This morning, I was horrified to read, but not surprised to know, that the Army commander of the Canadian Forces Base at Trenton, Ontario has been charged with murdering two women, as well as charged with two home invasions.
That sobering truth of the ugly effects of promoting war and violence yet never acknowledging how far reaching their maniacal tentacles are came on the heels of having heard that a group of 7 young boys looking for firewood were "accidentally" killed by Afghan police. The police, of course, as the report tells us, were in a "hunt" for "insurgents." Canada prides itself on training Afghan policemen. What sort of methods are we teaching them? What sort of sick misdirection are we providing? Canadians will never learn the names of these boys.
On this morning's radio report, I was horrified to hear that Afghan villagers have been leafletted to get out of the area. The NATO troops are going to "cleanse" the area of Taliban. The villagers have to scramble to leave for the showdown the occupiers have planned with "the insurgents." This news made me feel sick. What sort of violence machine have the Canadians become? Where will the villagers go? Is there even a place for them? Should they go hide in the hills? How should an impoverished people leave?
Then, I was looking for some stats on the number of displaced Iraqi people, when I was horrified to stumble upon the news that an American soldier has been charged with waterboarding his 4 yr.old daughter because she didn't recite her ABCs to his liking.
Looking for those stats, I visited Arabwomanblues who writes in clear language the realities that she has had to bear witness since the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Here are the official stats she lists (please read her full post for her full report):
From 2003 - present
* 1.5 Million Dead (Lancet report)
* 200'000 reported missing (official)
* 2 Million Maimed at least (official)
* 5 Million Exiled and Internally displaced (official)
* 2 Million widows (official figure)
* 4.5 - 5 Million Orphans (official)
These numbers left me reeling. In 2003, Iraq's population was only about 25 million. Canada's population is about 34 million today. I couldn't help but compare that if Canada within 7 years ended up with more 6 m. orphans or 3 million widows, what would we think? Would these statistics be hard to find?
On Arabwomanblues, not only did I find the shocking stats I was looking for, but also I watched the AlJazeera video on the effects of war on American soldiers that she had linked to. This report states 18 war veterans on average commit suicide EACH DAY in the US and families of soldiers who have returned from many deployments (what a euphemism) to Iraq describe their lives as hell.
Shouldn't Obama, who got the Peace Prize, be responsible for the ugly of war too not just its promotion?
And why don't more Canadians see our Prime Minister as a War Minister? That we live in a war economy? Why do many Canadians still believe the lie that we are peacekeepers when we are in fact active aggressors in killing fields and war profiteers?