POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
Just what is support for troops?
To my mind, it is a sense of solidarity on the homefront for the job they are doing.
But we do not have that solidarity.
The commitment for sending troops was made quietly, with little real debate.
It was made in the minds of many as a commitment to compensate the Americans for our refusal to join the slaughter in Iraq.
The commitment was quickly extended by Harper who appears to have never seen a tank or a destroyer he didn't like.
We are inundated with intellectually-insulting propaganda about helping the Afghans, but no one in Canada even knew who they were before America's demands.
The same for the plight of women there, but the world still represents a hard place for women over much of its surface. India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexiico, vast parts of Africa, etc, etc. Why was Afghanistan selected? The question takes us back to America's paranoid views.
How do you actually change a society to democratic values and human rights?
You must see its economy grow vigorously for decades and decades. Poor, 14th-century lands - including Europe in the 14th century - don't have such values.
You cannot ever change the basic attitudes and morals and customs of a society by gunpoint. It never has worked. Changing just one ingrained habit, like smoking, takes decades even in our society.
How can thoughtful people be asked to support what is wrong?