Skip navigation


 John Chuckman



“The British Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial celebrates those who destroyed my country”

It could not be said better than that.

This monument to acts of idiocy is actually a form of fake news, a fake historical memorial, trying to render heroic what was cowardly, trying to make significant what was shameful.

The establishment just never stops trying to tell us what kind of a world it is arranging for us without our consent, a kind of fantasy story to cover the actual nastiness we can all see for ourselves.

I have to add, too, that this particular piece of sculpture almost inadvertently reveals its poor intent.

It is just plain ugly, strongly resembling what we might have expected the Soviets to build in Hungary, 1956.

A Tony Blair vision of something inspiring, an ugly lump cast in bronze and stone and dedicated to mass murder.


The ugly monument may be seen here:


Response to another reader’s comment:

If you had an ounce of knowledge, you’d know Afghanistan really wasn’t even a country in the sense that we understand it, so religion could hardly overwhelm country.

It was a loosely organized area of tribal people living a hardscrabble life. There were even few roads. The border with Pakistan was never even formally settled.

Fighting between tribal groups went on incessantly, as the Northern Alliance versus the Taleban.

Indeed, they were, and are, all Muslims although they adhered to different factions, as Catholics fighting Lutherans in 16th century Europe.

There was no reason on earth to invade the place beyond American fury and demands for vengeance. Simply insane. The Taleban were in no way responsible for 9/11.

The US has never provided a scrap of evidence that even Osama bin Laden, a Saudi in exile in Afghanistan, was responsible either.

The Taleban government would have extradited him after 9/11 and said so, if the US had presented any credible evidence, but they refused to do what is normal procedure for extraditions.

And if you had an ounce of knowledge, you’d know for sure Saddam Hussein allowed no religious extremists or terrorist to flourish in Iraq. None. It was actually in many ways the most advanced country in the Arab world.

He was a tyrant, true, but that’s just the kind of people the US and Britain support anyway so long as they toe the American policy line -eg, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, etc., etc.

Iraq was only invaded to reduce it to a set of rump states for Israel’s benefit. The same effort has been underway in Syria for six years, only using covert operations and proxy armies instead of direct invasion.

It was only after the Bush-Blair illegal invasion of Iraq, we get the likes of ISIS and Al-Nusra.

You are, frankly, just appallingly ignorant.



I have heard Rick Hillier speak at some length recently on CBC Radio. Naturally, he is out promoting his book.I thought he largely came off as a whiner, rather naïve about the realities of war and politics.Hillier went into Afghanistan literally barking about doing some killing, arrogantly tossing aside Canada’s sense of itself as a peaceful and peacekeeping place.

His words rankled many people, and naturally a control-freak like Harper put limits on Hillier’s mouth.

I tend to agree with Chantal Hebert’s assessment that Hillier’s book, unintentionally on his part, will only contribute to Canada’s not continuing a military commitment in Afghanistan beyond its commitment.

The entire Afghanistan adventure is nothing more than a demonstration of America’s ability to behave much as it pleases in the world. In the aftermath of 9/11, it pulled out all the stops in finance and diplomacy to get UN and NATO recognition of what essentially was vengeance.

The invasion never made any sense, and after America’s superficial “victory,” it had no idea what to do, except to let its brutal special forces loose on villages all over Afghanistan. Its “victory” amounted to a pact with the devils of the Northern Alliance – monsters like the mass-murderer General Dostum being as bad or worse than the Taleban – and it achieved nothing but a great deal of killing and the dispersal of the Taleban.

No NATO country – especially powerful ones like France or Germany – has made a commitment of troops that is in keeping with America’s paranoid assessment of the world dangers of Afghanistan – that fact is telling beyond anything else.

Canadians should never forget that the only reason we sent troops to Afghanistan was a decision in Ottawa that “we owed one to the Pentagon” after having refused to participate in America’s missile shield and its even more disastrous and murderous adventure in Iraq.