So a lot of coverage has been put on the Canadian Role in the "War on Terror" in Afghanistan. With the attacks on Canadian troops and the three deaths, people are start to question why we are there. Why are Candians over there fighting in what is an "American war" (their words, not mine.)
Well, we are there because we have a duty to be. Afghanistan has been the center of conflict for centuries especially for the last 30 years. It was a battlefield between the east (Soviets) and West (USA). This weakened the nation and allowed groups like the Taliban to flourish. Freedoms were suspended, people were killed for their beliefs and the country was ruined. They have nothing there. I’ve seen it.
Now whether or not you think that we had the right to invade in 2001 after 9/11, we are there. We have a chance to help the people who just want a better life. The Taliban only makes up a small percentage of Afghanis but they are made up of some of the rebels that fought the Soviets with US made weapons (funny how the weapons the US gives their "allies" ends up being used against them huh?). Most people want peace but are afriad of the Taliban who will do anything necesssary to enforece their way of life, including killing their own people.
So we are there to rebuild their society and give them hope. It won’t be easy but we can’t just up and leave. That would make the world see us as weak and all the work Canada has done to try to stabilize places like Kosovo, Bosnia, Golan and Cyprus seem hollow. To leave would prove to the Arab world that the West only cares for oil (true of US? You decide). To help them regain their dignity would help weaken the terrorist hold.
It is too late to argue or to pull the troops home. No it won’t be over in five years. Not even ten. It must be done. The least we can do is do our 18 months and pass it on, but we are not like that. As Canadians, we want to change the world. No matter what happens we try to help. We were there for the Word Wars. Back then there wwre asking why we were there. They wanted to bring the troops home. But there was a need for us there. Afghanistan is not at the level of these wars but it could be worse. How would Canada backing down in Afghanistan seem to the world?
It’s not an "American War." It’s our war. A war agains terror and tyrany. We may not win it, but we have to try.