Family says soldier’s death in Afghanistan “useless”

For once, the corporate media felt compelled to feature an opinion critical of the Canadian military intervention in Afghanistan. It is a view shared by over 60 per cent of the population, but it took the expressed grief of a slain soldier’s family to get it reported.

Jonathan Couturier, a 23-year-old private in the Canadian Forces, in mid-September became the 131st fatality of the Canadian intervention. As his body was being flown back to his home in Montreal (in Quebec, where opposition to the war is over 80 per cent), his brother and sister-in-law lambasted the mission.

“That war over there, he found it a bit useless – that they were wasting their time over there,” Nicolas Couturier told the Quebec City-based daily Le Soleil.

His wife agreed: “(Jonathan) didn’t want to know anything about going there,” said Valerie Boucher. “He didn’t want to talk about it, he stayed positive, but at some moments he said he was fed up.”

Military booster, retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis Mackenzie downplayed the family’s reaction; he insultingly portrayed it as marginal. But Bloc Quebecois defence critic Claude Bachand endorsed the comments of the soldier’s family.

The fact that such poignant criticism of the intervention is prominently reported, even though impugned by militarists, reflects the wavering resolve of Canada’s ruling business and media elite for the failed imperialist occupation of Afghanistan. -Barry Weisleder