Editor’s Corner article

The Politics of Misplaced Idealism
CHRIS MacLEAN  |  Nov 29, 2017

Dear protectors of “detainees” (a.k.a. people caught trying to kill soldiers)

According to a CBC News report by Murray Brewster, former MP Craig Scott (who represented Jack Layton’s riding for three years before losing to the Liberal candidate in 2015) will “attempt to convince the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court this week to include Canada in her investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan.”

Let’s see... Parliament sent our young men and women to fight for the rights of Afghans, with the lofty (if somewhat arrogant) intent of spreading “our values” to that part of the world; those soldiers witnessed corruption and abuse. Where was your voice, Craig, when Parliament couldn’t be bothered to demand standards for human rights in return for our military and financial assistance – which, if not respected, could have ended the funding and hauled back the soldiers? 

Where were you, Craig, when our soldiers were told Canada has “no right” to interfere with the culture of weekly sexual abuse of young boys – weekly – and to “cover your ears” to the atrocities being perpetrated by Afghan soldiers on young boys while housed on Canadian bases? I do not remember you standing up then, MP or not. 

Where were you when Canadian soldiers were fighting for their lives in Afghanistan? Where were you when it was decided that anyone captured while trying to kill Canadian soldiers or innocent villagers could not be held on a Canadian base because we had “no authority” (or capacity) to do so? Did you want these captives sent back to Canada? Should they have been set free, to kill another day? Should they have been “integrated” into your home town? 

Life in that part of the world bears no semblance to your pampered, privileged life. Authorities are mostly corrupt (hopefully less today than then), in fact, corruption and extreme violence is the way of life there. I just read an interview by a Washington Post reporter, in which a young Syrian woman expressed her heartfelt dream to raise her young children to become martyrs. If, dear Craig, you cannot understand the depths of that motherly sentiment, then you have no right to condemn our troops for doing what they were told to do – hand their kill-crazy captives over to local authorities! These so-called “detainees” were actively trying to kill our soldiers, any Western soldiers – in fact, they still want to kill anyone who doesn’t think exactly the way they do.

I think of Trevor Greene, whom we all sent into harms way to valiantly try to help people, and yet one of them took an axe to his head for his efforts. When you portray Canadian soldiers like Trevor as callous people, it makes me sick. I am so tired of this misplaced idealism. Rather than vilify our soldiers, why don’t you come up with a better solution for such a situation in future, and stop pretending that “detainees” were just ordinary people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.