Canada's Future Role In Afghanistan: Independent Panel (Manley) Report Imminent
In any event, it is the course of action recommended by the newly formed Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee in its submission to the panel, which I am proud to say I co-authored. I'm less proud of my inattention to the work of helping to get the Solidarity Committee properly set up. The website is a work in progress. We haven't even issued a news release yet.
But I am certainly very proud of all those people who have committed themselves to the Solidarity Committee's basic position on the question of Canada's role in Afghanistan: "Stay. Human rights are universal. The UN wants us there. A military component is vital and necessary." I'm perhaps especially proud of my friends on the left who have committed themselves to this position, which is heretical and wildly unpopular in many leftist circles these days.
For me, the key statement in the Solidarity Committee's position is this one:
We recognize the conflict in Afghanistan as a liberation struggle, waged by the Afghan people and their allies, against oppression, against obscurantism, illiteracy, and the most brutal forms of misogyny. It is a fight for democracy, and for peace, order, and good government. It is also a struggle waged by the sovereign Government of Afghanistan, a member state of the United Nations, against illegal armed groups that seek to overturn the democratic will of the Afghan people. In Afghanistan, the great global struggle for the recognition and protection of basic human rights – universal rights - is being waged with a particular and necessary ferocity. We cannot and must not retreat from that struggle.
Across the board, the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee is fine company to be keeping. Its founding members are:
Zachary Miles Baddorf, Journalist in Vancouver; Colette Belanger, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WA) Board of Directors, Simon Bessette, LL.B candidate, University of New Brunswick; Melaney Black, CW4WA, Victoria; Natalie K Bjorklund, MD, University of Manitoba; Marc-Andre Boivin, researcher, Université du Québec à Montréal Peacekeeping research group member; John Boon, Liberal Party activist; Ken Bryant, Associate Professor, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia; Jennifer Button, CW4WA – Victoria; Iona Campagnolo, PC, CM, OBC, Former Lt. Gov., British Columbia; Dominic Cardy, NGO director, Nepal, New Brunswick New Democratic Party; Mark Collins, Canadian Embassy, Kabul, 1975-77; Natasha Cowan, McGill University, business graduate; Stewart John Cunningham, Sess. Instructor, Historical Studies, U of T Mississauga; Steven Davis, Academics for Higher Education and Development, Montreal; Judith Desautels, Supporter, CW4WA, Amnesty International; Janice Eisenhauer, Executive Director, CW4WA; Lois Edwards, CW4WA, Manitoba; Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, peace and gender researcher on Afghanistan; L. Chris Fox, Doctoral Candidate, University of Victoria; Paul Franks, Professor, Philosophy, University of Toronto; John Fraser, P.C., O.C., O.B.C., C.D., Q.C., LL.D. (Hon.); Terry Glavin, Author, journalist, adjunct professor, UBC; Stephen Glanzberg, law student; Sanja Golic, MA researcher (Afghanistan education); Robert Gillies, Citizen, Toronto, Ontario; Richard Gordon, MD, Professor, University of Winnipeg (Books with Wings); Robert Harlow, Novelist, British Columbia; Najia Haneefi, Former Executive director, Afghan Women's Education Centre, Kabul; Daniel King, President, Conservative McGill; Ian King, Journalist, Columnist, Vancouver; Robert D. Lane, Res. Associate, Phil. & Religion, Malaspina U College; OJ Lavoie, Environment activist, McGill University; Jill Leslie, CW4WAfghan - Victoria Chapter; Bruce Lyth, British Columbia Young Liberals, vice-president; Flora MacDonald, PC, CC, O. Ont.Chair of CARE Canada; Dave Mann, Brantford, Ontario New Democrat, Euston Canada; Mark Masongsong, Liberal Party activist; Doug McArthur, Professor of Public Policy, SFU; Jim Monk, Ontario gay rights, trade union activist; Gareth Morley, Lawyer, Victoria; Jonathon Narvey, Journalist, editor, copywriter, Vancouver; Lyle Neff, Poet, journalist, critic, Vancouver; Lauryn Oates, Vice-president, CW4WA; Tom O'Neill, Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Brock University; David A. Pariser, Professor, Art Education, Concordia University; Ben Parfitt, Journalist, researcher, Victoria; Stan Persky, Writer, philosophy instructor, Capilano College; Karim Qayumi, Afghan-Canadian community leader, Professor, Director of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation, Vancouver; John Richards, Professor, Public Policy Program, SFU; Ferooz Sekandarpoor, Production Manager, Ariana (Afghan) TV, Vancouver; Madeliene Tarasick, CW4WA, Kingston; Beryl Wasjman, Institute for Public Affairs – Montreal; Axel Van Den Berg, Professor, Sociology, McGill University; Morton Weinfeld, Sociology professor, McGill University; Ariana Yaftali, Afghan-Canadian, Manitoba.
Stay tuned. Visit the site from time to time. Join. Open to all Canadians.