Tag Archives: Canadian soldiers

Canadian Soldier Gives Afghanistan The Finger

An American helicopter touched down at a forward operating base in southern Afghanistan where Canadian soldiers had been fighting for six months. As the plane went skyward, a fatigued soldier looked down at the mud walled houses and raised his finger in disgust. It was a spontaneous gesture of frustration, anger, and disgust toward those whom he felt did not appreciate the work of these foreigners who theoretically had come to protect the people of Afghanistan against Taliban insurgents. The Canadian soldiers are exhausted, heartsick, and fed up with what they regard as a wasteland whose inhabitants really don’t care if these men have risked lives in defense of something–people, democracy, peace? Lt. Jeff Lloyd, mumbled to a reporter about his service in the area: “But, sometimes you ask yourself. For what?” did he serve and risk his life.

In the rural villages of Afghanistan which have witnessed countless armies and thousands of soldiers who come to fight and eventually depart, there is still a lack of enthusiasm for coalition forces. Foreign soldiers arrive filled with enthusiasm, risk their lives, but village life goes on, as before, and when they depart, village life goes on, as before. The Canadian soldiers never fully grasped anything about Afghan culture except what appeared to be indifference. Is this Afghanistan as it really is?

Night Raids Stroke Afghan Anger

Canada’s top officer in Afghanistan admitted his troops conduct night raids for suspected members of Taliban despite complaints by leaders of the Afghanistan government to avoid such actions which only stir anger among the average citizens of the land. General Denis Thompson admits such assaults go against his own philosophy, he believes there is no alternative. “There’s nothing worse than busting into somebody’s house in the middle of the night.” He argues it is a necessary self-defense approach which saves lives of Canadian soldiers. Thompson’s remarks came after a withering report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission which argues bombing raids and continued harassment of ordinary civilians has often resulted in the opposite effect — people become more supportive of the Taliban.

According to the report: “Afghan families experienced their family members killed or injured, their houses or other property destroyed, or homes invaded at night without any perceived justification or legal authorization.” It has become all too common for the average innocent Afghan family which opposes the Taliban to have a horror story concerning US and Coalition forces who damaged their homes or lives than the enemy of their government. It is not surprising under these circumstances for the enemy to become the friend.

In the words of the immortal comic strip persona, Pogo, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”