Friday, March 14, 2008

Forget the Silly "Anti-War" Parades. Put The Afghan People First.

From Lauryn Oates, co-founder of the Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, in today's Globe and Mail:

"If we do not urgently refocus our debate and put the needs and interests of Afghans at the heart of our discussions, we will leave a bleak smear in the Canadian history of international interventionism, a smear that will bring us shame in the history books our children will read. We must ensure that we are finding constructive solutions to the underlying problems plaguing Afghanistan and to the issues that Afghans point to as priorities, and not merely to our own insular interests. We have limited time to start making a genuine effort to understand Afghanistan, its history and its people, and to recapture what we have lost of our identity as humanitarians and peace-builders."

And a press release from Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan:

"Troops Out" is Pro-War

With the organized ‘anti-war’ rallies planned this weekend across Canada, there are many Canadians who consider themselves peace activists who share a different view.

“I do not agree with the 'troops out' position," says Janis Rapchuk, board member of the Calgary-based volunteer organization, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

“I’m a peace activist and have spent years volunteering my time on a daily basis in what could be called ‘living activism.’ That is, our activism is aimed towards a sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Marching on the streets may give voice to one group of organized individuals, with a set agenda like the TROOPS-OUT position, but it does not provide space for good dialogue and discussions that can help Canadians understand how we can influence change and provide sustainable alternatives to war”, says Rapchuk.

Her organization raises awareness and funds to advance and protect human rights for Afghan women and girls. “It is important to learn about the complexities of these issues. If you don’t like the role Canada has in Afghanistan, then lobby for change but be sure that your actions are based on what is best for the people of Afghanistan, if you truly believe in ending war, ” says Rapchuk.

“From our perspective, a troop withdrawal would mean a very bloody civil war with no end in sight--an assessment in line with the United Nations. This is a very emotional issue for Canadians, and rightfully so given the millions of lives at risk, both Afghan and Canadian. We, as Canadians, have a very important role working in partnership with the Afghan people. The majority of Afghans want us there and want to work towards building a peaceful Afghanistan with those who truly have this as their goal. We see this troops-out position as, in fact PRO-WAR!," says Rapchuk.

15 Comments:

Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Those goddamn expat Yanks stirring things up again:

"not in my name"

Mark
Ottawa

5:23 PM  
Blogger L-girl said...

Hey, thanks for the link! But the peace movement in Toronto is home-grown. I'm just joining in. But thanks anyway.

Signed, a "goddman expat Yank" who stirs things up for peace.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Terry: FYI, l-girl banned me from her blog:

"There were wmtc threads were people defended Canada's military involvement. But I don't think James ever took that position. The main culprit was Mark from Ottawa, who has since been banned for General Obnoxiousness and constant re-directs (to a military blog called The Torch)."

She and her like-minded cohorts appeared to resent being provided links to sites (many other than "The Torch") that presented facts that undercut their views and assumptions.

But at least I made a general's rank, though without riding a tank. I do confess sometimes to being obnoxious in certain eyes.

Mark
Ottawa

11:08 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

". . .the peace movement in Toronto is homegrown."

Well that about says it. A well-meaning American who is insufficiently aware of what's been going on here.

The "peace movement" active in Toronto these days is not homegrown. It was born in Cairo in 2003, and its midwives included the British Mosleyite grouping known as the "Socialist Workers Party" (the parent organization of the groupuscule that runs the Toronto Stop the War Coalition and the Canadian Peace Alliance); the Muslim Brotherhood (the parent organization of Hamas);
Nabil Negm, a former under-secretary in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry; Saad Qassem Hammoundy, leading member of the Iraqi Baath Party and Iraqi Ambassador to the Arab League; and several other such unsavory characters.

They met again in Cairo last year - 20 Canadian "peace activists" were in attendance - with Hamas and Hezbollah. One of the follow-up plans was a "World Against War" conference in London.

Yesterday's rallies across Canada had nothing to do with last week's vote in the House of Commons. The date was set and the rallies were planned at the London conference, last December, that brought together that same alliance of the same formerly "left-wing" front that runs the CPA and the Toronto STWC, and the Islamist far right. The key strategist at the London conference was Ibrahim Mousawi of Hezbollah - Hezbollah's chief propagandist in "the West."

That is the real "hidden agenda" here. But WMTC is burdened by the illusion of some other "hidden agenda," that this is "George Bush's war" and so on.

I'm sure WMTC are very nice people. The pacifists who held sway during Leon Blum's regime in France, in the 1930s, were nice people, too. They didn't want their illusions punctured, either. If they had blogs back then, Mark, you would have been banned from them, too.

12:33 PM  
Blogger L-girl said...

"I'm sure WMTC are very nice people. The pacifists who held sway during Leon Blum's regime in France, in the 1930s, were nice people, too. They didn't want their illusions punctured, either. If they had blogs back then, Mark, you would have been banned from them, too."

Terry, since you (a) didn't witness why Mark was banned from wmtc, (b) have only his version of events (and the few words of mine he quoted) to go on, and (c) don't know any of the people you're talking about, your comparison is unsubstantial at best.

"She and her like-minded cohorts appeared to resent being provided links to sites (many other than "The Torch") that presented facts that undercut their views and assumptions."

I - and only I, no one else made the decision and several people were sorry to see you go - got tired of your lecturing and obnoxious attitude. That's all. I have a strong viewpoint, but so do you.

"The "peace movement" active in Toronto these days is not homegrown."

Terry, with this you display your own ignorance and prejudice. I am speaking from within the peace movement, and the people I work with are all Canadian. They are not terrorists nor do they truck with terrorists. Your linking peace activists with terrorism is pathetic.

But the war you uphold, however, is itself terrorism. So I shouldn't be surprised.

What I'll never figure out is Mark's obsession with my blog. There are a million progressive and peace-minded blogs out there. Why me? Just lucky I guess.

Best of luck to you guys. Take care.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

"I'm sure WMTC are very nice people."

Fine. I take it back.

4:47 PM  
Blogger L-girl said...

"Yesterday's rallies across Canada had nothing to do with last week's vote in the House of Commons."

Oh sorry, just noticed this.

Of course it didn't. I can't imagine why you think it did, or why anyone would. March 19 is the 5th anniversary of the US's invasion of Iraq. That's why the peace events took place this weekend. If anyone said it had anything to do with the HoC vote, they were mistaken.

Since Canada is fighting the US's war in Afghanistan, it is appropriate to link the two.

And by the way, wmtc is just me. There is no "they".

See ya.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

"Since Canada is fighting the US's war in Afghanistan, it is appropriate to link the two."

Go away, L-Girl.

Don't come back.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

l-girl: "What I'll never figure out is Mark's obsession with my blog. There are a million progressive and peace-minded blogs out there. Why me? Just lucky I guess."

Lucky at first I'll agree--and at first I found at least some willingness in "Comments" at your blog to engage in reasoned discussion, a willingness that dissipated fairly rapidly. Now, since at your blog your proudly display a logo (or whatever) proclaiming "we move to canada" was 3rd Best progressive Blog in the Canadian Blog Awards 2007, it seems to me the views of such an exalted blogger should from time-to-time get due attention at some other blogs.

No need to reply.

Mark
Ottawa

7:05 PM  
Blogger Ian King said...

Fucking ungrateful Yank escapists. Wannabe Canadians of convenience and cultural imperialist bastards in one obnoxious package.

L-girl got it all wrong: she whines about how she doesn't want the vote to be in her name. Newsflash: it wasn't. It was in Canadians' name -- which she is not, and judging from her attitude (same as the tossers who flooded the country in the sixties and seventies. and never quit being yanks), never truly will be.

10:34 PM  
Blogger bp said...

If wmtc is just "you", then why is it called WE move to Canada?

Idiot.

This ain't Switzerland. We consider it our business when a ragtag bunch of ideological maniacs are destroying a country, murdering its people, and launching suicide attacks on our friends to the South. Deal with it or move somewhere else.

5:32 AM  
Blogger L-girl said...

"If wmtc is just "you", then why is it called WE move to Canada?"

Because I moved as part of a family.

Don't worry, I'm gone. I just wanted to correct that simple question.

And I too will be Canadian in another 6 or 8 months. Can't wait!

6:51 AM  
Blogger Graeme said...

I can.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Homun Kewlis said...

Will you also be protesting the American occupation of Toronto?

11:22 AM  

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