Insurgents rain on Harper's parade

Afghani insurgents killed six Canadian sepoys on Sunday, stealing the limelight from Steven Harper's Vimy Ridge photo op.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had invoked the Afghan campaign in a speech to veterans Sunday by drawing direct parallels between Kandahar and Flanders Fields, was careful yesterday to avoid any mention of the latest losses in his address to the crowd before the memorial.

My first thought when I heard the news about the deaths was: how could this possibly happen? Who could possibly conceive that Canadians would continue to be killed in this pointless exercise in national chest-thumping?

My second thought was that this news would mean less chance of a spring election since it reminds the Canadian public (a majority of whom oppose extending our involvement in the Afghanistan debacle) of the costs involved.

Then I had a third thought, which directly contradicted my second thought: this latest incident will make a spring election more likely, not less.

Pretty soon, it is going to be the 22e Regiment (based in Val Cartier, QC) that will be taking over duties in Afghanistan. Harper would be wise to have an election before this happens because once francophones start dying (N.B. none have yet), his popularity in Québec will drop like a stone. Goodbye majority!

In related news, it is good to see that the pro-war Canadians out there have a good grasp of why we are in Afghanistan. Crooked in Canada, for example, seems solidly non-ironic when he or she wrote:

I think its time to do in Afghanistan what should have been done a long time ago, bomb the hell out of it until the Taliban have nowhere left to run or hide. I think people have had enough time to flee the war torn country by now, and I see no reason as to why the war in Afghanistan shouldn't be stepped up a helluva lot more now.

As you can see, Crooked in Canada has really thought things through. The civilian population has had more than enough time to flee the country by now, so the odds are that everyone remaining hates us for our freedoms, and deserves to die.

That being said, I don't mind blowing the f*** out of country to keep the bad guys from getting in and out of the country. Afghanistan needs to be cut off from the rest of the world in order for the war against terrorism, and the Taliban to be won. That's what I think anyway.

Apparently, Crooked in Canada lacks even a basic understanding of what creates insurgents. The use of military force against civilian populations only creates more insurgents. I could look for a link buttressing this last statement but I am too bored.

Luckily, the Canadian public is less obtuse (shoutout to WKRP!) than Crooked in Canada. A CTV poll shows

When asked about the likelihood of Canada being a terror target because of its military presence in Afghanistan, 56 per cent said we are more likely to be attacked.

This represents an increase of 18 per cent compared to one year ago. Thirty-four per cent say the military presence has no bearing; while five per cent say having soldiers in Afghanistan make us less susceptible to an attack.

Yes, if I was Harper I would definitely call an election sooner, rather than later. Before le merde hits le fan in Québec!