Soldiers And Their Critics et al.

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George Victor

I admire your intelligence and spirit, Realigned. You certainly picked a helluva crowd to try to explain a Canadian soldier's involvement in Afghanistan.

With postings like your last one (did you notice the sudden interval) you have presented a human face to the problem of race, and have caused a lot of soul-searching in place of preachments. And, by golly, it had begun to look like a contest for purity of place and purpose in life. Almost Biblical in intensity, if not proportions.

And I haven't seen one ad hominem response on your part. Congrats.

You don't have to prove your humanity to me, mate. And if I ever wind up in a foxhole (it would have to be on Canadian soil, and in another life, I'm afraid), I'd want your kinda company.

(Duck. Incoming!)

 

Tommy_Paine

"To a lesser extent maybe a good exampe is how my wife complains that when I'm not with her shopping she gets treated much differently than when I am with her."

Ah, you noticed that too, eh? It extends beyond shopping though.  I get to watch my daughters navigate their way through various buerocracies, both government and private sector.   I never seem to have a problem, where they are constantly given the run around. 

And, you know, I don't think it's them.   

Admittedly,  the air here is rareified in terms of awareness of racism or sexism and to a nearly non existant degree, classism.  However, that doesn't mean it is incorrect, or wrong, or a product of some kind of bias, "political correctness" or the dogma of the looney left.

It's rather real, in a very realistic kind of way.

This kind of awareness that racism is more than just skinheads burning crosses seems to me as valuable a part of a soldier's equipment in Afghanistan as a clean rifle. 

 

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Yes, I found that post hilarious too

Thank you.  bows....  

Unionist wrote:

And guess what? I have never witnessed, nor even heard of, ONE SINGLE CANADIAN SOLDIER who either deserted, or at least spoke out publicly against the invasion, occupation, and war crimes committed in Afghanistan. This is testimony to the low quality of human being being recruited into our military.

You're hearing from one now.

Unionist

You know, Slumberjack, if you actually know a Canadian soldier who deserted or spoke out publicly - I'd like to know her/his name. And I don't mean Col. Demetrick of the Reserves, whoever he is. I mean an active soldier. There are thousands in the U.S. Name, please, and reference.

Oh, and by the way, when I criticize Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan who speak out publicly in favour of the occupation, that's not a "personal attack". It's the opposite. It's generic. I don't know the individual, nor do I particularly care to.

Webgear

http://www.milcomspeakout.ca/

 

Here is a site for you.

 

 

Unionist

Webgear wrote:

http://www.milcomspeakout.ca/

 

Here is a site for you.

 

 

Thanks, Webgear, I will review that with interest. I still maintain, though, that without one single active soldier to point to, such a movement will never achieve the truly subversive levels that we have seen in the U.S., where entire organizations recruit, fund-raise, mobilize active resistance, and demonstrate. We can all name U.S. deserters, but such is not the case for our own forces. Even in Israel, there are courageous and heroic individuals, in no small numbers, who refuse to serve in the occupied territories (or at all) and suffer the consequences.

It is truly a shame that our troops do not represent, even to an infinitesimal degree, the majority opinion of the Canadian people.

Webgear

It has not been updated in months, however there was a start at one point.

 

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:

You know, Slumberjack, if you actually know a Canadian soldier who deserted or spoke out publicly - I'd like to know her/his name. And I don't mean Col. Demetrick of the Reserves, whoever he is. I mean an active soldier. There are thousands in the U.S. Name, please, and reference.  Oh, and by the way, when I criticize Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan who speak out publicly in favour of the occupation, that's not a "personal attack". It's the opposite. It's generic. I don't know the individual, nor do I particularly care to.

Far be it for me to begrudge you of your personal manner of expression, because after all, the subject matter certainly is an emotional one on many levels.  I've self-identified on Babble long ago as a soldier, the wisdom of doing so raises some doubt, but perhaps you've skipped past those threads.  I noticed that you slightly changed your commentary from “one single soldier” to “one single active soldier.”  Perhaps with your insight you’ll figure out which category I fall into.  To be fair though, I should add that it’s a little like the mafia, once you think you’re out they pull you back in…offers you can’t refuse, etc.  Lets just say that I’ve experienced the yo-yo effect.  Speaking out can be accomplished in many ways, and just because you’re not aware of any that have done so, it doesn’t necessarily signify that no occurrences exist.  That would be a generalization, wouldn’t it?

Loretta

So, let's see - we're in conversation with a serving member of the CF who is asking questions about Afghanistan and there are two former CFers who are babblers and who have voiced opinions against our involvement there. Plus, a website has been linked whereby Canadian military members and their families made a start in voicing those same views.

Unionist, you stated that in the US there are thousands of outspoken military members, some of whom have deserted publicly and you sound frustrated that you don't see any evidence of the same degree of courage taking place amongst our serving members.

Perhaps there are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that our military is miniscule by comparison to that of the US and therefore, on an even percentage basis, our raw numbers of resisters would be very small. Also, the US military has been engaged in a war in Iraq, which has been declared illegal and many of those leaving the US military are doing so on those grounds. (Have you heard of any/many US military members who are resisting war in Afghanistan?) Also, my guess would be that we hear about those who leave their home country to seek refuge in ours -- where do our soldiers who want to leave our military seek similar refuge? I don't think there is such a place and perhaps living underground is the only alternative to taking on the hierarchy which would mean that we probably won't hear from CFers choosing to resist in that way.

Also, since we often depend on the msm for our news, even here on rabble, perhaps there are examples of people taking this stand and where the media haven't been informed or they aren't reporting it. Given the shitty, biased coverage around the coalition, which we all know about, I think it's worth considering as a possibility.

Just because it isn't public, I wouldn't assume that resistance isn't happening.

Unionist

I will warmly welcome the first soldier to go public, as will many Canadians and others around the world. But it will take a first one. I'm confident it will happen.

And Loretta, do you really think the MSM, which names the U.S. and Israeli ones, won't name the first Canadian?

Loretta

Unionist wrote:

And Loretta, do you really think the MSM, which names the U.S. and Israeli ones, won't name the first Canadian?

I've been thinking about that since writing my response to you. Sorry to say that, at this moment, I have a "yes" and a "no" answer.

Yes, I do think it's possible that the msm would avoid coverage, in some circumstances. It's relatively easy for our media to cover stories about military members from other countries who resist war -- there is no comment being made about our own country and its complicity. When it comes the possibility of cogent arguments being held up for all to see by one of our own, I think there's a risk that the story will backfire against those who have promoted our combat mission as a force for good, and they are legion. Giving someone who doesn't see it that way "airtime", could, if the person and their stories were credible, cause serious damage amongst those of privilege and power in our country. Perhaps it's more useful to keep those stories under wraps...especially when one considers the ripple effects of what has happened to those who supported the Iraq war in the US.

No, I hope that I am being overly paranoid about what I see as deliberate manipulation of the general public by the msm but, given the degree of bias demonstrated by them and, quite acutely so in recent days, I can't say with certainty that I don't think it could be. (Can you follow all those negatives?)

 

Unionist

Loretta, it's simpler than that. If some soldier took a stand, someone would report it. And no one has. Occasionally, family members (e.g. Boneca's uncle I think - widely reported and discussed here) say embarrassing things after their child/sweetheart has been killed, and yes, those get covered up. But if a soldier took a public stand, it's more likely in the future than the past.

I also have some difficulty with your statement upthread that the Iraq war was "declared illegal". By whom? And what are you saying about Canada's invasion and occupation of Afghanistan? 

Loretta

Like I said, I'm not convinced that someone would report it -- I guess I'm becoming somewhat cynical around the media. If someone did, I worry that it would be as part of publicly shaming someone who made such a decision. Members of our military struggling with such a decision aren't necessarily certain of receiving the public support that those who come to Canada to resist the Iraq war are receiving.

With respect to your question about the war in Iraq being declared "illegal", that is part of the rationale/defense that Iraq war resisters from the US are using. From www.resisters.ca:

Quote:

Thirty years later, Canada is faced with the same moral choice – to give refuge to those who refuse to be complicit in the US-led war on Iraq, which many legal opinions have deemed illegal under international law.

I'm not saying that the war on/in Afghanistan is legal or moral or justified -- what I am saying is that there is a widespread belief that the war in Iraq is illegal (and Canadians feel smug about our lack of involvement, which isn't really true, from what I understand) whereas the war in Afghanistan is justifiable (some will reluctantly admit that it's not "winnable"). Given that "spin", public support for those who leave the "illegal" Iraq war is, one could think, stronger than those who might wish to take public action in leaving the "unwinnable" war in Afghanistan.

Our sense of nationalism also plays into this -- we can collectively imagine ourselves supporting US resisters but supporting our troops means supporting them and their mission(s). Again, don't get me wrong -- I don't hold those positions but I think that the sentiments are dominant in general discourse (shaped by our media who "manufacture consent").

Maysie Maysie's picture

Long thread, please continue in a new one.

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