Saturday, January 19, 2008

Staying the course in Afghanistan

Remember Manley's little troupe of hawks and deep integrationists who were appointed by Harper to a review panel on what to do with Afghanistan after 2009? That would be these guys - and of course their six appointed government overseers.
Their mission was to bring in a verdict on our real interest in Afghanistan which, as explained by Thomas Walkom in the Star back in October, is "our relationship with Washington".

From today's Ottawa Citizen, in a piece wickedly titled "Stay the course in Afghanistan":
"After touring NATO headquarters, Afghanistan and receiving hundreds of submissions, the independent commission created by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to advise his government on the way forward is not expected to recommend any significant scaling back of Canada's commitment of 2,500 soldiers in the Kandahar region, or any profound change in their current marching orders."

Gosh, I hope I haven't spoiled the surprise.

Anyway, just for a change of pace from hearing the opinions of gov flacks who know fuck-all about Afghanistan, here's a few words from RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. For 30 years they have fought the soviets, the Taliban, the war lords, the Northern Alliance, any and all oppressors of Afghan women.
From a RAWA interview with John Pilger :

"We, the women of Afghanistan, only became a cause in the west following 11 September 2001, when the Taliban suddenly became the official enemy of America. Yes, they persecuted women, but they were not unique, and we have resented the silence in the west over the atrocious nature of the western-backed warlords, who are no different. They rape and kidnap and terrorise, yet they hold seats in [Hamid] Karzai's government. In some ways, we were more secure under the Taliban.
By experience, [we have found] that the US does not want to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda, because then they will have no excuse to stay in Afghanistan and work towards the realisation of their economic, political and strategic interests in the region."

So we're 'staying the course' ; we're just not supposed to actually succeed.
It's a piss poor reason to ask a Canadian soldier to die for.
Support the troops, oh yeah, fer sure. Bastards.

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