Tuesday, October 23, 2007


You know the part in the movie where the the doctor is doing everything he can to save the wounded hero. This being a movie set in the Middle Ages, the cure consists mostly of copious amounts of bloodletting. Oh no, you think, that isn't gonna work. But you don't blame the doctor because he's doing the very best he can with the knowledge he has at the time.
That scene would play somewhat less sympathetically towards the doctor if the movie was set in the 20th century.

Canada in Afghanistan : When Myopia Becomes a Crime
Michael Neumann

"For many Canadian partisans of The Mission in Afghanistan, Canada is just fighting the good fight. Their attitudes are curiously anachronistic, as if our boys have gone off to stick it to Jerry. There are yellow-ribbon support-our-troops stickers on many cars; there’s home town pride. Embedded correspondents produce little more than a stream of human interest pieces, as if Afghanistan was some enormous Katrina aftermath.

Thanks to ReWind.It at Bread and Roses.


Anonymous said...

While I prefer your bloodletting analogy to Neumann's TB one, I'm surprised you support this essay - up till now you've always been very strong on fuck the war and support the troops.
Alison, we are all exasperated to see the politicians backpedalling on pulling out of Afghanistan but this essay does not help.

Alison said...

Ian : Blackwater is now training our troops, Ian.
The Canadian military spokesperson said : "They're accredited, they're recognized, they're specialists."

Neumann is pointing out that it is not as easy to separate 'the troops' from 'the mission' as a slogan like "Support the troops Bring then home" would indicate. He gets points from me for biting that bullet even if I do not agree with his central premise that the slogan is ineffective.

I want our troops separated from that mission. I want us to stop fucking over Afghanistan as part of US mideast imperialistic ambitions. That's it.

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