May 19th, 2024

Those who died in Afghanistan will be remembered


By Letter to the Editor on September 29, 2021.

Editor:
Toward the early 1970s, the American public was getting tired of the war in Vietnam. Returning soldiers met suspicious eyes.
I didn’t think it was right: they were drafted and had no choice but to join. A cousin of mine was a cabin attendant of the airline that carried the servicemen back and forth between the United States and Saigon. She felt sorry for those men: they looked not only tired but dejected. I wonder how people involved in the war in Afghanistan are feeling today, especially those who lost their loved ones.
We must never let them feel that way. We must maintain our affection and respect for veterans and their families. It was not their fault that the Western countries in Afghanistan fought in a hopeless cause. Most of the Western countries including Canada joined the Americans in an attempt to destroy the “terrorist” bases. If it was a mistaken strategy, it was a collective mistake.
An article by Paul Wells in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine, page 28, who went to Afghanistan a few times since 2007 as a reporter, speaks about a hopeless quagmire of the situation he saw there. We didn’t know that, did we?
I felt the same when I heard my favourite uncle Mitsugu went missing in action and was presumed dead in the battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific during the Second World War. He was just out of high school. The tide of war had turned already by then, and Japanese people began to see the situation hopeless. Uncle Mitsugu didn’t want to go but felt he had no choice. Did he die for nothing?
Now all the coalition forces have left Afghanistan after 20 years of conflict; and after so much blood was shed of all those husbands and wives, boy/girl friends, sons and daughters. Fanatics and sadists were rare, if any. Many came back injured with PTSD. Many innocent people lost their lives, and were casually called “collateral damage” as though they were pieces of furniture. We have to keep them in our hearts with gratitude. We must remember all affected from all sides. They had no choice.
“His orders come from far away.” (Buffy Sainte Marie “Universal Soldier”) Many died because of our collective mistake. We will remember them.
Tadashi (Tad) Mitsui
Lethbridge

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biff

we never learn from history, do we. young people over and over sent to kill and die…always in the name of freedom but that is never the real purpose: it is always done to further enrich the top 1% of the top 1%.

Southern Albertan

Agreed…a big factor in the Afghan mess were/are, gas pipelines (i.e.TAPI) originating in the Turkmanistan gas fields, going through Afghanistan, and jockeying by USA, Russia, China…….and who would control them. Another oil and gas war? No surprise there.

biff

alas, that country has been under siege by outsiders for what seems forever. you have nailed some of the real reasons as to why.