Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's a very unfortunate coincidence that a female Canadian Soldier has died in combat on the same day parliament votes on whether to extend Canada's presence in Afghanistan.

I believe that the majority of opinion on this issue is similar to that of a caller on the radio who said, he was for the idea that the troops should be pulled out, while also being against it because of the positive work our military has done in Afghanistan.

The Canadian military and the rest of the coalition forces should remain in Afghanistan for as long as it takes to bring peace to the country. Until the Afghan Government is able to run on its own and the threat of the Taliban and other violent opposition is eliminated, there should be absolutely no plans to remove our soldiers. If the troops are taken out then the so-called "enemy" that our soldiers face, will have an excellent advantage to take control and Afghanistan will be right back where it started five years ago.

What needs to be understood is that a structure of a nation does not change overnight; nor does it change in a year or two. The United States is finding that out the hard way with Iraq. Bringing peace and freedom to Afghanistan has to be a long-term commitment. It takes time, it takes patience and unfortunately, it takes sacrifice.

The Canadian public is also aware that there is a strong group of afghans who do not like the sight of foreign soldiers patrolling their streets or any form of occupation. One can certainly not blame the people of Afghanistan if they choose to take this stance. Therefore, what needs to remembered is that in politics, there is never a "perfect" or "correct" solution. Every political resolution will always have its opposition and consequences. It is essentially, the lesser of many evils. Afghanistan might not like foreign occupation. However, it is better then certain alternatives.

Regardless, any decision made about the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan needs to be fully evaluated and cannot be rushed.

*Normally, the journalist in me usually sits on the fence. However, there are some issues where I turn into a commentator. If you disagree with what I just wrote, that's totally cool.

The Hek


Blake said...

A very cogent and intelligent anaylsis, my friend! It's like you're reading my mind... I am in complete agreement with your position.

We made a commitment to help the Afghan people rebuild; we should see it through to the end, however long it may take. Our brave men and women in the Canadian Forces are fully aware of the risks they're taking every day when they put on the uniform. They know full well they might die in service of their country; that they go out and put themselves in the line of fire anyway is a remarkable testament to their valour and integrity. That's the definition of a hero, in my opinion.

Losing them in combat is tragic, yes, but often necessary for the greater good. This is war, folks - unfortunately, soldiers die in war. That's been a universal constant for thousands of years, and will most likely remain so for thousands more...

We mourn our dead heroes. Let their sacrifice remind us of the cost of freedom, both for ourselves and for Afghanistan.

Stay the course, Canada!

Billy Ruffian said...

Please return to Ottawa this summer for a visit. We can talk about it then.