Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

October 06, 2009

SMELL OF DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN, Editorial, People's Voice, October 1-15, 2009










(The following article is from the October 1-15, 2009, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading communist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to: People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 133 Herkimer St., Unit 502, Hamilton, ON, L8P 2H3.)

People's Voice Editorial

The smell of defeat is in the air for the disastrous US-led military occupation of Afghanistan. An unusually blunt report by the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, says "we run the risk of strategic defeat by pursuing tactical wins that cause civilian casualties or unnecessary collateral damage. The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily, be we can defeat ourselves."

The outright theft of the recent Afghan election by US-backed President Hamid Karzai may have dealt the final blow to dwindling public support for the occupation. Even Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente, a diehard war supporter, recently wrote: "Iraq was the product of neo-con delusions. Afghanistan is in many ways the product of liberal delusions. Both reflect the naive but arrogant belief that outsiders can bring transformational change with good intentions and democracy." (Of course, Wente is untainted by suspicion that control of oil reserves is the true motive for the keen imperialist interest in central Asia.)

But even these apologists can no longer ignore the horrifying evidence. Far from being on the side of the "good guys" in Afghanistan, Canadian troops are simply hired thugs for the gang of criminal warlords which currently has the support of the United States. Consider the revelations that Afghan police and soldiers systematically rape young boys at Canadian military bases, as reported by David Pugliese of Canwest News Service - hardly an "anti-war" media source.

Remember that the next time Canadian troops are saluted for their courage by Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton. The time to end this sickening war is now, not 2011.

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