Sunday, May 06, 2007

Our rolling boxes

The debate has only just begun about our deployment in Afghanistan. It was a talking point in the last election, and a bill was recently tabled to specify a 2009 withdrawal. The Conservatives opposed it as they wish to leave the "mission" open-ended. The NDP opposed it because we should be out of Afghanistan right now.

There is little talk of what we are doing in Afghanistan. It is not the more Canadian approach of supporting and rebuilding that we are undertaking at this time. Our helmets are green and brown in this case, not blue. We are going into citizen's houses. We are accountable for the torture of detainees we hand over. Our senior officers defer to American generals on the ground and we don't complain of friendly fire.

This frustrates me. We have a news organization, we have interested people, but we don't have a conversation. We don't have pressure on our leaders to explain what further deployment will accomplish or indeed what our mission is supposed to be. Is it simply to augment the American troop force without increasing the American bodycount? If so, I think we should be paid handsomely like the Blackwater employees in Iraq are.

Our government just purchased 10 new armoured vehicles from our closest neighbor. The deal was quiet, easy. The armoured cars are to be deployed straight into action, as though we have already accepted that more of us will be dropped face first into the sand. The cars are heavy and well-equipped. They carry more troops and can handle more powerful electronics.

They roll past like the mission passes before us unexplained. The cars are heavy and have no windows.

No comments: