Monday, September 29, 2008

Gunned Down

Terry Glavin, who is active on the Afghanistan-Canada front, keeps us informed about what is happening over there. The news are often dire. His latest is no different:

Women's rights activist Malalai Kakar, a lieutenant-colonel in the Kandahar Police Force, head of the crimes against women unit, is dead. The mother of six was gunned down in front of her home as she left for work this morning.

Who is responsible for this act?

A spokesman for the extremist Taliban movement, which targets government officials as part of a growing insurgency, said that the assassins were from his group. (Source)

Not too long ago, Terry Glavin had a discussion about Canada's involvement in Afghanistan. Many Canadians want Canadian troops out of Afghanistan, substituting such important presence with "robust diplomatic engagements" with the Taliban.

TG provides some context from which to assess realistically these proposals:

Long before the NDP stumbled upon the idea of "robust diplomatic engagements" with the Taliban and their ilk, the strategy had been tried, and had been proved a total calamity. As soon as Hamid Karzai was elected president, he tried to revive the truce-talk approach and began offering talks with the Taliban leadership. Last September, he went so far as to offer to share power with the Taliban. The Taliban made it explicitly clear then, and have continued to make it clear ever since, that they aren't interested in negotiating at all. They are interested in imposing an opium-financed, 7th century, death-cult theocracy upon the Afghan people, in defiance of the entire world.

The UN tried negotiations, too, relentlessly and to absolutely no avail, from 1994 to 2001. The result was hell on earth for the Afghan people, with truces that never lasted, tens of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, and eventually a couple of famous buildings in New York destroyed with all the innocents in them.

The NDP says we should try this again. And bring our troops home again, too. To maintain these delusions, it is also necessary to abdicate yourself from reality so much that you have to pretend that the hard work required to achieve the objectives of the UN-brokered, 60-nation Afghanistan Compact, and the necessary work of keeping Canada's promises to the Afghan people, and living up to Canada's UN commitments in Afghanistan, is all merely fighting in "George Bush's war." Or, in Savoie's version, Donald Rumsfeld's war.

Malalai's assassination is just another example for the convenient delusion that taliban can be a party for political engagement. If one was needed at this point.

Update: More here about this exceptional woman

Update II: The fighting women of Afghanistan (This piece in the Guardian needs some feedback which I may do later on. I'm a bit fed up now)


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