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Canada’s real role in Afghanistan
by Michael Nenonen    The Republic of East Vancouver
Entered into the database on Sunday, April 30th, 2006 @ 11:27:01 MST


Untitled Document

We’re only there to further the aims of a highly destructive, imperialistic US agenda, and we’re propping up some of the planet’s worst monsters

With every passing day, Canada is becoming more intertwined in the imperial ambitions of the United States, ambitions that military historian Gwynne Dyer believes may overturn the framework of international law that’s preserved our planet for over sixty years and may thereby force the nations of the world to seek security in the kind of regional alliances that generated two world wars.

Despite its US$8.4 trillion national debt, the collapse of its manufacturing sector, the erosion of its middle class, and with only 4% of the world’s population, the US is attempting to establish permanent mastery over all humanity. Such monstrous hubris is doomed to fail, but doom breeds desperation, and the desperation of a military colossus is terrible to behold. Unless this raging Gulliver can be pulled to the ground, he’ll trample our civilization back into the soil from which it arose. The giant has only begun to stomp; despite flattening many tens of thousands of people, his footprints in the Middle East and Central Asia are as yet shallow and few. They’ll multiply and deepen as time goes on. Canada should be vigorously opposing this rampage; at the very least, we shouldn’t be lending this brute any more muscle than he already has.

Afghanistan borders Pakistan, Iran, and China, and lies less than 2,000 km away from Russia to the north. By controlling Afghanistan, the US can launch attacks throughout the Middle East and gain leverage over its Asian rivals. It can also lay claim to Afghan-istan’s reserves of water and oil. The war in Afghanistan is part of the same war for global supremacy that is being fought in Iraq.

The elections that rubber-stamped Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s regime in Kabul were deeply flawed. According to Sharon Smith’s article, “Afghanistan’s Rigged Democracy,” in issue 24 of the International Socialist Review, the CIA made substantial payments to the warlords comprising the United Front/Northern Alliance. These warlords determined the selection of candidates for the 2002 elections. Rival candidates were intimidated and barred from running; for example, Karzai imprisoned 700 of his political rivals in the weeks before the election. It was impossible to adequately monitor the election process. One UN election observer stated, “When election observers entered the city of Gardez, the local commander fired rockets at them.” The outcome of the election was pre-arranged. Karzai announced that he had been elected to the presidency before the election even took place.

The current regime is composed of some of Afghanistan’s worst criminals and human rights abusers. According to a 2001 Human Rights Watch background paper, the abuses committed by the United Front/Northern Alliance include “summary executions, burning of houses and looting, principally targeting ethnic Pashtuns and others suspected of supporting the Taliban. Children, including those under the age of fifteen, have been recruited as soldiers and used to fight against Taliban forces. The various parties that comprise the United Front also amassed a deplorable record of attacks on civilians between the fall of the Najibullah regime in 1992 and the Taliban's capture of Kabul in 1996.” These warlords have since grown fat upon Afghanistan’s drug trade, which produced an income of $6.82 billion between 2002 and 2004. If this isn’t a mafiocracy, I don’t know what is.

Humanitarian organizations have condemned the role of military forces in reconstruction efforts. An April 2006 briefing note produced by the Canadian Coalition to End Global Poverty warns that “Confusion between military and development activities puts both the recipients of aid and aid workers at risk. They become targets for attack due to association with forces aligned with one party in the conflict. The neutrality of the military’s community service activities is compromised as they switch from service activities to take up arms against forces in the armed conflict. . . . Aid is being used for military purposes, to gain the support of the population for one side in an armed conflict. In more extreme cases, the provision of assistance is tied to the provision of information or intelligence to the military. This can be done subtly or directly; in either case it puts the population at risk.”

Furthermore, the money being devoted to reconstruction is thoroughly inadequate to the task. University of New Hampshire professor Marc W Herold, in his essay “Afghanistan As An Empty Space” (cursor.org/stories/ emptyspace.html), writes, “Whereas pledges of aid from the international community between January 2002 to April 2006 amounted to $14.4 billion, only $9.1 billion were actually committed by February 2005, and of that only $3.9 billion disbursed (January 2002 to February 2005) and $3.3 billion has been disbursed for ongoing projects. Of the total disbursements, a mere $0.9 billion worth of projects have been completed. . . . For its part, the US has spent $1.3 billion on reconstruction in Afghanistan over four years, ‘intending to win over Afghans with signs of progress.’ By way of contrast, the United States spends $10 to $12 billion annually on military operations in Afghanistan.”

The Canadian International Development Agency allotted a paltry $6 million for reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan in 2005, but, because of escalating violence in Southern Afghanistan, Canadian aid projects have now been put on hold. These figures strongly suggest that all the invaders’ talk of reconstructing Afghanistan is nothing but a smokescreen designed to obscure their true intentions.

Canadians are spilling their blood to prop up a corrupt, vicious, and undemocratic puppet government, to facilitate the murderous Pax Americana, and to bring the world a little closer to catastrophe.