Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mistaken Identity?

The recent hullabaloo about Sotomayor, her wise Latina comment, and her testimony that her ID is not going to be that important raises the topic of identity again (for examples, see here, here, and here, along with yesterday's revelation that I am probably Ravenclaw and not Gryffindor).

This topic came up last night over a beer, as it should. I was in Kingston, talking to a friend about Iraq and Afghanistan, and she asked who was the "we" I was referring to when I was talking about the troops in Afghanistan--the Americans or Canadians. And my answer was essentially both. While my posts do a fair amount to make clear that I am not Canadian, I have spent enough time interviewing Canadian military officers as well as traveling through Afghanistan for ten days that I tend to use the "we" often when talking about the Canadian Forces [CF] in Afghanistan.

Perhaps I should have more academic detachment. I do think I am reasonably critical of what I hear from these guys, but perhaps my access has colored (not coloured) my judgment. I did think Afghanistan was looking better after I returned from my trip than Iraq--and I got that backwards--although perhaps only for the time being.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure that as Canada pulls out, either in part or entirely, from Afghanistan and focuses on "Arctic Sovereignty," I may identify less with the CF. Instead, I will poke holes in the notion that Canada can ever mount a significant enough force to deter the big threats up north--not the Danes but the US or the Russians.

No comments: