Lieutenant- Colonel Dave Corbould, Commanding Officer, Second Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, shakes hands with Progressive Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen as Premier Gary Doer looks on during the launch of the Manitoba Yellow Ribbon campaign. Photo: Winnipeg Free Press
The growing avalanche of bullshit aimed at convincing Canadians to back the war in Afghanistan picked up a little steam yesterday with the announcement that Manitoba’s government was supporting a project to send yellow ribbons to Manitoba soldiers in Afghanistan.
Knowing that a majority of Canadians oppose Canadian involvement in this war, the message is “if you can’t support the war, at least support the warriors.”
The yellow ribbon campaigners are collecting the signatures of Manitobans on ribbons as 800 soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Shilo plan to ship out. According to the Winnipeg Free Press:
Lt.-Col. Dave Corbould, who’s leading the deployment to Afghanistan, said his men and women are impressed with the support they’ve received from fellow Manitobans.
“Politics aside, let’s talk about what’s really important here,” he said.
I agree, let’s talk about what’s important. Contrary to Col. Corbould, politics must be a part of the equation. Politics — misguided at best and pathologically corrupt, vicious and cynical the rest of the time — got us into Afghanistan. And honest politics will get us out and free Canada to begin to become a force for peace in the world.
The government line, loosely paraphrased, is that brave Canadian soldiers risk their lives to free the Afghan people from the grip of terrorists so that they may one day live and prosper in a free, democratic society.
The reality is that 78 Canadian soldiers have died supporting a gang of thugs who are no more interested in freedom and democracy than the Taliban they replaced.
Afghan refugee students chant slogans during an anti-war rally organized by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan in Islamabad April 28, 2007. Photo: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to women of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. RAWA struggled for freedom against the Soviet Union and the Taliban, and they continue to carry on that struggle today.
The US and her allies tried to legitimize their military occupation of Afghanistan under the banner of “bringing freedom and democracy for Afghan people”. But as we have experienced in the past three decades, in regard to the fate of our people, the US government first of all considers her own political and economic interests and has empowered and equipped the most traitorous, anti-democratic, misogynist and corrupt fundamentalist gangs in Afghanistan. . .
After about seven years, there is no peace, human rights, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan. On the contrary, the destitution and suffering of our people has doubled everyday. Our people, and even our unfortunate children, fall victim to the Jehadis’ infighting (Baghlan incident), the Taliban’s untargeted blasts and the US/NATO’s non-stop bombardments. The Northern Alliance blood-suckers, who are part of Karzai’s team and have key government posts, continue to be the main and the most serious obstacle towards the establishment of peace and democracy in Afghanistan. READ MORE.
In RAWA’s opinion, we should get out. Afghans, they insist, can and must solve their own problems. As RAWA expressed it in the above-linked communique:
Instead of defeating Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Gulbuddini terrorists and disarming the Northern Alliance, the foreign troops are creating confusion among the people of the world. We believe that if these troops leave Afghanistan, our people will not feel any kind of vacuum but rather will become more free and come out of their current puzzlement and doubts. In such a situation, they will face the Taliban and Northern Alliance without their “national” mask, and rise to fight with these terrorist enemies. Neither the US nor any other power wants to release Afghan people from the fetters of the fundamentalists. Afghanistan’s freedom can be achieved by Afghan people themselves. Relying on one enemy to defeat another is a wrong policy which has just tightened the grip of the Northern Alliance and their masters on the neck of our nation.
The yellow ribbon campaigners hope to get 10,000 signatures (50 per ribbon). With provincial approval, they will take their campaign to Manitoba schools. Under Gary Doer’s tutelage, another generation of young people will be fed the lie that you can make the world a better place by killing people.
However well-meaning its supporters might be, the yellow ribbon campaign is disgusting. By playing on the emotions of Canadians who fear for the lives of our soldiers, they hope to build support for the war. Gary Doer should be ashamed for his role in allowing pro-war propaganda into Manitoba schools.
If the folks who peddle these pathetic little rags really want to “support our troops” they would bring them home.
This campaign comes at a time when pro-war forces are working overtime to influence the pending vote in Parliament on whether to extend Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan. I hope you will join with me and write our premier and our MLAs and tell them that war propagandists should not be given the keys to our schools. I also hope you will encourage your friends to do likewise.
Here is a list of MLAs and their email addresses: http://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/members/alphabetical.html