IT COSTS -- IT BRINGS NOTHING

By William Markiewicz

Now there's a lot of noise that Canada spends too much on Afghanistan and that the public was not honestly informed about it. Prime Minister Harper replies that where soldiers die money shouldn't be the first concern. So, looking from the reverse angle, the more blood spilled the more money should flow! Will this argument convince the public facing coming elections?

In Vagabond, little space has been devoted to internal policies and the economy; with the artistic part of my ego I prefer more "flamboyant" subjects: in politics -- global rather than local issues, in philosophy -- hermetic topics where I relax in the breeze of poetry and mystery. I may also react to something provocative and I feel challenged by the way Mr. Harper places himself on the noble heights while the greedy ones, preoccupied with their bank accounts, stay spiritually down below him. But if Harper's soul flies on such heights then what are his motives? What is in Afghanistan that he and those who think like him need? This is the greatest goal-less war in the world. Even if Osama Bin Laden was the emotional trigger of the conflict, nobody has seen nor heard about him for years. Now the terrorists' acts are mostly localized in the regions of war and express reaction to occupation rather than Holy War against an infidel. Presently attempts at terror in the Western countries are at a low stage and the West seems to have established efficient defenses. To fight terror nobody needed to go to other countries why do we have aviation? If potential terrorists in the West have no other weapon than bombs, then bombing countries that support the terrorists may be more efficient than to land in their territory and engage in hunting for deadly ghosts. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have mostly psychological roots: Westerners dreaming of the glorious past. This is nothing more than colonialism dressed up as if it's a fight against terrorism and a charitable initiative to improve the conditions of children and women in those faraway countries. Never in history was war initiated for such reasons because it is mostly interior business. If somebody wants to help interior problems there are other solutions and pressures better than war. There are many problems besides schools and civil rights: health care, welfare; will anybody start a war somewhere for this? The local governments that invite foreign help, like Maliki in Iraq and Karzai in Afghanistan, have their own interests in mind first of all. Maliki cannot prevent massacres by either side. Karzai 'governs' over people of other ethnies than himself and he must obey their interests at the expense of his kind. Let's not forget that Afghanistan is a composite country. Recently we heard about a small boy in Afghanistan raped by an Afghan policeman and left with atrocious wounds. We will never know if the power-holding policeman and his little victim were of the same ethnie; probably not. This case and others can be expressions of ethnic hatred that nobody can help. The best Westerners can do for the locals and for themselves is to go away. Let them resolve their problems by themselves.

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