Published in the Kingston Whig Standard 31 July,2006
[size=4]WHY WE FIGHT****.**
[/size]Sometimes you just have to do something because it is the right thing to do. Not because it is the easiest thing. Not because it is the thing that seems to offer the path of least resistance. Not because it is the thing that is the ‘politically correct’ thing to do. And so it is with Aghanistan.
Canada has chosen to spend her blood and treasure in a land far away. A land that has been torn by invading armies since before history was written. Our country has looked abroad and seen a people tortured, murdered, and mutilated in the name of a perverted ideology and has once again stepped into the breach. As have Canadians so many times before, they once again are in the field, under fire, their very lives in the balance, so that the helpless, hurt and injured can at least dream of a better day
Afghanistan is a land where little girls had their hands cut off for the high crime of reading a book. Where little boys were forced to watch their parents die because they had committed some transgression against the Taliban. This is a land where obedience was purchased with lives; where a people lived in fear of their government; where atrocity was the coin of the realm.
It is into this land that our Canadian troops have been sent. At risk of life and limb they daily patrol the streets and fields of Afghani cities and country side to guaranty the most basic of human rights. The right to live, to eat, to gather together, to vote ; all rights that were stolen from them by the Taliban.
And make no mistake, our Canadians are paying a terrible price.
But they go proudly and with courage to protect the human rights of a beaten people. They perish too. But they do so knowing that their mission is just. And they do so knowing that the people they protect are grateful for every effort and every life given.
A life time ago and a life time before that, Canadians fought foreign wars to bring an end to brutal subjugation. They fought, and died then to bring the same human rights we enjoy here at home, to peoples who were too brutalized to win them alone. The situation in Afghanistan is no different. And the nobility of the cause not diminished.
Canadian troops, today, even as you read these words are in the field in the name of this sacred cause. They defend with their lives the same human rights that so many Canadians, just a short few years ago lamented for the people of Afghanistan. These are the same human rights for which so many will only march and protest. Those who militate against this mission are misguided and disingenuous at best and have allowed their hatred of President Bush and their rabid anti-Americanism to cloud their judgement.
Yet our troops set action to words. Our troops are in Afghanistan doing what must be done. Not because it is easy. Not because it is ‘politically correct. But because the Canadian mission in Afghanistan is the right thing to do.
Canadian troops are in the field in Afghanistan, fighting and dying because to do less is to admit that the cause of human rights is only fleeting and intended to be the subject of heated debate at cocktail parties and university clubs. If Canada didn’t step in to help, then what would all our talk of freedom and human rights amount to? Background music at the mall. Static on the radio. White noise. Nothing more.
Canadian troops are deployed to Afghanistan so that little girls can go to school and learn to read. Canadian troops stand in harms way in a land around the world so that little boys can play in the streets without fear, so farmers can farm and a people can do the myriad of things that a peaceful people do. Our country has committed her blood and treasure in support of a long a proud Canadian tradition of helping those who cannot help themselves.
Because it is the right thing to do.
There are a number of agencies and organizations that are dedicated to sending “care” type packages to our troops in Afghanistan. Our lads need all kinds of items that you and I can purchase from Wal Mart but that are in short supply over there. One of these organizations is “Canadian Angels” and if you want to participate they can be contacted at;
Please feel free to post the contact information of any other organizations in Canada doing this work.
I urge al my fellow inspectors to support our troops as they perform this dangerous and difficult mission. Show them that “duty”, “honour” and “valour” are not just words in a dusty old book and are apprecieated by those of us at home.
They need us.