Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 5, 2001
Humanitarianism missing in all war
When the nation gathered around their stuffed turkeys, grateful to live in Canada and not some other godforsaken part of the world, President George W. Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom.
Tony Blair, his cohort in Britain, called his contribution to the ensuing retaliatory violence Operation Veritas - a nice classical touch, expected of an older but dwindling empire.
Let the brass new upstarts speak the vernacular of the common man, Britannia will stick to Latin to formulate its war cries.
So here we are, and with the blessings and support of our prime minister, back to war for the third time in 10 years - this time in defence of truth and liberty.
Barring unforeseen friendly fire, and thanks to sophisticated technology, it is anticipated that our own combatants will come home safely, but with the dearth of clearly marked military targets in the enemy territory, there will be some unfortunate collateral damage on the other side. That's the price we pay for truth and freedom.
Rather than an appetite for turkey, I craved a taste of sanity in this mad world. I turned to the Psalms, a favourite inspiration for the poems by Ernesto Cardinal. There is much there that a troubled world can learn from, but, as it so happened, the book fell open on the pleas of David, the warrior king hiding out from his enemies.
Like Blair, Bush and bin Laden, David claims to be on the side of God and is certain that God is on his side. He exhorts the Almighty to crush his enemies the infidels, while he will praise his holy name.
There was no solace to be found in these words.
It only emphasized that humanity has always believed in the concept of just wars. No matter what side you're on, and that it will possibly continue to do so.
Since Kosovo, the wars are not only just, but humanitarian. While we fire off our $10-million missiles, we also drop $10 packages of food bank items.
I was a recipient of this generosity after the Second World War. I can feature grateful Afghanistan mothers scrambling through the ruins for tins of milk powder, beans and soda crackers.
If truth were known, there is nothing humanitarian about war. Truth and liberty are the first causalities as the four horsemen ride roughshod over all you hold dear.
Death, hunger and terror have been the constant companions of the Afghan people for decades.
So it makes good sense to create a little more terror to root out terrorism once and for all. Something like the war to end all wars which was started because a lone terrorist shot an Austrian king.
On Nov. 11 we will remember the young boys, fresh out of high school, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our truth and freedom in that ridiculous war to end all wars.
Twenty years later we were at it again, but this time with more devastating firepower. From that moment on, the side of truth and liberty financed and instigated a never-ending series of wars all over the world so we could eat our turkey and all the trimmings in peace.
A Pentagon official in charge of future warfare was quoted some years ago. "The de facto role of the U.S. armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends we will do a fair amount of killings."
In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then U.S. Secretary of State, was asked how she felt about the 500,000 Iraqi children who had died as a result of U.S. sanctions.
She replied, "It was a very hard choice, but all things considered, we think the price is worth it." Thank you Lord for being on our side.
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