Monday, July 24, 2006


I was watching the news last night. Two (more) Canadian soldiers have been killed, needlessly, in Afghanistan. That's bad enough, but it's not what I'm writing about right now.

In the course of the item, a soldier was interviewed, and he referred to the suicide bomber who killed our soldiers as "cowardly". I've had enough of this.

You know who some people have been touting as a Canadian hero lately? Some crack sniper in the Princess Pats. So Canada's supposed hero is a guy who hides in the rocks, or sits in a cave, or skulks in bushes in camo, looks down a telescopic sight at people upwards of a mile away — people who aren't even aware of their presence — and, with no risk to himself whatsoever, bravely squeezes the trigger. Tell me honestly... does that make you think of Superman? It makes me think of Charles Whitman.

Other "brave" people are the ones in body armour who roll into mud-brick villages in personnel carriers, brandishing automatic weapons. Or who sit in helicopters and fire at blobs of heat seen through night vision goggles. Or soar over a city at twice the speed of sound in radar-invisible jets and bomb apartment buildings before flying home to supper with their own well-scrubbed, pleasantly-plump families. Yes, these relative untouchables are our heroes. The brave ones.

The "cowards", on the other hand, say good-bye to their families, friends, homes, everything they love, knowing they will not come back; they strap on the instruments of their own demise and with the last act of will in this world, carry their struggle to the enemy by the only means available to them... a billionaire enemy who comes in planes, helicopters, armoured vehicles and armoured bodies, who have volunteered to bring murder and death to someone else's land, devastate someone else's home, rather than protecting their own, which is a soldier's real job.

I'm not asking anyone to love suicide bombers. But let's have done with throwing this "cowardly" shit around. More of it's sticking to our hands than their faces.

1 comment:

L-girl said...

Oh man, I couldn't agree more. Can you think of anything less cowardly?

Many people claim suicide - any suicide - is cowardly. I never understand that. I doubt I'd ever be brave enough, no matter how bad I felt.

But don't say this too loudly. You could lose your job, like Bill Maher.