Saturday, October 28, 2006

PROTESTING TO ACHIEVE WHAT

28 October 2006

PROTESTING TO ACHIEVE WHAT

Although this blog is dedicated to primarily American military or political issues I thought I’d take some time and write today about my native country of Canada. Today’s anti war protests remind me of other protests here and abroad. In Europe in the early and mid 80’s huge protests were held to rally against the deployment of nuclear capable missiles by the US, in Canada rally’s were held to protest the governments decision to allow the testing of the cruise missile in Northern Canada and prior to the Iraq war world wide protests asking the American administration to give peace a chance. You’ve really got to ask what they are trying to achieve today and if their goals were achieved how would Afghanistan be better off?

It’s funny how some things turn out. The missiles that went into Germany and Britain helped end the Cold War as the Russians had no defense against them and would no longer have sufficient time to launch a retaliatory strike before being destroyed. The cruise missile has saved many a pilots life as they strike air defense systems prior to air raids and the rallies against the Iraq war stopped nothing although they may have given Saddam a sense that the world wouldn’t let the Americans attack and thus he continued his bluster about having secret weapons which continued to fuel the faulty intelligence reports of WMD.

Now we are protesting the combat mission in Afghanistan because it doesn’t focus enough on rebuilding, reconstruction and peacekeeping. Bring our soldier’s home the signs say, Jake Layton the leader of the New Democratic Party (should be called the Socialist Party but who’d vote for them with that name) says he’s protesting not to demoralize the troops but to better support them. American’s came up to join in saying Iraq is a bad war and Canada needs to stop supporting American Imperialism while they managed to dredge up a former reservist to say he’d been fined and dismissed from the reserve for refusing to train for the Afghan mission that was turned into a combat mission by Steven Harpers warmongering Conservative government.

Wow with all that rhetoric I was almost ready to head out the door and join but before I start panting my sign and begin practicing cool chats I thought I’d do some fact checking about the mission and the protesters claims.

First the NDP has never supported the military or anything beyond turning it into a force designed to only allow the Federal government to provide search and rescue, and natural disaster recovery support within Canada so the idea that Mr. Layton wants to change the mandate to providing a peaceful environment for reconstruction work is laughable. He’s simply afraid of the backlash that goes along with stating his real position which he floated a few months ago when he suggested negotiations with the terrorists were the way to go.

Having anti Iraq war supporters from the US joining in is a cool way to increase your numbers but one thing has nothing to do with the other. Two separate missions two separate objectives and two separate governments responding in a united way to an attack that also killed Canadian citizens on 9/11.

Now to the issue that really got me to write this so quickly and disregard my normal rules that say I don’t write about something in the moment but allow for a cooling off period to avoid emotional responses. The reservist’s comments: this fellow is obviously lying or exaggerating to gain a platform. Since I can’t get inside his head I don’t know which of these two choices is correct.

In the Canadian Forces reserve units and personnel are NOT required to deploy without volunteering unless War is declared under the War measures act (Yes I know it has a new name now). The War in Afghanistan does not fall into that category and no reservists are being deployed without their consent, in fact the percentage of reservists being used is much lower than the number of volunteers who are trying to serve. I would suspect that this gentleman decided that he wouldn’t participate in normal combat training in Canada based on his perception that it would lead to some form of a deployment that didn’t suit his political view and for that he was dismissed.

Now what is this so-called war training, well he must report for up to 4 hrs of training 1 night per week and 1 weekend (about 36 hrs worth) of training per month. It has nothing to do with Afghanistan nor any other deployment the CF is involved with so it’s a crock that he’s now claiming he was dismissed for taking stand against an unjust war which leads to the final piece of nonsense which is that Steven Harper the George Bush wannabe warmonger changed the mission.

I’m sorry to have to report this (glossed over by the Liberal leaning media) fact but the mission was changed by the Paul Martin Liberal government prior to the last election and the move to Khandahar began in December 05 and was completed in Feb 06 just after the Conservatives came to power. The current mission was a Liberal idea that was supported by the Conservative opposition but was not debated in the House until the Conservatives came to power and weakly bowed to the media driven pressure to have a debate when soldiers sadly began to do what soldiers do in a war, die.

A famous general once said “Even victorious armies suffer casualties” and as sad as each death is, and you can trust me here as many of these dead soldiers were former comrades of mine, we all volunteer to join and gladly serve knowing that it is our job. We expect the government will equip us, provide the time and funds for training and that Canadians will support us. Today the Army is in harms way and is the best trained and equipped it has ever been and it’s truly sad to see Canadians sapping their will to fight for us.

If you’ve taken the time to read my entry of 27 October you’ll see that I believe we more often than not lose wars at home and I truly hope the incredible job being done in Afghanistan by the Canadian Forces won’t be undermined by the politics of the uninformed. What will these protesters achieve if they’re goals are achieved, well the Taliban will return, the Afghan people will go back in to religious bondage and the worlds terrorists will again have a home to train. If that’s what the Canadian people truly want then and only then will I agree that our soldiers have died in vain.

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