These are grim dead-hack-walking days for Postmedia sluggos who survived the Great Frogmarching of 2016. But Matthew Fisher, the Canadian Forces’ queen-sized embed (Franks passim) soldiers gamely on, ardently consuming all the gratis junkets, meals and pre-fab storylines the military can shovel his way.
First stop for 2017, Kandahar Airfield (Jan. 3) for the deconsecration of our “iconic” ball hockey pad. Canadian Ambassador Ken Neufeld flew in from Kabul with a few embassy sluggos for one last game/photo op before U.S. army engineers hauled down the boards so that this vital piece of infrastructure can take its rightful place in the Canadian War Museum.
One relic of the Afghan boondoggle, however, the paved pad itself, will remain as some of the only evidence that our boys were ever there. The Turkish contractor who poured the asphalt and somehow got it to lay flat on the desert sand has long boasted that he milked Canadian taxpayers for $500,0000 for the job. Good times.
“Strange to think we were playing hockey in the desert but there we were. It was a very positive experience. We sweated blood and tears for that place. It will always be part of me,” quoth one of Matty’s legendary confidential sources, “A Canadian soldier on his fourth tour in Afghanistan, who asked that his name not be published because of the sensitive nature of his current work.”
The sensitive what-now? A lesser typist might catch a whiff of a story in a Canadian military operative up to secret shit in Afghanistan long after the conclusion of our mission, but not our Matty, who sticks tenaciously to the assigned final-shinny-in-the-desert script like the seasoned pro he is.
Next up, Canada’s hospital at Erbil airport, in Kurdish Iraq (Jan. 9) where, Fisher can reveal, Canadian Forces sawbones beaver away reassembling various casualties from the front lines — even ISIL bad boys: “The cruelty of the jihadists – ISIL has circulated videos showing prisoners being beheaded, shot in the back of the head, drowned or burned alive – does not mean they are denied treatment if they arrive at the hospital.”
Quite a scoop, had Defence Minister Die Harjit Sajjan not announced some months ago that this was indeed policy — and in keeping with international law, bog-standard medical ethics, etc.
The hospital’s supremo, Lt.-Col. Richard Morin, a veteran of the Afghan meatgrinder, is palpably chuffed to be stitching up battlefield trauma again rather than sleepwalking through boring ol’ peacetime medicine (“There’s only so many gall bladders you can do,” he moans, to Fat Matt’s evident delight).
The signature Fisher lacuna comes a few inches down, when military spokesthingy Maj. Paul Doucette fudges the final destination of these jihadi patients: “‘They are in the custody of coalition forces,'” Doucette said, without elaborating.”
And probably just as well, since the Daesh chumps’ post-op prospects at the tender mercies of our coalition “partners,” either fun-loving Kurdish ethnic cleansers or revenge-obsessed Shiite militiathingies, will almost certainly have them praying for a relatively easy martyrdom on the operating table.
But nowhere is heard such discouragin’ words from our Matty, a source of unflagging positivity on the Iraqi fustercluck since at least 2003.
Who could forget the Giant of Journalism™’s embedded eyewitness reports of U.S. forces being welcomed as, yep, liberators:
“The United States Marine Corps received a joyous welcome from Iraqi civilians and soldiers alike yesterday as they crashed deep into Iraqi territory on the great march to Baghdad. All along the road, for many kilometres, Iraqi civilians and soldiers waved, blew kisses and gave the thumbs up to passing marine vehicles. Many of the Iraqi soldiers have thrown away their combat boots and parts of their uniform, either to show they are no longer combatants or to exhibit their displeasure with leader Saddam Hussein.”
Democracy, stability and apple pie, readers will recall, soon followed. Emission accomplished!