Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recipe For Disaster

First, combine over low heat:

1 part poverty
1 part humiliation
1 part unemployment

Stir until congealed. Simmer.

Then, mix on high heat:

1 part religious fervor
1 part testosterone

Bring to boil. Then add poverty mixture, wrap in national flag and bring to the table on fire.

Bon Appétit

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good Poppy, Bad Poppy

November 11, 2008

“John McCrae was deeply affected by the fighting and losses in France. He became bitter and disillusioned.” Veterans Affairs Canada site. The Flanders poppy has become the symbol for Canada's debt to soldiers who fought, were wounded, or killed. That's the "Good Poppy".

Meanwhile back in Afghanistan, we have the "Bad Poppy", the source of much of the world's illicit opium.

ca. 1980-2001, Helmand Province, Afghanistan --- Opium Poppy Field --- Image by © Jeffrey L. Rotman/CORBIS

The ironies are very difficult for me to keep straight, so I'll list them.

1. NATO is spending a huge amount of money on Afghanistan, and very little of the money gets to the Afghan people who need it.

2. One of Afghan's few profitable exports is opium, which is turned into heroin.

3. NATO citizens buy most of the heroin produced by Afghanistan's citizens.

4. NATO is trying to stop Afghan citizens from making opium to sell to NATO's citizens.

5. Canadian soldiers have fought, been wounded, and killed in this NATO operation, so we're trading Bad Poppies for Good Poppies?

6. Heroin is a perfectly good drug. It stops pain.


The nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are with one hand giving huge amounts of money to stop opium production in Afghanistan, while at the same time buying Afghanistan's opium crop with the other hand.

This is such an obviously stupid operation, that the only reason to continue it would be that somebody's making a lot of money. The question is....who?

Other miscellaneous spurious arguments for the Afghan adventure:

NATO's self-defence: Afghanistan isn't a military threat to any NATO state

anti-terrorism: NATO would also have to invade Pakistan

defeat the Taliban: NATO would have to invade Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

women's welfare: NATO would have to invade most of the Middle East and Africa

poverty: .............and Louisiana

Monday, November 3, 2008

Questions from an Irritable Dermatologist Who Reads

(With apologies to Bertholt Brecht, an irritable genius.)

How many goddam Canadian tanks are in Afghanistan?
How much did it cost to send them there? What are they doing?

Is Canada's Afghanistan operation legal? What about Section 51 of the United Nations Charter? What would the International Court of Justice advise?

Why is Rick Hillier an inspirational speaker? How much does he charge?
Should he be clearing land mines in Afghanistan?

Who the hell is Roland Paris? How does he get space in the Globe and Mail? Does he get money from the Department of National Defence?

How many prisoners have Canadian troops captured in Afghanistan? Where are they now? Where are their records?

So many questions.
So much bullshit.