Thursday, April 12, 2007

Defused (recollected?) in tranquillity

A few days ago I lambasted the CBC's servile reporting of Canada's mission to Afghanistan. Well, to CBC's credit, the National aired a report tonight (well, it was a replay of one aired last October that I hadn't seen) that made me perk up and listen: it suggests that Canada was not only severely pressured but sucked into it's heavy involvement in Afghanistan by George Bush's promises of military and financial support that he never intended to keep as he diverted funds and troops into his campaign in Iraq. Tensions between the Liberal government and our military chiefs of staff, a number of whom resigned when then Prime Minister Paul Martin about-faced and quadrupled troop deployments there against their recommendations, are highlighted in the report. As are tensions between the former Liberal government and the Bush administration. Ironic that it was the Liberals who set in motion the mission that the present Conservative government under Harper so staunchly supports. One can only surmise the arm-twisting involved in making them do that. (It was well known that neither Chretien nor Martin were particularly cosy with Bush. The report also points out that this policy decision was quite ignored at the time because the media was captivated by Belinda Stronach's crossing the floor of the House to save the floundering Liberal government. It's obvious that Belinda crossing a floor will garner more attention than a bunch of troops crossing Afghanistan.)

I found no companion report on the CBC website, only this backgrounder broadcasting the military's claims of all the good service they're doing for the Afghan people. I for one can only wonder when they say they have "helped clear" one third of the 10-15 million land mines planted in Afghanistan. How many mines could they have "helped clear"? Bombs are defused in tranquility, and our troops under pretty regular, if not constant, attack. Of the two thousand deployed there, how many of them specialize in defusing bombs? Sad to say, considering this week's casualties, it seems we can't avoid running over them ourselves...

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