However, something made the Armed Forces seem ... for lack of a better term, more real to me. I was watching CPAC last night, when they began a rebroadcast of the service conducted for the late Corporal Paul Davis . Seeing his comerades crying, depicting stories of their childhood and youth, seemed to hit home for me — it showed the human side of the Canadian Armed Forces, instead of the action-oriented "machine" propagated by too much of the media.
The emotion and power of the things being said on that rebroadcast elicited tears from me (you can imagine the odd look my mother gave me when she stepped into the room to see her gay eighteen-year-old son, crying while watching CPAC — she had entered at the end of the broadcast, while they were airing that ten-seconds-too-long "created by cable for Canadians" sequence).
Which brings me to my point. The Canadian Armed Forces protects us — and they have demonstrated to us that they do a damned fine job of it, too. However, we have a responsibility — to be exercised through our representatives in the House of Commons and, if necessary, our Senate — to protect them, too. We should never put them in a situation where the objectives are unwarranted, where the endeavours are too dangerous relative to the result, or where we don't have the resources to support their presence there.
This needs to be discussed, at length; Afghanistan is a dangerous place right now, and we need to ensure that we are positive that we should have our Armed Forces stationed there. To be frank, I don't care, in particular, what the House of Commons may have decided in the deployment of our soldiers to a foreign land. That was the prerogative of a previous Government, in a previous Parliament. We should discuss this again, now — not to remove the Canadian Armed Forces, of course; to do so would be inappropriate at this time.
However, we should discuss the longer-term objectives and endeavours of this mission. We need to discuss the timeframe for which we are going to keep our soldiers there, relative to our projections of progress thus far. We need to discuss any safeguards that we could put into place to ensure that accidents, or other deaths, do not occur again in Afghanistan as they have before (or at least to minimize the chances thereof). We need to ensure that our Armed Forces are as safe as possible.
I am going to be contacting Sukh Dhaliwal , M.P. , the Member for Newton—North Delta and Associate Status of Women, Seniors and Multiculturalism Critic for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition , urging him to request a take-note debate — or, if absolutely necessary, an emergency debate — in the interest of bringing concerns in relation to the Armed Forces in Afghanistan to the forefront, to bring up suggestions to improve their safety, performance and effectiveness, and to ensure that this mission is worth the tragedy.
I would urge the concerned membership of Canadian Content to do the same.
(Revision) Revised the title of the thread, resolved a typing exception (paragraph seven).