Dec 10 2007
This writer is proud to be a founding member of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee. What follows is an excerpt from our statement to the Manley Panel on Canada’s future role in Afghanistan.”… We are New Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and people of no particular political affiliation. We are Muslims, Jews, Christians, and atheists. We are authors, journalists, academics, gay rights activists, student activists, Afghan-Canadians, and feminists.Our Committee’s position on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, in sum, is this: We must stay. Human rights are universal. The United Nations calls for and expects Canada to remain dedicated to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and to the battle against terrorism there. We recognize that a robust military engagement, with the UN’s sanction and the consent of the Government of Afghanistan, is vital and necessary…We recognize the conflict in Afghanistan as a liberation struggle, waged by the Afghan people and their allies, against oppression, against obscurantism, illiteracy, and the most brutal forms of misogyny. It is a fight for democracy, and for peace, order, and good government. It is also a struggle waged by the sovereign Government of Afghanistan, a member state of the United Nations, against illegal armed groups that seek to overturn the democratic will of the Afghan people.In Afghanistan, the great global struggle for the recognition and protection of basic human rights – universal rights – is being waged with a particular and necessary ferocity. We cannot and must not retreat…”Signed,Zachary Miles Baddorf, Journalist in Vancouver; Colette Belanger, CW4WA Board of Directors, Simon Bessette, LL.B candidate, University of New Brunswick; Melaney Black, CW4WAfghan – Victoria; Natalie K Bjorklund, MD, University of Manitoba; Marc-Andre Boivin, researcher, UQAM Peacekeeping research group member; John Boon, Liberal Party activist; Ken Bryant, Associate Professor, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia; Jennifer Button, CW4WA – Victoria; Iona Campagnolo, PC, CM, OBC, Former Lt. Gov., British Columbia; Natasha Cowan, McGill University, business graduate; Stewart John Cunningham, Sess. Instructor, Historical Studies, U of T Mississauga; Steven Davis, Centre on Values and Ethics, Carleton University; Judith Desautels, Supporter, CW4WA, Amnesty International; Janice Eisenhauer, Executive Director, CW4WA; Lois Edwards, CW4WA, Manitoba; Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, peace and gender researcher on Afghanistan; L. Chris Fox, Doctoral Candidate, University of Victoria; Paul Franks, Professor, Philosophy, University of Toronto; John Fraser, P.C., O.C., O.B.C., C.D., Q.C., LL.D. (Hon.); Terry Glavin, Author, journalist, adjunct professor, UBC; Stephen Glanzberg, law student; Sanja Golic, MA researcher (Afghanistan education); Robert Gillies, Citizen, Toronto, Ontario; Prof. Richard Gordon, MD, University of Winnipeg (Books with Wings); Robert Harlow, Novelist, British Columbia; Najia Haneefi, Former Executive director, Afghan Women’s Education Centre, Kabul; Daniel King, McGill University Senator; Ian King, Journalist, Columnist, Vancouver; Robert D. Lane, Res. Associate, Phil. & Religion, Malaspina U College; OJ Lavoie, Environment activist, McGill University; Jill Leslie, CW4WAfghan – Victoria Chapter; Bruce Lyth, British Columbia Young Liberals, vice-president; Flora MacDonald, PC, CC, O. Ont.Chair of CARE Canada; Dave Mann, Brantford, Ontario New Democrat, Euston Canada; Mark Masongong, Liberal Party Staff; Jim Monk, Ontario gay rights, trade union activist; Gareth Morley, Lawyer, Victoria; Lyle Neff, Poet, journalist, critic, Vancouver; Jonathon Narvey, Journalist, editor, copywriter, Vancouver; Lauryn Oates, Vice-president, CW4WA; Tom O’Neill, Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Brock University; David A. Pariser, Professor, Art Education, Concordia University; Professor Karim Qayumi, Afghan-Canadian community leader, Director of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation, Vancouver; John Richards, Professor, Public Policy Program, Simon Fraser University; Ferooz Sekandarpoor, Production Manager, Ariana (Afghan) TV, Vancouver; Madeliene Tarasick, CW4WAfghan – Kingston; Beryl Wasjman, Institute for Public Affairs – Montreal; Morton Weinfeld, Sociology professor, McGill University; Axel Van Den Berg, Professor, Sociology, McGill University; Ariana Yaftali, Afghan-Canadian, Manitoba.