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Final Canadian troops depart for Kabul

Tease the day: Soldiers bouyed by idealism as they train Afghan troops


 

Murray Brewster/CP

Fifty soldiers en route to Afghanistan departed yesterday from Edmonton and Shilo, Man., the final pieces of the 900-strong Canadian contingent posted in Kabul. Their mission, Operation Attention, is to train Afghan national security forces in advance of the Canadian withdrawal from the fledgling nation in 2014. The training represents Canada’s last military contribution before the troops come home for good.

The tone of the soldiers headed to Kabul was starkly positive, and a reminder that Canadians still enlist for the same reasons as the generations that preceded them: to see the world and help people along the way. “I’m excited. Like so many people, I joined up to go places and see different things and help the people we can in faraway places that need it,” Lt. Cole Janett told the Edmonton Journal. “From Day 1, this is something I wanted to do and I’ve finally been given the opportunity.”

Janett wrapped up the war effort in a couple of sentences: “A lot of blood, sweat and tears has been put into the war,” he told the Journal. “We’re in the tail end, so we’re going to keep charging and make sure it gets wrapped up the right way.”

A war in three words: blood, sweat and tears. Some might call that an understatement.

Former Cpl. John Lowe, the guy in the photo atop this post, served in 2010. He’s pictured in Panjwaii District, resting at the side of a road. Lowe is one among many soldiers who, upon their return to Canada, have struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, and worried they’ll be ostracized if they access the myriad programs offered to troubled vets. For them, as for so many veterans of so many conflicts, wars never end on battlefields. But the next generation of troops always arrives, happy to contribute.

As Lt. Cole Janett arrives in Kabul, bouyed by happy idealism, Lowe’s difficult recovery serves as a sobering counterpoint.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a rail company chief and fire chief in Lac-Mégantic disagreeing about how a train filled with crude oil got loose and rolled into town. The National Post fronts the dispiriting search for more survivors in Lac-Mégantic. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Richard Custeau’s agony at having lost his brother, Réal, in the Lac-Mégantic fire. The Ottawa Citizen leads with speculation by the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway that somebody tampered with its train in Nantes, Que., when its brakes were released. iPolitics fronts the pros and cons of political parties holding open nominations in ridings. CBC.ca leads with floods in Toronto that caused chaos yesterday afternoon and overnight. CTV News leads with the raised death toll—now 13—in Lac-Mégantic. National Newswatch showcases a story in Charlottetown’s The Guardian that quotes a local constitutional expert who’s questioned Senator Mike Duffy’s residence since his appointment in 2008.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Child porn. A former Ontario deputy education minister charged with several child pornography–related offences served on Premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team. 2. Green star. Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque looks ready to announce his candidacy for the Green Party in an upcoming by-election in Montreal’s Bourassa riding.
3. Conflict of interest. B.C. MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay lobbied on behalf of a constituent using parliamentary secretary’s letterhead, a no-no her office attributed to an administrative error. 4. Gun sale. The Department of National Defene mistakenly sold a transmitter for a gatling gun in an online auction, and was eventually forced to pay the buyer $4,500 for its return.
5. Spitzer. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is attempting a political comeback as comptroller of New York City, a position that would see him oversee municipal finances. 6. Great Leap Liu. The Chinese minister lauded for building a bullet train network was handed a suspended death sentence for stealing millions of dollars, owning hundreds of homes, and keeping a harem of mistresses.


 

Final Canadian troops depart for Kabul

  1. Most underreported story today is why does Harper Cons hate feminism? Canada could have done much for feminist movement if we gave these brave women a safe home to do their courageous activities. Major fail on Harper admin for not helping to advance feminism.

    HuffPost – July 2013 – “Though the Ukrainian feminist movement — known for its topless demonstrations — already has a headquarters in the country, the group announced Monday that France also granted Femen leader Inna Shevchenko political asylum.”

  2. What else is Lt Cole to say? “I’d like a gong and the extra money will buy a new truck. I’m looking forward to my holiday in Thailand. I’m sure glad to be going because the guys not in the ” Afghan Old Vets Club” will be outside of the in crowd until the next war”?

  3. I can’t imagine the horror someone would feel if they joined the army out of a sincere desire to help people and then been deployed to Afghanistan. maybe tehy found an opportunity to perform a small deed for someone on a personal level, but overall, yeech.

  4. Funny. I heard an interview on radio the other day .. a bright, vibrant
    articulate 90+ vet of “the Devil’s Brigade” … to paraphrase ” Why’d I
    join up ? Well, because there were no jobs and I needed money. Same
    as most people. It was our job and we did it ..”
    Honesty is always a good starting point.

  5. Both US and UK are pulling out in 2014, with no one left behind.

    ‘How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?’

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