Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering Remembrance Day

There's no doubt that Canadians of a militaristic bent like Remembrance Day. Along with most of us, there's a heartfelt appreciation for the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers down through the years.

I thought about putting quotation marks around the word "sacrifices" because it seems to me that most of these militarists use the word robotically with no real understanding of what the word means. But I decided to write it straight because soldiers have sacrificed. They have suffered and they have died. They have been traumatized, maimed, disfigured and abused.

I hesitate to say that they've died for our freedoms. World War I wasn't about a German attempt to take over the world. World War II was obviously more necessary for Canada to have been involved with but it was fought to contain Germany and that would have been the case had Germany been a liberal democracy or the genocidal racist monstrosity that Hitler had transformed it into. All the rest of it, including the peace-keeping, while it might have been worthwhile in some degree, I can't think of any time that our freedoms were threatened to any great degree.

And that includes our occupation of Afghanistan. We did not go into Afghanistan because our freedoms were threatened by Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We did not go into Afghanistan because we cared about the sufferings of people living under the Taliban. We went in because the USA's government wanted to lash-out militarily to take vengeance against the people purportedly behind the 9-11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and they were saying that other nations had to be with them or they would be counted as against them.

We have stayed in Afghanistan for over ten long years and in that time we, as Canadians and as members of NATO have been indifferent to the fact that the government we imposed upon them (and which sustained its hold on power through electoral fraud) is brutal and corrupt and creates its own insurgency. (Deluded morons such as Terry Glavin imagine that the NATO powers have "overlooked" the corruption and brutality of the Karzai regime but this is nonsense. We provide them with the bulk of their government revenues and their military protection. If we truly cared about the sufferings of the people of Afghanistan we could haul-up Karzai and his warlord governors and tell them in no uncertain terms that they must put the money we are giving them where it has been assigned to go or we leave them to their fate and find other Afghan leaders to support.) We Canadians have been indifferent to the fact that in some years NATO airstrikes have claimed more lives than have Taliban bombs. We Canadians have been indifferent to the fact that innocent Afghan peasants who we have turned over to the Karzai regime have been tortured. We are indifferent to our own complicity in creating the anger that has caused the insurgency to continue to grow throughout our soldiers' role in the occupation.

But yet, once again, on Remembrance Day, along with the veterans and the civilians who are good of heart, the militarists also stand silently at attention looking sombre.

The militarists vow never to forget, but they never knew anything in the first place. They hear the sound "sacrifice" in their brains and it means nothing but a young man lying in dignified repose beneath a waving Canadian flag. They mouth banalities about how war is horrible but they actually revel in it. They talk about freedom while seeking to remove them from anyone who would dare question the causes for which we ask our soldiers to fight, kill and die. They talk about democracy and human rights but cheer when stephen harper shuts down democracy to cover his complicity in war crimes. They avoid totally the fact that THEY are creating the insurgency which kills and maims and traumatizes Canadian soldiers. They do this by rabidly defending a mission to prop-up a government of thieving, torturing pedophiles. They do this by cheering on the NATO airstrikes that decimate entire villages. They do this by turning their eyes away from the "hunter-killer" squads that roam the Afghan countryside murdering people who they have heard are somehow connected to the insurgency. These death-squads kill innocent people and carve their bodies up for trophies.

The create the rage that leads Afghan peasants to join or support the insurgency and it is this insurgency that is killing and maiming Canadian soldiers.

These militarist fools have learned nothing and are incapable of learning anything. But they stand there year after year, looking like the fools they are, and sadly, as a society we take them seriously. But for me personally, it's a revolting spectacle.

ETA: [Similar sentiments here.]


900ft Jesus said...

well said, as always.

thwap said...

Thanks. It's just been eating away at me this year.