During the question period, Glavin was asked why he had chosen to begin his address with a moment of silence for Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan rather than for the Afghan people themselves.
“It was one of these dirty insinuations,” says Glavin about the incident, “framed in the most passive-aggressive way in the form of a virtuous question.”
The award-winning writer’s recent book, Come From the Shadows: The long and lonely struggle for peace in Afghanistan, has been slammed by critics on campus and nationwide for its overt pessimism toward what Glavin says is the Canadian left’s embarrassingly short-sighted and extremely vocal “troops out” mentality — which is, in his view, a dangerous political phenomenon.
Come From the Shadows is an unabashedly personal account of Glavin’s journeys outside the wire of a country that he says has been falsely portrayed by the mainstream media as a type of “Absurdistan” — an imaginary nation that has been collectively built up by Western audiences as an apocalypse of bombs, bodies and constant fear.
Its major criticism, one that Glavin admits has made the book so controversial, lies in the implications of this fraudulent paradigm on Canadian left-wing activism — which he says has been destroyed by both cultural relativism and widespread anti-Americanism.
Yet, points out Glavin, it is a typical, Canadian form of anti-Americanism coinciding with anti-war sentimentality that’s used almost exclusively with American inflection.