On A Bicycle Built For Bombs

So now it’s suicide cyclists who are going after Canadian soldiers. As we wake up to the sad news of four more Canadian armed services personnel being killed in southern Afghanistan, vulnerable precisely because they were doing that “typically Canadian” thing of handing out gifts to children, we have to ask ourselves what the hell we are doing in that anarchy or, excuse me, new democracy.

And if it seems that Canada is taking more than our share of casualties in Afghanistan, this report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives bears out that hunch.

Meanwhile, in Darfur, screams to protect women and children from roving bands of rapists and murderers go unanswered. Only a tiny African Union force is trying to deal with the nightmare unfolding. Put your thumb in the middle of Romeo Dallaire’s book and you will see why he was so passionate yesterday in calling for action on Darfur.

Déjà vu. Rwanda.

Notwithstanding the hostility of the Sudanese government to outside involvement, Canada should carve out some independent foreign policy or, at least, roll out from under the elephant next door and assist – in whatever way we can – to stop the genocide in Darfur. That may or may not involve Canadian troops. If it does they wouldn’t need to be involved in direct combat roles, as is the case in the Afghan civil war, and the mission would be a noble one. Is there no room for discussion with those of us who have more pacifist leanings?

One thing is clear. The situation in southern Afghanistan is an ill-fated, US-led debacle and Canadian troops should be supported by bringing them out of there.


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