By William Markiewicz

On last nightís CBC Newsworld I caught the end of some comments concerning the conflict between the NDPís Jack Layton and Prime Minister Harper on Canadaís presence in Afghanistan. As we know, Mr. Layton is against and Mr. Harper is for. The commentator concluded that neither of them gave a sufficiently eloquent argument to support his stand. May I propose a formula that would cover not only this particular situation but the choice of war or peace in general.

War should always be an act of absolute necessity. No speculation or ideology should be a reason for war. The unnecessary wars ended in defeat for the initiators. It was true for Saddam Hussein who didnít need to invade Kuwait, for Adolph Hitler who didnít need to trigger World War 2, for Napoleon who didnít need to make his conquests... The peaceful missionaries were more successful than aggressive Crusaders. Nazism, and finally Communism, failed as an aggressive power. Concerning Afghanistan, you donít invade a country to build schools and democracy. Wars only destroy one and the other. Ideological wars are lost in advance.

Itís true that Islam spread its power by the sword but the facility with which a great part of Africa and Asia absorbed Islam proves that its seed fell on fertile ground. It is not the same when one structured society tries to impose its rules by force on other structured and stubborn societies. Itís very desirable to send the Pashtun girls to school but it wonít be achieved at gunpoint.

We know that the US didnít invade Afghanistan to send girls to school but we are talking about the situation now. Today Al Qaedaís roots are not only in Afghanistan but all over the world. Hunting for Osama shouldn't be a reason for war but for commando operations. The Romans were hunting for Hannibal for decades. The hunters should limit their presence to those particular regions of rugged mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Probably Africa needs more help than the bloody ďhelpĒ given to Iraq and Afghanistan but they probably wonít get it. The world will continue to watch because there is no force that can control the situations in Sudan et al.

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