Saturday, April 22, 2006


Four Canadian Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan
The men were travelling in a G-wagon about 75 kilometres north of Kandahar when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device at about 7:30 a.m. local time, said CTV's Sarah Galashan, reporting from Kandahar.

Three of the men were killed instantly. The fourth was airlifted to hospital but died before he arrived.

Three of the men have been identified as Cpl. Matthew Dinning, Bombardier Myles Mansell, and Lieut. William Turner.

Dinning was born in Richmond Hill, Ont., and was stationed in Petawawa, Mansell was born in Victoria B.C. where he was also stationed, and Turner was from Toronto but was stationed in Edmonton.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement praising the valour of the soldiers and the work the troops are doing in Afghanistan.

"These men were working to bring security, democracy, self-sufficiency and prosperity to the Afghan people and to protect Canadians' national and collective security. We will not forget their selfless contribution to Canada," Harper said in the statement.
Comrades of Myles Mansell of the 5th (BC) Field Artillery Regiment are posting their thoughts here.

Here at Covenant Zone, we wish to express our condolences to the families and friends of the fallen.

I hope it is not inappropriate to take this moment to say something to our readers about our opinion of the mission in Afghanistan. We know great change cannot happen there over night and that if we are committed to helping bring some new kind of order and civility to that country, our committment must be one of many years, and in many forms. This is a truly daunting task. At the same time, we see no way of isolating ourselves, here in Canada, from the disorder and evil political and religious ideas that are widespread in that region of the world. Our future security demands our engagement on many levels with the people of the Middle East, and we salute those Canadians presently occupied in this work.

It is tragic events, like the loss of our soldiers, that remind us of the need to know who we are, for whom our young men are dying. In our latest Covenant Zone public meeting, we discussed the appeal, but more seriously the limits, of the multicultural idea among any people who would define themselves in such a way as to be able to rule themselves via a symbolic order of their own making. Any such order ultimately depends on some recognition of some difference between us and them, between good and evil, and on men and sometimes women willing to patrol the boundary between the two. However broad and welcoming we want our "we" or "us" to be, we cannot aspire to integrate all the world's cultures and symbols under one roof. There can be no integrity in such a syncretic dream, which cannot actually be lived, but only, via righteous theories, imposed by an authority more fearful of disorder than willing to embrace the idea of the people of a nation ruling themselves. Syncretism in national or individual life only leads to confusion, to a lack of realistic, humble, models with which to live one's life.

All Canadians can be proud of the young men and women serving and sometimes giving their lives in Afghanistan. They remind us that Canada does recognize that there are peoples and ideas - e.g. the Taliban - that stand outside any broad-minded interpretation of both Canadian and Afghan values. We can be proud that our country provides some young people with the well-bounded models of humanity by which they are able at a young age to make a committment to national service, to go abroad in the name of our national interest, and in aid to a very nascent democracy. We hope Afghanistan can one day prove a vital ally in the cause to build a true international order of self-ruling nations, in face of those with various ideas and schemes to impose on the world a common, "unifying" law, whether this law be imposed in the name of Islam or some secular fantasy ideology.

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