After the recent accusations and the continual obstruction of Parliament’s access to key documents it is time to bring Canadian soldiers home. We shouldn’t wait until Febuary 2011. When retired Soviet Afghan veterans are saying NATO is using the same tactics that cost the Soviets the war, we have lost in Afghanistan. We increasingly are backing a criminal regime that is alienating the common Afghanis.
We started the Twentieth Century as a Dominion at war for the British Empire. In South Africa we fought the Boers to protect British mining interests and to expand the Empire’s reach into African resources. Neither side was worth fighting for, the British were putting Empire ahead of all else, while the Boer were building a series of white supremicist republics. South Africa was granted Dominion status as an aprtied regime, thus leaving indegenous Africans out of there polity.
Canada earned its place in the world on the battlefields of France and Belgium. We became Storm Troopers destroying the German defences with innovation and tenacity. Our independence was expanded after the war with a seat at the League of Nations and the ability to have our own foreign policy and military policy. We no longer had to accept Imperial edicts to deploy our forces in colonial war.
This independence was exercised in 1939 when Canada delayed declaring war a week after Britain and France. Even though the decision to declare war was taken a month before Poland was invaded. We were a key member of the allies, one of the ABC nations that outlined the overall strategy, President Roosevelt declared Canada the aerodrome of democracy.
After World War Two Canada helped to found the international institutions that shape the world today. We developed peace keeping and went against our allies and colonial masters in the Suez crises. Without Canada’s independent action during the Suez crises London, Paris and Tel Aviv wouldn’t exist today for Moscow was going to use nuclear force to protect Egypt’s right to a canal running through their territory. Many similar but less important missions followed through the decades. No one wanted to go into the Balkans in 1990 or Rwanda, Somalia and various other places during the last decade of the Twentieth Century. The Nineties were one of the busiest decades in Canadian Forces history and lead to the total withdraw to Canada of the forces by 2001.
Now after a century we find ourselves fighting for an Empire in a colonial war involving two parties equally illegitimate. Afghanistan is not Canada’s war, nor is it a war to destroy radical Islamic terrorists. If that were so why are we not also in Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, North Africa, East Africa, remote Indonesia, remote Philippines, and various other places in the world?
Afghanistan has always been a strategic position. It sits on the old Spice Road routes between East and West Asia, it is on the invasion route between North and South. Today it is next to Iran and offers a jumping off point to invade eastern Iran. It is where the Caspian sea oil has to pass through before getting to the Indian ocean or China. It can be used to keep an expanding Russian federation in check and keeps Pakistan from focusing on India’s border. Those who can control Afghanistan can control central Asia.
None of these strategic concerns are of interest to Canada. We aren’t after oil from the Caspian Sea as it will compete with our home grown oil reserves. We have an interest in Iranian democracy but aren’t going to invade to force the issue because that will guarantee fundamentalist tyranny over the Iranian people for decades more. Our problems with Russia are in the Arctic not Asia. We need our troops at home guarding our border with Russia more than hunting farmers annoyed with losing their poppy crop so they joined the Taliban for the summer.
Canada can not be allowed to return into someone’s sphere of influence. We have come to far to surrender independence paid for in blood. We have fought many wars of independence. The American Revolution, War of 1812, World War One, and World War Two are all Canadian wars of independence. We had to say no to the Americans and the Germans and in doing so convinced the British. To allow ourselves to be a second class nation is the same as urinating on the graves of our fallen. The United States needs as a free people outside of their control because that will be the only way we can save them from the growing tyranny within.
The Conservatives are trying to convince Canadians on the sly to continue past 2011. They won’t admit it publicly because they have yet to admit to themselves. Conservatives have always looked outside Canada to seek approval and legitimacy with a mother country. They fought against the flag for this reason and always look to the neo-conservative elite in Washington now. They are the colonial party and Washington wants Canadian on the front lines in Afghanistan.
When the West admits defeat and sends the forces home there will be a vacuum in Afghanistan. All of these fighters will have no one to fight. They will at first destroy the Karzai regime and move on to the foreign Taliban and Al Queda. There will be a decade of civil war from our withdrawal that in the end will result in a democratic Afghanistan. Afghanistan has come to far for the Taliban’s brand of perverted Islam to be allowed by the population.
We have done all we can do in Afghanistan so let us focus our efforts on National Security and Sovereignty at home. Canada can still train Afghan forces here or with US permission down in CFB Fort Hood. We can still send aid and allow Afghans to immigrate here but we need our soldiers at home. The new threats to us from climate change are being ignored by the current government and our Canadian Forces need time to prepare for them. They can’t do that in Kandahar.