Afghanistan Fatalities: "We Didn't Want Canadians to be Aware"

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We Didn't Want Canadians to be Aware
by C. L. Cook

PEJ News
September 21, 2005

In a rare moment of candidness, the Canadian government disclosed just what they are doing with the people's "Defense" ministry in Afghanistan. Brigadier-General Mike Ward, describing details heretofore untold to Canadians said:
  • "We have to engage in combat operations that take the offensive into the mountains, into the remote regions where they have their bases and their sanctuary, and keep them off guard."  

Hardly headline news, but that's been the government's strategy all along.

A concentrated and complicit corporate media in this country has all but canned news and analysis of Canada's changing military. Imagine if the U.S. corporate media failed also to provide news from the war, save a brief and terse appearance before a select press conference, and you've got the picture of just how much Canadians don't know about what is being done with their tax dollars, and pronouncedly in their names.

Canada's new self-definition is a redesigned military command and control to better "assimilate" with the U.S. This assimilation, though sold to the country as merely an extension of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), (the Cold War remnant of continental cooperation to deal with threats thought likely to emanate from the former USSR) is actually a profound redefinition of both the make-up of Canada's Forces, and the nature of future deployments.

Needless to say, from the government's position, ethical consideration is ceded to legal arcanum, morality reduced to a question of what best serves Canada's "share holders." In the media, this extreme makeover is presented solely in strategic and financial terms. What Canadians think about this sea-change in foreign policy, or if they're even aware of it, goes unreported.

And now those changes are set to bear the bitter fruit of Canadian blood spilt far from home and in the service of dubious masters.

Defense Minister, Bill Graham has been talking up Canadian casualties for months, and is now set to take his mortician's dog and pony show nation-wide. This as the new "Canada Doctrine" sees troops in Afghanistan sent to the country's most volatile regions with a newly-minted playbook; a playbook made in America. And, playing by American rules means paying like American troops.

Graham and his fellow Liberal quislings know a train of "transit-tubes" filled with the remains of Canadian soldiers is leaving the station, setting in motion a sad and certain journey from the world-away fields of Afghanistan to the cemeteries of Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Regina, Victoria, and all corners of the nation between.

It's just as Brig.-Gen. Ward says:
  • "Casualties do occur. That's the nature of war. That's certainly the nature of operations."

Naturally. But why?

What petrifies Mr. Graham is the prospect of a "shit happens" answer to the inevitable question to come:

  • "Why, Mr. Graham did my son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, uncle, grandmother, mother die?"  

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. He also serves as a [former] contributing editor to PEJ News. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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