Friday, April 3, 2009

Afghanistan... why haven't we left yet.

The Afghan ambassador to Canada was appealing to Canadians to not react too sharply to Article 132 and to keep supporting the mission in Afghanistan. He stated that his government had made great strides in women’s rights and the protection of women over the last 8 years. He also stated that the NATO mission was meant to help in restoring democracy and that it’s clear that they now have a democratic process. I must also, to be fair, add that the Afghan minister of justice has agreed to meet with foreign policy makers and amendments may be brought forth in Article 132.

I’ve spoken to many people about this whole thing over the last few days and the opinions vary from: “screw that let’s just leave” to “Oust Karzai and let the UN run the country” to “this is a great step in the right direction for democracy.”

Over the years I’ve had some friends and family serve in Afghanistan, I currently have some there, they’ve always supported the mission, and they’ve always thought they were there to stop things exactly like Article 132. They’ve fought hard and lost friends for this belief, even with so much of the country not supporting them back home. They went to bed at night proud that they were making an actual difference.

Now it’s not exactly clear what kind of difference they’ve made... It seems that they’ve helped a country rid itself of cruel leaders that regarded women as nothing less than sex toys and baby machines, only to replace it with someone who does the same thing except that he does it behind our backs smiling the whole way.

If it wasn’t for Canada and the NATO mission Karzai would have never won an election and if he did, if it wasn’t for NATO guarding his city he’d have been assassinated long ago. I think that our actions in Afghanistan entitle us to some kind of forewarning if a bill that is so radically against our values is being tabled.

Let me be clear, for those who say Canada or NATO has no right to intervene with governmental affairs of a sovereign nation... The Allies intervened in WWII to stop Germany from taking over the Europe and to stop the killing of Jews. We intervened in Kosovo to stop the ethnic cleansing. We tried to intervene in Rwanda but the world would not listen. Western intervention should not always mean the implementation of western values, such as democracy and a freewheeling economy, but it should mean the implementation of certain values that should be shared by every nation on earth: basic human rights and civil liberties for everyone, period. I think Canada has every right to tell Karzai to change this law now or we leave Afghanistan today.

Muchacho Enfermo

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