Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Hallelujahs

It  is thrilling to watch fervent Canadians on CTV cheer their athletes. My daughter and I watched Canadian Maelle Ricker steal the X Cross snowboarding event. With a smile and grace and patience and joy.  As I watch a mostly northern and first world group of nations compete in these Olympics, I can't help but think about those who are not competing; those who are scared for their lives in Afghanistan. Without the slightest irony, our country launched a major new invasion in Afghanistan nearly to the day of the Olympic start, defying with malice the spirit of national cooperation that was born with the Olympics; a period when a truce in fighting was declared. While  the world mourned the tragic loss of Georgian luger during the opening week of the Olympics perhaps a dozen civilians died in Afghanistan because of an errant American rocket.:
"About a dozen civilians have been killed in three separate incidents in recent days as 15,000 U.S. and Afghan forces are in a heated battle around the Taliban stronghold of Marjah.

Hostage said the objective is to persuade the populace to side with the government and against the insurgent force.
"Civilians die every day at the hand of the Taliban," Hostage said. "We have to protect them from that. ... The people know who the bad guys are." "

And we are losing soldiers left and right as well (1, 2, 3,4) Is there no better way?  Did Afghanistan really and truly need to be invaded? What was the point?  The Cryptome has some great full color plates of  Wartime Architecture in Afghanistan. The only mention of the irony of simultaneous war in South amidst joyous Olympic competition in the North might have been in K.D. Laing's brilliant celebration opening interpretation of the words of Leonard Cohen:

I've seen your flag on the marble arch

Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

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