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The Next Four Fallen

23-Apr-06 05:46 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments


CBC News: ‘Terrorists’ won’t win, defence minister says

Pretty much everyone these days respects the sacrifices being made by our soldiers abroad.  Virtually all of them interviewed so far seem to think the cause is both just and worthwhile.  But Canadian casualties in Afghanistan are starting to mount and I wonder for how long the nation’s resolve will hold.

And I’m one of the people that think the war in Afghanistan is a worthwhile effort.  Yet I dunno if anyone else can feel it – but with every new report of soldiers killed, I find myself rethinking that position.  And more deeply each time.  Wars destroy lives – that’s a fact.  So if we’ve got to have one, it had better be for a really damned good reason.  And there are a variety of arguments in favour of going to Afghanistan.

But amongst those arguments against, I’m reminded of a quote from my professor of Byzantine History at the University of Manitoba, years ago now – a Prof. Wortley. (more info here), who wizely advised during one of his lectures in the early 1990’s "never invade Afghanistan".  Wortley was extending, I think tounge-in-cheek, a concern about any of his students finding themselves with a decision to invade Afghanistan to re-think the idea were they ever in a positoin to do so.  Left to itself, the history of the place poses a very bad omen indeed for any would-be invaders, although it might be stated that Afghanistan isn’t being invaded by Canada.  But then again, would the Russians have not made that same case?  And what would Prof. Wortley have to say about this today?

In any event, there are real people dying over there.  The "war on terror" has truly ceased being America’s war.  We’re in it full and plenty.  One big factor guiding my support is those of the warriors themselves who put their lives on the line….and if they want to continue, I’m not likely to withdraw my support for them being there.  Sites like http://www.fivetribe.ca/ (parts of which have been taken down since the recent death of Myles Mansell) will hopefully reamin around to offer that guidance, independant of the spin doctoring that invetiably must come from our own Defense Ministry.

And to those soldiers gracing by this article – I offer to you my thanks for your continued service, whatever the outcome.


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