Friday, September 29, 2006

Red Friday

More and more people are getting into Red Friday. I actually can't remember where I first heard about it, but Garth has a video that explains the origins of the Canadian version.

I also found a yellow ribbon site -- send him your address and he will send you one magnetic yellow ribbon. He'll send it to you for free, but it would be so cool if you could send him a donation in return.

Yesterday I met a young woman friend of mine for the first time in months. I almost didn't recognize her -- the long, long hair had been cut much shorter, and she had embarked on a physical fitness regime that showed her being trimmed down, toned up, and terribly fit. She had just come from an interview, and she was visibly excited.

She has joined the Canadian military.

She's no flighty kid, either, filled with heroic fantasies. Her age is somewhere in the mid- to late twenties, and her head is on straight enough. She told me she'd been preparing to enlist for more than a year, and using that time to get herself into shape.

She knows that she might be sent overseas. Perhaps Afghanistan.

She's ready.

I was wearing a yellow ribbon on my lapel, and she spotted it (truthfully, it was hard to miss) and gave me a hug, thanked me for the support. She knows that the worst sort of enemy is the one behind you -- and for our troops, that means the nay-sayers and talijacks at home, the ones who call you a terrorist from the safety of a podium in a country where free speech is allowed.

Those critics who call our troops terrorists and killers and other nasty names don't stop to figure out that one of the reasons our troops are in Afghanistan is to enable the Afghani people to get their own free speech. Those critics don't have the courage to do anything constructive themselves, but they spread their own fear by screaming epithets around the world. Those screams get picked up by international news agencies and re-broadcast, eventually finding their way to the places where our troops are fighting for people who need out help.

Real terrorists aren't entirely stupid. They know that in democratic countries, public opinion counts for much. This public dissent now becomes a weapon made by us against our own people. Our troops hear that their own neighbors and friends are calling them terrorists and murderers. This is not good for morale, the exact point for which the real terrorists are aiming. Lowering morale can make your enemy vulnerable and easier to kill. Then they aim deliberately for our troops, knowing full well that each time a Canadian soldier is wounded or killed, the public howl of "Bring them home!" becomes louder and louder.

So, thanks to our free speech laws, our home-grown talijacks are giving aid and comfort to the enemy...and doing it with the taxpayers' dime, too (who do you think pays for the CBC?). And they're getting away with it. At least, they're getting away with it on a legal basis.

Fair warning to any talijacks within my reach: You won't get away with it on a personal basis. In my hearing, spout off at your own risk.

I'm easy to find. I have a yellow ribbon in my lapel. And I wear red on Friday.


Anonymous DazzlinDino said...

Excellent post. It's REALLY starting to piss me off how the opinion of the military is getting so little play in the media. The only guys they show saying "we need to be there" are the higher ups, so everyone is saying it's all just "politalk".

OH, by the way, did you sign up for the Bloggers hockey pool, I've got a link on my sidebar and we need a few more people.

Saturday, September 30, 2006 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous stageleft said...

Supporting the policy and supporting the troops are to entirely different things. I don't personally know anyone who does not support the troops, I know many who do not support the policy that placed them there.

In the furtherance of their own particular agenda there are those who have wilfully chosen not to make the policy/troops distinction... it's so much easier to demonize opponents of our policy towards Afghanistan when you do it this way.

I support our mission in Afghanistan, but I do not wear red on Fridays as I anticipated, correctly as it turns out, that it would be used as just another tool to divide us - and as soon as I heard our local (Right)WingNut Lowell on the the air waves calling for "moderate Muslims" to wear red to prove they were not a threat to god fearing Canadians, and heard the very first "I wonder why more people aren't wearing red today, don't they support our troops", I knew I was right.

Sunday, October 01, 2006 7:08:00 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

SL, I'm not sure how you turn "red Fridays" into "yellow journalism" - I've been wearing red on Fridays since I first heard/saw the appeal from the 2 army wives that started this months ago (they may have started it much LONGER ago, but I only heard of it in the summer).

It's not a huge thing to do, but it can't hurt. If there were a rally in Edmonton, frankly, it would depend on (a) my work schedule and (b) the location as to whether or not I'd attend. But I'd be wearing red regardless.

Sunday, October 01, 2006 8:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Chim, you write, "one of the reasons our troops are in Afghanistan is to enable the Afghani people to get their own free speech."

So what exactly are the other "reasons?"

Look, the US has been involved in Afghanistan for over a decade, possibly more than two decades, funding and supporting the "Afghan Freedom Fighters," inititially in their "revolt" against the USSR. All in the name of "freedom," remember?

In fact, it was all about politics though. Power and politics. What makes you so sure this isn't any different than the past two decades?

What's your measurement for "success," exactly?

Sunday, October 01, 2006 9:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

And another thing - this "round" of going into Afghanistan had the major purpose, we were told, of rounding up AQ guys, especially Bin Laden.

It's interesting to me that the total failure of locating and arresting Bin Laden over the past 5 years hasn't really garnered much criticism or is now being given much thought in regard to Afghanistan.

Sometimes I guess, original goals are easy to lose sight of when those original goals don't work out so well.

Monday, October 02, 2006 6:37:00 AM  
Anonymous dez said...

I don't have a problem with our troops being in Afganistan, but I think our reasons for being in Iraq are questionable.

But, where our soldiers are located, or why they are there, is not the issue here. This is about showing support for the people in uniform who fight for us.

As someone who has served, I understand what it means to wear the uniform. There is a common bond that all of us share, who have worn the uniform of military service - giving our time, and sometimes our lives, in service to our nation.

Those who have never given of themselves in this way can never truly understand that bond, so I can forgive their ignorance when they speak out against the uniformed forces, or call us names.

You don't have to respect the war, or the politicians who decide to create one. But, for the sake of the freedom they die for, please respect the soldiers.

No one can hate war more than the soldier. It is important to remember that.

I wear red on Friday, and a yellow ribbon always.

Monday, October 02, 2006 6:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

"giving our time, and sometimes our lives, in service to our nation. "

Well, see - here's where folks sometimes get emotional instead of logical. I personally do not see the military in Afghanistan as doing anything for "our nation."

"You don't have to respect the war, or the politicians who decide to create one. But, for the sake of the freedom they die for,"

I resepect all individuals, in the sense that individuals should excercise their own choices.

Would you kindly explain to me what exactly, this "freedom" is that the soldiers in Afghanistan died for?

"No one can hate war more than the soldier. It is important to remember that."

Silliness. Are you seriously trying to suggest to me that soldiers have a monopoly on hating war? Ummm.. sure.. tell that to the soldiers down at the big P in Washington.. the ones that often are the ones right up there, encouraging war.

As well, I know of some soldiers who LOVED being in war. One idiot (and I say that facetiously - he was an interesting character) went back to Nam THREE times after being seriously hurt each time he was there. He was also a Canadian that went down to the US to volunteer. Not out of some patriotic "duty" or hatred for North Viet Name - but out of a sense of "adventure" and being able to experience war.

Perhaps soldiers like the way folks used to glorify war, and their war dead. There are enough of these "glory tunes" on both sides of wars from where I come from.

I personally may not have served in a war anywhere, but I am most certainly related to some that did.

Monday, October 02, 2006 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cait said...

Has anyone actually asked one or more of the soldiers if he or she feels that "Supporting the policy and supporting the troops are to entirely different things." as SL said? I think if you do so, you may find that most of the soldiers feel that criticism of the war is an attack on them as well.

Ian, sorry, but having relatives who have been to war is absolutely nothing like having been there yourself. I do agree with you, however, about the "soldiers hate war" theme. I've never quite bought into that one.

What bothers me the most, I think, is that I do not believe the press in any country I can think of is telling us the whole truth about the war in Iraq. Very little is said about the rebuilding that is being done by allied troops. I feel the press has mostly decided they are against the war, and that what they are now reporting is aimed at getting the public to agree. That's the real quagmire, just as it was with Viet Nam. I am appalled at the prosecution of the war in Iraq. We should have gone in with 300K troops, for starters. But I think there are sound reasons for being there, although they are not the "official" reasons we've been given. I believe the allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan both are doing a much better job than the press is crediting them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 2:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Dez said...

Well, what do the soldiers on the ground say?

Here's one:

I never said that all soldiers hate war, but those that do, hate it more than you could imagine.


Sunday, October 22, 2006 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edmonton's 1st Red Fridays Rally
Friday, November 3, 2006
Sir Winston Churchill Square
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Wear something red and come out to show your support for our troops.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 8:14:00 PM  

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