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Canada Out of Afghanistan Now!

With Prime Minister Stephen Harper deciding that the Canadian Military should no longer concern itself with peacekeeping, and instead should focus on waging wars of conquest, lets examine what's happening in Afghanistan today.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the Taliban are still going strong nearly five years after the US invaded:
When the Taliban fell nearly five years ago, Lashkar Gah seemed like fertile ground for the United States-led effort to stabilize the country. For 30 years during the cold war, Americans carried out the largest development project in Afghanistan's history here, building a modern capital with suburban-style tract homes, a giant hydroelectric dam and 300 miles of canals that made 250,000 acres of desert bloom. Afghans called this city "Little America."

Today, Little America is the epicenter of a Taliban resurgence and an explosion in drug cultivation that has claimed the lives of 106 American and NATO soldiers this year and doubled American casualty rates countrywide. Across Afghanistan, roadside bomb attacks are up by 30 percent; suicide bombings have doubled. Statistically it is now nearly as dangerous to serve as an American soldier in Afghanistan as it is in Iraq.

Wait a minute. The Taliban fell? They were beaten? Well, sort of. It seems that they ran away - to Pakistan, where they found safe harbor. Pakistan, of course, is one of the US's key allies in the war on terror, in the words of G. W. Bush (Feb 22/06):
The second stop on my trip will be to Pakistan. Pakistan is a key ally in the war on terror... Five years ago, Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. That all changed after September the 11th. President Musharraf understood that he had to make a fundamental choice for his people. He could turn a blind eye and leave his people hostage to terrorists, or he could join the free world in fighting the terrorists. President Musharraf made the right choice, and the United States of America is grateful for his leadership.
- my italics

One other nation that recognized (unofficially) the Taliban regime was the USA, who had the Taliban over for a chat:
We have stressed in particular to Mr. Ramatullah the importance of Taliban's compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1333 and to the international community's concerns, including handing over indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden to a country where he can be brought to justice, and closing the terrorist camps.

Interestingly, any links that I've come across that point to official transcripts of these meetings turn up 404 document not found errors (go here and click on the 'transcript on-line here' link. It takes you to the US State Department website and the 404 error). The rewriting of history continues.

And then there is poppy production. In the 1990's, the Taliban had virtually eradicated poppy cultivation, but by August, 2002 - after the US invaded, while the country was occupied by an invading army, poppy production inexplicably surges back. Today they produce 6100 tons of opium, enough for 610 tons of heroin, the major benificiaries of this being not evil drug lords but financial institutions, probably your trusted bank.

So what, exactly, are Canadian troops accomplishing in Afghanistan? The Taliban is stronger than it's been since 2001. The trade in opium is more vibrant than ever. Violence is up, political stability is down, and basic services are sporadic at best (and only if you live in Kabul).

From a newspeak, war is peace sort of perspective, things are going just fine.
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