Thursday, 4 September 2008
Chad makes 96...
Today on my way out for lunch, I noticed the newspaper out of the corner of my eye... the person on the front cover looked very much like someone I knew. On closer inspection, in about a second and a half, the realization came to me that I did know him. The cover was of 3 Canadians - the most recent victims of the WAR against the Taliban in Afghanistan. I say War because that is what it has become. Young Chad was my co-worker at Petland not too many years ago. He was a really nice person, and he was a typical average kid. He had a desire to do good, and to help people. I remember that he seemed like the kind of person who always wanted to make people happy. He went out of his way to do so. Though, being a typical kid, he really got on my nerves - with his loud rap music, and his crazy love life with co-workers at the store. I gave him a really hard time about it. I regret giving him such a hard time now however. :-( Anyway, my prayers go out to his family at this time. I honestly didn't even know that he was in the army. It makes sense to me though, that he would have done so. He always wanted to do something that would make a difference in the world. Though that was his intention, and also is the intention of all Canadian soldiers, I have a feeling, that is not what is being achieved in that country so far away.
There have been threats recently...
The Taliban has threatened Canadians - their threat is that until we pull out of Afghanistan, they will continue to kill our nationals at an increased rate. They did that yesterday with Chad, and his 2 comrades. They intend to kill many more. The Taliban are relentless, and they are a fast-growing, vicious, cruel organization who's intent is to gain control over the Afghan people and ensure their "freedom" from Democracy and Western Oppression. Democracy isn't strictly a Western value. The reality is, Islam was based upon the principles of Democracy. (see book review on "Reconciliation") These Men have twisted what was sacred into another opportunity to exercise power and dominion over innocent people. Because they are a very clever organization, and because parents are very poor in those countries, and the only free schooling available to their children is what has been provided by extremists; it is a very fast growing brain-washing operation which I personally see no end to anytime soon.
I have very mixed feelings on this. I love the Afghan people. I love their history and culture. I appreciate what they have contributed to the world. The problem is, if we pull out of that country, they will again be at the mercy of the Taliban; and their freedom will become a memory. However, the truth is - this is a losing battle. We were sent to that country to keep the peace. It has turned into a war - a losing one.
96 of our soldiers, and one of our diplomats have lost their lives to this conflict. I don't know if their deaths could have been prevented. I believe in protecting these people from extremist threats. However, perhaps it could be approached differently. I don't know what the perfect solution would be, but the source of the problem as Mrs. Bhutto indicated in her last words to the world on the subject - is ignorance. Ignorance on the part of many people. The victims (Afghans), the west (us), and the extremists (the taliban). Education is needed most especially for the poorest people of all Muslim Nations. People need to be aware of the origins of Islam - mainly that the teachings of Muhammad as inspired by God were that a Muslim society (anyone who believes in God) should be based on tolerance, respect, equality and understanding. The fact is that the prophet Muhammad was preaching against the tribalism that was tearing his beloved Mecca apart. He left Mecca for that reason. That tribalism is alive and well today, and they call themselves Muslims when they are not. They turn their backs on the true God of Islam. They call themselves Al Qaeda, and the Taliban, and other extremist groups who's real purpose is to exercise authority and power over those who are peace-loving. The solution really is education. Not just education about Islam, but education about the west. Many of the people sucked into the brain-washing machine of the Taliban have no idea about what our society stands for. Yes, we know that the U.S. is corrupt. Everybody in the whole world knows that, except the Americans. (sorry American friends - it's true) However, there is much good in the West (even among Americans) that these people are not aware of. As I indicated before - many parents in poor Muslim countries can't afford to feed or send their children to school. They send them off to the extremist-run schools. There, they learn how to become the most devout terrorists. They really believe that they are doing the right thing.
So, as I said, I don't know what the answer is, but I do know this - we are losing our young (Chad is merely 21) men and women who are brave to a cause that is and will increasingly become - a losing battle. It is time for the leaders of the world to get together, and come up with a different solution.