On December 14th, 2007, Brigadier-General Andre Deschamps of the Canadian forces released an exaggerated affidavit in response to an injunction request by Amnesty International and the British-Columbia Civil Liberties Association to ban detainee-transfer to Afghan prisons because of the risk of torture or abuse. A very legitimate request considering our Canadian soldiers are members of a military force led by top General Rick Hillier, who sees Afghans as "detestable scumbags and murderers". Given the type of men who lead the Canadian military, is it even reasonable to think our troops give any consideration to the fate of the detainees after they've been transfered? In the affidavit Gen. Deschamps makes fatalist claims that if the federal court rules in favour of the injunction, the combat portion of Canada's mission will be lost. But the general goes even further by claiming the injunction would also force Canadian troops to halt the medical treatment of Afghan children, to cancel the inspections of Afghan prisons, and to cease the training of the Afghan forces and police. Of course the Harper government backs Gen. Deschamps' affidavit as part of their push against the injunction, proof that the Canadian government desperately wants to extend the war drive in Afghanistan. The Republicans as well are eager to maintain a troop presence in Afghanistan; there is even talk of a 3000 troop increase of American Marines to counter the projected Taliban offensive in the spring. Along for the ride with the Canadian and American imperialists are the other NATO military contributors to Afghanistan, all seek to keep ISAF and the occupation alive as long as possible.
In Iraq, with no end to the war in sight, violence seems to have stagnated for the time being, but it will flare up again. The Americans are arming Sunnis and tribal militias in a country with a weak, divided, and incompetent Shia-dominated government, which has failed miserably at reaching any sort of consensus with the rest of Iraq's political players on sharing power and oil. The obvious consequence of this glaring mismanagement will see the American's newly armed "allies" turn on the Shia government as soon as the Yankee troops leave the country.
In Northern Kurdistan, the first region where the dust has settled, the only region in Iraq with relative peace and human prosperity, the Kurds slowly have been re-establishing themselves. The oil finally has been flowing consistently. As a result of this, the Americans want a piece, and so 100,000 Turkish troops have gathered at the Iraqi Border, and the U.S. has approved air strikes on kurdistan. On Dec.16 of last year, about three weeks ago, fifty Turkish warplanes bombed ten Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq, killing a few civilians and wounding eight more.
Meanwhile Israel is proceeding with hypocrisy; they continue to kill Palestinians with bombs over Gaza, while ongoing peace talks are expected to progress. Since Hamas' takeover of Gaza in June, Israel has systematically cut the flow of cash, electricity, and food. It is estimated that 80 % of Gazans rely on the World Food Program. Even the normally silent International Committee of the Red Cross spoke out in a statement released recently, essentially condemning Israel's policy on Gaza as a reprehensible crime against humanity, saying that Palestinians "are prevented from doing what makes up the daily fabric of most people's existence", and that "The Palestinian territories face a deep human crisis, where millions of people are denied their human dignity. Not once in a while, but every day." Is it because they suffered through the holocaust that the international community stands by and does nothing while Israel decimates a people with impunity? After all it wasn't Palestinians who killed six million Jews, but what the Zionists are doing to Gaza and to the Palestinians is beginning to resemble genocide.
In Afghanistan, 2007 was the bloodiest year since the invasion in 2001 with an all around rise in violence; a peak in the number of suicide bombings, and a 20% increase of attacks by the Taliban as their resistance has spread to much of the country. More than six years on, the possibility of winning the war looks increasingly unlikely, but if forces do manage to somehow "succeed" in Afghanistan, the U.S., Canada, and other NATO members will have interest in the Caspian Sea natural gas pipeline running through Afghanistan, which is why the occupation so stubbornly persists.
In Iraq, as violence in generally abating in many parts of the country, bombs dropped by one of America's closest allies coincidentally began to fall on Kurdish villages, the only region where oil is flowing freely. Is it a coincidence that already having established a considerable degree of autonomy, and desperately wanting their sovereignty and independence, Iraq's Kurds may set off a revolutionary tide that would rouse the Kurds in Turkey to rise up, a popular struggle Turkey and the Americans desperately need to avoid? Is it also a coincidnce that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is a U.S. designated "terrorist" organization?
When we are out doing Anti-War rallies or talking to people on the streets or in universities, people often tell us we shouldn't compare Iraq with Afghanistan, that they are two completely different situations. But I reserve the right to refer to these wars together because although they have different features, they are both being fought under similar pretexts, under the name of "freedom" and "democracy", and fundamentally they are both military occupations for the geo-political and economic advancement of the imperialist ruling class. Occupation is not liberation, it is simply substituting one oppressor for another.
Through their culture crusade to impose capitalist globalization and control over international markets, they are robbing the sovereignty of millions upon millions of people. By forcing themselves upon the world in search of oil and by dictating the geo-political landscape, the imperialists are creating a planet of death, destruction, and refugees. The formula is clear; petroleum wars to feed the war economy, and puppet governments to assist the multinationals with open markets and deregulation.
The war on Palestine is Israels's ticket to maintaining a strong elite-oriented economy to feed the wealth of the ruling class, and so the ongoing "peace" talks are nothing other than political postering full of completely insincere intentions. While Israel continues to bomb and starve Gaza, the Palestinians scoff at the insulting naivete and hypocrisy of the American led peace efforts. To the suggestion that they make amends and compromises with ruthless Israel that has killed and displaced millions of its people over more than five decades, the Palestinians respond with "existence first, co-existence later." When a people is faced with the threat of extinction, a militant resistance is the only option. Hamas attacks Isarel only in response to the fact that it is under siege economically and militarily, and lacks food and electricity. When Israel puts an end to the sonic booms, the air strikes, and the various sanctions, Hamas' rockets will cease to fly over the border.
An immediate end to Imperial violence!
Give the Middle-East a chance!
All troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan Now!