The handwringing continues over the war in Afghanistan. Do we support it or don’t we? Should we stay the course or cut and run? Are we warriors or peacekeepers? What’s the latest from Bin Layton on all this? Has there been another poll on this yet? Why do we see all these antiwar types all over the media when poll after poll shows that most of us actually support the mission? Who, what, where, when, how, why!? ACK!!
For months (no, make that years) now, we’ve been pummelled from all sides by media utterly obsessed with this melodramatic gawking at our collective bellybutton. Sun Media and cnews hopped on that bandwagon themselves today with a whole slew of articles and links on their website chewing over the question of what we think about the war; including:
Waging a war of words
(Adam Clayton, Winterpeg Sun)
[…]The plan was to walk through some of Winnipeg’s busiest spots with a sandwich board sign urging people to support our soldiers in the war-torn country — and then hit the streets a few days later with another sign saying the opposite.
After my first sign sparked virtually no reaction outside the bus shelter at Portage Place on Tuesday afternoon, I headed to Osborne Village thinking I was bound to get a response from a youthful, anti-establishment crowd.
No such luck, as people would read the sign and then quickly look away.
Calling it a day, I hoped the anti-war sign would provoke more of a reaction. Man, did it ever.
Give war a chance
(Dave Breakenridge, Calgary Sun)
Trying to figure out how many people in Calgary support the war in Afghanistan should be like asking first-graders if they like puppies, right?
Drawing battle lines
(Thane Burnett, TO Sun)
Our signs gave no indication we were from the press. We were to stand silent, and let people react to an opinion.
Polls suggest about 59% of Canadians support Canadian combat troops being used in Afghanistan — with about half the country wanting our men and women to all return home when our current military commitment ends in 2009.
Despite the numbers, any debate seems low and muffled.
When I suggested this national project to test our convictions, I assumed almost everyone — as Canadians often do — would walk politely past any controversy.
I thought you wouldn’t have much to say. And I was wrong.
Battle on homefront
(Nelly Elayouby, Ottawa Sun)
A dishevelled homeless man wearing a camouflage cap charges toward me, the smell of booze wafting in my direction.
Arms stretched out, he grabs at my picket sign as I walk through a downtown underpass.
The sign reads “Support Our Troops in Afghanistan,” a message he doesn’t agree with.
“You’re brainwashed just like the rest of them!” he yells, pointing his head toward Parliament Hill.
“Give me that sign, let me rip it for you!”
A war of words
(Joe Matyas, Freeps)
Tyler Fairweather had only been on the street for a minute with his “Support our troops in Afghanistan” sign when a man in a cube van flashed a thumbs-up in approval.
As he walked to the busiest corner in downtown London in the late afternoon, the affirmations kept coming — nods, waves, winks, a few “yeses” and “right ons” and more thumbs.
Fairweather, 17, has a 19-year-old cousin enlisted in the Canadian Forces who’s now in Edmonton preparing for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Strong views on either side
(Andrew Hanon, Edmonton Sun)
In my case, the people of Edmonton were too polite to get up into my face, no matter which placard I wore. The one that read â€œSupport our troops in Afghanistanâ€ earned more honks and thumbs-up from passing drivers, but drew more dirty looks and clucks of disapproval from pedestrians along Whyte Avenue. One young woman glared through her eyebrow piercings and shook her head, but never said anything as she shouldered her way past me. I even marched into HUB Mall at the University of Alberta to see if anyone would challenge me there. But the of only people who spoke to me were a former soldier and two active reservists, both whom had done tours in Afghanistan. Cpl. Marta Rzechowka said the mediaâ€™s fixation on body counts has helped people forget the reason our soldiers are there in the first place Â rebuilding a shattered country and routing the despotic maniacs who previously ruled it. She added that the federal government hasnâ€™t done a very good job of explaining the mission to Canadians. Cpl. Greg Oâ€™Neil agreed: â€œThe media report a lot on casualty rates, but nobody seems to hear when we build a bridge or a school. I guess that just doesnâ€™t sell papers.â€
So, just where the heck do Canadians stand on this issue these days, you ask? Well, the online poll at canoe.ca which was put up yesterday is still running and, while the number of votes has more than doubled, little has changed:
And yes, the poll that has been running here (at the top of the left sidebar) is still unanimous. That’s never happened before.