Nov 22 2009
Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee co-founder and professional human rights advocate Lauryn Oates issues a call to action for the international mission in Afghanistan: stay involved and help provide education to the new generation — and by the way, make sure the security is there so that the fanatics don’t wreck the these efforts in the meantime:
I think it’s imperative that an international security force remain on the ground in Afghanistan for at least a decade to come, and that should include representation from Canada. This is part of the solution in that it will provide much needed breathing space to build the foundations of a long-term solution: the establishment of effective, quality education, health care, good governance, legal reform, poverty alleviation, and space for the growth of civil society. But the Canadian government, and other donor governments who want to see a stable, peaceful Afghanistan must begin to explicitly make the link between long-term security and quality education; and they must be in it for the long haul.
Education is the most important place donor governments can put their money. But it will take years, if not decades, of commitment and there must be clear measures of accountability for results. It’s not enough that schools are open and pupils – girls and boys – are in their seats. More must be done, and soon. By investing in a quality education system in Afghanistan, Canada will help prevent future wars; and by maintaining a military presence on the ground now and beyond 2011, they can help stop this one.
This of course is in stark contrast to the strategy that appears to be favored by Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya, the darling of the largely leftist “troops-out-now” movement. Joya has still failed to explain how an international pullout followed by a civil war and eventual Taliban victory would be good for Afghan women.
Indeed, it is clear that all Afghan women with access to email list-servers and other means of communication are virtually unanimous in their opposition to Joya’s treacherous demagoguery. That’s because they know what a Taliban victory means in Afghanistan.
Malalai Joya, how will this help Afghan women?