As peacemaking operations in Afghanistan continue and four new casualties of the intervention are returned home, Canadians are again reminded of the dangers faced by our soldiers every day. But the truly unfortunate part of this story is the decision of the Canadian government not to lower flags nationwide or allow media to cover the return of the soldiers to Canada, a practice more often seen in the United States.
There truly is little to say about this unpatriotic decision by the Canadian government. Four more Canadian soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice for this nation and rather than honor them as the hero’s they are the government has chosen to attempt to sweep this event under the rug. The only logical explanation for their decision, if any logic can be extracted from this, is that by not lowering flags to half mast and denying any media coverage of the soldiers return then it is easier to disguise the dangers that are faced in Afghanistan.
Of course in defence of the Conservative government it can be argued that in war you can not lower flags at half mast for the loss of every soldier. For example, it would have been nearly impossible to ever raise flags to full mast during either world war. And therefore lowering flags for every soldier lost in war would be difficult and unfeasible.
But again if one is to argue this then the government would have to admit that Canadian soldiers are fighting a war rather than engaging in a “stabilization” mission.
So for arguments sake, let us assume that Afghanistan is a war rather than a stabilization mission. The first question that must be answered is why are Canadian soldiers so under equipped? Regardless of the fact that they were under equipped by the Liberals, why have the Conservatives not pushed to properly equip our soldiers at war?
No matter where any stands in political spectrum in Canada it has to be said that from day one to today the Afghanistan mission has been, from a top down view, grossly mismanaged. How else could soldiers go to a desert war with forest / jungle camouflage, which was eventually replaced with the proper desert camouflage? And then after soldiers died due to a lack of armor on their “armored jeeps”, did the government react and buy armored jeeps from Germany. And now after for soldiers die in the line of duty the government rather than honor the sacrifice paid by their soldiers choose to sweep the event under the rug.
The thought that a repeat of what happened in Somalia is possible does not seem to have crossed the minds of Canadian politicians. Placing soldiers in constant stressful situations with lack of needed supplies and relief is a recipe for disaster. But again I’m sure the government would have little problem in blaming the soldiers and disbanding the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry if something like the Somalia debacle happened in Afghanistan.
I suppose out of sight out of mind.
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