Some of CASC's founding members have been writing to remind Canadians of what has already been accomplished in Afghanistan and where we are headed. Some excerpts:
How will we be remembered in Afghanistan? by Terry Glavin
Years down the road, there will be all sorts of clever people who will be happy to tell us that our soldiers should never have been sent to Afghanistan. That’s why it will always be handy to remember what it took a British House of Commons defence committee to point out, back in 2007:
“If Kandahar fell, and it was a reasonably close run last year, it did not matter how well the Dutch did in Uruzgan or how well the British did in Helmand. Their two provinces would also, as night followed day, have failed, because we would have lost the consent of the Pashtun people because of the totemic importance of Kandahar.”
Don’t remember? Don’t be hard on yourself. You sure didn’t hear it from any Canadian parliamentary committee.
If all Canadian soldiers ever did was win the Battle of Panjwaii in 2006, it would all have been worth it.
We asked: How will you remember Canada? by Lauryn Oates
Lotfullah Najafizada, 24
Journalist at Tolo TV, Kabul
“Canada has made a huge sacrifice in Afghanistan in the last decade. It has helped the Afghan people during a very tough time. We would remember Canada’s support and assistance not for 10 or 20 years, but for many, many decades. Canada has a reputation as an honest and supportive friend in Afghanistan."
Afghan women more visible in public life by Lauryn Oates
Taliban rule, following the three decades of war, kept women and girls shut out of schools for five years.
Since those first post-Taliban days, striking change has swept over Afghanistan. Canadian investments in education and rebuilding programs have helped hurry along the drive for learning and training opportunities.
Women have been accessing micro-credit programs like the Micro- finance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), supported by the Canadian International Development Agency. The charity Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan has been training teachers, running adult-literacy classes and opening village libraries.
At this time of year that is normally filled with joy, we take time to remember those latest casualties of Taliban cruelty in Afghanistan. Their deaths are not in vain. Their sacrifices are remembered and their courage and dedication is an inspiration to those who continue to work, fight and report in this troubled part of the world. Four soldiers and a journalist died in an explosion this week south of Kandahar City..
In Macleans, a heartfelt tribute to Canwest journalist Michelle Lang:
An article by Virginia Haussegger provides real insight into the situation of women in Afghanistan as a Taliban takeover looms. The original article can be seen at http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/afghan-women-fear-return-to-ta...
Despite it being a long distance call and a bad line, I can detect the frustration in her voice. ''Women? No one listens to women''.