The Star: Why Are We in Afghanistan?

The Toronto Star's Mitch Potter wrote an excellent special report on Canada's war in Afghanistan. Rick Madonik took powerful photographs of the Canadians and Afghanistans.

As the editors wrote:

"When we planned this dangerous assignment to Afghanistan, it was with heavy hearts. Afghanistan is a country of warlords and savagery. No Canadian reference point provides any direction on this story. And yet the Canadian Forces were there, 2,200 in all, more combat-ready than at any time in the past 50 years, as part of a multinational force. We knew we had to be there, too.

To everyone it was a learning experience, absorbing this modern-day conflict set in an ancient, poor, desolate land."

This is well worth a read, especially for anyone wondering why we're there and for those who are mistaken in thinking Canada doesn't have a strong warrior class. We do, and we ought to be proud of them. That warrior class may be needed to defend us in the future on our own soil, and we can't allow them to wither nor reject them, for they are as Canadian, and contribute to our country and who we are as a people, as much as the rest of us. But right now, that class is preventing the roots of terrorism from regrowing and is helping to re-establish a functioning society in that desolate part of the world. At the very least, the Afghani women need us, and we should not desert them, not now, not ever.


Looney Canuck said…
I agree with that sentiment, but we cannot stay there forever. We just need to help set up a reasonably strong central government that will weather the attacks that will surely happen to it. Other than that, this makes me proud to be Canadian.
talk talk talk said…
Me too. But apparently we're in the minority. CTV news reported 60% of Canadians want our troops out. A teen (girl) on CBC espoused the view that we shouldn't be fighting for things we don't believe in. How odd. We don't believe in emancipation of women? We don't believe in education? We don't believe in creating an environment in which people can earn money in ways other than growing opium poppies? We don't believe n rule of law, rather than rule of warlord? We don't get that what happens over there does have an effect on us here?

We went in to stop Al Quaeda from killing us off on North American soil, but we're finally doing what should've been done long before that. And best of all, we're there on the behest of the burgeoning Afghan government.

You're right we can't stay there forever, but it will take years and, unfortunately, more deaths before we can leave safely. The last thing we want to do is sacrifice the lives of our soldiers just to leave prematurely and have to start all over again.
Mark Dowling said…
Maybe Harper should invite Paul Martin to come to a joint press conference to for him explain why the troops are there now, and and Harper to explain why they are staying.

Then the two of them should ask Layton exactly what problem he has with that.
Looney Canuck said…
Before you check out the recent comments on Jay Currie's blog, it seems that I'm starting to have second thoughts about the Canadian presence in Afghanistan.
talk talk talk said…
Hmmmm....I have an answer formulating in my head, but it calls for a new post. Will do that soon.