PAINFUL MISTAKE

By William Markiewicz

CBC TV's Saturday Report featured an American journalist who stayed in Kandahar to help build local business. Unfortunately, I missed her name. As she was interviewed by Canadian TV, she expressed the strong opinion that Canadians should stay because now the sacrifice is starting to pay off. Following this program, Peter Mansbridge interviewed Roland Paris, of the University of Ottawa, who believes that the Western presence in Afghanistan encourages future negotiations with the Taliban because it gives the anti-Talibans a bigger chance of having some weight.

Lesia Ukrainka wrote: "Who seeks freedom with foreign hands falls into slavery" (quoted from memory). Precisely this happens to everybody who counts on the invader to consolidate their own power. As for the anti-Western fighters in Central Asia they are more than insurgents, they are an expression of the general rebellion. We also have to consider that oil was the primary intention of the US and all the rest is directly or indirectly orbiting around this priority. The idea that the West can win in Central Asia is purely philosophical. The way to end the conflict is for the U.S. to recognize its tactical error of oil ambitions and leave everything on a purely diplomatic and commercial basis the way it operated to this point. Recognizing an error is not a stain on honour. On the invader's side, some heads must fall, which more or less happened in Great Britain. It will never happen without the engagement of angry crowds. After the Western withdrawal and an unavoidable shake up in the invaded countries, the situation will sooner or later normalize. Concerning the situation of women under fundamentalist rule in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's a real horror story but you don't change the internal situation through outside aggression; it's never worked. What happened with apartheid in South Africa, with the fall of dictators in Latin America, etc., shows that there are other methods of pressure, perhaps slow but more efficient than armed invasion.
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Slight change for clarification 9/16/07

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