Thursday, September 14, 2006

NDP and Afghanistan

Now I've made it clear, on many an occasion, that I believe in progressive ideas. These are ideas that the people in the mainstream media would call "left wing." I believe in universal health care, universal public education, free or very cheap post-secondary education, government controls on this dangerous "free market" thing before which we're apparently supposed to bow.

And so, more often than not, I find myself voting NDP.

Well, just a few days ago the NDP came out with a party resolution stating that it wanted the Canadian troops in Afghanistan to come home and now I have to rethink my support.

It's not that I approve of the mission in Afghanistan. I absolutely do not. The mission in Afghanistan, much like the government there, is a fraud, and I disapprove absolutely of sending soldiers to kill, die and be wounded for a fraud. Hamid Karzai, the "president" of Afghanistan, is an unelected stooge who used to work for an American oil company that wanted to build a pipeline from the small oil-rich nations to the north down to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan. Hamid Karzai, according to local reports, is nothing more than the "mayor of Kabul." Afghanistan is now sucking in more troops and more tanks and more lives. The goal isn't to improve the lives of the locals or drain the terrorist swamp, it's to get access to the oil in the north.

So what's my trouble with the NDP and especially their leader, Jack Layton?

It comes down to two counts of visible hypocrisy.

One, read this:

It's a critique of the way in which the war is being waged in Afghanistan. Much more could be said on the subject of tactics. How about "No one has conquered this country or defeated its inhabitants in over 2300 years of attempted conquests." So what? Where do we discuss the moral failure that led us in to this swamp? Where do we discuss how very, very wrong it is to occupy a people in order to run an oil pipeline through their country?

Count number two of hypocrisy, and I will bang this drum again and again, is how very differently the NDP are responding to our war in Afghanistan as compared to the invasion of Haiti. Haiti had a democratic government. It had an elected president named Aristide. The election was considered valid by everyone except the American
government. Aristide tried to improve the lives of his people by giving them some semblance of health care, some education and, the ultimate sin, a raise in the minimum wage. That was the last straw. Desperately needed economic aid was withheld until Haiti could be declared a "failed state". Then, just over two years ago Canadian, American and French troops entered the country, threw out the elected government and replaced it with a government made up of wiser, more corporation friendly people. Those people only had the support of 5% of the population in the last election, but that didn't matter.

Did the NDP cry foul then? Did we hear Jack Layton and Alexa McDonough demanding that Prime Minister Martin do something about this? What, indeed, did the NDP do about Canadian soldiers being used to knock over a democracy? Why, they demanded a thorough investigation in to, um, human rights violations... that were happening... to some poor people. Um, what? No mention of our role in these violations? No mention of the fact that our government was training the new regime's police, the same police who wandered in to the poor areas of Haiti and killed hundreds of peaceful protesters who were demanding their president back?

So, yeah, as progressive as I am, I find the NDP call for withdrawal to be self-serving and not at all based on any moral principles that I can see.


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