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Sept 21, 2006 - Emergency Picket

Emergency Picket Action Against the Canadian War Drive in Afghanistan

Organized by: Mobilization Against War & Occupation
Press Release >>

VANCOUVER BC: September 21, 2006



On the morning of Monday September 18th four more Canadian soldiers died. The attack on these soldiers just outside of Kandahar was called ‘the worst’ suicide bombing that Canadian soldiers have faced since the landing in Afghanistan.

Just one week after first admitting that Canada is at “war” in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said of Monday’s deaths, "I think nothing more than this incident illustrates the evil that they are fighting and the goodwill and the nobleness of the cause that they are taking to the Afghan people.”

MAWO Co-Chair Shannon Bundock said, “Stephen Harper’s statement that the Afghan people are ‘evil’ and the occupying armies are ‘good’ and ‘noble’ is pretty hard to swallow when you consider that the Canadian occupation operation ‘Medusa’ has killed more than 500 Afghan people in the last 2 weeks and the government has just sent in 15 tanks to kill Afghans more effectively.”

The 4 Canadian soldier deaths on Monday bring the deaths of Canadian soldiers to a total of 36 – and have further proven the findings of a new report that a Canadian soldier in Kandahar is more about 6 times more likely to die than a US soldier in Iraq. Facing the calls from coast to coast to bring the troops home, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay stated the conditions that Canada would withdraw “when Afghans are able to control their borders, when they are able to exert their own democratic principles.”

PM Stephen Harper added to these conditions later in an interview, “The exit strategy is success. There will be no other conditions under which this government leaves Afghanistan. We will succeed in our security mission and we will see that country moving in irreversible progress to being an economically prosperous and peaceful society. That is the only way this government will leave."

Shannon Bundock continued, “The debate in parliament over the ‘current mission’ in Afghanistan is a sign of the strength of the opposition to the occupation amongst people in Canada. People in Afghanistan know, and people in Canada are starting to understand, that the occupation forces are not building ‘democracy’ in Afghanistan or bringing ‘economic prosperity’ or ‘peace’ to Afghanistan. Quite the opposite. The occupation forces are the opponents of the self determination of the Afghan people. Harper and MacKay’s ‘goals’ will never be realized through war and occupation.”

As another sign of the widespread opposition of people in Canada to the occupation, MAWO has collected, in the Lower Mainland alone, nearly 12,000 signatures against Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan. Amongst the demands of Thursday’s picket is for an Independent Public Inquiry into Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan to further raise the issue for debate and investigation amongst people in Canada.