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Vancouver Free Press, December 7, 2008

Peter Prontzos: How many Canadians will die for nothing in Afghanistan?

The Taliban did not attack the United States on September 11, and it is not the only group fighting against the U.S.-led occupation.

By Peter G. Prontzos

It is hard to write when one is upset, and I was very distressed to hear on Friday that three more young Canadians were killed in Afghanistan. The terrible news also made me angry.

The 101 Canadians who have been killed in Afghanistan believed that they were serving our country, and for that they deserve our respect and gratitude. We must not forget or trivialize their ultimate sacrifice.

But there is an awful truth that we tend to avoid, a truth that must be proclaimed if we are to end the killing on all sides of that bloody conflict.

Moreover, even the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Bush's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan have led to more anti-Americanism and more terrorism, not less. Every time innocent civilians are killed or a wedding party is bombed, more people take up arms against the U.S.-backed forces, or support those who do.
Vancouver Free Press, Dec. 6, 2008

The truth is that those 101 brave Canadians died for nothing.

Their lives were taken away from them, and from their loving families andfriends, for a lie. More accurately, they died for a series of lies.

One lie is that Canada is there to help the "democratic" Karzai, but the factis that his government was installed by the Bush regime, and that it is bothincompetent and riddled with corruption from the drug trade.

A related lie is that this is a war for women's rights. Since when has Stephen Harper ever taken the lead in advancing the rights of women? Indeed,one of the first things that the Harper did when he became prime minister was to close 12 out of 16 Status of Women of Canada regional offices, while removing "equality" from SWC objectives.

Another lie is that it is possible to win a military victory over the various tribes and political factions that are fighting the occupiers, but British and American military officials are finally admitting that they are losing ground, and the bloodshed will only increase as the war drags on.

But the biggest lie of all is that Canadians are being killed in the fight against terrorism.

The Taliban did not attack the United States on September 11, and it is not the only group fighting against the U.S.-led occupation.

Moreover, even the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Bush's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan have led to more anti-Americanism and more terrorism, not less. Every time innocent civilians are killed or a wedding party is bombed, more people take up arms against the U.S.-backed forces, or support those who do.

In reality, Canadians are dying in Afghanistan in order to please the Bush regime by aiding in its attempt to dominate the Middle East for its own geostrategic purposes, especially to control the oil in the region.

In addition, there are some in the Canadian military who despise our peacekeeping reputation and would rather that we adopted the mindless war-fighting mentality of the American military.

There is, however, a sane and humanitarian alternative to endless war and continued killing in Afghanistan. Start negotiations with all sides in the conflict, as many NATO countries are urging, and bring in well-funded UnitedNations peacekeeping troops to enforce any ceasefire agreement.

This approach has been successful in similar conflicts around the world, and just might work in Afghanistan.

Instead of wasting lives and money in an unnecessary war, we could offer real development aid to the Afghan people. Only 10% of Canadian funding, for instance, is spent on reconstruction.

Moreover, the billions of dollars that are being squandered in a futile military exercise in Afghanistan could be spent here in Canada, to improve our health and education systems, to create jobs, to house the homeless --and to help returning Canadian veterans to heal the mental and physical scars of war.

We owe them that.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives share the guilt of have sent Canadians to a needless war in order to please the United States. But they are not the ones whose sons and daughters are facing death on a daily basis. It's always easier to send other people's children to war while striking heroic poses when one is safe at home.

One version of the Golden Rule goes: Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do to you.

The fundamental question is this: would you be willing to go to Afghanistan and risk your own life, or that of your children, in this war? If the is answer is "no", then you do not have the moral right to ask others to do what you would not.

It is past time for us to demand that no more Canadians or Afghans to lose their lives for a lie.

Category: Taliban/ISIS/Terrorism, US-NATO, Drugs, HR Violations, Protest, Corruption - Views: 11215