In overseas wars with automatic weapons, helicopters and tanks, home fronts are as crucial as battlefields. Home-front foot soldiers like us provide the immense financing and social-emotional forces driving specialized armies.
Unfortunately, this means many here at home also embrace unquestioning obedience, as if lives depended on our ignoring complex questions and shooting first.Â It’s exemplified in recent columns defending our military’s role in Afghanistan being fired out by Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Keith Martin.
Martin’s won five elections and become one of this region’s most prominent politicians, while occasionally defying his parties and adopting humanitarian and environmental issues. He’s currently the federal Opposition Critic for International Cooperation.
So one expects his Afghanistan writings to exhibit some political sophistication. Instead, they’re typical of the dangerous, misinformed jingoism becoming common amongst us.
In one column, Martin recounts how a teacher educated girls, but the Taliban executed him. Ergo: We’re in Afghanistan defending women’s rights.
However, I emailed his article with questions to the oldest, most active Afghan women’s organization, renowned for defying the Taliban, the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan. Their response, from “Friba” (they still operate partly clandestinely), was lengthy and impassioned (read the entire text here).
RAWA sees Canadian troops, like U.S. troops, as extensions of the U.S. government, not as “friends” of Afghan women, writes Friba. Continue reading “Are We Actually Helping Afghanistan?” »