Snow on the ground here in Montreal and there's a pleasant quiet in the house and on the surrounding streets. A good time to sit down and read my favourite Globe and Mail writer Gerald Caplan, who yesterday was talking about Canada enlisting in America's forever war -- something I've written a considerable amount about here at NMP. It's somewhat gratifying to read in Canada's MSM an opinion that reflects what I see for Canada in the Afghanistan quagmire. I'm okay with being a dirty leftist hippie but now and then I do want to believe that it's not just myself and Canada's progressive blogosphere that sees this war for what it is, an enormous waste of blood and treasure and worse, possibly unending.
Mr. Caplan does what he can to put the US's military spending in some sort of perspective -- it's approximately the equal of the rest of the world's -- and then with tongue in cheek explains why the whole world should be grateful that in the name of peace the US has ...fought more wars, invaded more countries, supported more tyrants, sponsored more coups, trained and funded more foreign armies, and enabled more massacres than any other country in history. He also chronicles their long history of interventionist wars around the world that are arguably immoral, illegal, imperialistic and unarguably murderous. And then wonders why Stephen Harper has embraced this American crusade that maintains about 1,000 military bases in 130 countries, and continues military aid to four nations who are known to use child soldiers in their armies.
It's a good read and one wonders, like always, is anyone listening?
So while we're discussing the war it is notable that the US is shrugging off Afghan anger at civilian killings. They're just being ungrateful and have no appreciation for the freedom the US and NATO forces are bringing them. The US denies the allegation of such killings, but admitted that they don’t both the investigate the vast majority of the complaints because they assume them to be “Taliban propaganda.” The commander of the Marines is the district says that the Taliban are to blame for “every single instance” of a civilian casualty in the district. In direct contradiction to such claims by the US, airstrikes are the single largest cause of civilian deaths by foreign and Afghan government forces during the first half of 2010, accounting for 31 percent, said the U.N..
US envoys are being forced to apologize in advance of the upcoming WikiLeaks document dump that promises to be an embarrassment to the US and the Pentagon is being described as "hyperventilating over being held to account" for its actions. According to the Independent, "Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public." A thought to which I have a one word response, Good!
Of course as always the US is claiming that the release will put lives in danger -- I think it'll put politicians careers in danger. The US's unending war efforts are what puts lives in danger. Shining a light on what they're up to is merely holding the accountable for their actions. Something there needs to be more of.