promoted 10 years 10 months ago, posted 10 years 10 months ago
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I am shocked and appalled by Canadians’ reactions to our role in Afghanistan and the upcoming 2009 decision whether to keep our troops there or not.
This last week I noticed a couple of articles in the Globe and Mail. Both dealt with Canada’s planned withdrawal from Afghanistan. The first article contained the pleadings of the German foreign minister, essentially begging Canada to stay in Afghanistan past 2009. The other contained comments from a mullah in Kandahar, also begging Canada to assist in keeping the Taliban out of the region. Yet it wasn’t the content of the articles that enraged me – it was the comments left by ordinary Canadians. I’d like to take a moment to address some of the comments. I’d also like to jump up on my soapbox for a moment and explain what I feel it means to be a Canadian, and why I have become disillusioned with (and indeed, ashamed of) my fellow countrymen.
We all know how this mission started. America was attacked, and the Taliban tried to play hard-ass. Naturally, when the word was given to remove the Taliban, Canada jumped into the fight. After all, our neighbor had just been sucker-punched and some payback was called for. Shortly afterwards, the Taliban fell like the roof of a Chinese coal mine, and it’s been a battle to keep them at bay ever since. Sure, we got to Afghanistan via the War On Terror™, but once we arrived it was pretty clear that life under the Taliban was hell. Afghans wanted to be able to shave, fly a kite, and play sports without fear of execution. Women wanted to go to school and be a part of society. Thus what started as retaliation became a humanitarian mission of sorts – stop the Taliban from retaking Afghanistan, and assist Afghans in restoring order to their war-ravaged country.
So we’ve been there for a while now, and the Afghans are, by and large, loving it. I’ve read a variety of responses from regular Afghans, and while some are negative, most are positive. I’ve heard comments like “I will never forget what the Canadians have done”, or "The Canadians should not leave." Comments like this make me proud that our forces give a damn about Afghans and are striving to help them out.
However, comments from this side of the Atlantic have just disgusted me. People are whining and bitching left and right (these are actual comments, btw) - “To heck with the peasants in that hellhole, I want our soldiers home now,” or “It’s not our war.” Comments like this make me ashamed of my country. To heck with the peasants, eh? Wow. How Canadian of you. I think it’s time to reveal what I feel are traits that make Canada what it is.
Canada is a peaceful nation, but COWARDS WE ARE NOT. I was always under the impression that Canada was a country that cared about the welfare of people worldwide. Others might turn their back, but surely we wouldn’t. Man, was I ever wrong. After our glorious performances in previous wars, suddenly 70 casualties are enough to make us put our tail between our legs and hobble home. Fuck Afghans; let them all live under a repressive regime while we sit in our homes wining (more like whining) and dining. 70 casualties? Fuck, the Americans have lost more soldiers to microwave oven accidents than we have to combat. When did we become such pussies?
After that line, I expect to hear shit like “do our soldiers’ lives mean NOTHING to you?!” Fuck that. Apparently their lives mean nothing to YOU. These men and women died for the mission; a mission that we’re about to bail on. Do you know what that means? It means that our soldiers will have died for absolutely nothing. Do you know who’s really pissed off about that fact? SOLDIERS.
When I asked if Canadians were cowards and pussies, I could feel the collective thoughts of our armed forces scream “NO!!!” at the top of their lungs. They know their job. They know (and believe in) our mission. They seek to make our country proud by standing up for Canadian values, but it seems that the Canadian public won’t have it. Remember when the Royal 22nd deployed? Proud soldiers of a storied regiment were ready to do their duty, only to see and hear yellow-bellied Quebeckers trying to speak on their behalf. Four words for them – shut the fuck up. Our soldiers are proud to do their duty. As always, the Vandoos are doing their jobs and making us proud, despite what the cowardly protesters had to say on their departure.
I’d like to leave you with a couple of thoughts from the mullah that I mentioned in the opening paragraph. His feelings echo my own.
"You're talking about 70 dead," Mr. Naqib said. "How many [Afghan] police have been killed in the last month? Two hundred, probably."
"The Canadians should not leave," he said. "If they leave after 18 months, why did they come here anyway? We need their help."
"Before they came to Afghanistan, they knew some soldiers would die. You cannot control this land without losing people. It's sad, but you have to sacrifice. This is fighting."
"It's like they just came here for joking,"
Well said, Mr. Naqib. It’s one big joke. We act all high and mighty, but when it comes time to put our money where our mouth is, it turns out that we’re all talk and no action. The Canadian public is content to leave Afghans to their fate. Hell, as long as the tide of beer and poutine isn’t stemmed, Canadians could care less.
So much for Canada the peacekeeper. So much for Canada the valiant. So much for Canada the courageous. Sure, I’m really pissed off about this, but you know who would be REALLY pissed? The soldiers of the 4th Canadian Regiment who fought at Vimy Ridge. They won the day, taking 91% casualties. If they ever found out that Canada pussied out of a combat role over 70 casualties, they would tear the flags off of their shoulders in disgust. Oh, and of course our enemies now know just how dedicated we are. All they have to do is pop off 70 soldiers and we’ll run like scared deer.
Before I wrap this up, I’d like to address one more comment, this too from the Globe and Mail. It reads:
“CANADA?? Why always CANADA??
Would someone explain very clearly why CANADA is always in the worst possible corner of every war??
WW1, Vimy Ridge - after others had failed...where no other nation wanted to go...
WW2, check out the bios of some of our most decorated war vets who were sent to the worst places...where others would not go...”
I’ll tell you why. It’s because we don’t care about recognition. We don’t care if the battalions before us were slaughtered. We are Canadians, and when our help is needed, we are there to give it. At the end of the day, Canadians will die on our feet, standing up for our values and helping those who need us. For me, being a Canadian isn’t about hockey, Tim Horton’s or trash-talking our neighbours. Being Canadian is about helping out those who ask for our help. Even if nobody cares about us, even if we never get recognition for what we do. We do not seek recognition. We do not seek glory. We help when we are asked, and we finish the job that we are given. In my mind, that is what defines Canada. That is why I fly a flag, and those are the thoughts that cross my mind when I lay my eyes upon that flag.
Afghans have asked for our help. Our allies have asked for our help. No, Afghans and our allies have BEGGED for our help. When our nation was young, we would have answered their call. We would have proudly strapped on our boots, slug our rifles of our shoulders and run screaming into battle, not stopping until we were victorious. Those times have past.
All of you Canadians out there in internet land, I want you to look at your fucking shoes right now and hang your heads in shame. An oppressed people need our help, and we are about to refuse it. Our allies need our help, and we are leaving them high and dry. This is no longer about terrorism, America, George Bush or wars for oil. This is about doing what we do best – helping those in need. We have gone from a proud nation to a nation of yellow-belied, sap-sucking cowards. Our soldiers don’t want their fallen comrades to have died for nothing. They support the mission. Why don’t you?
To all of those who would see our nation turn our back on our allies, our friends, and the downtrodden and oppressed who can’t stand up for themselves, here’s a great big FUCK YOU. Fuck you all, right in your stupid cowardly assholes.