Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Past Due for Canadian Troop Homecoming
By Jim Miles
ccun.org, March 26, 2009
Another four Canadian military personnel have been killed in
Afghanistan. It is well past due that Canadian forces be brought home from
this senseless war before more die for a poorly defined cause.
the moment there are few if any arguments that stand up as justification for
remaining in Afghanistan, and although many causes are given, they are all
subordinate to the rhetoric of what is essentially a U.S. led occupation.
Democracy became the main battle cry once the original search for
bin Laden failed. Yet democracy in a country that has been war torn for half
a century and centuries before that by occupying armies, is tribal in
nature. It had a system of checks and counterbalances within that structure,
including the now western accepted idea of a loya jirga, or grand council of
tribal leaders. The closest Afghanistan came to true democracy was before
the Soviet invasion, when a somewhat popular (emphasis on somewhat)
socialist government granted full women’s rights, supported education for
all, provided social services, and allowed democratic voting. Democracy as
known in western countries will not be possible in a war torn occupied
Okay, so we are there for stability and
reconstruction – except that the main destabilizing factor is not the
Taliban but the NATO and U.S. occupiers. The majority of Afghanis see the
occupying forces of NATO, including Canada paramount among them, as being
the cause of many of their problems, as any occupying force is justifiably
accused. Reconstruction of minimalist infrastructure will not convert
the Afghanis to accepting occupation.
The Taliban are a group of
insurgents, mainly Pashtun in origin from the southern regions of which
Kandahar, where Canadian forces are centred, is the main centre. They become
“terrorists” to western eyes because they have attacked western forces,
killing a proportionally good number of Canadians along the way. They are
not a monolithic group, and activities that range from pure war lordism for
power through to drug smuggling are all carried out by tribal leaders that
are grouped ignorantly under the overall name of the Taliban. Certainly the
Taliban are no angels, buy they are ethnic Afghanis and have not attacked
any foreign countries. As time moves forward and military pressure
increases, it is only natural that the Taliban will increase their intensity
towards Canadian forces, learning from other groups how to build and use
better explosives and tactics.
Al-Qaeda is correctly classified as
a terrorist group, but again they originally had little to do with the U.S.
other than to be funded by them through the Pakistani SIS in order to defeat
the Soviets in Afghanistan. The same Soviets, now simply Russians, have
again become power players in Northern Afghanistan with some of the Northern
Alliance tribes, and are considered as being part of the power behind
Karzai’s inefficient government – inefficient at least for the U.S.
Originally, al-Qaeda were mainly interested in Kashmir and Chechnya, and
only came to prominence when the U.S. labeled them as the main culprits in
9/11. Now, as the occupation intensifies as it tries to counter the
counter-insurgency, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the various war lords and
smugglers are inter-connecting their networks and drawing the U.S. into a
wider insurgency in Pakistan, a nuclear armed economically and politically
These are the grand parameters of the war in
Afghanistan. Smaller issues such as women’s rights and drug problems are
also argued by Canadian politicians and media. Certainly the Taliban treat
women as second class citizens, but the current group of war lords and drug
lords are not much different. Within the overall context, helping women is
simply a non-starter until all the rest of the lies around the U.S.
occupation are sorted out. Drug problems followed the U.S into Southeast
Asia and the same pattern is repeating in the Middle East.
There is no
oil in Afghanistan, but it does have significant natural gas deposits in the
northern regions and is a crucial pipeline trans-shipment route if the U.S.
wants to avoid both Iran and Russia for its supplies.
brought this mess upon the Canadian forces, who are doing what they can
under false pretences for a foreign occupying force. The Conservatives are
prolonging the agony by maintaining the forces there, with Liberal approval,
until 2011, another two years of wasting valuable Canadian lives. Bring the
troops home now.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator
and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for
The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally
through other alternative websites and news publications.