When I see a morning headline saying NATO soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan I know that by mid-afternoon I will learn that they were Canadians.
As a defensive alliance formed after the end of WW2 in response to the emergence of the Soviet threat NATO served a demonstrably useful purpose. As an offensively oriented alliance deployed for war in a part of the planet thousands of miles away from even the nearest arm of the North Atlantic it's a complete bust and a danger to the troops of this member nation to boot. NATO - at least in southern Afghanistan has effectively become an Alliance of One.
A British soldier stationed in Basra recently interviewed by The Guardian said that in his opinion the British troops had become just another tribe. "We are in a tribal society in Basra and we [the British army] are in effect one of these tribes," said Lt Col Simon Brown, commander of the 2nd Battalion. "As long as we are here the others will attack us because we are the most influential tribe. We cramp their style."
Given the history of the place that has the ring of accuracy to it.
I'm angry at NATO, our recalcitrant NATO allies, our Neo Government, our myopic and historically challenged Armed Forces command structure, the US for abandoning the fight against who those actually attacked them in order to exact an empty revenge on Hussein.
I'm angry that young men and women who enlisted in the armed forces to defend Canada are being sent into a meat grinder tens of thousands of miles away to fight and die in a country that has no real possibility of threatening the integrity of Canada just so Stephen Goddamn Harper can get some jumped up award from a right wing US institute named after the second worst president in American history.
Canadian men and women are being killed and wounded at an accelerated rate in Afghanistan because the Harper government decided that changing the mission from NATO and UN sanctioned reconstruction to one primarily battle oriented in order to act as a proxy force for Bush foreign policy was a domestic decision with which it could live.
That Canadian citizens serving in the armed forces might not live with or through the result didn’t once enter their calculations.
Which Canadian soldier has to be the last to die for a pointless mission ordered by this pudgy vainglorious ideologue with bellicose delusions of military grandeur?