A conversation I had at work yesterdayPicture a crowded mess/cafeteria at around noon in a large office building. There I was enjoying my 12 inch Turkey Sandwich from Subway while reading the sports section of the Montreal Gazette.
Out of the blue, a co-worker(we'll call her Kim) barges in and takes a seat right next to me.
Kim: Hey Kareem (not my real name), you voted Conservative in the last election.
Kim: Tell me something, why isn't Harper sending troops to Darfur?
Me: Well, the military is stretched pretty thin; recruitment is pretty low nowadays and with us being in Afghanistan and all…
Kim: Well I think its time that we got away from George W. Bush's crusade against the Muslims, and get back to peacekeeping!
Me: Crusade against the Muslims? They were harboring Al Qaeda-
Kim: Not our problem! Were not war makers (her word) were peacekeepers, and I think its high time Harper remembers that. We should pull out of Afghanistan and send them to Darfur for peacekeeping.
Me: Well Kim, Peacekeeping automatically assumes that there's you know…peace going on, or any kind of cease fire in place. What's happening in Darfur can be charitably labeled as ethnic cleansing. If any troops were to go into that region it would make their combat missions in Afghanistan look like Spring break in Daytona. Now generally speaking I'm for-
Kim: I don't care. It’s a humanitarian mission; we should help those people, unless of course Stephen Harper has a problem helping black people!Timeout: Just for the record dear reader, this is a woman who clutches her purse whenever she passes by a young Haitian male in the Metro.
Me: You really wanna play that game Kim? You wanna walk down that aisle. Fine Hey, two can play that game. Now let me just know where exactly do you stand on this. You're for Humanitarian missions' right?
Me: Ok, now let me just get your point of view on certain things. You believe that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who terrorized his people right?
Kim: Well…of course but-
Me: Hold on, I just want to know where exactly do you stand on this…Now you believe that he was indeed a brutal murderer, the mass graves don't lie he has killed thousands of innocent men, women and children, he crushed dissent, and starved his own people-
Kim: Yeah yeah I heard it all…What does this have to do with Darfur?!
Me: I'm getting there. So we have it established that your for humanitarian mission which would free people of mass murder and genocide, and that you believe that Saddam was indeed a brutal dictator that did in fact slaughter his people left, right and center. So, let me ask you something, why exactly were you opposed to the Iraq war 3 years ago?
Kim: (She goes on and on, I can't remember the precise words, but I did hear, imperialism, oil, Halliburton and other worn out leftist clichés.).
Me: Be that as it may, the Iraqi people were liberated from a monstrous leader. There's no doubt that they're better off without him don't you think?
Kim: I suppose. What the hell does that have to do with Darfur?
Me: I just find it weird, you advocate one military intervention based on humanitarian grounds, but oppose another.
Kim: The Iraq war was no based on humanitarian grounds, it was all for-
Me: Over 20 million have been liberated from a mass killer Kim, that's not a humanitarian feat?
Kim: That's not why Bush went into Iraq. He said it was about Weapons of Mass destruction and all that shit…
Me: Hold on! You mean to tell me that you simply oppose the Iraq war based on a technicality? That had Bush just went out and stated that this was for the well-being of the Iraqi people, you would be all for it?
Kim: (after a 20 second silence)…no.
Me: Then you're not really for Humanitarian missions are you?
Kim: I am!
Me: No your not, you wouldn't exactly be opposed to one so vigorously while advocating another with passion.
Kim: Iraq was not a humanitarian mission…
Me: *sigh*...true or false, a brutal dictator was overthrown and Iraqis now have an elected parliament and a constitution?
Me: Then, there was a humanitarian factor attached to the Iraq war.
Kim: (silence)(An awkward 2 minutes of complete silence).I knew I had her in a corner at this point, so I decided to turn the tables and for once, play the race card against a leftie.
Me: Kim do you have anything against Arabs or Muslims by any chance?
Kim: WHAT!! No!!
Me: I just find it odd, that you were opposed to the well being of the Iraqi people from being slaughtered daily, or the brutal conditions the Afghans were under. Both factors which would resume should the US withdraw from Iraq and NATO withdraws from Afghanistan. BUT you have no problem whatsoever helping the people in Darfur. So what is it Hate the culture? Hate the language?
Kim: I have nothing against Arabs or Muslims!
Me: Funny you oppose to all measures of ending their suffering fro their leaders…
Kim: I'm not!!!
Me: Really then why are you calling for withdrawal? Your opposition to the Iraq war is based on a stupid technicality which shouldn't really matter if you consider the ends and means, and want to withdraw forces from Afghanistan which would help the Taliban get back in power.
Me: Just what I (censored) thought! You guys don't give a dam about third world suffering; the only thing these people are to you is a cheap political stump speech and some photo ops. Calling for military action on humanitarian grounds in one area, while opposing it in another is very freaking hypocritical. This, like all other matters relating to the third world is just a reason for your kind to stump on your political enemies, be it Bush or Harper. Do me a favour and stop claiming to give a damn what's occurring in the third world.For the Record: I don't think Kim has anything against "Arabs or Muslims". I just wanted to know what it feels like to play the race card from a right-wing point of view. Feels odd, but I got my message through, and revealed her own hypocrisy to her.