Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thoughts on the Death of a Prince George Soldier

Today they bury Corporal Darren James Fitzpatrick here in his home town, Prince George, BC, otherwise known as BC's Northern Capital, or, by a select fewer, the home territory of the Grouse's Perch. The young man's death has surfaced all the kudos and patriotism one might expect when locals are involved. Thus phlegmatic local journalist and blogger, Ben Meisner, for example, is today defiantly asserting pretty well nothing new in tribute to the fallen youth,as he concludes his opinion article, as usual, "I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion." Shouldn't be very hard to defend an airy opinion that amounts to nothing more than admonishing us to respect the dead. Meisner, like, I would guess, most Prince Georgians and all too many Canadians, is willing (I paraphrase Meisner) to "leave it to people with a better understanding" as to whether the sacrifice is worth it.

Coincidentally, the national news gab in Canada on this funereal Tuesday, whirls around some rather mild remarks made by US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, which unsurprisingly reiterated that the Americans would like Canada to remain beyond the highly artificial pull-out deadline of 2011. Her words as exactly as reported by CBC: "But I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're happy about it because … that wouldn't be telling you the truth. We'd love to have Canada stay in this fight with us. But again, you know, you've got your own considerations and we respect that."

More pretty harmless stuff but, like they say, when your sleeping with an elephant even a mild fart can get your attention.

The question I have as we bury Darren today is why, if it is worth battling the Taliban and Al-Qaeda baddies this year, worth seeing young Canadians whose lives have hardly begun lowered into graves, is there something that magically changes and makes it no longer worthwhile in 2011.

No, Meisner, such illogical decision making is not in the hands of anyone who "knows better" than you or I. The mission in Afghanistan is either worthwhile now (and will remain so in 2011) or not. Under the leadership of a man whose brains are so scrambled that one year he drips apologetic verbiage to Native people for the historic harm they've suffered and the next, claims Canada has no history of colonialism, we had better start thinking this one out ourselves and making it clear to the Pols just how much we are willing to sacrifice or not, and why. Then perhaps, all those Darren Fitzpatricks will be at rest.

No comments: