September 8, 2009
Went to the Canadian International Air Show yesterday – Cara and I were lucky and got free VIPs from a friend who is an air traffic controller at YYZ. Friends in high places. More bad word jokes ! What I loved about it was that it felt like is one of the best examples of what (wo)man and machine can do together. Thinking how an engine can force you to plug your ears from hundreds of metres away. Way to go, humans! At least we’re good with engines, not so good with compassionate capitalism and fairness. But hey, win some lose some?
Now this sounds so sheltered and naive and Canadian, but what got me iffy was the obvious military talk, the killing power of the machines over the deafening loudspeaker, the sellout country songs which repeats the words “freedom” and “patriot” like D major and G major on that plugged in crispy Garth Brooks acoustic guitar . Bad things happen, Canadian forces kill every day, these planes were built to do those very things. I don’t feel like I turn a blind eye to our military either, I even feel I do a better job than the average Canadian with this. But it still felt like Bush redux. You are indirectly fighting for our freedom, ok. But obvious, “they” don’t hate us for it. They hate us for being in their shit for the past 30 years. (obvious).
Of course human rights violations of some of these “freedom fighting” countries heavily complicate matters, but it’s not that cut and dried. We know. You’ve heard this before so I’ll stop – oil, resources, exploitation, bullying, encouraging democracy, making mistakes, not being able to contain militant forces with millions of troops (not to mention private contractors like Blackwater). Maybe why we blanked on Sudan ? OK I’ll stop.
[photo via hame.ca]
April 13, 2009
My friend Joe was reading a book that we discussed a few months back about modern warfare. How wars have changed over the last 80 years, from hand to hand combat to suface-air missiles to nukes to… pirates?
Seems to be a regression than a progression, but militant/extremeist groups have been mobilized by the easy access to big weapons, and the ability to stay viable due to their small numbers. And not only with pirates – Talibans, Al Qaedas, you know. Needless to say, it’s clear we have yet to figure out how to deal with these sorts of small and powerful groups. I think trying to woo other small militant groups with weapons and money has proven to be even stupider than it sounds on paper. Not to mention emerging types of warfare, especially in the cyber realm.
US Navy – kudos x thanks.
February 10, 2009
Did you see this on the National last week? Please please watch it. Please.
I encourage all of you to watch clips of the Canadian battle in Afghanistan on YouTube, tons of videos. What happened to peacekeeping? I need to look into this more, as well as a proper way to thank Canadian soldiers, really. The validity of this war just amplifies the sacrifice they make.
Forgive my possible lack of understanding, but if we had a stronger non-interventionist mentality and focused on peacekeeping, wouldn’t we be considerably less likely to face hostility from Muslim extremist groups? Maybe that’s too Switzerland, but often other governments (i.e. Australia) take it way too far to chum the U.S. I understand that Canada has little to no defence and supporting them supports Canada’s defence. But defending yourself and fighting a questionable war on foreign soil are two completely different things.
And who would hypothetically attack us? Muslim extremist groups? The exact people we are trying to kill right now by supporting the US? And why? Because they think we’re trying to modernize or moderate Islam? Because we support Israel? Because their fundamentalism is dangerous? Because of our need for middle eastern oil? Because we started it? Because we funded militant extremeist groups? Could be all of the above. Messy.