musharraf: too bad so sad

the president of pakistan, general pervez musharraf is on a book tour right now, and while being interviewed by the cbc, he was questioned about whether his government was doing enough to prevent taliban soldiers from crossing the border into afghanistan to kill canadian troops. the general in turn began to criticize canada's reaction over the number of casualties being taken by canadian troops in the fight against terror. his basic remark is that canada needs to suck it up. that canadians should get used to casualties, and if they aren't prepared to suffer casualties, then they shouldn't participate in operations. he says that canada's losses compared to pakistan's losses in the war on terror, just don't match up.

these comments, of course, will rile canadians. but there is some truth to his remarks that canadians have to face up to. yes, canadians need to come to terms with the reality that war means death, and yes by implication, we have been naive about it. after all, the majority of canadians supported going into afghanistan, and while most canadians knew there would be casualties, none of it was real until the actual bodies started coming back home. there will be more bodies, and canada has to realize this. and i suppose in terms of sheer numbers, pakistan has lost more in the war on terror than canada, and i cannot argue against statistics. besides, statistics is a gruesome sport, one that falls into the lowest of debates, similar to who has the biggest penis.

but what i can debate is his essential point that canadians have to get used to the bodies. whether it's one body or a million, i don't think any nation or any people should have to get used to people dying. that is the last thing you want to do. war should never be routine. if that happens, it makes war a videogame. when one person dies, it effects the lives of their immediate loved ones, to their friend, to the families of their friends, to their relatives, to the families of their relatives, and so on like a ripple effect. war eventually touches everyone. some more directly than others. and to even suggest canadians should get used to seeing their sons or daughters brought home in flag-draped coffins is heartless at best. but i shouldn't be too surprised considering the source of these comments.

ultimately, canadians may or may not support the war in afghanistan, but no canadian should ever get used to it.

here is a quick video blurb from the cbc: