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July 18, 2007


Interesting to compare 'the typical Quebeçois insistence on emphasizing the human side of most issues' to the rest of Canada. I don't know about the other provinces, but I don't think I've seen quite such emotional images of farewells here in BC. Are we really more reserved out west, or is it a media bias?

I certainly don't know! Canadians, what do you think?

They're so young...

...and they always have been.

...and on it goes, ad infinitum...

The insanity of war and the waste of young lives
and all in the name of Power?

Extraordinary pictures. I looked at them before the reading, and assumed these were pictures of some Hollywood filmstars. Odder, still to look again. I'm currently working on some material from Angola from my time there covering the war. Reading back through an old diary about men in Angola forced to war, I found these notes:

Recruitment: ‘police just go to discos or schools and round up the kids. There are signs up at airport, stopping people from leaving. Even the training can be quite violent. Conscription in Angola borders on disappearance. The person is abducted by the state, isn’t given a chance to talk to his fmaily, and sent out to fight against UNITA. It’s terrifying.’
'Leaving Malange by road is very dangerous. Especially by bus: soldiers force young boys off trucks and conscript them. People get their place on bus and will stay their for days just to ensure they get a lift out.One woman says she doesn’t want her sons to go to Luanda on the bus because they’ll get picked up by FAA. She’s sure it can’t get worse in Malange, and has no contacts in the FAA in Luanda. AT least if they get picked up in Malange, she might know someone who can help. Nevertheless, her sons don’t go out at night, at the moment, because of their fear of conscription.'

Anna, Mouse, thanks for commenting...

Lara, thanks for this reminder of how much worse it can be elsewhere. It's hard to imagine. (Good to see you here!)

There's a history of resistance to 'other people's wars' in Quebec; the conscription debacle in World War One being one example. The political reasoning being, why should Quebecers as an 'oppressed people' fight on behalf of someone else, against other oppressed peoples -- or purely for power / resources etc. I wouldn't say we're an oppressed people any longer, but the sentiment cuts deep.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.