In the greater sense, the mission isn’t that far outside of the unwritten mandate that the Canadian Forces have undertaken over the past thirty years or so to help deliver peace, order and good government to troubled parts of the world. It’s just that in this case, the situation is more problematic and complex than our somewhat naïve “generosity” is likely to be capable of making a lasting difference.
My point was that Harper sees this as the defining example of Canadian generosity – boots on the ground wrapped in war porn for the clueless base to get all sweaty about.
This may surprise a lot of people but I agree that the overthrow of the Taliban was the correct course of action in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately, Dubya had to take his daddy issues on the road to Iraq and prove he could finish the job that Poppy Bush couldn't, leaving the mission in Afghanistan half-finished at best. This was further compounded by the US selling NATO, and by a large extension Canada, an enormous bill of goods on the “security mission”. And here we are left holding the bag in Afghanistan, fighting what is still a good fight against some very shitty odds.
We’re not winning and we’re not losing, we’re barely holding the same ground. Afghanistan could still be a success – with about 100,000 more international troops and some very hard slogging. But try explaining that to Harper and the howler monkeys at BT central – they’re all too busy congratulating themselves on our “global” generosity. And that’s what pisses me off.
Understood. As you know, I have deep misgivings about this mission and feel very pessimistic about its eventual outcome, but I just think it’s important to qualify criticisms of the effort so that they’re not misunderstood by the “howler monkeys” — all the while realizing of course that it won’t make the slightest bit of difference to their wildly inaccurate preconceptions and vicious distortions of what “liberals” think about our venture in Afghanistan.
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