For a number of reasons I have never been a supporter of the Invasion of Afghanistan. The claims that the invasion was about human rights etc. has never been credible. Various Western countries, the US in particular, actively supported the Taliban Government for many years while people in the West complained about the condition of Women’s (and general human) rights in the country. The West largely ignored these issues until it became strategically important for them to talk about them. Furthermore, the West still actively supports countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait which continue to have atrocious records in this regard. The claim that the invasion was about nation building and democracy is similarly incredible. Besides the fact that the West actively supports other dictatorships in the area, the country of Afghanistan is today significantly more corrupt than it was before the invasion and is de facto no more democratic. Then, of course, there is the old standby claim that the invasion of Afghanistan was somehow about the events surrounding 9/11. This is patently false since everyone who has credible knowledge of the region has said again and again that the real training camps of so-called Islamic terrorists were all in Pakistan anyway. Furthermore, the military invasion has increased regional sympathies toward the Taliban and been a recruiting boon for radical Islamic organizations.
It seems to me that the real reasons behind the war in Afghanistan are related to geo/political power in the oil rich area as well as ratcheting up weapons production which is a remarkably effective way of diverting tax money from the middle-class to the wealthy in the form of lucrative government contracts. The remarkable amount of funds that has been spent on the war could have been much more effectively used in social programming at home and abroad in ways that genuinely could have reduced the appeal of radical Islamic organization worldwide.
Now, as though to confirm that Afghanistan has nothing to do with democracy, the government and the official opposition have made it clear that Canada can extend its mission without regard for the House of Commons. Not that it would matter much anyway since the Conservatives and the present Liberal leadership both adhere to the same paradigm about global power, development, and the role of the government to act as an institution to grease the wheels of corporate predominance.
And so the killing goes merrily on while the builders of light and heavy weapons, military accessories (such as vehicles and parts), the builders of oil pipelines, and other corporate interests, make fortunes and the sons and daughters of the West, whose only crime has been to blindly accept the spin of our governments, toil and die.
While there is no doubt that a few well intentioned Westerners have been able to do some good in Afghanistan despite the real reasons for the invasion, much more could have been done elsewhere with the same amount of funds while a genuine effort to solve the issue of Palestine would have gone a long way to undercut the constituency of radical Islam.
I often call for Canada to leave Afghanistan but this call is meaningless really since the overall efforts of the Canadian government in support of corporate power and profit goes on unabated and generally unrecognized.