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MAWO Statement

In Response to the April 9th & April 11th Deaths of 8 Canadian Soldiers and the Massive Killing and Destruction of Afghanistan, We Demand: CANADA/NATO OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!

April 11, 2007 Vancouver, BC

On April 11th, 2007, two Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan. According to the Globe and Mail, "Details are scarce. A news blackout is in effect at Kandahar Air Field, where reporters are based. More will follow"

These deaths come on the heels of Canadian soldier deaths last Sunday. On April 9th, 2007 Canada experienced its heaviest troop loss in fifty years, with the death of six Canadian NATO soldiers in a roadside bomb attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It was the heaviest single-day loss sustained by Canadian forces since May 1953 during the Korea War.

The death toll for Canada has now reached 54. By this time, people in Canada are beginning to realize something that Afghans have known much too well for the past 6 years: Canada is at war in Afghanistan. The deaths of six Canadian soldiers are but a drop in the bucket of death and destruction that Afghanistan has suffered at the hands of this Canada/NATO war drive since 2001.

Stephen Harper released a statement on April 9, 2007 lauding "the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made and continue to make to defend our country and their fellow human beings."

This so-called defense of Canada and "their fellow human beings" means military suppression of a resistance movement demanding their right to sovereignty for their country. It means air strikes, house raids, checkpoints, arrests and torture.

According to Minister of National Defense, Gordon O’Connor, "[Canadian] troops have a clear mission - to build security and stability in Afghanistan. And it is because our soldiers are succeeding in this mission that they came under attack."

We ask O'Connor what his definition of "security and stability" is, and who is this so-called "security and stability" for? For Afghan people, the "successful mission" to "build security and stability" has resulted in the plummeting of the life expectancy in Afghanistan, which has dropped from 46 to 42 years old since 2001. It has meant the skyrocketing of the maternal mortality rate, which, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, is now the second highest in the world. Is has meant that the literacy rate in Afghanistan, according to UNESCO is 39% overall, and an appalling 21% among women. It has also meant the wholesale destruction of Afghanistan’s infrastructure, the murders of tens of thousands of people and the maiming of hundreds of thousands more. No wonder that Afghan people have rejected this so called "successful mission" being waged by the Canadian/NATO forces!

The government of Canada and NATO continue to maintain that they are fighting a “Taliban insurgency” in Afghanistan. Why? Because saying otherwise would mean admitting the truth: that they are not fighting and killing a small number of isolated rebels, but that they are battling a popular resistance movement of regular Afghan people who are fighting with sticks and stones and everything they have against the occupation.

According to a February 2007 Senlis Council report, the grassroots resistance movement in Afghanistan is large and significant and is driven "mainly by economic incentives and by grievances held against the government and the international community". With the hundreds of bombings, civilians being shot for walking down their own streets, and people dying from lack of health care every day, it is little wonder that the resistance to the occupation is growing in strength and size every day.

Canada's war drive in Afghanistan is a brutal and criminal drive, which must be opposed by all peace-loving people in Canada and around the world. For Afghanistan to have a chance to build a future that will benefit the needs of Afghans, they first need self-determination. Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) calls for an immediate withdrawal of all Canadian troops and NATO forces from Afghanistan, and for an independent public inquiry into the government of Canada’s war drive, which has been launched, extended, and had its budget doubled without the consultation of people in Canada, at the cost of the lives of people in Afghanistan.

Join the April 12 MAWO Picket Action:
THURSDAY APRIL 12 | 3pm-4pm
Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre
1070 W Georgia St (@ Thurlow)