I read with interest the following news release…..
[i]“KABUL (CP) - Canada will reduce it's overseas military deployments to just 1,200 personnel by fall, down from 4,500 a year ago, the chief of defence staff said on a stopover Friday in advance of next week's NATO summit in Turkey.
Gen. Ray Henault said deep cuts in troop commitments to its two biggest NATO missions - Afghanistan and Bosnia - and the withdrawal of naval ships from the Persian Gulf, will give the country's armed forces a much-needed respite.
"It's all with the view to allowing the force to renew itself, to regenerate and be ready for whatever comes next," said Henault, who was visiting Canadian members of the International Security Assistance Force.”
Nice idea, everybody go home….nothing to see here.
Canada is bringing their troops home, and why not? How about we all do this, let the world be, stop antagonising it and expecting the worst of regimes, governments, hierarchies etc. What is the worst that can happen? Will people naturally hate their neighbours and demand land without the government propaganda telling them to be pissed off? Would we see the scary demons if we weren’t told they were there? Is there really a problem we need to solve, or are problems just being created? Old wars and prejudices, distribution of land and resources; are these really issues to the guy in the street? What sparks the situations that call our forces in to solve them? Who makes the problems that the guys in the white hats ride in to save?
I don’t know why we assume the worst of our fellow man. Arabs are nice people, as are Koreans and Africans and Americans……however leaders in all these places, stir and manipulate the media, the masses and themselves into a frenzy of fear that supports arms sales, enables profiteering of the worst kind and drags the average guy from his home with a patriotic stirring in his loins….a need to defend against the perceived threats…..to save his family, his people, his ‘way of life’.
‘Way of life’……is that so vastly different really when you go to different countries? Well yes maybe ‘WAY of life’ is but ‘DESIRES for life’ aren’t. In reality, the nice Korean gentleman in the North or the South…..the African family in the village time forgot…..the worried American watching CNN…..the Arab sipping tea all want the same thing – the right to move about unhindered, the right to work, the right to be paid fairly, the right feel safe in his own home, the right to choose his friends and the right to choose not to have enemies….and we foolishly perhaps imagine or are convinced by the powers that are, that our governments are capable of providing this; if we just send more troops and build more barriers and hoard more oil and and and and……
It is the big stirring spoon of the money makers who profit from discontent who plant the seeds of self fulfilling prophecy. On the internet, ‘bloggers’ (people who write diaries for the world to read) offer a glimpse into the lives they live in their own individual way. The Iranian, the Iraqi, the Palestinian and the Jew all complain of the heat in the summer, the intrusion of their mothers in law every Sunday, the complaints of their wives and girlfriends when they spend too long with their friends and neglect to tend the yard or look after household chores.
The women chat about their families as the priority they are in all people’s lives. So if family and the love of the stability required to raise one is what we all desire….why can’t we start with that one piece of common ground and build a tolerance borne of understanding?
I don’t ‘get’ war and no amount of political savvy or academic intellect will ever make me see otherwise. Amongst the educated, I would be perceived as naïve in my innocent request for all the troops everywhere to go home – but in all reality, would the consequences be worse than they are now? Could the decision to go home really lead us further away from world peace than throwing more soldiers at the equation?
I am not naïve … I am optimistic and can see clearly that this is the wrong path; that mankind as a whole would not invade its neighbour if its neighbour was not perceived as intending on invading them. Mankind would not fight over the placement of an oil pipeline if they could simply agree mutual benefit in its distribution. Who is it that wants to invade another country? Who is it that wants to control a pipeline? I don’t know (though I have terrifying suspicions) who it is, but I do know who it is NOT – it is not you, it is not me, it is not the blogger in Korea or India or Iraq or America……they just want to finish work early, see their friends, get home, kiss the kids, eat a good meal, and make love.
Peace and Namaste,