Thursday, January 31, 2008

Concerned Western Citizens

The Canadians may pull out of the Afghan mission:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, reinforcing an ultimatum over Afghanistan, told U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday that Ottawa would withdraw its military mission next year unless NATO sent in more troops, officials said.

Canada, which has 2,500 soldiers in the southern city of Kandahar, is fed up with the refusal of other NATO nations to send more forces to the violent region of Afghanistan. The Canadian combat mission there is due to end in February 2009.

It is hard to blame them. Already, Canadians are generally opposed to the "good war."

And when Canadian troops fight and watch war tourists ironing their uniforms for the third time that day to stay all spiffy, it is hard to blame them for wanting to leave rather than suffer while most of NATO yawns and looks away. We're not that happy with the tourists, either.

Canada has done its duty. I think they continue to have an obligation to fight with the West against the jihadis, but I won't condemn Canada for wanting out. The jihadis have hit them hard in an effort to drive them from the field, after all. I want willing help. If Canada can't do that, I'd rather not have the entire country build up resentment against America. In time, the jihadis will bring down the CN Tower or actually carry out one of their sick plots and then Canadians will insist their government rejoin the fight as they see fit.

But in the meantime, even if Canada declines to fight, many Canadians I am sure would prefer to stand with us in our generation's struggle. We should aggressively seek recruits in nations that do not fight with us in order to get their willing citizens a chance to stand with the West. Why should Sunni Arabs be the only ones able to demonstrate they are Concerned Local Citizens? With our enemies recruiting from the whole world, why should we remain so state-centric in our approach to war? There are Americans in spirit all around the world, who value our freedoms and culture and would defend them if they have the chance:

Since Americans purportedly flee abroad (though our Hollywood types annoyingly remain despite promises) to live in a country more in tune with their beliefs, couldn't we host foreigners who wish to fight for our common freedoms and civilization despite their home governments' disinclination to fight?

This would also be a nice counter to the UN worship that some "citizens of the world" are prone to. Let's welcome Citizens of the West to our shores--and our military. We are in an ideological struggle and it isn't just for the hearts and minds of the Moslem world as we struggle to keep the jihadis from having the Moslem world's support. We need to struggle for the hearts and minds of Westerners so we will defend our common Western heritage.

I mean, Americans before Pearl Harbor enlisted in the Canadian and British forces to fight the Nazis when America was disinclined to fight that threat. And in the Spanish Civil War, International Brigades fought the fascists in Spain. Why couldn't we recruit abroad from people in other countries who want to contribute but whose own governments don't fight? I think we already have some type of program like this in the Philippines as a holdover from our colonial rule. Surely, there are Spanish soldiers getting out of their military who might like to actually take a turn on the ramparts fighting with us. Or other Europeans, or Asians, or Africans, or Latin Americans whose governments either provide small or no support in the field.

Get that Liberty Corps program going, I say.