Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Military Boneheads

Needless to say the military is responsible for some pretty dumb moves, this weekend was the highlight of idiocy. U.S. marines killed one Canadian soldier and wounded 30 others by accidentally strafing them with "friendly fire" 30 minutes before the troops were to launch an attack on Taliban forces.

It wouldn't be so bad if this were just some freak accident. But you'd almost think that the US military was secretly working for the Taliban or something. Remember back in 2002 when the U.S. soldier Harry Schmidt accidentally dropped bombs killing four Canadian soldiers? Yeah, now added to that, this is a piss-off. This means that of the 32 Canadian deaths (including diplomat Glyn Berry) in Afghanistan, almost one sixth are the direct result of U.S. soldiers. Not enemies. Not terrorists. Not Taliban fighters. Canadians are getting killed by soldiers that are supposed to be on the same team.

What a weekend! On Sunday, it was enough of an army boot to the face to lose four soldiers all in one day (making it the bloodiest day with the highest casualties for Canada since the war started in 2002) but then some American hero high on war mania comes in and guns a few more down. Whoops!

Now, before I do any more soldier-bashing, let's try to figure out who the real boneheads are. Military strategists? Generals? Politicians? Whoever sent our country to Afghanistan! Or at least those who voted to extend our mission until 2009 -people like Stephen Harper and Micheal Ignatieff. Now that we've commited our troops to this NATO force, it would be irresponsible to pull out and leave others hanging dry, as Hedy Fry argues. However, it's just as boneheaded to keep going on this mission without a little evaluation. By raiding civilian homes and destroying crops, soldiers are creating greater strain on the country and pushing simple peasants to take up arms. Over the last century, how much of the occupation there would you categorize as "successful"? And what has it accomplished? Perhaps we should ask Russia.

We are so badly coordinated to lead our own military, nevermind control someone else's, nevermind rid the world of terror and enlighten the opium-rich landscape, where supposedly everyone is "Taliban".

I guess we have to question whether all soldiers are all getting the same memos, as in "do not shoot the guys with maple leaves emblazoned on their military uniforms".
This is fuel for NDP leader Jack Layton's fire. Many across this country are finally questioning Canada's mission abroad with a simple question: "What are we doing there?" Of course Layton is "playing politics" by appealing to common sentiment by proposing the issue be brought to a referendum but he has a point: Canada's role in Afghanistan has changed from a mission of diplomacy and rebuilding to plain violence -which is for the worse, and in terms of democratic involvement, who ever asked us whether we wanted to participate in war?

Events like this often erroneously reaffirm that the enemy is dangerous and thus we need to commit more resources to war when manipulated by the media and politicians. The enemy is out there. Rah, rah, rah! Let's scrap welfare and buy more tanks! I think the inconvient truth might be: WE are our own worst enemy.

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UPDATE: Two weeks later on Sept 18 the death toll among Canadian soldiers is up to 36 due to a string of bombing attacks including one in Herat by some anonymous motorcyclist. It seems to be growing exponentially.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

asi think that i have said before, my son is in the royal marines. as one of the world's leading military outfits (i think they come third after the SAS and the SBS) they pour a lot of ridicule on the american military. not because the men in it aren't good. not because america has a useless bunch of soldiers BUT because the heirarchy seem hell bent on bombing and shooting anything that moves which includes UK, Canadian and anyone else who gets in the way!!
kind of lke john wayne in a very bad film. gung ho and chomping on a fat cigar.

wankers the lot of 'em.

7:23 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

You know with Zen,
I often wonder if they are even worth my thoughts or breath.
If a man joins the police or military to 'serve & protect' it is not long before ego takes over and he wants to be a hero ...
The way I see it if you wanna compete, compete but don't bring good or bad into it, nor right or wrong, nor even weak & strong.
I think deep down everyone would like to think of themselves as a david slaying some 'evil' Goliath

The problem is that is exactly how 'freedom fighters & terrorists' feel too.

No easy answers, just don't get suckered in. But if one must make the military a career then one tends to go out looking for fires to put out, or in the worst of cases starting fires, so like heroes one can earn glory, medals or promotion to 3 star general ...

the others become acceptable losses
and or collateral damage, ooops!

7:50 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

The Pentagon & Military
live in their very own
Space & Time WARP. lol!

Mind you so do dolphins

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

America has been in trouble since Ike left office. Bush is not trained to run or oversee the military. Hence what has happened. My sincere apologies for a poorly trained and managed military.

8:50 PM  

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