Sunday, October 30, 2011

Deciphering Stephen Harper's Afghanistan Propaganda

What a jackass. After the death of another soldier Harper said there are “significant risks”.... as if we didn't know that from the already 158 dead Canadians. This comes after a year when Harper said there will be “minimal risks for Canada” as the combat mission is over and the military is focused on a "civilian training mission" (also known as nation-building).

On both the left and right, the information about the war in Afghanistan is riddled with propaganda, doublespeak and plain lies. Despite my strong disagreements with the late Jack Layton at least he had the balls to say the truth:

"Every Canadian knows what a thousand pairs of boots on the ground means, this is a major military mission.... And even if we trusted Mr. Harper, even if we believed his wide-eyed claims that our soldiers will be safely sequestered in classrooms in Kabul, this would still be the wrong mission for Canada.”

With that said, let's decipher Harper's doublespeak.

Harper: “Any mission in Afghanistan involves significant risks.”

Like the prospect of staying there until your empire collapses. Consider the Soviet Union. Attacked on Christmas Eve in 1979 and stayed there until 1988. In the meantime the West funded Osama Bin Laden and his cronies to fight the Soviets. Fast-forward to 2001, our former allies became our enemies. Now we've been in Afghanistan for a decade. Osama is dead, we're no closer to ridding the country of the "insurgents" than we were ten years ago and to top it all off, the CIA is still involved in the opium trade.

“Master Corporal Greff paid the ultimate price serving his country. His life and death serves as an example of the bravery and outstanding dedication of Canadian Armed Forces members on this mission.”

Greff, like everyone in the military, was fooled and lied to by his government. He did not do a damn thing to "serve his country." All he did was help make more enemies for Canada, making life more dangerous for all of us via a possible future blowback attack.

“in this UN-sanctioned, NATO-led mission [we] are helping the people of Afghanistan rebuild and redevelop their country after decades of war and turmoil.”

We're not helping anyone.
"After decades of war and turmoil"? We are currently engaging in war and turmoil.

“We are committed to supporting them as they forge ahead towards the international goal of creating a lawful, democratic and self-sufficient Afghanistan.”

Nation-building. Given the fact that the war violates international law, it seems contradictory to "forge ahead" towards a "lawful, democratic and self-sufficient Afghanistan." And considering that not even Canada is "lawful, democratic and self-sufficient" it should come as no surprise if we never end the occupation.

And just when it looks like Canadian troops will leave the country, something will always comes up:

“And look, I’m not going to kid you, down deep my preference would be, would have been, to see the complete end to the military mission. But as we approach that date, the facts on the ground convince me that the Afghan military needs further training.”

"Facts on the ground" being doublespeak for pressure from the international community or rather, the financial and corporate interests that control Canada and every other country on the globe.

How much more training do the Afghans need? We've already spent billions on this fiasco.

Before he died Jack Layton said of the "civilian" mission: “We will suffer more casualties – if not behind the wire, then when mission creep inevitably takes Canadian soldiers back outside the wire.”

It seems that his prediction is coming true. As long as the war-mongering Tories are in charge, Canada will be imitating US foreign policy. Although I don't hold out much hope for the increasingly radical NDP or the currently irrelevant Liberal party. And since most Canadians view anything we do internationally as "peacekeeping" I guess we'll have to wait until this country goes completely bankrupt. Then the troops can come home.

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