Referring to the Afghanistan fight as a "mission," as politicians and the press had been doing almost categorically since 2009, presented a clever way around the shortcoming of having fought a match without result.
If leaving was so easy now, could we have done so earlier, and saved lives? If leaving, or staying on, makes so little difference -- if, in fact, we are ready to lose the war, then is it the truth that Canadians did "die in vain?"
Canadian recruitment ads are markedly different from those of other nations. War does not feature. The ads show Canadian soldiers herding citizens toward a Red Cross truck that could but as easily not be in Afghanistan, rescuing the survivors of a winter plane crash, forest fires and flooding.
So here we go again, out of Kandahar and into the Straits of Hormuz, nukes now raising their lethal heads in a way that they have not done since the early 1960s. As the widespread dissemination of nuclear weapons technology is postponed for shorter and shorter increments, we are in desperate need of some other vision than one dependent upon mere technological superiority and the typically bellicose story that goes with it.
Huffpost Canada presents the first of five excerpts from Noah Richler's new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About War. In this opening part, he wonders if Canada's role in Afghanistan wasn't driven as much by journalistic vanity as military necessity.