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Canadians Too Thick to Support Afghanistan Mission: Defence Minister PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Saturday, 25 February 2006 10:20
Canadians Too Thick to Support Afghanistan Mission: Defence Minister

PEJ News
- C. L. Cook - By way of getting to know his new subjects, freshly minted Conservative Defence Minister, Gordon O'Connor summed up what he sees as his greatest challenge: How to get through to the sixty-two percent of Canadians who don't believe the country should be involved with the worsening occupation of Afghanistan.


"The population out there doesn't really understand right now why we're there and what we're doing. You have to say the thing five, six, seven, eight times before it really gets through to a large number of people." - Defence Minister O'Connor instructs the foreign press.

Canadians Too Thick to Support Afghanistan Mission:
Defence Minister

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
February 25, 2006

A Globe and Mail/ Strategic Counsel poll published yesterday (G&B, Fri. Feb. 24, 2006) pronounced, 'Majority Opposed to Afghan Mission.' As the Canadian Forces prepare to pick up the mantle of the NATO mission in-country this week, and as the nation expands its fifth year of picket duty for Afghanistan's effective occupation, a bewildered Defence Minister can merely shake his head. Or, so Gordon O'Connor would have it. 

With his bum barely in the chair at the head of Canada's armed forces, rookie Cabinet Minister O'Connor is holding forth to the world's press, complaining of the dumb-asses, in the form of the majority of Canadians polled, he has to deal with. More amazing perhaps to O'Connor is the desire of an even greater number of Canadians asked that demands be made of Parliament to debate war issues before committing troops, a novel notion sure to displease the Freshman Tories. 

But, put on the spot, O'Connor bleats:

"Our policy is that, in future, if we're committing troops somewhere in substantial numbers
we would go to Parliament and we'd basically seek the support of Parliament."

But, that future is happening fast. It's a miracle no more than eight unfortunate Canadians have seen their futures end in Afghanistan to date. If not for the professionalism of the Canadian military, and a deployment in the relatively calmer capital region, the only place effectively ruled by the Karzai government put into power, it would be much worse.

But, it's about to get worse. And, Saturday's wounding of a Canadian in a grenade attack near Kandahar is evidence of that.

For those Canucks too stupid to fail to support Minister O'Connor, or to see the gathering cloud, and what it is likely to mean for Canadian families from Victoria to Saint John, prepare for terrible news: Canada is taking over in the heart of the Taliban-led resistance.  

So, what makes Afghanistan worth it? Yes, Gordon do tell we, your dimmer fellow citizens: Why is Canada occupying a nation shattered in an illegal blitzkrieg, employing nuclear weapons of mass destruction, all carried out in the name of avenging the alleged perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks of 2001. Explain now please, what your party failed as the official opposition to mention.

Why Gordie, after four and more years of trying to teach the Afghans the glory of our superior ways, are the locals lobbing grenades and firing AKs' at "our" boys and girls?

And what about the suicide bombers? Are they ingrates? Or maybe too dumb to know what's good for them, too? Tell us do, Mr. Minister. But, speak slowly please, we're Canadian.

O'Connor's dismissive opinion of the mental alacrity of the citizenry is an attitude shared by Canada's number one military man, General Rick Hillier, as witnessed by his gape-jawed statement of wonderment: 

"Many Canadians do not know or understand the complexities of what the Afghan mission is about, why we are there, and its importance, its critical importance to Canada."

Those not yet brain-dead denizens of the Great White North may recall Hillier as the author of Canada's answer to George W. Bush's famous "Bring 'em on" performance regarding that other bunch of recalcitrant converts in Iraq. Clever tactical move, General. Original too. For more on Hillier, please see Justin Podur's piece, posted at KillingTrain.com.

With the exception of some sorrowfully late complaint by the NDP regarding the need to hold open parliamentary debate concerning matters of war in Canada, the house has sat largely silent on the Afghanistan "mission" through two elections. Despite wide-spread rejection of the official line doled over by the Liberals and now reiterated by their superior heirs, Canada and Canadians are being frog marched into George Bush's vision of global militarism.

Maybe O'Connor is right: Canadians just don't understand.

Chris Cook
is  a contributing editor to PEJ News, and hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 February 2006 10:20

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