Sunday, June 22, 2008

I support your war of terror.

It's no secret that I don't support the war in Iraq. It was an exceedingly bad fucking idea. Also no secret that I won't support the war in Iran. Another exceedingly bad idea. And it's also no secret that I don't support the war in Afghanistan.

Enough with the obvious. I go further.

I do not support our troops.

First, I disagree with the mission. We invaded Afghanistan because a bunch of guys from Saudi Arabia attacked the US. We went into Afghanistan to catch a Saudi who probably had (almost certainly had) already fled to Pakistan. We couldn't invade Pakistan because it's friendly. Not friendly enough to give the US Bin Laden, but still friendly. Besides, they needed to put a pipeline through Afghanistan, and the Taliban wouldn't let us.

The narrative now is that we went in to take out the Taliban and free the Afghan people. These Afghan people. (There are a lot fo things currently wrong with Afghanistan, from a corrupt parliament, to drug lords, to sexism, to sharia law, to whatever.) We went to export democracy. We went in to free the people. We went in to get rid of the Taliban 'cause they were bad. Let's forget that the CIA created the Taliban and al-Qaeda. We went in because apparently nobody ever watched Rambo fucking III, or The Living Daylights, or if they did, they clearly missed the point: Don't fuck with Afghanistan.

Second, Canadians serving in Afghanistan decided to join the military. No draft here. We've been in Afghanistan for seven years. Many joined after the invasion. Many decided to stay on after the invasion. So they, of their own free will, have chosen to take part in this barely legal war which has killed nearly a million people. They are killing Afghans at the behest of NATO, with a bleated blessing from the UN.

Third, I didn't ask them to do it. Canada was not attacked. Canada hasn't been attacked in a hundred years. And it was the Americans that did it. (Except for the Fenians, and that was in the 1850s, and they were Irish Americans. That was a debacle.) I have never asked them to defend me. I never asked them to kill anyone on my behalf. They are not fighting for my freedom. They are not. They might think they are, but they are not. My rights are safe. Nobody is threatening me with a gun. In Afghanistan, however, some of the threatening people with guns are Canadian.

Fourth, I don't think the new narrative will work either. Nation building? My left nut. They only have to rebuild their nation 'cause we tore down the old one. Exporting democracy? Are you fucking kidding me? Killing a bunch of people is exporting democracy? And have you seen what they're doing over there? It's not working. The place is chaos. Society is falling apart. Fortunately, our troops have a mandate to stop anal rape when they see it. But not to get a journalism student out of prison.

Fifth, the position that they're just following orders doesn't fly after Nuremburg. I don't care what you're told to do, if you're doing it, it's your fault. You're culpable

And sixth, I don't feel the need to support them because they're Canadians. It's a big place, and I clearly have little in common with them. I don't have much in common with a guy who speaks Mandarin in Vancouver. Or a fisherman in Newfoundland. Or a roughneck in Alberta. Or Stephen Harper. If a Canadian comes from B.C., then I live closer to George Bush then I do to them. I don't support Bush, why should I support some guy who lives farther away simply because he sings the same national anthem I do? Or because he's been to the same cities I have? An accident of geographic proximity (relatively speaking, of course)? An accident of language (also complicated in Canada)?

I'm not better than anyone else. Luckier, sometimes, but not better. When armed men and women are injuring, caprturing or scaring other people, I don't feel obligated to support them because their home town is in the same set of lines as my home town. I don't support their mission because a government I didn't elect (this one, or the previous two) sent them out there. I don't support them because they speak English. I don't support them because they are allergic to cats like I am. Nationalism is one of the last accepted bastions of tribalism (religion, too, but that's eroding slowly). It's a way to feel superior to other people. I admit that I succumb to it occasionally (see this post, and others), but I do my best. I'm not going to support them because of the Queen is on the money in their pocket, too.

I have no good reason to support them.

I want our troops (and everyone else's) to come home. I want them to stop killing people in other countries. I want them to be good people, to be better than they were, to be working towards something great.

Propping up a friendly incompetent dictator in a nation famous for dictators and hating invaders is not something great.

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