Friday, May 11, 2007

Do you see Steven Harper singing more and more from George Bush's song book?

The Opposition parties in Parliament are demanding answers to questions of coverup and carelessness for the welfare of Afghans and all Harper can do is beat the patriotic drum and pretend compassion for the men and women he will send to their deaths in Afghanistan. How dare the opposition ask for information, when he is doing his best to hide the realities from the electorate?

He's also trying to hide the realities from those who will pay in blood for his policies. As yet, they don't get it, but they will.

It would be a beautiful world if the Afghans could enjoy a society as enlightened as ours, but please open your eyes. Those in the Afghan resistance will stay in the country for the rest of their lives – NATO forces will move out as soon as some plausible benchmark can be claimed. Pakistan will always border Afghanistan and have a vital interest in the people governing there — when the troops leave, Canada will likely not even have a direct air link to Kabul. The Indians also share a border with Afghanistan and have as much interest in seeing a government in Kabul remaining independent from Pakistani interference as is the converse. What hope for the dawning of this beautiful world?

The Americans have attempted to play the Great Game in the region against the Russians and Chinese. They want to ensure the pipelines from the barely tapped oilfields to the north go straight across Afghanistan to the ocean and to whatever markets the Americans deem appropriate. In the process they want to prevent Iranian oil pipelines taking oil to India. The Russians are winning so far – using oil and gas from Kazakhstan for their own consumption while they sell Russian oil and gas to Europe. The Chinese are also looking to gain control of these resources just across their border. What business does Canada have in becoming involved in this mess?

European NATO countries are in Afghanistan in order to exert some measure of influence into these cross currents of oil diplomacy – because they are dependent upon oil and gas imports. Not so Canada. While the Chretien government joined in when the Taliban government was overthrown in order to lessen the opprobrium of the States and the pro-US apple polishers in Canada; as a country, we have never accepted that our nation has to toe the line to George Bush's war policies. That is until the Harper government took power. Someone should tell Harper that a sovereign country is not an Enron or some other vehicle of convenience for his political games, but a nation of people who have a right to chart their own destiny.

I know perfectly well the present government has never owned up and admitted their slavish adherence to US right-wing objectives, but I don't expect them to. I have lived too long under Tory rule in Alberta to ever expect an honest answer or even any answer at all that is more than a whitewash or a shut-up. Steven Harper is an MP from Calgary for a reason. The electorate there has been well trained to sit up and bark when the Tories offer a tidbit. Many of the Albertans who vote Conservative – both Provincially and Federally – know more about the US system of government than Canada's. Many of them look to the south rather than to Canada for their ambitions – until the US bites them, as with the mad cow border closure. The Harper administration is essentially a Calgary operation – the same one which fleeces the whole of Canada with inflated oil prices at the pumps. The corporate policy is profit and to hell with the people who live in the country – be it Canada or Afghanistan.

Open your eyes, Canada.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

9/11 really happened, okay? Nobody cared about Afghanstan until those jetliners hit the WTC. The Afghans were ruled by a medieval government and nobody cared or did anything but criticize when the government blew up the centuries-old Buddhas. Fine, I agree we should not go around attacking countries because of dysfunctional governments and we don't.

Thousands of Americans and many Canadians died when OBL's followers flew those jets in to the buildings in a terrorist act. Previous attacks in Africa and elsewhere left the Americans with no doubt about the path OBL et al were on. When the Americans figured out who it was and that OBL was in Afghanistan they asked the Taliban to hand him over. The Taliban said the equivalent of "who? ... um we can't find him right now .. could you call back later?" The Americans decided that any government that gave support to OBL after launching such an attack had to go, and they made it happen. Canada is there now along with other nations, but again mostly the US, trying to stabilize the government there under a UN mandate.

There is no hiding of information. Yes, the government of Afghanistan does not have a nice, organized system of handling prisoners like we do in Canada with records of everything that happens. The current accusation that prisoners may have been harmed while in Afghan custody is based on the fact that there is no positive evidence of proper treatment. The accusations are not supported by positive evidence of harm. This lack of record-keeping can be blamed on previous management (Taliban) because they did nothing to develop the country's government or infrastructure.

Also, don't forget that the Liberals under Martin set up the agreement with the new Afghan government that left no thought to monitoring: the Conservative government did not sign the agreement. They set up a new one once the previous agreement was found to be defective.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Trailowner said...

I think the point of my original blog could have been better stated, and made it more difficult for Anonymous to add the simplistic comment.

9/11 has been used as the excuse for far too much anti-social and imperialist action in the past six years. However I would be pleased to see the Harper administration use it as an excuse for their actions in Afghanistan, as it would turn even more Canadians against their war policies.

The root cause of the Bush administration’s actions – in Afghanistan as in Iraq – is the oil. How anyone could suggest that a government that doesn’t give a damn about their own children growing up in poverty, or their own country’s lack of proper health care for 40 million citizens, has its troops in Afghanistan to benefit Afghans by bringing democracy and development to these suffering people, is beyond comprehension. Simply because the platitudes are a fraud.

I don’t expect any better from the US administration – but I do decry any Canadian action that supports this imperialism. Canada has no business meddling in central Asian affairs – but that is what the Harper regime is doing with its blanket support of the Bush White House.

The Afghans have had enough of warfare. This latest poll has supported the news reports (from outside North America) that say a majority of them want Hamid Karzai to seek an agreement with moderate elements of the Taliban to bring about a broader based government. To bring peace to the region. That is the only just policy that would bring an end to the suffering of the Afghans. But the invaders – NATO, Canada, the Americans, have opposed this initiative. It simply doesn’t allow the American government and oil companies to maintain their foothold in the region, that is aimed at siphoning away the oil and gas resources of Kazakstan and its neighbours to the south, through a trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

Canadian soldiers are dying in Afghanistan for a fraud, and it is criminal to let it continue. Afghanistan is a Central Asian country whose internal politics and foreign policies are a vital interest to its neighbours – not to Canadians. The geopolitics of Asia will inevitably see the American adventurism in the region defeated. A country that cannot keep the lid on the violence in a ruined country of less than thirty million in the Persian Gulf certainly will be powerless to oppose the march of almost three billions in Asia. If it were not for the welfare of our troops and aid people in Afghanistan one might sit back and laugh at Steven Harper kowtowing to Washington. But Canada’s honour and dignity demand that we stand up for truth and justice in the region. No more simplistic lies, please. Canada has no business meddling in the geopolitics of Central Asia.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canada has no business meddling in central Asian affairs

Those Canadians really died at the WTC: just go ask their families. Go to NYC and see that the buildings are not really there anymore. Is it your suggestion that when a medieval government gives support to a guy that murders thousands of people, including Canadians, that we should say "Well, that's Central Asia; we should not interfere."

No, we should not do that. When governments and people get up to unacceptable, murderous acts like that we need to be able to send trained soldiers over there to beat the crap out of the government and its army as a form of general deterence to other dysfunctional governments not to do the same thing. After the government is defeated we then try and set up a stable government like Germany and Japan after WWII: we don't just leave.

Negotiating does not work with ideological wingnuts like the Taliban who blow up innocent people in markets just to create instability. Would you negotiate with these people? Do you honestly believe that the Taliban care about human rights? No they don't. If ISAF forces leave without leaving behind a stable government, capable of controlling the territory, then tens of thousands of Afghanis will be murdered by the Taliban as they use violence to re-assert control of the country, the country will return to a medieval Islamic state offering invitiations to set up camps to train for worldwide terrorism in exchange for some money. It happened and will happen again. Take care of it now or deal with worse later.

Iraq is a different issue with Dick Cheney as the black hole at the centre of that galaxy. Oil, PNAC, Israeli and Saudi interests, etc all operated concurrently to drive that military intervention. Cheney tried to hook Iraq to OBL to create political impetus for the war and was successful for a while. He took advantage of the real 9/11 attacks to drive the Iraq strategy.

Military events in Afghanistan were precipitated by 9/11 and nothing more. The US uses behind-the-scenes soft power techniques (aid money, threat of defunding, threat of funding another competing nation, obstruction of diplomatic initiatives, diplomatic assistance, offering intelligence info on competing states, trade leverage, etc) to serve its interests in the region otherwise.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Trailowner said...

I would have answered Anonymous’ fatuous reply earlier, but events are unfolding fast enough to demolish his arguments even without my two bits. And there is a new book, by Stephen Holmes, “The Matador’s Cape: America’s Reckless Response to Terror” that analyses a dozen influential books on post-Cold War International politics to understand why the US response to 9/11 magnified the initial damage done by the terrorists many times over. Anyone still stuck in 2000 year-old tribal thinking, like Anonymous, would do well to read it.

To get to my own respone – the repeated inference by the right wing that any unwise action by Canada in Afghanistan, and similarly any imperialistic adventure by the Bush administration in the same country is justified because the Taliban government harboured Islamic terrorists has been revealed as hypocrisy by Turkey’s actions this past week. Turkey is preparing for its own invasion of Iraq because of the actions of Kurdish terrorists that have killed 17 Turkish soldiers (with many more killed earlier, a total of about 50).

Trouble is – the Kurds are Bush’s greatest ally in Iraq. The US depends upon the Kurdish regional administration and the Peshmerga to keep order in Northern Iraq because the US forces don’t have the strength to do it themselves. But Bush’s allies in the region are the very people supporting and aiding the PKK guerillas who are attacking Turkey. The Bush White House is harbouring terrorists in Iraq. This surely makes the US part of the axis of evil.

Under Anonymous’ logical arguments (such as they are) this entitles Turkey to invade Iraq to root out the administration that harbours PKK terrorists. Even further, it would justify a Turkish invasion of the USA to topple the regime supporting those terrorists. Now I admit that the Harper government would be a weak and ineffective substitute for Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance if the Turks were to expect an ally to undertake the invasion of the USA for them – the way the CIA engineered the proxy overthrow of the Taliban. But the fact remains – the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the right wing justification for the Bush administration’s policies, and the Harper government’s spineless support of them, are laid bare for even the most stupid to see. If they have the moral fibre not to hide their heads from reality.

I’m only trying to point out the lies behind the propaganda – real world events are unfolding to display the weaknesses of the sham that has been built around them. Tune in anywhere soon to see the complete destruction of American imperialism in the Middle East.

12:57 PM  

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