Thursday, April 12, 2007

Harper's Blitzkrieg

Does anyone else think it is an ominous sign that we need 100 tanks for Afghanistan? It seems to me, rather difficult to reconstruct a nation from inside a tank. In fact, a tank would appear to be a tool of deconstruction, is it not?

Update: BTW, did anyone watch Frontline the other night? It had a documentary about a Canadian military unit sent out into the countryside to try to help the local villagers. It was heartbreaking because, despite their good intentions, there was little the soldiers could do to help. The soldiers tried their damnedest, but there was not enough medicine to go around, not enough spare parts for the villager's pumps,or anything else really. Of course there was no corner store to run to to get supplies either. You could really tell how frustrated the soldiers were that there was so little they could accomplish.

The only time I got mad was at the end. The soldiers were ordered out of the area because they were needed elsewhere. They knew that the villagers were screwed because they had been seen by the Taliban going to the soldiers for help, but they had their orders and they had to leave. You could tell they knew the Taliban were going to have their revenge but they were helpless to prevent it. That made me mad. Not at the soldiers but at their leadership. If you are going to try to win the trust of the people don't do it in a half-assed way. If you are going to set up shop in an area, you have to stay. If not you are just dooming those who trusted you. And that is no way to win hearts and minds.
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