Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Do We Never Include Peace as a Stradegy for Afghanistan?

Instead of just brandishing terms like 'freedom' and 'democracy', why do we not accept that maybe the Afghan people would like 'freedom' from war?

In Harper's last throne speech, he listed as one of his priorities; "Contributing to global security by ensuring that our foreign policy is based on Canadian values, rebuilding the Canadian Forces with the best possible equipment, and transforming the Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan to focus more on reconstruction and development."

Canadian values? Since when were Canadian values about blowing things up and killing people?

We invaded this country and are now occupying it. You can see from the music video, that before we did this, Afghan was a vibrant country. Maybe they weren't as technologically advanced as we are, but they somehow got by.

What right did we have to suggest to them that they must be more like us?

When Rick Hillier first convinced Paul Martin to change our direction in 2005, he said "We're not the public service of Canada ... Our job is to be able to kill people," and then described the Taliban as "detestable murderers and scumbags."

These are Canadian values? "Our job is to be able to kill people." What's your job - being hit men for aggressive American foreign policy? I thought we invaded "to help". I thought our job was to stabilize and promote peace?

But of course with Harper keeping such a tight control on the messaging, we can see how easy it was for him to bypass that whole 'Canadian values' thing, and throw us headlong into an illegal and unwinnable war. We were just told to 'support the troops' and he would take care of the rest.

Well, that's no longer good enough. The Afghan people are now speaking out, because they're tired of burying their children. The rebuilding is not working. They were promised peace and did not get it. Instead we have thrown in our lot with the worst of the worst in that country, making us clearly the enemy, and not their friends.

Afghan Civilian Casualties Mount: UN
By Jeff Davis
Embassy (Canada's foreign policy newsletter),
August 6th, 2008

Bolstering signs that the security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, UN reports indicate there have been 62 per cent more civilians killed during the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year, putting the death toll on track to top the more than 1,500 Afghan civilians killed in 2007.

And while Western officials maintain they are making efforts to reduce civilian casualties, and the UN numbers indicate that may be the case, an Afghan reporter tells Embassy that the countryside is seething with anger over deadly airstrikes based on faulty intelligence.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) officials in Kabul, there were 1,500 civilian casualties in 2007. Of these, 46 per cent were caused by insurgents and other anti-government forces, 41 per cent were inflicted by coalition and pro-government forces, while 13 per cent were "un-attributable" and the result of land mines or crossfire ....

It is definitely time to RETHINK AFGHANISTAN!

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