KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The Taliban say they know that an election
campaign is underway in Canada and that's why they have stepped up
attacks against Canadians in Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesman Qari
Muhammad Yussef said Tuesday the insurgent movement wants Canada's next
prime minister to pull Canadian troops out of Afghanistan.
I know that the election is being held in Canada. That is why our
attacks on Canadians are increased," Yussef said through a translator.
Dan Hllborn writes: I do not support waging a war against the good people of Afghanistan.
My support for the ISAF is entirely predicated on the fact that this is
NOT a traditional military operation, but a humanitarian campaign and a
peace-making initiative. Even today, Canada is not at war ‘against’
Afghanistan, we are at war ‘in’ Afghanistan against the Taliban and
other extremist and terrorist organizations that wish to enslave their
own people, widen their influence and do mortal harm to anyone who
stands in their way.
I've often asked myself why we are here. Why my government
actually agreed to send troops to this God-forsaken place. There are no
natural resources. No oil, gold, or silver. Just people.
who have been at war for the last 40 plus years. People who want
nothing more than their children to be safe. People who will do
anything for money; even give their own life.
I look into the eyes of these people. I see hate, destruction and depression. I see love, warmth, kindness and appreciation.
do we fight? For in this country, there are monsters. Monsters we could
easily fight on a different battlefield, at a different time. Monsters
that could easily take the fight to us.
Surrounding these mud
walls and huts is a country in turmoil. A country that is unable to
rebuild itself. A country that cannot guarantee a bright future for its
Why do we fight? Because, if we don't fight today, on
THIS battlefield, then our children will be forced to face these
monsters on our own battlefield.
I fight because I'm a soldier.
I fight because I'm ordered.
I fight, so my children won't have to.
"The Afghan government still needs to prove that this is an
administration worth fighting for. It should tackle the current culture
of impunity in cases of corruption and abuses by members of the
administration. The international community, too, must foster
accountability in its actions. With Guantanamo having entered the folk
culture of Afghanistan, appearing in poems and songs and undercutting
claims about the rule of law, arbitrary detentions by Afghan and
foreign forces alike must stop. Much greater transparency and
From one of the bravest and best members of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, Tylere Couture:
"My decision to deploy to Afghanistan was, more than any other
reason, made after learning about the country’s almost incomprehensible
infant, child, and maternal mortality rates.?
1,900 mothers die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth per 100,000
live births – second only to Sierra Leone for the worst maternal
mortality ratio in the world.
The Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee earns a very favourable review today in Progress, the journal of principled liberal-left thinkers and writers in the UK Labour Party. The review appears in Alan Johnson's Progressive Internationalism column, and Johnson argues for the creation of a British version of CASC.
The Afghan Canadian Community Center (ACCC) is a post-secondary school that provides students in Kandahar, primarily young women, with employment-oriented education in business management, Information Technology, English and health care. Approximately 700 female and male students are presently enrolled at the ACCC. Female students attend at no charge, while a small group of male students pay a modest fee to offset the cost of their instruction. The ACCC also operates an Internet lab that is available to women in the community at no charge.
Pakistan must cut its ties with the Taliban, argues Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani expert on the Taliban in a recent article in the International Herald Tribune. Without this essential step, the mission to help bring Afghanistan back from the brink will face insurmountable challenges. Read the article below.
Solidarity Committee member Tylere Couture, pictured here with some Kandahar schoolkids, reports on an emotionally-draining day:
"I knew that a CIMIC patrol had hit an improvised explosive device
(IED) out in Zhari or Panjwai, two of the more volatile districts in
the province, and that the vehicle stuck was a LAV.? . .When I heard this, my thoughts immediately began to spin."