The Afghan war will cost Canadians more than $22 billion, both in actual money spent on the war and future payments to rebuild equipment and provide long-term care for veterans.
We have the Tories and the Liberals to thank for this shameful misuse of our resources. The Liberals got us into this mess, and then they voted with the Tories to keep us there until at least the end of 2011. Ninety-seven Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have lost their lives; many more have returned physically and psychologically crippled.
All of this in the name of fighting a war against terrorism and liberating the Afghan people. The war on terror is a sham. NATO (including Canada) are the real terrorists in this war. And the Afghan people are much worse off than they were before we “rescued” them.
According to the Canadian Peace Alliance:
- Civilian Deaths from NATO air strikes tripled between 2006 and 2007. Over 6,500 civilians were killed in 2007—the highest total since 2001.
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned NATO bombings because they generate support for the Taliban.
- Canada continues to send Afghan detainees to the Afghan National Police (ANP) despite the fact that they torture and murder detainees.
- More than 60% of Afghan Parliamentarians are known drug-lords and warlords who continue to commit human rights abuses against Afghan civilians.
- Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, honour killings of women for “crimes” such as adultery have increased. The Afghan government is not enforcing new laws meant to protect women.
- According to the UN living conditions in Afghanistan are worse than in 2001.
- 6.6 million Afghans don’t meet minimum food requirements.
- Half of all Afghan children are malnourished.
- Every 28 minutes an Afghan women dies in childbirth.
- Over 70% of Afghans have no access to clean water.
- Literacy rates continue to drop, now at 23.5%.
- NATO spends more than 90% of its budget on the military with less than 10% going to reconstruction.
The NDP and the Bloc Quebecois voted against the Tory-Liberal motion to extend the Canadian “mission.” I’m not sure where the Bloc stands on ending Canada’s military intervention. However, a vote for the NDP is a vote to bring our troops home.
On that basis alone the NDP deserves our support. And if the majority of Canadians who oppose extending Canada’s military intervention to 2011 support the NDP in this election, the NDP will clearly be able to fulfill their promise. For those of us who want to end Canada’s support for this imperialist war there is really only one choice in this election.
The Canadian Peace Alliance is offering the above graphic for download in a window-sign format; You can also get it in a post-card format by contacting the CPA at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 416-588-5555. (The CPA is requesting a donation to help cover the costs of the printing and distribution of the postcards.)