Yesterday Canada lost four more soldiers in Afghanistan to Taliban jihadists. But is that a reason to abandon the Afghan people and pull our troops out of Afghanistan?
The loss of a Canadian soldier is always an occasion for sadness. Unfortunately, there are those Canadians who will climb up on their emotional soapbox and demand that we bring our soldiers home. They say we are accomplishing nothing, the war cannot be won, that the loss of life is too much to suffer for the sake of a country which they believe should be left to its own devices. At latest count in the polls, well over 50% of Canadians think so.
I can’t buy into the idea of abandoning Afghanistan and Afghans to the “tender care” of the Taliban. Yes, our soldiers’ lives are precious and should never be offered lightly. But I also believe that we made a commitment to be a part of Afghanistan’s solution and commitments must be honored. If we can’t or won’t fulfill our promises to the Afghan people then we lose some of our humanity and certainly our right to criticize others.
We would lose our humanity by tacitly agreeing that the Taliban way is OK for the Afghans – especially their obscene belief in the total oppression and subjugation of women. To the Taliban zealot women are no more than slaves or the livestock he keeps. Girls must not be educated, women must be hidden behind burkas. If this way of life is something the Afghans deserve, then I suggest you take another good look at yourself.
The Taliban held daily executions on the Kabul soccer field, forcing everyone to watch. Do you want this for Afghanistan?
The Taliban invited Osama Bin Laden’s gang to train their terrorists in Afghanistan. Do you want a repeat performance of that? Another 9-11 or worse?
How would you like to live under Taliban rule? No? Then how do you justify abandoning the Afghans to the Taliban?
There’s more, but you get the idea.
I don’t believe for a minute that military action alone will solve Afghanistan’s problems or will eradicate the Taliban. Yes, parts of the Afghan government are corrupt. It is also true that many Afghans dislike the West and its consumerism. But so do many Westerners.
But there is also no denying that there are many Afghans who have and will give their lives for the future of Afghanistan without the scourge of the Taliban and who recognize what we and other Western nations are doing for what it is: a helping hand to help them get out of decades of warfare, executions, reprisals and oppression of one sort or another.
There is also no denying that without exception, all Canadian soldiers who have served in the country believe they have made a significant contribution toward a better future for Afghanistan. They have stated this very emphatically in many interviews.
Unfortunately our mass media trumpet every death, near disaster and disaster to the exclusion of good news that are actually plentiful in Afghanistan. We don’t hear about the roads and schools that are being built or the alternatives to a poppy culture. We seldom hear about the honest Afghans who put themselves in jeopardy to make a difference. All we get is the bad news.
So let’s stay the course. Let’s keep our promises. Let’s help the Afghans find a future that does not include Taliban atrocities.