Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Canada’s Role in Afghanistan

Stephen Harper’s government is desperately trying to justify the war in Afghanistan, claiming that we are in Afghanistan to “defend our national interests, ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs, and help Afghanistan rebuild” (presumably by destroying it more?). As usual the corporate media bombards us daily with reassurances that Canada should remain in Afghanistan and that it is playing a noble role. The truth could not be further from those claims.

In reality neither Canada, nor the other invading NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Alliance) powers are wanted in Afghanistan. The Afghani people have expressed their discontent through continued resistance in the countryside and multiple uprisings in Kabul, triggered by abuses by foreign soldiers and the fact that Canada is helping prop up a puppet warlord drug regime. These uprisings have been violently repressed by the U.S., Canada and other foreign powers.

This war represents Canada’s participation in George W. Bush’s “war on terror”. Pretensions of rendering humanitarian services are a secondary window dressing to what is in fact a combat mission. Canadian troops are being sent to Afghanistan in order to free up American soldiers for the continuing war in Iraq. The U.S. government considers Afghanistan important because it has sought for years to build key oil pipelines from neighbouring Turkmenistan (part of the Caspian Sea Basin which is estimated to contain as much oil as Saudi Arabia) through Afghanistan. Picking up on this Harper is cynically throwing away more Afghani and Canadian lives to angle for a piece of that market for Canadian based oil and gas companies.

To complete this aim, Canada and other powers are propping up an unpopular puppet leader in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul and attempting to expand this colonial government by recruiting drug warlords in the countryside. The thugs of these warlords are then referred to here in the press as the “Afghan Security Forces”. All for oil pipelines and the continued foreign occupation of Iraq, Stephen Harper is willing to sacrifice the lives of countless thousands in this escalating role as an unwanted occupying power in collaboration with George W. Bush.

Harper’s claims that Canada must not back down from its commitments are cynical and wholly unbelievable, as he had no problem canceling the popular commitment to both the national childcare program and Kyoto. In reality there was no commitment from the Canadian people to this war. We were never consulted. The Liberals and now the Conservatives have simply thrown us into this mess without one iota of public consultation and the NDP has voted to stay as well. It’s fallen to us to raise our voices: Canadian troops out of Afghanistan now!