Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Juma, Sadar and Amed

children of Saleha

Canadians, do you know where Saleha is? Well, you should because your representatives have killed 3 children from this village: Juma 4 yrs, her 12 yr old brother, Sadar, and 11 yr old Amed.

This news was buried on the back pages of my local newspaper.

Now, when Canadian soldiers die in Afghanistan it makes front page news. And one of the first things mentioned on the media releases issued is that the Canadian government acknowledges the tragic loss that the family has suffered. If you watch the clip on the Toronto Star online, and listen to the Canadian army major, there is no recognition that these children had a family. Now, you might think that is petty of me, but I say no. It is just through this kind of avoidance-speak that people are de-humanized. Their losses are never given the same respect as "our" losses. It continues "us" and "them" discourse and the unspoken narrative that "our" lives are more important. Don't be lulled by the army major's non-speak of culpability, his careful discourse of due process to investigate. Now, maybe this Canadian army major has young children at home. Maybe he does and that is why he has written his words down, keeps his eyes down, so not to stray into any emotional territory, heaven forbid! Better get the words right!

Whether it is Canadian ordnance left behind in the fields around the village that the Canadian army has claimed/confiscated/occupies for its military practice shelling, or as some of the villagers assert, a direct Canadian mortar artillery attack that killed these 3 children and left another child maimed, the Canadian army will "regret the loss of life." And that is it. On to the next news.

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