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Mobilization Against War & Occupation Statement on
Latest Canadian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
Canada/US/NATO Out of Afghanistan Now!



April 16, 2009

Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) continues to condemn the illegal and brutal Canada/US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan, which for over 7 years has denied the Afghan people to their basic rights to life, dignity and self-determination. The occupation forces have not only killed over 50,000 Afghan people in this criminal and unjust war, but is also taking the lives of young soldiers who have been convinced to fight in this war.

On Monday April 13th, 21 year old Karine Blais became the 117th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, and the second women of these 117 deaths. Her death was quickly followed by statements made by her godfather, Mario Blais, who told reporters that "I think she did this for absolutely nothing" and said he thinks Prime Minister Steven Harper should "get the troops out of there as fast as possible."

This godfatherís comments reflect the sentiment of the majority of people across Canada, as well as the over 14,000 signatures from the Lower Mainland on the MAWO Canada Out of Afghanistan petition.

Many young men and women like this soldier are convinced by military recruiters that they are going to Afghanistan to help women and children, or to stabilize and reconstruct the country. Reality in Afghanistan is a different story. The best help for women, children and all people of Afghanistan is the end of the occupation of their country.

Womenís rights and health have only gotten worse in the 7 years of occupation. Women now have the second highest rate of maternal mortality in the world, and have a level of domestic violence that has gone up 40% between March or 2007 and 2008. Suicide and self-immolation by women is also on the rise, as reported by the IRIN UN agency. Womenís rights cannot be expected to improve under occupation, as the Canada/US/NATO backed government has proposed new laws further diminishing womenís rights. The new law signed by President Karzai applies to Shia Muslims, and legalizes the rape of women by their husbands, limits womenís movements outside the home as well as other restrictions. This shameful law is put in place by the puppet government that the occupation forces have installed and supported in Afghanistan.

The situation for children in Afghanistan is also deplorable. Due to high levels of unemployment and poverty brought on by the occupation, as well as older family members killed by war, children are forced to work in order to survive. In Kabul alone, there are 50,000 to 60,000 street children as reported by UNICEF.

As for reconstruction, one only has to read the news to see that the occupation forces arenít constructing clinics or schools, and rather they are bombing villages and homes.

As long as the occupation continues in Afghanistan, the body bags of many young Canadians in combat boots will return to Canada. As we learn from the statements of the godfather of Karine Blais, these young people are doing this for absolutely nothing. In support of both the people of Afghanistan and here at home, MAWO encourages all peace-loving people to get involved in antiwar events and actions, to demand an end to the Canada/US/NATO war drive in Afghanistan.

Canada/US/NATO Out of Afghanistan Now!
Independant Public Inquiry into the Government of Canada's War Drive in Afghanistan!

Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
www.mawovancouver.org