We have a new foreign minister, you are familiar with the partisan blowhard jerk. His name is John Baird, an inconsequential weiner if there ever was one. He's not foreign minister because he is capable and can articulate a global position for the government of Canada, he has his position because he is fiercely loyal to Kommandant Harper and spent years hollering loud talking points with no relation to any of the legitimate questions in the house. This is how the Harper Dictatorship works. People who are willing to blindly do whatever they're told, whether they actually have any principles they are compromising or not (although I suspect principles put you at the bottom of the food chain/back of the backest of backbenches), are the ones rewarded with important positions, without requiring the qualifications to do the job..
Since Harper paid a visit to Afghanistan and unfortunately was not introduced to a close up IED, let us start there. This is a mission that pisses me off. Not because we are there, but because we are still there. When it comes to military things, I could be described as pretty conservative, I am a big supporter of the military unlike most of our Prime Ministers, including Harper who is a big pretender who tries to make it look like he gives a damn when all it is for him is patriotic PR.
Let's have a bit of a critical look at this "mission". I will say, in the beginning, I was not opposed to this action. After all, Afghanistan was the base of Al-Quada, where they trained their "soldiers" for the war against everyone they decided not to like. As hosts, the Taliban were terrorizing an entire population and thumbing their noses at the west. Add to that the 9/11 attacks and striking at Afghanistan had become an inevitiblity. Agree or disagree, the US and UK are our strongest allies, and while I agreed we had no place in Iraq, this was different. If ever a military action was justified, it was the routing of the Taliban from the seat of government in Afghanistan and the destruction of the infrastructure of Al-Quada, possibly even the elimination of Osama Bin Laden & his key people. I don't for a second regret the decision to participate in this mission.
Beyond that, in the fine words of Clint Eastwood, they turned it from a specific mission to a "cluster-fuck". It went from a military action to a political action. It became yet another experiment in "exporting democracy" and when a military mission turns into that, we should have left and said, "great, wonderful, we'll be back to help with the rebuilding once you show us how you're going to turn a country that has operated for centuries under a feudal system into a western-style democracy". In a country where people can't read, without significant infrastructure, how the hell did you expect people to understand why all of a sudden their families were being bombed back from the 13th century to the 7th? Dropping leaflets they couldn't read to warn them of impending danger? You wonder why they're angry and want to kill your troops? You wonder why they fight back the only way they can, on the cheap? They're pissed because you've ruined their lives. All the good being done building roads and lining pockets has been undermind by years of military action in a fake hunt for Bin-Laden, who, if your intelligence services didn't know, had long since fled the country. In your lust to remake non-tradional countries into your likeness (nice God-complex there westerners), you took a backwards, uneducated population, slaughtered men, women, and children who had no idea why. Which led to them being easily convinced by the people you were after in the first place you were invading their country and would kill them all eventually. Now you're pissed off and killing even more of them for defending themselves agains a well armed bully. Congratulations.
These misadventures of some pompous asses who think because we live the way we do, the world would be better off if everyone did, are always a failure. Colonialism in all its faces is nothing more than one powerful entity wanting to run the affairs of others, and in the end, the people will rise against it, peacefully or not. We're now in a position that probably within a hour of the last soldier leaving that country whatever puppet is president will be dead and they'll revert to what they were before. All those lives over more than a decade for what?
Most Canadians would generally say, well I don't worry much about terrorist attacks, there's no real reason to attack Canada. Look up from your toenails folks. Afghanistan, and now Lybia, and Harper style middle east diplomacy (i.e. Israel can never be wrong I love you Bibi) are growing that target on a nation once-respected for being a nation of peace. Shame on You. Shame.
Don't expect our reputation to soar under Harper/Baird. I will be long dead by the time we redeem ourselves if we ever can. Next Foreign policy rant? Lybia. Comin atcha boys.
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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy
Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture