They’re coming home


Political Point of View

“I have become comfortably numb.” Pink Floyd.

Canadian troops are slated to leave Afghanistan by the end of July and the other foreigners are soon heading for the exit as well. Only the Americans seem to think it’s a good idea to hang around for more wasted years, money and lives. Then the Afghanis can again claim “Mission Accomplished” as they’ve done before against the Soviet Union, Great Britain et al all the way back to Alexander the Great. The country has been, and always will be, a graveyard of wasted ambitions. How and why we sent even one soldier there is a mystery to anyone with even half a brain.

It’s probably the farthest place on earth from here. The locals are hostile, the women untouchable, there’s no beer and worst of all no return for our investment. To think that some Stone Age tribesmen who glorify fighting amongst each other would welcome us with anything other than bullets and booby traps is delusional at best and moronic at worst. When the last Western invader leaves the place, the joy we feel as our boys come home will be offset by the sadness over there that the money tree and easy targets are gone. And it will be some time before some other foreign power decides to squander itself in a place where they’re not welcome.

It’s like a Seinfeld episode; it was about nothing. It was supposed to help our security but it made things worse. We were sending well-trained and intentioned troops to dig water wells and build schools. Huh? Aren’t soldiers for killing bad guys? In the Great War, it was for “King and Country”; Canadians went to Europe in 1915 and by 1916 were dying by the thousands to help Mother Country England because they cared that much.

Nowadays, most Canadians can’t find Afghanistan on a map, and to ask what the strategic value of the place is provokes a blank stare.

In a real war, there’s gas rationing, crappy food and a draft. And until fairly recently, you could be shot for not wanting to participate in your country’s battles. Now there’s no wonder that the media seem to be more concerned about a royal visit than some poor kid who got his legs blown off by a roadside bomb in an insignificant place far away.

People in our own country have got their own concerns. Remember how aggravated we were only a month ago by gas prices at $1.30 a litre? Isn’t there a housing frenzy in Vancouver while the Interior economy is sluggish at best? There’s an increased carbon tax on gas and nobody cares because why get into a dither when the world seems to run unhappily on until we are all unhappy. This summer might just be a good time to tune out of the political cycle because most of it is bad, maddening or just plain irrelevant.

Welcome our troops home and thank them for trying in an impossible mission. They didn’t complain.

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