While I have no problems recognizing that Iraq was an Anglo-American problem created and sustained by Anglo-American interests and therefore not in Canada's best interests to enter their stinking little world of secrets and lies, Afghanistan poses a slightly different problem for me.
I have no problem realizing that the Taliban arose because of the hypocrisy of Anglo-American interests in Afghanistan (and throughout the Arab world), but unlike Saddam Hussein who was essentially an American puppet who cut his own strings and found a demon willing to keep him dancing for a while, the Taliban is 'other'. They're religious hypocrites in the same way that the Bush League are, but that's not the real point of this post.
It is the question of Canadian soldiers being in Afghanistan and the notion of supporting our troops in the field that concerns me. This is one of the issues where Stephen Harper really doesn't speak for me. I'm being told that I must support a policy in which I am being asked (by extension of my being a Canadian citizen) to support the murder of individuals, and to support Canadian soldiers willing to die in my name (again on behalf of me being Canadian.)
People who want to kill on behalf of Canadian policy and people who want to die on behalf of Canadian policy need people like me who want to know what the real policy here is. I can sense for myself that there is something evil about the Taliban that needs to be opposed with force if necessary, not because force will necessarily make the situation better, but because the Taliban needs to be stopped, so that the possibility of betterment might exist.
But because I recognize that someone like Stephen Harper is only in power because he, like George Bush, has the support of oil industry interests which I do no share, I want the policy on Afghanistan to be rooted in something other than one hundred year old profiteering policies that created the mess there in the first place.
Granted, Harper didn't put us into Afghanistan, the Liberals did, and I trust their interests only slightly more than I trust the Conservatives. But the Liberals didn't make me feel that questioning the policy was an act of betrayal to the soldiers in the field.
There is a genuine policy of hope-making in Afghanistan, but there is also layer upon layer of lies and bullshit rooted in the love of oil money. It is not money itself that is the root of all evil, it is the love of money, and there are too many lovers of oil money making too many fortunes out of the misery of others interwoven throughout this whole issue.
So I can support the troops, but only to the degree that they individually serve a policy of hope-making, and it may be that the good that one individual does has more power than the evil that many others do, so I will continue to offer qualified support. And if our arms dealer Minister of Defense O'Connor wants to accuse me of a lack of patriotism, let him, he's an arms' dealer, what the hell do I care what he thinks about anything ?
Besides, I'm not a patriot, I may be a Canadian nationalist, but a belief in 'my country right or wrong' is demented.