24 April 2006

Afghanistan on an April Monday

1. For a poignant memoir of one soldier killed over the weekend, read Christie Blatchford's front-pager in today's Globe and Mail.

2. The Conservative's flag policy is appropriate. Let people mourn in private. The flag doesn't change the grief and pulling the flag up and down the staff - not the mast - will serve to lessen people's sensitivity to it.

3. The new Conservative plan to ban news media from Base Trenton to cover the arrival in Canada of the remains of Canadian soldiers is not appropriate or sensible. If there are concerns about the families having private moments of grief, then there are appropriate limitations that can be placed on what news media can shoot for stills or television.

However, a blanket ban that has the shooters huddled outside the main gate to the base taking pictures of any vehicle that might contain a casket makes for a likely spectacle that is just not fitting.

If the feds are worried about public reaction to our war dead, the feds are ensuring they'll have no influence over how the story gets covered. The Bush policy on this was short-sighted.

4. Meanwhile, as the politicos busily make a mockery of the Afghan mission - Tim Powers' comments on Mike Duffy on Monday are a subject for another - the men and women of the Canadian Forces will be soldiering on.

They'll mourn the dead and then get back to the job of making a difference in the lives of people half a world from home.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them."