Apr 22 2009
In light of polls that make me doubt whether many of my fellow Canadians truly understand what’s at stake in Afghanistan, I’d like to go over a few assumptions I have about my fellow citizens.
If you ask Canadians whether respect for human rights ought to be universal, everyone will agree.
If you ask them whether Canadians ought to care much about people who live beyond our borders, the vast majority will agree that we should (and the slim minority who oppose this can go rot).
If you ask them whether we should surrender to thugs who throw acid in the faces of schoolgirls, shoot humanitarian workers with automatic weapons, and use children as bomb delivery units, only a few cowardly and soulless Canucks would dare to say “aye” to that.
If you ask Canadians whether we should allow hundreds of thousands of people, or even millions, to fall victim to such thugs and the violence they bring, when as a rich and developed nation we have the capacity to stop this evil, I cannot believe that most would agree to that.
If you ask under what circumstances Canadians might use their military to fight such threats far beyond our borders, certainly most would agree that it must be a multilateral, international effort given sanction by the United Nations.
When it comes to Afghanistan, I think most Canadians support this mission. The pollsters just need to start asking the right questions.
I was given the opportunity to answer some questions for CNN on the issue of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan from the perspective of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee. The essence of my remarks: “We’re for a robust involvement, and if [Afghanistan] is going to get back on its feet after decades of war, it’s only going to do so with huge international involvement. So, more, not less.”
See the full story at In Canada, Afghanistan not ‘forgotten’