Sunday, February 24, 2008

Talkin' Bout Afghanistan

As part of my ongoing personal campaign to get Canada out of Afghanistan, I have spoken to numerous [over two dozen] people in various settings over the last few weeks. Not once have I had a person defend or promote the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. In fact, most people seem to be more against it than I am. At least a third claim they were against it from the outset.

These people range in age from early twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and seventies. This is by no means a representative sample as they are all from Southern Ontario and probably skew a little high when it comes to income and education.

A common thread of their unhappiness is that we were snookered/strong armed into this mission by the US. Primarily, to cover their withdrawal to attack Iraq.

There is also a resignation that with the Conservatives or Liberals [or a combination of them] in the drivers seat, that we will never leave unless the Afghans chase us out.

The discussions I have had have been surprisingly emotional [for Canadians] and have actually lifted my spirits regarding a change in policy. I will continue to raise the issue as often as possible and hope that other Canadians are doing the same.

NOTE: With that in mind I have linked to a couple of Canadian Anti-Mission Blogs in my Links
List. Check them out.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

End The Occupation of Afghanistan


Thats how I end every comment or letter that I send to the Globe and Mail regarding Canada's involvement in the slowly developing fiasco that is Afghanistan. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen. This is really a two party war with the then majority Liberals [definitely not small l] getting us in it [Thank you Paul Martin], and the now minority Conservatives [sort of small c] vowing to keep us there. The recent commission led by former Deputy Prime Minister Manley of the Liberals supplied the two 'governing' parties with enough cover to allow them to con the press and the people that we should stay. For any American readers, think of your VP Dick Cheney as chairman of a committee that investigates the invasion of Iraq. Can you say 'snow job'?

I doubt that the often promised election will change anything. The parties that are adamant about ending the mission [NDP, Bloc, Green] are too small and marginalized to be able to get the popular support to elect the MPs necessary. And lets face it, the issue is just not important enough to Canadians that a majority will vote against a candidate just for his position on Afghanistan. Even though in poll after poll over 50% of Canadians want the mission ended.

Personally, I plan to continue to push through letters and emails that we must end our occupation in February 2009. I will also continue to bring up the issue in conversation with anyone, and if there is an election soon, ask the question publicly how the candidates stand on our occupation of Afghanistan.

Hopefully, I can embarrass enough voters to make this a key voting decision. I'll even use the lame reasoning about the cost in dollars to us poor downtrodden taxpayers. Forget the loss of soldiers lives, forget the loss of Afghan lives, forget the sheer immorality of forcing our 'way of life' on an independent people and occupying their land for years to ensure the survival of a corrupt, non-representative government.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Harnessing Bloggers for the Greater Good

Today I read an opinion piece in the NY Times by Mr. R. Klain [Speaking Truth Without Power - Campaign Stops - 2008 Elections - Opinion - New York Times Blog] which deals with the lack of impact by progressive blogs on the Democratic primary. Well, sort of.
I'll skip the bulk of his article and get to his last line where he bemoans the fact that
"the leading Democratic candidates still have a long way to go before they harness these strong voices for their campaigns."
I think Mr. Klain [I hope its not a nom de plume for Joe Klein] misses the point of blogs in general. Bloggers highly value their independence from particular candidates and organizations. They arose primarily because of the frustration that previous candidates and organizations were acting contrary to what they had campaigned for, and had been supported for, which actions were in general anti-progressive. Finding absolutely no outlet in the mainstream media to be heard, thanks largely to the submission of the press to the powers that be, the internet was used to protest and then galvanize opposition to the anti-progressives.
Based on that history and the general mind set of progressive bloggers, there will be great resistance to be 'harnessed' for a candidate or the Democratic party. I think you have seen how that worked out for conservatives vis a vis George W. Bush and the Republican party in general.
But Mr. Klain and the MSM and the other hierarchies cannot comprehend that. I think Captain America sums it up best below from the classic Marvel Comic Daredevil #233 by Frank Miller:

[Click to expand. Unless you have great eyesight.]