Friday, November 06, 2009

A meditation on the British cemetary in Kabul

From the At War blog of the New York Times. This of course is what caught my attention:
A Canadian television journalist who was in the graveyard the same afternoon I was there was struck by something closer to her home. On the walls surrounding the cemetery are lists of the dead since 2001. Plaques for the fallen British; for Americans; a few for Germans and for Canadians. The plaque for the Canadian dead with the country’s emblem, the maple leaf, etched in the middle, lists only those who had died through the end of 2006 as if Canadians soldiers had not died after that. The 30 Canadian troops killed in 2007, the 32 killed in 2008 and the 27 killed so far this year have no marker of their passing. She turned and said, “I called our embassy, it’s terrible; they haven’t added any names since 2006.” She wasn’t a journalist at that moment; she was a Canadian on foreign soil. We are most patriotic when we are far from home; the possibility of our own mortality, most present.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Pam said...

That is horrible. With Rememberance day coming up it is horrendous to hear that even our government does not honor the fallen heroes.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

My only nephew, Nicholas, (and only godson) is in the UK Royal Marines, and is going to Afghanistan next spring.

I am almost beside myself when I think of it. He has loved being in the Marines, done all sorts of wonderful things; but it drives me crazy thinking he may die because of this political screw up. He was 9 years old when 9/11 happened. As a soldier he is trained to be gung-ho. But western policy is not working. We need, although I am far from sure on this, to adopt a Truman doctrine of containment with respect to Islamism. We certainly cannot contain it by using drones to bomb people.

As for myself, I cannot even think honestly faced with the possibility of Nick being killed.

But, I do blame G W Bush for taking his eyes off Afghanistan, faciliating the corrupt government there, all in favour of the useless Iraq war (which I saw as a fail from the start.)

8:12 AM  

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