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The official website of Paul Franklin: a father, veteran, activist, motivational speaker, and proud Canadian.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What is being Canadian in this day and age?

What is being Canadian in this day and age?

It means teaching the police, training and equipping the ANA to become a professional army,

It means helping to create a government and judicial system from scratch,

It means going to the farthest corner of the world and keeping our values in place when all around seems lost,

It's making friends with a foreign people with foreign values, customs and even ideals and finding common ground.

I go to places like Afghanistan to fight hatred and fascism.

I have met kids with fingers cut off for flying kits, girls brunt with acid for simply going to school.

I have given polio shots to one of the last places on earth that polio exists,

I have worked side by side with ANA and ANP and UK and US and Dutch soldiers and we didn't kill any kids and we didn't kill any civilians.

The Afghan people are human and simply want to live their lives and not be subjected to hatred and intolerance.

I am willing to give up my life for that cause. I don't fight for GW Bush or Chretien I go to war with simple rule of engagement (protect yourself) then every decision you make is your own.  We don't go to war for some petro company we go to war so that my son and a kid in Afghan can have the same chances in life.

If the Taliban want to come back fine let them but the people of Afghan wont tolerate being used and abused anymore. The people of Afghan are better and smarter than that.

I want a happy Afghanistan where people can choose to go to work or not, go to university or not, all kids of both genders have to go to school, women aren't beaten or married at 12, boys aren't raped, people are proud of their country their religion and even their history. We must always try to do what's right. We may not succeed but we have to try

Fighting in Afghanistan was authorized under a UN resolution and also under article 5 of the NATO charter. Countries made a choice to go based on political debate (Chretian authorized the deployment) and countries also chose where to send the troops. As ISAF spread its command across the country Canada (under Martin) chose to go to Kandahar.

As for geneva conventions Canada has always upheld the Geneva conventions. PM Martin authorized that any detainees would be handed over to the Afghan government in accordance to the whole government approach. The main reason he authorized the handing of detainees to the afghan judicial system was the knowledge that if they had handed them over to American command they would be tortured. Bagram (where Khdar was sent), Gitmo and of course the recent allegations of Abu Gharib were all reasons to send people to the judicery of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Was it the best option? Its better then shipping them to Canada.

Imagine the up roar if we set up a POW camp in Canada?

As for Harper you may dislike him but this war has been directed by the military on the ground. The civilians do the diplomacy and the direction of the war is directed by the security 
situation and also the goals of the Cdn contingent and under ISAF goals.

The goal to put it simply is to help provide a security situation where the Islamic republic of Afghanistan government can establish control first in the cities and then in outlying areas. The return of refugees from abroad and the rebuilding (most cases building) the infrastructure needed to move from a failed state to a member of the world of nations.

Should we give up because its hard or should we work our hardest when it is the toughest?

When we go to a country like Afghan where the AVERAGE life expectancy is just 44, polio, leprosy still exist, most children die under the age of 15. They used to be the worst country in the world prior to 2001 and now they are 3rd or 5th depending on what measures you use. For them to move up even one level they have to exponentially grow.
The world looks to Canada for all the good we do if its helping Southern Sudan diplomatically and logistically in their quest for independence from the north. The world defence departments also look to Canadian military expertise in combat and in historical exp. A Canadian general will run the ISAF training programs, a cdn general is in charge of the NATO ops in Libya.

Cdn soldiers choose to go back never because they have to but because they choose to.

A historian who specialized in the italian campaign asked some commandos from the first special service force why they go to war. The US commandos said so hitler won't come here, so fascism doesn't come to America and then they asked the cdns the same question and the answer was that they wanted to help the italians have better lives.

When asked why we go back to afghanistan with a chance of being killed, wounded (either physically or physcologically) or worse the answer is simple, its to help the afghans help themselves.

We know our pensions suck, a lot of our equipment doesn't work that well, we sometimes wear green camo in the desert, we have 30 year old planes supported with 40 year old planes and ships with 50 year old helicopters, and we are all of 110 000 people strong (army navy airforce and reserves). Yet we protect the northern end of north america, ships in three oceans, peacekeeping operations, training operations (that used to be and still is down by US green beret) around the world, combat operations in the sky, the ground and on the sea.

I have never been more proud of being Canadian then being a wounded Canadian for a just cause.

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