POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
Canada's place in the world is simply being a damn nice place to live, one which cares about human rights and democratic values to a far greater extent than our paranoid neighbor to the South.
I believe many of Pearson's ideas and ideals are still solid bedrock stuff for a national dream.
The effort by the Right Wing to make a lot of noise about Canada's role in the world and its need to be active militarily are just shabby stuff.
We were suckered into Afghanistan, and the effort represents a colossal waste of life and resources. Afghanistan represents none of our interests abroad, and we have no historic connection.
Yes, women are abused in a 14th century society, just as they are in rural India or Bangladesh or Brazil or dozens of other places. But we are not there for the women anyway. We are there to please the Pentagon. Anyone who truly believes you can change, in the matter of a few years, centuries-old customs and attitudes, please let me know because I have a bridge you'll be interested in buying.
The U.S. was wrong to invade in the first place. It was soon apparent they didn't know what they were doing. Britain only joined because they seriously feared the US using nuclear weapons in the wake of 9/11. No other NATO country wants anything to do with the futile fighting.
Not just in the South but everywhere in Afghanistan, even today, there is no effective national government. Teachers aren't even paid, and the schools close as fast as they opened.
Ridiculous to call this chasing after windmills a new place in the world. We look the fools.