All The More Reason


Jack Layton
September 14, 2006, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is an official statement by Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada. In it, he calls for the withdrawal of Canadian troops in Southern Afghanistan (where Canadian soldiers are currently fighting). Here’s a quote:

New Democrats have a clear, comprehensive vision that moves Canada in the right direction – where our role in Afghanistan is through humanitarian aid, reconstruction, and a comprehensive peace process – not a George Bush-style counter-insurgency war.

What is a George Bush-syle counter-insurgency war? What does that mean? How would you, Jack Layton, wish to engage in a comprehensive peace process with the Taliban? How does one go about humanitarian aid if the territory itself is not safe for doctors and nurses to practice their wares?

Since this statement of his, the New Democrats have voted their opposition to Canada’s current combat mission in Afghanistan.

Jonathan Smith

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I agree the term ‘George Bush-style counter-insurgency war’ is a little odd, but I believe overall that the NDP have chosen the right course on this issue — read this post to see why:

http://deathfrombelow.wordpress.com/2006/09/11/layton-rightly-asking-why-we-fight/

Comment by James17930

The presence of an international force in Afghanistan is vital for the future of the Afghan people. Millions of girls are being educated for the first time because of the removal of the Taliban. Abandoning the country would mean abandoning them too.

The lack of involvement of NATO countries other than Britain and America is seriously hindering operations. Keeping the peace isn’t just about sauntering around in blue berets. It involves fighting as well.

The idea that the war in Afghanistan and the international obligations that arose from it were cooked up by a conspiracy of arms manufacturers is just facile.

Comment by Michael P

But these aren’t the same ‘Taliban’ that were the government prior to 2001 — a few of those people are still around, guiding operations, but what the Taliban is now — what NATO soldiers are fighting — are a group of new, young recruits who don’t see NATO as a benign force which is bringing about positive change, but simply a foreign invader which needs to be expelled from the country.

Afghans from many different tribes and backgrounds are joining together, under the banner of the Taliban, to fight off an invader — that’s the way they see it — and they’re never going to run out of recruits, which is why NATO’s current mission will fail.

Here’s a good article from the Toronto Star which further shows the past and present failures of NATO’s involvement:

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1158357012605

Comment by James17930

First of all, this insurgency is limited to particular regions of the country. In the West and North of Afghanistan, there has been immense progress with increased employment, more schools and the return of many refugees. None of this would have been possible without the presence of NATO troops.

To characterise the insurgency, in those areas where it has been active, as popular resistance to ‘foreign invaders’ is a fairly simplistic analysis. Contrary to your assertions, the resistance to NATO troops in the South has been undertaken by avowedly pro-Taliban forces, supported financially by proceeds from the drugs trade and tribal groups in Pakistan who sheltered many of the Taliban after the 2001 liberation.

Nobody is claiming that extending the writ of the democratic government to the south of the country is going to be a cakewalk. It will undoubtedly take some time and cost lives. But this is a commitment worth making. The posturing of Jack Layton and his ilk appeals to the lowest of parochial sentiments.

Comment by Michael P




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