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So, Which Is It?

The Bread Guy

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Two articles, same chain, different conclusions (admittedly with different geographic audiences).....

Casualties deal heavy blow to public support for mission
JEFF HEINRICH, Irwin Block and Philip Authier, Montreal Gazette, 24 Aug 07
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Canada's military presence in Afghanistan has never been very popular in Quebec. Now it's even less so.  The slip began Sunday with news of the death of Pte. Simon Longtin, the Royal 22e Régiment's first casualty since its troops started deploying July 15.  With the deaths Wednesday of two more Valcartier-based soldiers, Master Cpl. Christian Duchesne and Master Warrant Officer Mario Mercier, support for the mission now seems in free fall.  Adding to the anti-war mood, a high-profile Quebec television crew was also a victim of the latest Taliban attack, with a cameraman losing the lower part of a leg and a star reporter left questioning why they had risked their lives for the story.  In opinion polls and online questions-of-the-day, it has become quite clear most Quebecers want their troops out of the whole mess.  Lining up behind this newly vocal majority are federal opposition leaders with a stake in Quebec, where support of the governing minority Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which wants the Afghan mission continued, is under threat.  Lining up behind this newly vocal majority are federal opposition leaders with a stake in Quebec, where support of the minority government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which wants the Afghan mission continued, is under threat ....

Support for mission relatively stable: polls
Tom Blackwell, CanWest News Service, 23 AUg 07
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As the Canadian death toll climbs again in Afghanistan, conventional wisdom would suggest that public support for the bloody mission will plummet in direct response.

Polling data accumulated over the last year and a half, however, tells a more complex tale, indicating that opinion on the divisive issue has held relatively stable -- sometimes even after troop deaths -- and that Canadians may be more likely to approve of the historic military mission when they are told more about it.

"It's been incredibly consistent," said John Wright of pollster Ipsos Reid.

"We've polled during some of the worst times for the Canadian military, we've been in the field when there have been six soldiers killed ... We've been sure we can catch whenever sentiment would be worst, and it seems to have held."

In fact, what pollsters ask people would appear to have almost as much impact on opinion as what is happening in Afghanistan itself, some analysts say. When questions in a Defence Department poll emphasized protecting civilians and rebuilding the country, support for the mission shot up.

When asked by Decima Research if they thought the number of Canadian casualties was acceptable, on the other hand, two thirds of respondents answered in the negative.


The deaths of soldiers from the Quebec-based VanDoos regiment could alter the whole equation. In the one province already firmly opposed to sending troops to Afghanistan, a CROP survey partly conducted after the death of Private Simon Longtin on Sunday recorded an 11 percentage point increase, to 68%, of Quebecers opposed to their compatriots being involved in the conflict. That was before the two most recent deaths ....

 

Good2Golf

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Re: the first article...

...and a star reporter left questioning why they had risked their lives for the story.

I suppose only the reporter can answer that, as it took his deliberate action to seek approval to enter the theatre of operations as a journalist to report on the situation.


G2G
 

ModlrMike

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Good2Golf said:
Re: the first article...

I suppose only the reporter can answer that, as it took his deliberate action to seek approval to enter the theatre of operations as a journalist to report on the situation.


G2G

Which makes me think that the press perceives their bloodlust as justified... so long as it's not press blood.
 
F

fraserdw

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The reporter was obviously the wrong choice for the assignment but as he was popular he was given the choice assignment and like most careerists took it.  Prehaps reporters should do a little soul searching before they become one more dumbass thing some riflemen has to worry about.  Not to say all reporters are wrong many CBC and CTV reporters have been in a simliar situation and are a professional credit to their peers this one was not.
 

Good2Golf

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I don't begrudge the reporter for wanting to report from in theatre.  In fact, I don't even blame him for questioning why he was there, just that I believe only he is the one who can truly come to grips with why he: a) thought he was going there, and b) why he really went there, if different from a). 

Perhaps he fell prey to the "it won't happen to me [or one of my friends/coworker]" mindset?  Unfortunately for him and his cameraman, they were very much involved.  I admire his recounting the story as soon after the incident as it happened in as professional a manner as he did -- that gave him much more credit in my mind than his initial questioning "why he was there?" 

If anything, he now has a much greater appreciation of what it is like to be attempting to help people and deal with potential consequences of the situation.

G2G
 

Swingline1984

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Good2Golf said:
Perhaps he fell prey to the "it won't happen to me [or one of my friends/coworker]" mindset?
 

I tend to agree with this line of reasoning.  I'm sure most soldiers, other than those who have been in the sh*t and have been forced to face their own mortality, also believe they are indestructible and that violence or death are things that only happen to other people.  I've often wondered if this has been enhanced by the supposed desensitization to violence the younger generation is now exposed to, on TV and in video games especially, where if you make a mistake and get yourself killed you can just reset and receive a second chance.  Of course that is a whole other debate.

Cheers,

 
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