Monday, September 25, 2006

Returning to the Source

Through all the last six of the Bush years, I clung to the hope that the essential goodness and sense of the majority of the American people would eventually prevail. Perhaps it's beginning to happen. As more and more agencies are casting off the shroud of Presidential Infallibility and stating the truths that non-Americans have known for most of those years, it looks more likely that the power of neo-Conservatism will be broken for many years to come. After the elections this year and the fading away of the lame duck over the next two, real democratic forces can begin to repair the damage done by failed ideology and failed militarism.

Not so in Canada, unfortunately. With the usual capacity for the comprehensionally challenged to be years behind their more alert fellows, we have just entered into a bout of selfish, narrow minded Conservatism, with a government whose members refuse to learn from the mistakes made south of the border.

How long must Canada march in the wrong direction, like Dad's Army following the out-of-tune efforts of a Keystone Cop band? I'd suggest only until the very first opportunity to bring down the heirs of Ralph Klein in a confidence vote.

In a report from Afghanistan, in today's Toronto Star, it's encouraging to hear voices from the Canadian troops that they are balking against following the self-defeating policies of the Americans. If our soldiers hear enough encouragement from home about reconstruction, instead of destroying the homes and livelihoods of the Afghan people, we might become a positive force in the NATO command. Just keep that jackass Mackay from reinforcing the failed Bush strategy. From Europe comes the excellent idea of buying the poppy crops for our own medicinal uses, instead of destroying the fields and turning the farmers into enemies. Even ‘Steve' will recover his overpowering urge to self-interest if more than half the country refuse to follow the right wing folly in lockstep.

What do combat missions achieve when the opponent can replace casualties faster than cluster bombs can create them? The same report mentioned that the Afghan's greatest hatred is reserved for air attacks that kill combatants and civilians with equal ease. That response was also seen in Lebanon recently. Ever since the 20s, Western governments have opted to fight South Asian enemies the cowardly way by attacking them from the air. It has never worked in the past, and today it's clear that it turns more friends and neutrals into enemies than any other method of warfare. It's time to recognize that truth and keep the fly-boys at home where they can create less collateral damage.

Let's look toward a new Canada that returns to proven success and an honoured name. 2006 can be the start of a new resurgence of the kind of Liberalism that focuses on promoting the Common Good above economic dogma. Our opponents are in a position of strength today, but Lao Tzu noted more than two thousand years ago, "He who is to be weakened, must first be made strong." The Tories have only one direction to go. We may have foundered in our own hubris in the past, but we have the opportunity to weed such arrogance from our ranks. Super Weekend is the start of the road back.


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