Canada has absolutely no strategic, commercial, cultural or emotional
interests in Afghanistan
Scattered across South Africa's windswept veldt are the forgotten graves of
266 Canadian soldiers killed from 1899-1902 fighting to impose British Imperial
rule on fiercely resisting Boer farmers.
A century later, Canadian troops have again been sent to fight as auxiliaries
in another remote war -- this time Afghanistan.
Since time immemorial, when great emperors went to war, they summoned
contingents of their vassals and tributaries to their standards. So it was in
Afghanistan, and then Iraq, when the U.S. decided to invade those nations and
demand its allies join the so-called "war on terrorism."
Under irresistible pressure from Washington to aid its highly unpopular military
expeditions in either Iraq or Afghanistan, America's allies and NATO partners
opted for the lesser evil, Afghanistan.
That is why 2,100 Canadian troops have ended up in a nation in which Canada
has absolutely no strategic, commercial, cultural or emotional interests.
Now, as the number of Canadian military casualties rises, the dismayed public
rightly asks, "What are we doing there? We thought it was another peacekeeping
Thank Ottawa and Canada's media for misinforming the public. There
was no significant debate in Parliament. The media indulged in flag-waving instead
of warning Canadians they were walking into a small, but real, war.
Canadians are not peacekeeping in Kandahar: There is no peace to keep.
They are there to help impose U.S. rule over Afghanistan, and safeguard routes
for planned oil pipelines.
Canadian soldiers are on a war-fighting mission, auxiliaries in the U.S.-led
military occupation of Afghanistan. In the southern heartland of the nation's
largest tribe, the famously warlike and xenophobic Pashtun, U.S. forces and
their allies are seen as foreign occupiers and enemies of Islam. Pashtun are
slow to act but ferocious, and they never forget a wrong.
For some reason, Ottawa agreed to put its little garrison into Afghanistan's
most dangerous area, Kandahar, in the centre of Pushtun territory and the heartland
of the Taliban. Afghans do not differentiate between Americans and Canadians.
Afghan tribes are taking up arms against their foreign occupiers. I saw this
happen during the 1980s, when growing hatred of Soviet occupation forces ignited
a national uprising.
Today, in the eyes of many Afghans, the U.S. has merely replaced the Soviets.
All past occupiers, starting with Alexander the Great, were driven out by the
fierce Afghan tribes.
Canucks are prime targets. They lack effective liaison with circling U.S. warplanes
that normally bomb and rocket any attackers within 2-3 minutes of an assault.
Such deadly instant response by U.S. air power forced the resistance to resort
to roadside explosives and car bombs, as in Iraq.
National resistance is growing. The U.S.-installed Karzai regime in Kabul would
not last a day without foreign bayonets.
The former Taliban regime almost totally suppressed the heroin trade. Today,
Afghanistan is a narcostate. It supplies 90% of the world's heroin -- the economy
runs on drug money. This is the "democratic" regime Canadian troops
are defending with their lives.
Parliament, media, and all Canadians have got to begin debating what their
soldiers are doing in this war that lacks any foreseeable political resolution.
Forget all the cheery propaganda fed to the gullible press: Afghanistan is a
dangerous mess and Canadians are right in the middle of it.
When more body bags come home from Kandahar, as they likely will, Canada's
politicians are going to have to start explaining to the public what, exactly,
its soldiers are dying for in Afghanistan.