Last month, I sailed across the Straight of Georgia to Saltspring Island, during their "Words Without Borders" writers' festival. Included in the program was a panel on Afghanistan featuring writers with recent books out focused on this country. Panelists Terry Glavin and Murray Brewster brought a good dose of honesty and even some optimism to the cynical and simplistic narratives the third panelist, Ann Jones, propagated (= war and militaries are inherently bad / peace is good, even peace with tyranny). After the panelists spoke, a mostly reasonable and civil audience interaction ensued. At the very end, an older woman stood up and said something more or less like this,
We have so many problems here in Canada that need to be dealt with, it seems to me we should be dealing with our own challenges first rather than going into other countries telling them how to solve their problems. I'd prefer if we dedicated our country's resources to tackling our own problems.
Many nodding heads approved, there was even some light cheering.
I've heard one version or another of this statement quite consistently ever since I myself started meddling in other countries. I call it...More >>