To understand why we are fighting in Afghanistan, and why we need to continue fighting there, we need to recognize who we are fighting.
Let's take a cultural phenomenon that we are all familiar with: making home movies. What motivates us, to buy a camera and film ourselves? What do we, in the west, choose to point the camera at, what do we wish to see?
Here's a good summary of our western approach to "home movies":
"Making movies can be a fun way to preserve your families’ event well into the future. Years later you will be happy that you videotaped a family Christmas event, or a birthday party, and will enjoy the ability to sit back and relive those memories again and again."
From Germany comes this report of what the enemy we fight in Afghanistan are doing with their camera equipment, and the ends to which they are using their time and money:
High-Res Executions and Bloody DVDs
...The man is 38-years-old and has only one leg -- war is his life. His name is Mullah Dadullah and he is considered the Taliban's second-in-command in Afghanistan. And he is a brutally savage man.
His victims lie on the ground, their hands tied behind their backs. The self-appointed holy warrior grabs one of the men by the hair and slits the "traitor's" throat. He does the same with the next. And the next. A total of six times. The butchered men are accused of having collaborated with the "infidels."
Death is their punishment.
....And the carnage is available for the world to watch. The act was recorded with a digital camera the resulting DVD is sold at markets in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is also available on the Internet..
That the Internet has become a communication platform for terrorists -- as well as for their supporters and their adversaries -- is nothing new. These days, though, a close monitoring of the Web reveals the increasing brutality of the international jihadist movement.
[The images] also document the vulnerability of Western armies in the remote mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Iraq, together with the challenges they face in dealing with the realities of the countries in which they operate.
One of the sites even announces its terror videos as if they were entertainment. Global Islamic Media Front presents "Mujaheddin's Hidden Camera -- Blood Comedy."
In that video, the Russian diplomats kidnapped in Iraq on June 3 beg for their lives. But their appeals are in vain. Thirty seconds later, the men are brutally beheaded. The film goes on to show US soldiers collapsing in Iraq after being mortally wounded by snipers, Navy Seals being massacred in Kunar in eastern Afghanistan and military vehicles being blown up.
The credits read: "In the name of the merciful, oh Allah, let the shots hit their mark and strengthen our steps."
On their long marches through the forbidding landscape of the Hindukush, the Taliban wear old sandals and simple, traditional clothing, and carry nothing but light handguns. Their roadside bombs are handmade and they live in primitive mud huts. And yet, when it comes to technology, the Taliban are completely up-to-date. Their short films can be downloaded in various formats from Web sites, even onto mobile phones. And the chronicle of horror is constantly updated, with new material added daily from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, Chechnya and Indonesia.
The Taliban terrorists show us that where one's treasure is, so is one's heart: we spend our time and money on the things that are the most important to us, actions speaking louder than words.
Instead of spending money on warmer clothing or better housing, they buy expensive camera equipment and improve the marketability of their "home movies".
It reminds me of an older german fellow, with a little hairbrush black mustache, who faced a two-front invasion of his nation, yet diverted trains that could have carried reinforcements and ammunition to the front, and instead used them to send jews to death camps.
We felt his war machine was worth fighting; are the Taliban any less worthy of fighting..?
"NO!", screams a recent public statement from the pro-suffering/anti-war group MAWO:
CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!
Self-Determination for Afghanistan!
According to Col. Tom Putt, deputy commanding officer of the Canadian Task Force Afghanistan the two deaths [of Canadian soldiers] are "the price Canada has to pay today for a brighter future for the people of Afghanistan,"
Contrary to what Col. Putt is alleging, this occupation is not bringing any future for Afghanistan. The death toll for Afghan people is many thousands. Thousands more are wounded and hundreds of thousands on top of that have been devastatingly impoverished and made into refugees. Schools are not functioning. Afghans have no control over the political process and state machinery that they need to create a future in the interest of the people of Afghanistan.
Stephen Harper met the deaths of the two Canadian soldiers with these comments, "we are proud of the men and women of the Canadian Forces, who continue to stand on guard for Canadian values around the world"
What the policy of the Stephen Harper and the Canadian Government has shown is that "Canadian values" include denying the democratic, political and legal rights of an entire country of people in Afghanistan. "Canadian values" mean military suppression of a resistance movement demanding their right to sovereignty. "Canadian values" mean air strikes, house raids, checkpoints, arrests and torture. No wonder that Afghan people have rejected Stephen Harper's "Canadian values"!
For Afghanistan to have a chance to build a future that will benefit the needs of Afghans, they first need self-determination. Occupation troops must immediately withdrawal and Afghans must be left to determine their own future.
Judging by the home movies broadcast by those attacking the "occupying forces", I wonder what kind of "self-determined future" MAWO envisions lies ahead for embattled Afghanistan..? Just which Afghans would have their "needs" served by withdrawing Canadian troops from Afghanistan: those wielding the knife, and filming the slaughter, or those teaching little girls how to read and write?
For despite what the NDP, MAWO and other "well-meaning" "peace" protestors wish to believe, these Afghans are not one and the same, it is one or the other.
Anyone who has ever watched the home movies taken by this "resistance movement demanding their right to sovereignty" might disagree with MAWO's description of events taking place in Afghanistan, and arrive at a different definition of "Canadian Values".
My values as a Canadian demand that I deny a barbarian the "right" to cut off a school-teacher's head, filming his cries for mercy, and broadcasting that home movie across the internet for the world to see.
It seems MAWO cannot say the same.
Withdrawing Canadian troops, at this time, is alien to Canadian Values, because of the deadly consequences that would befall that nation if we stop waging war against the Taliban.
Bravo to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for staying the course in Afghanistan, and an even greater cheer for our troops serving in that war-zone: their courage and commitment is inspiring, and absolutely honourable.