Monday, August 28, 2006

Afghanistan Fatigue?

Reading about the latest incident in Afghanistan (not the mortar attack last night, the one this morning- it gets confusing), I was thinking just how commonplace these headlines have become. Everyday, its either a firefight, a suicide bomber, a civilian casualty, a body boarded or taken off a plane, or a funeral. I read today's piece and didn't even flinch, abnormal has become the norm. Just a couple months ago the incident would have seemed extraordinary, now these events generate less discussion. Have we already become somewhat desensitized and fatigued?

You see this predicament on full display with American coverage of Iraq. A couple soldiers dead barely gets a mention on a ticker, nevermind any real coverage. Only the spectacular generates debate, as though a certain threshold of carnage is now required to perk curiosity and re-hash the same arguments. I would suggest that Canada is now in the early stage of this syndrome, which is dangerous indeed.

Adaptability if one of the great human traits, new realities are quickly absorbed and we make the mental adjustments to re-constitute the world. In so doing, our initial outrage is tempered by acceptance. With Afghanistan, who is now surprised to hear today's news? Relatively, you think- well no one died today, it could have been worse. The struggle is to maintain the same sensibilities we had during the initial part of this mission. I don't want to become complacent, or play the numbers game. It's not just me, you see it in the media coverage, the ranking in the bylines, the number of blog posts, the editorials. Canada is getting used to war and developing a skin.

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