Has anyone every heard of "Zangaboom? Nor had I. Ever heard of Panjwai? I'll bet you haven't. Do you have any idea, any idea at all, how the Taliban are doing in their effort to recapture Afghanistan? Even a tiny inkling? Enough to say at a party "I think the Taliban is getting the better of us," or "Oh, the Taliban is getting its ass kicked."
I would say that there is a 99.9% possibility that you have no idea whatsoever what is going on in Afghanistan. Zangabad is a place but they call it Zangaboom because, well, LOTS of things go boom there. Panjwai is a godforsaken district where we're constantly losing heart and minds.
Oh sure, you hear about this and that -- another Canadian soldier killed in an IED strike, senior Taliban commander hit by drone blah blah blah talks deadlocked blah blah blah but did you know that there really is an Afghanistan? It doesn't exist just as a news item. Right now, as I type, some 22-year-old boy is grumpily getting dressed to go out on patrol. He's carrying enough firepower to severely hurt Parliament Building in downtown Ottawa and those in it. And he's being told that he not only can use it, he should use it any time he feels his or any of his pals' life is in danger.
Isn't that as alien a thing to think about as you can contemplate?
Well, look at it this way: one day, he's going to come back here and be told with a rap on the head "No, no no, we don't solve things here with violence!"
You never think about him being over there. And he has no idea what it's going to be like being back here.