Seeing ourselves through Afghan eyes

It is extremely upsetting for New Zealanders to talk about the war in Afghanistan. We are the good guys, our soldiers are just there to help people, and true enough a lady of the tribe in Banyan were the NZ troops are stationed flies over and tells us what we want to hear. The Afghans over there are happy with the help they are receiving and yet, not so long ago Kiwi troops ran over an IED and thank god no body was hurt, but it became clear that we had to send some more troops. Like the Canadians we like to be reassured that we are on the side of the good guys. However it might be prudent to reconsider (travellerev)

Whenever a nation is at war, it is very easy to polarise all public opinion based upon the simplified premise of “us” versus “them.” Soldiers simply follow orders, while the political and military leadership puts forward talking points to justify the military intervention. A large percentage of the media eagerly parrots the government press lines, and the Canadian public is more than content to be placated by the official reassurances that our cause is just. This makes for a relatively easy sales job as we all believe that we are inherently good people.

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