People’s Voice Editorial
To the surprise of few and the dismay of many, the Harper Tories have unilaterally extended Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan by three more years, allegedly for the purposes of “training” Afghan security forces. The decision violates a long-standing pledge by the PM to adhere to the 2011 pullout date, itself an extension of earlier deadlines. If nothing else, this proves that Mr. Harper can never be trusted to keep his word on anything, other than his commitment to turn Canada into a loyal foot-soldier for U.S. imperialism.
Events will quickly prove that this “non-combat” role is a myth. The brutal war in Afghanistan makes little distinction between various categories of occupation forces. Canadian troops will continue to kill and be killed, and more thousands of Afghan civilians will be slaughtered. Those who support the extension on the argument of “protecting the women” should listen to former Afghan MP Malalai Joya, who replies that the withdrawal of NATO troops would leave her people one less enemy to fight.
We must also note the shameful role of other Parliamentary parties in this endless war. On this occasion, Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals were the main offenders, singing the “humanitarian” chorus which gave Harper a fig leaf to claim support for extending Canada’s military role. But Jack Layton’s NDP also bears its share of blame. For years, Mr. Layton has praised the Canadian Armed Forces, without condemning the deaths and destruction wreaked by the NATO occupation. The NDP even voted against an earlier Liberal motion in the Commons calling for an end to Canada’s combat role in 2009. While the Harper Tories are the most dangerous, militaristic party in Parliament, the Liberal and NDP opposition parties also have blood on their hands.