"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

All quiet on Quebec war protest front, despite casualties, antiwar sentiment

From the Canadian Press via Yahoo.

Quebecers were expected to rise in protest against the war in Afghanistan when hometown soldiers from the local regiment began to fall on the fields of Kandahar.

Instead, the return of 11 flag-draped caskets since the Royal 22nd Regiment took the lead of the mission last summer has triggered little outcry from the province's political leaders, public personalities or ubiquitous street protesters.

The quiet response has left Raymond Legault, a member of antiwar umbrella group Collectif Echec a la guerre, reaching for explanations.

"I think when soldiers get killed, people are more sad than angry," said Legault, who helped organize small protests this fall that failed to spread very far.

Polls have suggested about 60 per cent of Quebecers are against Canada's mission in Afghanistan, a level of opposition that has remained constant for nearly five years.

It is interesting to see these numbers. Sixty percent are against Canada's mission, yet there are no protests calling for an end of the mission. We see the same thing in America.

As often, I ask, Why?

In calling my Mom over the holidays to wish her a Merry Christmas, I was taken aback that she too thought it was time to bring our Soldiers home. Her explanations took three tones:

1. So many wounded.

2. Lack of progress

3. We have given them their freedom and all they do is continue to kill.

I addressed each of these issues with her.

1. We have less killed and wounded in seven years than we had on any given day of major battles in WWII. I thought this would have some effect since as a young girl she has vivid memories of WWI, but nothing at all. It just led to the second issue, the lack of progress.

2. I told her there had been substantial progress. Since she does not have a computer, she may just be getting her "lack of progress" from the MSM. I comforted her by stating we are doing to Lord work in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are bringing democracy to people who have not experienced it in their lifetime. She grudgingly accepted that and then went on to number three.

3. Iraqis and Afghanis will never accept freedom.. I told her, freedom is something you do not accept, nor is it something which can be given, it is something which is earned. Iraqis are now earning their freedom. They are doing nothing different than a young United States did in the late 1700s. When she asked what did I mean, I unfortunately had to refer her to "Washington's Gift" which she will never see since she is woefully technologically unsavvy, and she will never see this article that I shared with you all on Christmas Eve.

The reason I am sharing this story is it explains the "Why" earlier. Good, decent, God fearing people know what we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq is right, but they cannot explain why or understand the complexities of the wars, so they choose to not support it, but will definitely not protest against it.

There is a Christmas story at the birth of this country that very few Americans know. It involves a single act by George Washington -- his refusal to take absolute power -- that affirms our own deepest beliefs about self-government, and still has profound meaning in today's world. To appreciate its significance, however, we must revisit a dark period at the end of America's eight-year struggle for independence.

The story begins with Gen. Washington's arrival in Annapolis, Md., on Dec. 19, 1783. The country was finally at peace -- just a few weeks earlier the last British army on American soil had sailed out of New York harbor. But the previous eight months had been a time of terrible turmoil and anguish for Gen. Washington, outwardly always so composed. His army had been discharged and sent home, unpaid, by a bankrupt Congress -- without a victory parade or even a statement of thanks for their years of sacrifices and sufferings.

Instead, not a few congressmen and their allies in the press had waged a vitriolic smear campaign against the soldiers -- especially the officers, because they supposedly demanded too much money for back pay and pensions. Washington had done his utmost to persuade Congress to pay them, yet failed, in this failure losing the admiration of many of the younger officers. Some sneeringly called him "The Great Illustrissimo" -- a mocking reference to his world-wide fame. When he said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York early in December, he had wept at the sight of anger and resentment on many faces.

Even Congress, at the birth of our nation, which is supposed to understand complex situations, failed to understand the significance of what had just occurred in the newly found (and formed)United States of Americq eight years after a very long war had started. Today, most Americans (and Canadians) do not understand "The Long War". They are still enjoying economic livelihood and freedom. They are still enjoying the fruits of many dead Soldiers without knowing what these Soldiers have really done for them, be it 1783 or 2008. I personally, believe that most Soldiers also do not understand what their sacrifices bring until they are much older, wiser, and separated from the actions they underwent.

It is simple however. Freedom is something one would not accept, interestingly enough. It is also something that cannot be given. It is something that must be earned by the brave. We gave Afganis their freedom in 2001. We gave Iraqis their freedom in 2003. Neither of these cultures accepted their freedom. In fact, they shunned this gift much like Congress did in 1783. Iraqis have began to accept their freedom now that they are earning their freedom. Afghanis are just beginning to understand this great gift since they are now earning it. Pakistanis will decide their course on 18 February 2008, but will have to battle Al Qaeda to earn their freedom.

Finally, there is another facet of gaining freedom which must be overcome. Rulers have to understand freedom (to step down) to allow a democracy to flourish, despite them. Washington understood this fact. Maliki is beginning to understand this fact. I am certain Musharraf now understands this fact.

Our Soldiers who are dying and being wounded on the on the battlefield of Iraq and Afghanistan are doing nothing less pious than our first President did at 1200, 23 December 1783.

To understand why we are doing to Lord's work in Iraq and Afghanistan, click here to understand the the full extent of not only Washington's gift upon America, but the Continental Army's gift to America and the military's gift to subsequent nations more than 200 years later.

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Blogger MataHarley said...

Your commentary on The Long War has always been insightful and cogent, Lt. Col Caveman. But this one adds a new quality... inspirational.


Sunday, 20 January, 2008  

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