Tuesday, September 19, 2006

War in Afghanistan

Last night was our first night of frost to remind us that the cold of winter is near and our beautiful summer is about to end. Records indicate it is the warmest summer since 1998.

There is hope as winter nears as my father used to say that when winter is here spring is not far away. I am a winter person, but I understand most people prefer summer.

My concern is not the cold of winter, but rather the cold of war. Canada is not on a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. It is at war with the Taliban extremists who are prepared to die in any war with those who dare to oppose them. Russia tried, could not win and pulled out. Drug Lords tried and were eliminated. The US unleashed one of the heaviest arsenals of bombs in recent history on Afghanistan in an effort to rid the world of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden after 9/11. They failed as the innocent people of Afghanistan sustained the brunt of the US attack and Osama bin Laden apparently still lives to gloat over his success on attacks against the US.

The US then invaded Iraq looking for bombs of mass destruction, which they never found. They did capture Saddam Hussein who has spent most of his time in court since his capture and who continues to make jokes about the atrocities for which he is being tried.

The US has turned the war in Afghanistan over to Canada and allied nations as the US continues the war in Iraq. Death darkens the doors of families on both sides and peace seems near impossible. Canada’s Minister of Defence and our military leaders state victory is not possible through force. Regardless, Canada forged ahead to succeed in their latest campaign against the Taliban and then lost four Canadian soldiers to a bomb apparently attached to a bicycle. Our government has sent 15 additional Leopard tanks and committed five hundred more Canadian troops to the war in Afghanistan, but our Minister of Defence, Gordon O’Connor says Canada is not at war in Afghanistan. He is wrong. We are at war in Afghanistan, but we are not at war with Afghanistan. There is a difference. We are at war with the Taliban in an effort to bring peace in Afghanistan. O’Connor claims it cannot be achieved with force, but has not told us how we can achieve peace.

The Prime Minister has stated that we will stay in Afghanistan until we succeed. Saskatchewan Member of Parliament, Carol Skelton states we are not leaving Afghanistan anytime soon. She also believes equalization is not a problem in her constituency. Prime Minister Harper is so occupied with the war in Afghanistan, his Defence Minister says is not happening, that his government and the opposition parties in the House of Commons are not able to effectively address domestic issues here at home.

The cold of our on-coming winter is little to be concerned with against the cold of death and war. I pray God will protect our Canadian men and women in battle, who fight for Canada, the greatest country in the world. Peace and the safe return of our soldiers should be the hope of all Canadians.