Sunday, July 15, 2007

Supporting The Troops

With the Van Doos heading over to Afghanistan, I think it's a good time to go after what has to have become "The Most Annoying Meme on the Planet"(™):

"Support The Troops"

Canada's Con$ have implied repeatedly that opposing PMSH's pseudo-Bushian desire to occupy a foreign country is "not supporting the troops".

Supporting the troops - to me - is about a lot of things. Respecting the fact that they do a job that for a variety of reasons I could not do; lobbying for them to have the tools to do their jobs properly; respecting and honoring the sacrifices that some make as a result of the orders they are carrying out.

However, supporting the troops does not have a blessed thing to do with whether I agree with the orders that they have been given by the politicians.

Therein lies the distinction. As the news has come trickling back from Afghanistan, it becomes increasingly clear that we are a long ways from any kind of reconstruction (at least meaningful). The word "peace" can only be applied on a day by day basis in a region where improvised bombs are commonplace, and as a steady stream of coffins shows, only in the most limited sense.

I have no problem with "peacemaking", as we had to do in Bosnia - this isn't peacemaking - this is providing a garrison force in a war zone. That force is not the "interceding" force, it is the target. Afghanistan is going to devolve into a civil war before it starts to achieve any kind of peace.

The real question we must ask ourselves as Canadians is whether or not our troops are in fact engaged in the kind of mission that we think is achievable? If you frame it as "peacemaking" and "rebuilding", that's one thing, when the reality is that we are the primary target as the foreign occupiers (as is seemingly the case in Afghanistan), that's perhaps something that should give pause for thought.

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