DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Tossing Pebbles in the Stream .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Soldiers Die in Afghanistan

This week has seen three more Canadian soldiers die in Afghanistan. This is part of the price being paid as Canada, as part of Nato, tries to meets it commitment to help the Afghanistan government establish security and contribute to reconstruction efforts in than troubled land.
globeandmail.com: Canada's National Newspaper

As a pacifist, I am of mixed feeling toward out effort in Afghanistan. I wish our country was contributing more toward the reconstruction effort than doing the fighting. In the Kandahar area, Canada finds itself in the thick of it; in an area where insurgents are concentrating their efforts. It would be wonderful if Afghanistan can be made secure and progress as a Nation. Military action will never accomplish this, a political solution needs to be found. In the meantime, military deaths occur.
















The recent deaths are the results of trials by fire of the Vandoos, based in Valcartier Quebec. Le Royal 22e RegimentThey have relieved the Patricas. PPCLI Website

I am trying to avoid discussing the issue for Canada being involved in this foreign war. Most Canadians are opposed, particularly in Quebec. The commitment is to be there to 2009. There will be pressure by some to see this commitment extended. We all know the 69th soldier to die will not be the last.

I am pleased how Canada treats the death of soldiers and publically shows respect. The Harper Conservative government originally tried to emulate the American policy of the Bush Administration (this government seems to spend most of its time trying to garner favour with Bush and company, to their shame) by not allowing the press to cover the returning of the coffins of the dead soldiers.

Canadians would have none of it, particularly the families of the dead soldiers. The government were forced to reverse their decision. Now each soldier is honoured and the news covers their return to Canada. In Afghanistan, there is a public ceremony in which Canadian troops along with others, American, British, Dutch etc who are based near Kandahar, assemble to salute and see their fallen comrades off. Then when the coffin arrive in the Trenton Base, there is another ceremony at which the Canadian government is represented at the highest level. The Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and very often Governor General. The Right Honourable Michaelle Jean Governor General of Canada / Gouverneur général du Canada is present to support of the grieving familym representing the rest of us. There is always , at least, a brief item of this on the National news.

The Canadian attitude seems to be "These are our young men." "Their deaths are deaths in the family." We want to know and support the family and honour the sacrifice in the name of Canada, in a very public way. As a nation we grieve and discuss the wisdom of this military commitment.

One thing that has impressed me are the comments by fellow soldiers, often officers responsibe for the dead soldiers. They are show obviously deeply moved and on the verge of crying. (Yes! big boys do cry!) Things are not smoothed over. After they praise the soldiers and acknowledge the pain they admit they are professional soldiers who "will grieve today, suck it up tomorrow and get on with the job they are well trained to do."

How Canada has handled this contrasts sharply with the way American's have handled the returning of there dead soldiers, largely our of public view. I assume to limit public debate of the wisdom of the military adventure. Canada decided this debate is not to be avoided and as a country we need to share in the pain of military loses incured in our name.

I invite you to read about some of these men and women who have died in Afghanistan globeandmail.com: Canada's Fallen

6 Comments:

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Rosie said...

Excellent article, Philip.

I've been very distressed by the way my country has handled the deaths of our soldiers. I don't think Bush attended one funeral until many many deaths into the war...and that seemed more of a photo op than anything else.

Thank you so much for your kind comments and the link.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger I_Wonder said...

Yes, we can learn much from Canada on this and other issues. The home of the free has become the home of the manipulated and controlled.

 
At 7:28 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We have our share of warts, but it's a good place all in all.

 
At 5:21 AM, Blogger oldmanlincoln said...

Well, this is my first visit and I am inclined to agree with your sentiments as expressed in your blog.

Bush's imperial Whine House is a hotbed of conservative-liberals who are hawkish on everything except coming to the aid of our environment. And Bush don't think the place is warming up. We had 37 C yesterday. It was also hotter than hell in Washington.

I don't know if you like birds or not, but I took some 19,000 photos in two years in my backyard and most of them are bird photos. I am in the process of putting a selection of them online at the link below.

http://oldmanlincoln.blogspot.com/

 
At 7:23 AM, Blogger possum said...

Actually our fallen are honored on local TV stations, local news. The public honoring that was done on CBS disappeared as Dan Rather was replaced - he was too radical for the Bush admin. But Bush has tried his best to keep the public from knowing what price we are paying for his stupidity and greed.
Another problem we are having here in the "Land of the Free," is a group of Xian fanatics who crash military funerals all across the country, picketing them and waving signs saying they died because of their sins and the sins of this country. Well, some of that may be so, but it is not something that grieving parents should have to deal with when their kids are being buried.
You are also right, B would not show up for anything unless his PR folk think it would be a good photo-op.
The sad truth is, most of us are so ashamed of our governing officials from the top down, and most of us now believe both elections were stolen and manipulated. It is a sad time for our country.
I, too, am a pacifist. I, too, include the "body count" in the heading of my weekly newsletter.

 
At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, Canadians gather at overpasses along the 401 highway as the funeral cortege travels from Trenton airbase to a forensic autopsy in Toronto. They are there to show their respect to the young men and women who have given their lives. The families have felt tremendously supported by this. This gathering is completely spontaneous. The federal government is now saying they will rename this part of the expressway the Highway of Heroes.

 

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