Tuesday, 3 May 2011

On the Death of Osama Bin Laden

I'm Canadian, but I don't see the point. Ten years ago, it would have mattered. Now, it's too late. He's a symbol to both sides, but a decade of occupation, drone strikes, guerrilla warfare, security state paranoia, friendly fire casualties, roadside bombs, IED's, government corruption, burning poppy fields, Private Military Contractors, foiled terrorist strikes and successful ones have taken their toll.

Maybe, just maybe, if all the troops stood down and came home, I could celebrate. But Canadian troops are overseas where we never should have sent them, not keeping the peace but fighting and dying for... what? What have we accomplished, by pouring out our treasure and the blood of our soldiers?

Has democracy suddenly broken out in Afghanistan? Is Karzai suddenly no longer criminal and corrupt?

Am I glad Bin Laden is gone? No, not really. He was an evil man, but you don't want to hear my list of evil men. I could go on for days without running out of candidates.

It's too late. The next few months, when American and Canadian troops DO NOT come home to return to peacetime lives will drive home that point.

Osama Bin Laden may be dead, but his 'children' are alive and well. Prospering, even, as distasteful as that may sound. Prime Minister Stephen Harper (and I taste bile every time I speak that name) was already on the news yesterday telling us that the "war is not over".

The War on Terror was lost a long time ago. It was over the moment the West decided that it was alright to resort to terror tactics, torture, extraordinary rendition, "precision" drone strikes, an ever escalating security state and a laundry list of other crimes and obscenities. We lost that war. They won.

The real war is still ongoing, and this latest news just shows that for every skirmish progressives and rational people win, we lose just as many. Last night my nation lost a catastrophic battle, and I fear we're going to be in the dark for a long, long time to come.


Anonymous said...

I disagree on one point...

Many of us agreed with the original mission - to slap a renegade nation that harboured a terrorist and thought that it didn't have to worry about any repercussions. After the slap was delivered we should have left...

On the rest of it, I agree with you.

This thought of bringing democracy to Afghanistan is a pipe dream. All we are doing is funding a corrupt regime. Support the troops bring em home.

Bemused Lurker

Uncommoner said...

With respect, Canada's original mission was not to slap a renegade nation harbouring a terrorist. If it had been, we should have aided an invasion of The United States, England, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or any number of other countries.

The original role for Canadian Forces in Afghanistan was to defend Canada's national interests, ensure our place in international affairs and to aid in rebuilding Afghanistan.

Once our troops were deployed, mission creep set in and in the years since we have been conducting more and more a guerrilla war.

I put to you that a guerrilla conflict in a part of the world where the last person to win a war was Alexander the Great is not in Canada's National Interests. I further put forward that money spent on rebuilding Afghanistan is being wasted propping up a corrupt and dictatorial government installed by the United States.

I love the Canadian Forces. My father was a Cameron Highlander. One of my earliest memories is watching the changing of the guard.

But bleeding our troops white in Afghanistan does not help stop terrorism. Pushing back against American extremism would do far more good. Pushing back against Israel's apartheid state would do far more good.

Afghanistan is a place where wars don't get won. There are no victors in that land, on any side. No victory to be had.