Afghanistan: Decision for Canada approaches

Posted: January 18, 2008 in Uncategorized
Canadian soldier patrols in Afghanistan

Above Photo: Sgt Frank Hudec, Photographer, Canadian Forces Reserves Combat Camera Team

Above: Afghan children look on while Canadian soldiers patrol a village near Kabul.
Below: one of the thousands of victims of NATO operations.

Afghanistan - airstrike casualty

The Manley commission is expected to release its report next week on Canada’s military future in Afghanistan. Parliament may vote as early as next month on whether to continue killing Afghanis beyond February 2009. Expect the steady of pro-war propaganda to become a torrent and then a deluge in the coming weeks — brave Canadians confronting a cunning, ruthless enemy while bringing freedom and democracy to the downtrodden Afghani masses. In today’s Winnipeg Free Press, for example, it was reported:

CFB EDMONTON — The spine of NATO is “made in Canada,” a senior military leader told about 1,300 Afghanistan-bound soldiers Thursday at the Edmonton Garrison.

In a packed auditorium, Brig.-Gen. Mark Skidmore told the soldiers they were among the best in the world.”You embody everything that Canada stands for, and all Canadians are proud of you,” he said. “This is your gift to Canada. You are going to help people who need your strength, bravery and compassion.”

The insurgents in Afghanistan have “learned that NATO does have a spine, and that spine is made right here in Canada,” he said . . .READ MORE

Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reported today that Canadian troops have been accused of slaughtering civilians:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Canadian and coalition forces trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people face the prospect of a new kind of insurgency as a result of mounting civilian casualties from military operations.

Frightened residents in one village say tension is brewing after Canadian gunfire hit civilians during a battle with insurgents about five days before Christmas.

A 12-year-old boy said he was there when soldiers – whom he insisted were Canadian because he recognized their vehicles – shot and killed his father and 7-year-old brother while they tended crops north of Kandahar city.

“I said `Let’s go. Let’s run.’ But my father said `What are you talking about? We have shovels in our hands, no one’s going to shoot us’,” said the boy, whose guardian asked that he use an alias, Niamatullah, for fear of reprisal . . . READ MORE.

To date, 77 Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan to protect a government of warlords and drug lords while shoring up the crumbling American Empire. That is bad enough.

Worse, we’ve played an active role in the slaughter of thousands of civilians. How many thousands? That is under dispute and reliable statistics are hard to come by.

Bombing Victim - Afghanistan

A survivor of the June 27, 2007 air strike that killed 45 citizens of Girishk, Afghanistan.

It is time to tell our elected representatives “Enough, already!!” It is time for Canadians to stop murdering the people of Afghanistan. It is time for Canada to become a force for peace in the world. Military force will not resolve the problems in Afghanistan — it will only make them worse. Canadians who watch the slaughter perpetrated in our name and remain silent are complicit in it. Write your MP today.

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Comments
  1. F.Hudec says:

    Thanks, I’m writing in regards to your use of photos without proper credit to the photographer/Canadian Forces. It’s obvious you pulled the top photo off of my website using Google images. You can download these photos for free from the Combat Camera website but are required to credit the photographer and organization when you use them.

    I’m not sure if you have been to Afghanistan or not? I have been there on three separate occassions, and you can actually see the improvements on the ground thanks to the presence of ISAF and NATO.

    Sgt Frank Hudec
    Photographer/Canadian Forces Reserves Combat Camera Team
    http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca

  2. Paul Graham says:

    Thank you, Sgt. Hudec. I apologize for not putting your name under the photo. When I posted this item I had provided a link to your web site in the photo caption, but clearly, adding your name was called for. I have now rectified this. Thank you for drawing it to my attention.

    I have not been to Afghanistan to witness first-hand how six years of additional war have made the “improvements on the ground” you mention. I imagine the 4,000 or so civilians who have been killed since the invasion might take a different view. And the 200,000 internal refugees requiring winter relief from the UN High Commission on Refugees might have a contrary opinion.

    Visit the web site of the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (http://rawa.org) and learn how grateful they are to receive the help of ISAF.

    And look into the eyes of the children in your photo, Sgt. Do they really look all that happy to see foreign soldiers patrolling their community?

    We have no business bringing war to these people. There were alternatives. And there are alternatives now if Canada has the courage and the imagination.

    I do appreciate your writing. Please come back often.

    PG

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