As writer Colin Horgan wrote in the guardian.co.uk, “It will take a special kind of apathetic populace to collectively shrug off back-to-back cut-and-run attempts like this.”
If you don't know what I'm talking about the short version of the back story is that “former second-in-command at the Canadian embassy in Kabul, Richard Colvin, told a parliamentary committee in Ottawa that all detainees handed over to the Afghanistan government by Canadian soldiers were abused.” Colvin says he wrote 16 reports on the matter which were ignored and/or silenced. Opposition parties have called for a public inquiry but the Conservative government would rather we all forget the abused Afghans and go back to shovelling our driveways and watching Corner Gas and to that end have temporarily suspended parliament. Prime Minister Harper figures that by March third (when parliament resumes) he'll have accomplished this mind wipe, even if he has to regale us with his own personal cover versions of Beatles tunes to do it.
Remember when people thought Canadians were polite but boring? Ah, the good old days before we gave up on democracy and embraced apathy! Canucks, we need to earn back that reputation of yore, starting today. In fact, forget the polite thing and make as much noise as you can about our skeevy federal government trying to shove the abuse of Afghan prisoners underthe carpet.
Do we want to stand for something in this country or what?
Anyway, clearly the new decade isn't off to a brilliant start in this part of the globe! We can turn things around if enough of us want to. We can. We can. We can. Will we, that's the question?
On a more personal level I want to stress that we—all of us—can always start over too. We don't have to wait for a new year. You can start over any time you want and when things seem really sucky and like they'll never change it can be hard to believe that, I know, but like someone wiser than me once said, “Never, never, never, never give up.” —Winston Churchill
And equally important: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Welcome to 2010! Be bold. Be true. Never give up.