Thursday, December 10, 2009

Afghan detainees: "Scandalous"/Update: Anyone remember there's a war on?

If only the government had dealt with the issue in a measured and responsible fashion, instead of consistently, sometimes reprehensibly, lashing out at almost everyone raising questions, it would not be in the PR soup it now is. Not that the government is unique in trying to score, to use the cliché, cheap political points.

Brian Platt, at THE CANADA-AFGHANISTAN BLOG, sees the bigger picture that's being lost in our political madhouse:
Ah...this is just killing me. It's killing me.

At the very moment when the Americans have, for the first time ever, committed themselves to a fully-resourced mission to build a functioning state in Afghanistan, and when our country needs to be debating what our commitment after 2011 will look like, we are going to be talking for MONTHS ON END about whether Afghan detainees were abused three years ago. Good grief...

...the fact that we're calling this a scandal is embarrassing and laughable. Have you seen the living conditions in Afghanistan? Have you read that country's history in the past 30 years? If only a few Taliban prisoners have been abused, that's not a scandal, it's a MIRACLE. It is a massive step forward from where that country has been in recent times. Can people not understand this?!

There is no scandal here, aside from the all-too-familiar incompetence of our government's public relations team.

Can we please, for the love of God and all that is holy, talk about something RELEVANT? Get serious about this? Determine what role our country will continue to play in Afghanistan's ongoing struggle to lift itself out of anarchy and violence?

Please. Please. I'm begging you, journalists, editors, bloggers. Get some fucking perspective.

Update: More from Adrian MacNair:
...The media feeding frenzy on this file has been nothing short of ridiculous, and the real scandal here isn’t whether suspected Taliban were tortured three years ago; no, the scandal is that the media can only find the effort to report on our ongoing war in Afghanistan when it may have political implications.

Let me explain that again. We as a country are at war, and the only time that the media feels fit to report on our mission is when one of our soldiers comes home in a box, or this ridiculous exercise in finger-pointing about a defunct issue...

...We should be busy discussing how we can assist our allies, and what form that assistance will take in the near future when our combat mission ends. But what are we talking about instead? Whether we could have done enough to stop torture we had no part in, that took place three years ago.

Does anyone realize we’re fighting a war against the Taliban?...

...the real scandal is that we aren’t talking about the mission, and how it’s important to achieve milestones and goals. We aren’t talking about how we can continue to help and develop Afghanistan for the people there, and protect them from the barbaric Taliban. We’re much more interested, apparently, in whether Peter MacKay or Stephen Harper is “complicit” in the wrongful treatment of an Afghan detainee. In the broader scope of the mission, the bloody history of the country, and the events on the ground, it sounds absurd...


Blogger Ti-Guy said...

Please. Please. I'm begging you, journalists, editors, bloggers. Get some fucking perspective.

Well, since you asked so nicely...

YOU get some perspective and stop dictating what other people should care about and talk about. As for our ongoing role in Afghanistan? That's easy: NONE. It's over and we're getting out. Let the regional powers take care of it or let the Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy with imperialist misadventure.

2:24 p.m., December 10, 2009  

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