How do Canadians feel about involvement in Afghanistan
On my way to and from Montreal, I have heard much on air discussion about Canadian involvement in Afghanistan. I'm American and I have opposed the US war on Iraq, while supporting our effort in Afghanistan.
I'm curious to know what Canadians think of their involvement in Afghanistan.
Before you post, I know there is so much anti-American sentiment in the world today, including in the west (though I find less of it Canada than anywhere else).
I'd like to defend some-repeat SOME-of my countries actions. While I oppose our war in Iraq, I feel we have every right to be in Afghanistan. We were attacked, and the mastermind, Bin-Laden, is most likely still in Afghanistan. The problem with being a world power is that all your actions as a nation are scrutinized, and every mistake is amplified.
The United States is far from perfect. I still believe that Iraq was a mistake, though I'll certainly listen to opposing viewpoints. Also, the fact that we change presidents every four or eight years makes our foreign policy very inconsistent.
Ever since World War II, much of the world has looked to the US to be a peacekeeper of sorts, and sometimes we have been. IE, Serbia. The EU looked the other way while Milosevic murdered and displaced hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Finally, the US stepped in. If not Milosevic may have died in power.
At other times, we've abused our power, or simply screwed up-IE, Vietnam, Korea, the second Gulf War.
Again, though, I think we are justified in our efforts in Afghanistan. I'm no fan of Bush, but I think my government has good intentions in Afghanistan. I only hope that our results will eventually match those intentions.
Lastly, let me say reitirate what Colin Powell said-thank you, Canada for your military and monetary help in Afghanistan.
Another question could be "What do Canadians predict will happen in Afghanistan?".
My answer. I have no idea.
I do do know that the Russians left after years of casualities inflicted upon them. The Russians never could gain control of the country side. Only the cities were somewhat in control.
Before them. The Britts left.
Like VietNam. The French left. Then the Americans left. The Chinese didn't stay long either.
If the objectives are to transform that place into Nevada, Alberta or New Jersey. Well that doesn't seem likely.
Frankly I don't see Afghanis driving Chevrolets to the shopping mall and then catching Shrek III at the cineplex and then ending their day with a milk shake and big Mac at McDonalds.
What I see is old style ignorant superstitious suspicious resentful frames of thought, blessed by fanatical mullahs who's only mission in life is to promote the destruction of the west and to avoid bathing as much as possible.
9/11 is a illusion created by the american government so they can use it as a excuse to invade afghanistan and iraq(lots and lots of oil but no weapons of mass destruction ) end of story, you are never going to get me to believe that some billionarie who prefers to be dressed up in rags and sleeps on rocks in caves is responsible for 9/11, our troops belong here at home and not in some phoney war fabricated by the american government in some far away land.
After 9/11 the US had the right to strike back at the terrorist training camps and the Taliban who supported them. In fact I feel that they showed remarkable restraint in the way they did so. But now there is not much we can do over there. It's very hard to help people who don't want you there and we simply don't have the manpower to effect much change. We should transfer power over as soon a possible and should leave. But we should reserve the right to go back in the case of the Taliban or al qu'aida attempting to return to power.
Afghanistan can never be conquered. There is no cohesive seat of power that is in charge of the entire country. Not even the Taliban controlled the country. Many regions are controlled by warlords or druglords whose main source of income is the poppy. You can control the major cities for a time but that is all. This country will have to change itself. No outside force will ever be able to accomplish very much for very long. If the Russians with their brute force approach could not do it, how can we? I don't think we have the right to tell them how to live their lives, to tell them that they have to live by our rules. I agree that the way women in particular are treated in their society is abhorent, but women are not treated much better in Saudi Arabia and you don't hear us or the US making too much noise about it.
Joe.t.....who do think is responsible for 9/11? Do you think the Americans did it to themselves? Get real please. Invading Iraq was stupid. Afganistan was not.
I agree, Techman.
JoeT, I think you're way off...name one shred of evidence from a credible source that the US or Israeli government were behind 9/11. It's easy to say things like '9/11' was a conspiracy cooked up by the US as an excuse. But when you have no proof, it's very irresponsible.
BigDaddy, I hear you, and I think you mean to keep America safe, but I don't buy the Neville Chamberlain argument. Saddam was no Hitler. In a quarter century of rule, he'd invaded one country-tiny Kuwait. Then he promptly got his ass kicked.
Hitler ruled for 12 years, and waited only five before annexing the Sudetenland. A year after that he invaded Poland.
Saddam may be just as evil as Hitler, but his power never matched his intentions. Saddam was a small time secular strong man who was mostly despised by Islamic fundamentalists. His removal has destabilized the region.
Also, you're way off about Iraq being a haven for Al-Qaeda pre 9/11. That is simply untrue, and it's dangerous to say things like that because some people are going to believe it. Iraq BECAME a haven for Al-Qaeda AFTER we invaded. If you have any evidence from any reputable source linking Baghdad with Al-Qaeda pre 9/11, PLEASE NAME IT, I want to hear about it. But, if it's only your opinion, then to me it's as valid as someone saying that 9/11 was an American conspiracy.
The only benefit to America in the Iraq war has been to concentrate Al-Qaeda on Iraq. This has kept some of their focus off of American soil. In my opinion-and I acknowledge that it's just that-there were better ways to utilize our military resources in the war on terror.
I think it's a must that Canada continue the mission to consolidate the post- Taliban era in Afghanistan, making sure those Morons never come back to power or wreak any kind of major havoc . It's also important to continue tracking down Bin Laden and Al Qa'ida. And lastly, it's also critical that Canada help in rebuilding Afghanistan, which may take another 10-20 years based on what that country has had to endure over the last 30 years!
We may be able to build buildings and schools but we will never change the mindset of the population. Our way of life is ours, it is not theirs and we cannot force it on them. It would take much more than one generation to change it and we can't stay there forever. We should stay until things stabilize if possible but we have to put some kind of time limit on it. We can't stay there forever.
Veteran of Misadventures
The Bigger Picture!
I basically agree with most of what you have said in this thread. The Iraq War only would have been justified if WMD had been found, and since they weren't, the stated justification has now been determined to be faulty.
However, there is a bigger picture than the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and the justifications for being in or out of those countries. That is, the serious problems that are being created by Islamic Fundamentalism in that part of the world. With nuclear technology and WMD at the fingertips of several terrorist sponsoring states like Iran, how do we deal with them on a go forward basis? I believe an isolationist policy will eventually result in Iran or some other country with Islamic Fundamentalist leadership using WMDs against an "infidel" nation.
I personally feel as though a major war between the western nations and the Islamic nations is inevitable. And it is mainly due to the failures of the Arab countries militarily, socially, economically, and politically, and the ridiculous blaming of these failures consistently on the USA and Israel, that will cause this war. The populations of these countries have been largely brainwashed to hate from a young age, and in the years to come, all of that brainwash, hate and ignorance will be coming home to roost on all of us.
Last edited by EagerBeaver; 03-13-2006 at 07:50 PM.
Afghanistan belong to the afghan
I serve in Afghanistan (Kabul) in 2004, the afghan people are made up of many ethnic groups, Pastu, Tajik and Hazara are the three major groups there are about 30 others groups (about 10 to 15%) of the total population.
The Talibans were from mostly the pastu group. This does not mean that all pastu were Taliban, a great many are not. Also for the afghan the term Taliban does not mean terrorist it mean student (student of the Moslem faith).
I found that a great many afghan were glad we were there even if they keep mistaking us Canadians for Americans (actualy any european or north American is an American to the average afghan)
Most afghan I met told me and my fellow soldiers they were glad we were helping them, on one occasion, in one village (pastu) were we not really welcome, when we went back to this village a few days later they apologise to us and said that we were not like the Russian and we were welcome.
Rebuilding Afghanistan will take time (IMHO 50 years is a minimum a 100 years is closer to the mark, they have a long way to go) while we are there we do not tell them what to do and how to do it, we help them along the way it is their country they alone can decide what kind of society they want.
For those of you who want quick result you are out of luck. I would not be surprise that our great grand children’s will be still guiding them from afar years for now.
That my opinion. I hope all goes well.
Democracy took root in Europe over a hundred years ago. It took until recently before it was established everywhere.
I don't expect Afghanistan to even BEGIN to benefit from democracy for a whole generation. I don't expect violence in Iraq to subside for a generation, and then a productive society a generation later.
Canadians in Afghanistan
Canada should increase its involvement in Afghanistan especially if we could get ALL our politicians a one way ticket to Afghanistan. If a few other countries would follow this example the world would be a better place.
Originally Posted by Techman
I think you may be confusing Afghanis for Iraqis. Remember: when the US decided to depose the Taliban regime, it had the support of the ''Northern Alliance''. Now that the country has gotten rid of the Talibans, people that used to form the Northern Alliance, the Amid Karzis and the like, along with others, took over power and have since implemented a democratic form of government. The US has only played a secondary role in this process, unlike in Iraq where it chose to bulldoze its way through it... The way I see it, the opposition to the US-led peace-keeping effort in Afghanistan comes mostly from pro-Taliban supporters, and also perhaps from local bandits who, for cash, are willing to carry out bomb attacks and assasination attempts. Although the Iraq war has diverted a lot of the focus away from what is currently going on in Afghanistan, I believe that a good part of the country, including women, children, ex-members of the Northern Alliance, Amid Karzi himself and his government, is still quite in favour of the UN forces being there in order to secure peace and help with the relief effort.
I, too, have see the political spin about "rebuilding" Afghanistan.
Originally Posted by femaleluver2
Was there ever anything in Afghanistan? Not much & not really.
Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
EB, Unfortunately, I agree with this, your last paragraph. The absurd reaction to the Danish cartoons shows how far we have to go before Islamic nations and the west can truly live in peace. Voltaire said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
Sadly, it seems that many religious extremists are willing to kill or die to keep others from criticizing the prophet Mohammed. It's not new or exclusive to Islam, either. Nor can I blame the individuals carrying out the protests. They've been told over and over about the evils and decadence of the west-how can they help but believe it?
However, if you argue that operations in Iraq were necessary, as Big Daddy does, then at the minimum haven't they been botched? You can make a case that conflict with Iran is coming. But, while we are at their door, so to speak, are we really any stronger? I worry that we have, if not exhausted our military, we've at least strained them. Also, let's face it, war is costly. We've gone into debt spending to the tune of a quarter trillion $ for Iraq.
Most frightening, WMD notwithstanding, Iraq is far from the most powerful nation in their region. Iraq has only 25 million people. Iran has 70 million. Pakistan has 145 million-and we don't have to wonder about WMD there. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Though Musharraf is our friend on paper, he is a dictator who does not enjoy the popular support of his people.
If a greater conflict in that region arises, I'm not sure we are prepared.