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Willie-O BS: U.S. Sec of Defense Gates on Canada (32) RE: BS: U.S. Sec of Defense Gates on Canada 11 Dec 08

3refs, we've been there longer than WWII already. "Do something"? No one can deny that we have been doing "something". It's just not working out...we're a little Dutch boy (and they've taken some losses beside us, I believe) at the dike.

Look, I live in a pacifist household in a rural back-to-the-land neighbourhood. After 9/11, a lot of my friends and family immediately objected to US and Canadian involvement in Afghanistan. I didn't agree, because the provocation was so outrageous and the connection so clear that, with misgivings, I suspended my doubts and figured that the US was entitled to try to respond to their attackers. I have never been so conflicted in my life as on the question of Canadian military participation there, but since we do have important alliances with the US through NATO, and more important, because the Afghan people needed help, I watched it happen and tried to figure out where I stood.

What has happened since then has just been a tragedy for Canada and for Afghanistan. We've lost dozens of good people in and around Kandahar, and neither the city nor the surrounding area seems any safer than it was in 2006 when we got there. Will it all go even more to hell when we pull out? It's kind of a pointless question, because we are leaving regardless. We have done our shift, even the current warmonger government says we're definitely out of there in 2011--after NINE YEARS!!!--and there's a damn good chance we'll be out sooner if the Cons lose power.   

The thing is, 3refs, Afghanistan is not the only hellhole on the planet. We can't fix them all, and we can't fix any of them by pouring our highly-regarded soldiers and their lousy hardware into a trouble spot. We are in Afghan now as a result of a series of geopolitical maneuvers that have enriched lots of military-industrial corporations, and the careers of certain generals (yeah I'm looking at Hillier and he's not the only one) who felt that we needed to see some blood. Even the generals, having satisfied that yearning, are looking for an exit strategy now--and it is "training Afghan army and police to take over". Gee where have I heard that before? "Vietnamization" or Afghanization, our objective now is to repatriate the war to the Afghans and leave them with it. They've been at this a lot longer than we have and they are tougher than shit. If the way to fix Afghanistan was by making enough of them into well-trained and equipped soldiers, that country would already be Paradise.   

Defeat the Afghans? What the hell are you talking about? It's their country, or is supposed to be.

The last lie I want to address, cause I am wearing out here, is that we are in Afghanistan to make ourselves safe. I mean, come down to Planet Earth on that one. If NATO put a half million troops into Ghan, which ain't going to happen, I can name a half dozen failed or marginal states where Al-Quaeda and similar entities would very likely set up shop--because they're already there--and doubtless there are many more I don't know about.

there's this Iraq place I've heard of...
lots of potential in Africa.

In short, whatever Big Al says, we've been there with the kind word AND the gun, and where has it gotten anyone?

Sigh. Rant exhausted.


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