Sunday, July 10, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
I think it was worth the success or failure, depending on how you countenance the state of the country as significantly improved after our intervention, just for the sake of showing the civilized world that we were ready to try to quell what we term chaos and mysogyny in places where there is weak or corrupt government and practices. We could not be everywhere there is terrorism being bred or harboured, but we could, and did, pick one place that seemed especially bad. And, we have paid. The question is, have we stopped paying? What else is coming down the path that we can't see which will require more capital of all kinds?
Comox, British Columbia
One aspect you might like to bring out in your program today is the rate of ISAF casualties due to Afghan ANSF personnel. This has not been widely reported in the mainstream media to my knowledge, except in one piece recently ("Report cites 'crisis in trust' between Afghans and NATO", Colin Freeze, Globe and Mail, June 22, 2011).
This rate apparently is running at one death per week on average, and I believe mainly USA has taken losses, but also Germany, Belgium and others, but not Canada despite their forward role. The piece attributed these losses to face-to-face conflict on the ground between ISAF and ANSF people, and to "arrogant behaviour" of American forces. Canadian personnel adopted a more restrained demeanor.
If this is so, I suggest it reflects well on Canadian personnel, tactics and strategy and deserves mention.
Love the show,
I was writing protest letters about Afghanistan prior to the infamous September 11 terrorist hit on New York City. Children were not able to fly kites, women were not allowed education and Christians were being persecuted or killed. The world turned a blind eye.
When Osama kicked the Americans in the shins, there was action. But the 'war' was not about the injustice for the local people. It was revenge and American Pride.
If Kartum had sheltered bin Laden, and the attack on America had been launched from Sudan, there would have been action in Darfur. If Mugabe had hosted Osama's training camps, there would be change in Zimbabwe. Alas.
Hopefully, the Americans will figure out their debt crisis and pay for their eight years of Republican government.
Please consider why we could not bring democracy to Afghanistan, or an honest government.
Most answers will project the failure on the Afghans, but the answer I would give is that we did not intend to.
First, I think we would all accept that our goals are aligned with the U.S.A. Now, would a country that stole $9 to $18 billion in cash from Iraq want to install an honest puppet? Would a country that installed or supported Mobutu, Suharto, the Somozas, the Duvaliers, Pinochet, The Shah, Hussein, The House of Saud, Marcos, Rhee, Arbenz etc. really want to bring democracy that would use the wealth from its own resourses for its own people?
The real goals are, as always, geopolitics and wealth. The particulars, I suspect, would include pipelines, mineral resourses, the U.S. dollar and containing China.
Why did our goals shift? Probably, they didn't. Perhaps just the stated goals did. When one brand didn't sell anymore, the war had to be rebranded. For some, this was a very profitable war.
Afghanistan is a case of reaping what the West sowed. It is a matter of forgotten history that a modern secular political-social system was developing there in the 1960s. Mujahideen, predecessors of the Taliban, were funded and armed to destroy this new government for idelogical reasons. It was pro-Soviet. The West created its own Frankenstein, which
now it seeks to slay. Left alone, Afghanistan could have charted its own destiny, and still can. Let us reflect on our own complicity in undermining that possibility.
I strongly believe what many of your callers have said about Canada being forced into that war by NATO and U.S. pressures. In that same vein, if you Google Petrodollar, you'll read, and I quote, "In 2000, Iraq converted all its oil transactions under the Oil for Food program to euros. When U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, it returned oil sales from the euro to the USD." That alone in my opinion goes a long way to prove that WMD were never the reason for the U.S. wanting that conflict.
The reigning government of the past five years has been elected by approx. 25% (if you extrapolate the number of votes that elected them to the total number of eligible voters), That is definitely not a majority vote from Canadians to join that war.
That being said, the strongest comment I heard on your show today was from the fellow who asked if we would send our loved ones to Afghanistan instead of someone else's loved one.
Nuguac, New Brunswick
I would like to use the analogy of a play ground. If you were being picked on in a school yard, would you want an American or a Canadian to help? Canadians are too indifferent and need to grow a spine. Stand up for something, perhaps anything. The U.S. is our ally from my perspectives, economically, socially and many of us have relatives there.
I (and we, as a multi-ethnic nation/population) am proud of the fact we are a nation that promotes peace, freedom of expression and positive humanitarian action throughout the World. Why, then, are our politicians tainting our reputation and turning us into war mongers!
Of course it was worth. Canada is a part of the international community and with that comes duties as well. Action in Afghanistan was mandated by the United Nations and NATO was asked to fulfill this duty. The UN has recognized that Afghanistan, by harbouring terrorist, is a threat to world democracy. I am surprised that callers see the war in Afghanistan as a purely American action. It was the action of the democratic world to protect both people in Afghanistan and our own lives.
As the world of humanity moves forward, technological developments in the area of communication has and is exposing the fact that the bulk of the worlds population, resources and nature are slaves to pursuit of power and greed of political and monetary forces.
With regard to our participation in Afghanistan, I'm surprised that the Canadian public and politicians do not realize that war is a business more than anything else. What's next, a nucleur fiasco? this is a humanitarian issue. When will we stop killing each other? When will the political forces of the world address the evil aspects of war? Without war we would have less debt and a better ability to truly balance the resources of the world among all peoples.
What is amazing is how big money interests' propaganda has convinced so many Canadians that an illegal invasion based on lies from its inception was worth our blood and treasure. Just another example ranging from the new world order agenda to illegal war and occupations, where so many respond to the magicians flute. It is absolutely stunning how Canadians are manipulated to believe up is down and act against their own best interests over and over again.
During the course of our mission we were seldom shown concrete evidence of our accomplishments. Instead, the coverage concentrated on casualties. The question as to whether or not the mission was worth it cannot be properly answered because we have not been provided with sufficient information, and it cannot be deduced only by the sacrifices of the troops.
I definitely think that Canada's involvement in Afghanistan was worth it. The war in Afghanistan started after an attack on the U.S.A. on its own soil, and there was a need to exert power to discourage any other group from doing the same. To not act would have been a potentially suicidal show of weakness. The U.S. had to act to show that to attack it was futile and a fatal act by the attacker. Depite all its flaws, the U.S. is our neighbour, partner and ally and the strategic interests of the U.S. are also in our strategic interest. Also, it is in our interest to edify NATO as an instrument of co-operative miltary action.
Most missions change in the fog of war. The occuption of Germany after WWII was initially to dismantle the institution of Nazism, but became the protection of Germany from the Soviet Union. Similarly, the NATO mission in Afghanistan was to initially disable al-Qaeda and topple the Taliban, which facilitated the growth of extremism. But our involvement became a mission to bring Afghanistan into the 21st century, requiring the maintenance of security and the dismantling of corruptiion in all levels of government. One guest spoke of warlords as being like feudal nobility in medieval Europe. I think that the point is correct, but in the 21st century the relegation of women and children to being property is intolerable, and is not far from being a form of genocide.
I think it's good that the Taliban were removed, and I'm glad that Canada was part of it. However, I'm very concerned about the Western-backed government composed largely of warlords or warlord supporters with views that mirror the Taliban and with a brutally violent history. According to one Afghan female former poitician, Malaila Joya, most of these men should have been tried for crimes against humanity for the brutality with which they treated their own people.
The western forces in Afghanistan are merely keeping the Taliban at bay. The minute those forces are gone, the country will revert more or less immediately to the pre-invasion situation. Girls will no longer be in school, women will be heavily oppressed etc.
You cannot judge our success on the temporary and illusory impacts we have had while having 150,000 foreign troops in the country. What is more important is what will happen when they are gone. It will be a Taliban controlled theocracy again. Simple.
Not worth the terrible costs in any way, it has just seeded more hate and the resonance of anger which is so difficult to stop once it is legitimized by guns and bombs. Those billions of dollars could have accomplished much for Canadian children in poverty, our poorly served mentally ill, a deteriorating health system, even obtaining better helicopters for our forces. At-home purposes.
Canada should withdraw from NATO, and stop trying to run with the larger powers. We could take a leading role as a middle power along with the Scandinavian countries, nations that set an example of caring and fairness for their own citizens. They also serve the world in many productive ways without using bombs and guns. Let's stop pretending and make sure that we are strengthening our own society rather than falling into the wake of the U.S.A. and Europe, and failing.
Canada should have a policy totally against such military action so our leaders cannot do such a thing, unless we are directly attacked. I am profoundly disappointed in this terrible action in Afghanistan. I am ashamed we were so foolish, even if our intentions were positive. We could have done so much more by positive, rather than combat action. A useless mission that sowed more hate for the future, as war always does. It did not sow peace. We cannot fix other cultures with war, but we could set a better example to the world by building a kinder world at home.
Victoria, British Columbia
We should not have gone to Afghanistan in the first place, to participate in a war of invasion and occupation. According to the Nuremberg Tribunal, "the ultimate war crime is launching an unprovoked attack upon another state, another country," and this is what has been committed against Afghanistan, Canada being part of this aggression ever since 2005. The pretense of bringing democracy and helping women is threadbare. You don't bring democracy anywhere at gun point, and you don't help women by killing and maiming them, their families and communities, and pulverizing the country.
Afghanistan never attacked the U.S., Canada, or any of the other countries now participating in its occupation, just as Libya has never attacked the countries that are now joining to bomb its civilian population and infrastructure. This time we claim to be part of the responsibility to protect, which is just as threadbare as our excuse for aggressing upon Afghanistan.
War crimes have been committed and continue to be committed in our name. We owe these countries a deep apology and massive war reparations.
This war was not worth it in my opinion. Nearly 160 brave Canadian solidiers killed? This was a total waste of blood and treasure.
Red Deer, Alberta
There was a science-fiction novel in which the rules of war were these: If the political leaders decide to commit soldiers to die in a war, then these civilian leaders must also agree to commit suicide themselves at the end of the war. If that sounds horrific, it is - just ask the families of the soldiers who died. Everything I read about those soldiers says that we will miss the future contribution they could have made to their families and to the country.
The book was just fiction, of course, but in that system the question of "Is it worth it?" was more focused at the outset. The reasons would have to be something that the decision makers themselves would die for.
Victoria, British Columbia