Avui a trav?s els pa?sos de la Commonwealth, se celebra el D?a de record quan s'honora els morts de la dues guerres mundials, Corea, i per les missions de la paux. Per tradici? l'associaci? dels veterans: La Legi? vend el cascall. L'origin v? d'un poema escrit pel poeta-xirug? canadenc John McRae que escriv? un poema intitulat durant la Primera guerra mundial: On Flanders fields:
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
Sempre m'agradat. Es un que n'es d'auster, senzill i contrasta la roja del cascall amb la blancor de les creus i el marr? de la terra. Al passat, els nens el recitaven; per? ara no. S? se'l llegeix durant les parades militares a trav?s ac? Canad? com els pa?sos angl?fons del ex-Imperi angl?s. Es un dia de recordar el sacrificis que nostres soldats han subit en guerra com en a la pau per permetre'ns beneficiar d'una societat oberta, solid?ria i democr?tica.
When Rumsfield divided Europe between New and Old, I rolled my eyes at his foolishness. What an unncessary means to antagonize valuable allies. In any case, 'new' Europe was gloating somewhat that they'd benefit immensely by siding with the Americans as well as standing up for an important principle.
Unfortunately this isn't the case at all. It appears that the 'new' European companies have been shut out of the reconstruction contracts What gratitude! Many of these Euroepan countries' governments put their political viability on the line. We all remember how much of the European electorate was vehemently opposed to the war in Iraq. Yet those governments that supported the Americans did so with a mixture of principal and national interest in mind.
Unfortunately, the American administration appears content to have had the extra boots both during the war and in the postwar pacification but are currently too stingy to share in the reconstruction effort. In sum, everyone, share in the burdens but only the Americans benegit with the rewards. Worse, it's an utterly counterproductive policy precisely because countries like Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, have invaluable experiences of transiting from authoritarian/totalitarian regimes to democratic polities. Their contributions are so important, I simply can't understand why the American run provisional authourity isn't awarding contracts to Eastern European companies. Moreover, letting those companies reconstruct Iraq, would also reduce American visibility and silence the cynics who decry that war was for domestic, plutocratic interests.
It's bewildering that the Americans appear to adopt a policy that's opposite to the stated goals. I certainly hope that the American administration will correct its error. Iraq is simply too important to screw it up.
A lot of the war bloggers will mock this article from le Figaro. Because it's from a French paper and it criticises the American handling of the occupation and its effects on the reconstruction. Before such war bloggers do, they should keep in mind that one of the criticism leveled at the American troops whether in Bosnia or in Iraq, is how heavily bunkered they are.
Of course, the soldiers must protect themeleves but when does legimate and prudential protection veer into isolation. A cut off from the ground that unnecessarily alienates Iraqis who have no particular beef with the Americans. Further, the disconnect between the American soldier and where he is is also troubling. I heard stories from returning Canadian peacekeepers that the American bases in Kosvo were utterly stunning: a cinema, a 7 11 or pizza hut, really comfortable quarters. However, this mini main street U.S.A. in Bosnia also drew disdain from the same peacekeepers.
They asked the rather sensible question of just how exactly could the American peacekeepers ever know who they were protecting if they always stayed in the 'laagers' and seldom ventured out of their armoured vehicle. If you go to the SFOR's official website and click on teh various countries' links, you almost don't see any photos of American soldiers conducting a foot patrol.
I'm somewhat surprizsed that the Americans have discreetly gone to the Brits and asked for a frank assesment. After all, the Brits have long experience with both Norther Ireland and peacekeeping missions and their advice would be taken very seriously by the brass.