To everyone who rides the bus:

[I’d also address this to bums, but it’s not like they have the internet.]

Please stop approaching my partner while he’s in military uniform and “enlightening” him on why Canada shouldn’t be in Afghanistan. He has never been to Afghanistan. He did not make the decision for our troops to go to Afghanistan. Even if he went to Afghanistan, that doesn’t make our presence there his responsibility. He is on his way to (or from) work and is not a UN/government/political representative qualified to discuss national policy on Canada’s presence in Afghanistan.

There’s other people who are nice. They give a polite nod. Or they might even say they’re proud of him, which is a little unnerving. He’s like a walking antenna for people’s political opinions — pro or con.

It’s like when people go up to pregnant women and touch their stomachs. What is with people who approach total strangers and touch or accost them? Is it the “my taxes pay your salary” thing? Is a uniform (or pregnant-looking belly) a public invitation? Do people just not respect personal space and understand that there is a time and place for things? None/all of the above? I’m really asking. I actually want to know. {Edit: The reason I want to know is: how do these people expect him to respond to them? Them: “We shouldn’t be there!” Him: “Um…ok?” What are they expecting to happen? Is he supposed to go “OOOOOOH!”, rip his uniform off, and then skip home?}

Here’s the fun bit. The “con” stance of the bus harassment crowd is more or less based on anti-Americanism with no understanding of Canada’s actual role. The “pro” stance of these people is largely based on blind patriotism. Neither position is commendable.

I refer people to the Wiki entry on Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan for more (general) information. And I suggest following the link to the explanation of the International Security Assistance Force to understand more of the purpose of our being there in the first place.

I don’t care if the comfortable middle-class white people who aren’t under constant fear of being blown up by the Taliban agree or disagree with Canada being in Afghanistan so long as their forming their opinion after doing some basic research, such as 2 frigging websites that summarize the whole thing…and so long as they please stop sermonizing their opinion to my partner.

PS…Could we also put a fatwa on asking him if he’s going to Afghanistan? What if he was, like tomorrow, and was really sad about having to leave his friends and family for 6-9 months? Holy shit, people. TACT.


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