[News] Canada must withdraw troops from Afghanistan immediately

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Dec 3 10:37:09 EST 2009

Canada must withdraw troops from Afghanistan immediately

December 03, 2009 By Malalai Joya

I have just completed a two-week speaking tour across Canada, 
bringing a message to the great people of this country: The people of 
Afghanistan are fed up with the occupation of their country and with 
the corrupt, Mafia-state of Hamid Karzai and the warlords and drug 
lords backed by NATO.

On behalf of the suffering people of Afghanistan, I offer my 
condolences to the families here who have lost their loved ones. I 
believe these fallen soldiers, themselves, are the victims of the 
wrong policy of your government. The families of Afghan civilians 
killed in this war share your feelings of loss.

If we turn these sorrows into strength, we can end this war. Bringing 
the troops home at the end of 2011 is too late; the troops should be 
withdrawn as soon as possible, before more Afghan and Canadian lives 
are needlessly lost.

Today, it has become an open secret that the Canadian government of 
Stephen Harper has been complicit in the torture of countless 
innocent Afghans. This is just one reason people in Kandahar and 
across my country are tired of this war.

It is clear now that the real motive of the U.S. and its allies, 
hidden behind the so-called "war on terror", was to convert 
Afghanistan into a military base in Central Asia and the capital of 
the world's opium drug trade. Ordinary Afghan people are being used 
in this chess game, and western taxpayers' money and the blood of 
soldiers is being wasted on this agenda that will only further 
destabilize the region.

The recent so-called election in Afghanistan tells you all you need 
to know about what kind of "democracy" has been imposed by the 
occupation. It is ridiculous to Afghans that the Harper government 
and Defence Minister Peter MacKay have called this process a 
"successful election".

Even the cats of Afghanistan laugh at this kind of statement, because 
everyone knows that this was the most fraudulent election possible. 
Before the vote, people on the streets predicted the outcome with a 
proverb, "It will be the same donkey with a new saddle." In the end, 
in fact, we have seen that even the saddle-Karzai-is not new.

Now that Karzai has been inaugurated again, the nature of his 
government is more obvious than ever. Both of his new vice-president, 
Fahim and Khalili, are warlords with the blood of innocents on their 
hands. In Kandahar, where Canadian troops have been stationed for 
years, Karzai's brother is reported to be involved in drug 
trafficking, and the New York Times recently reported that he's been 
receiving regular payments from the U.S. CIA.

So do not be deceived by talk of Karzai cleaning up corruption. His 
appointment of a new anticorruption team is a case of the rabbit 
being put in charge of the carrots.

Torture, drug trafficking, the continued rule of warlords and 
fundamentalists-these are the only things that this war has brought 
Afghans. Today, our people are being vicitimized by two enemies: the 
occupation forces bombing us from the sky, and the warlords and their 
Taliban brothers-in-creed.

If the troops withdraw, it will be easier for Afghans to fight one 
enemy and to determine our own future. It is the duty of the Afghan 
people to work for freedom and democracy; these values can never be 
donated to us by the very foreign powers who-after nearly three 
decades of funding various fundamentalists are arming warlords and 
other criminals-are responsible for many of the problems Afghanistan 
faces today.

While I am opposed to the policy of the Canadian government in 
Afghanistan, I have been very moved by the support of ordinary people 
across this country, from Victoria to Halifax. Having spoken to big 
public meetings in cities right across this country, it is clear that 
the Canadian people are fed up with their government's policy in 
Afghanistan. Let's raise our voices together to end this unjust and 
devastating war.

Malalai Joya was the youngest woman elected to the Afghan Parliament 
in 2005. She has recently completed a cross-Canada book tour in 
support of her new 
memoir, written with Vancouver writer and activist Derrick O'Keefe, A 
Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared 
to Raise Her Voice.

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