CANADA: This war is not for the army, 2003


Another soldier died in Afghanistan ( Sgt. Scott Shipway, Sunday, September 7). I mourn the death of every Canadian soldier; the number is getting close to one hundred. We need those brave magnificent young people alive for Canada. It’s time for the NATO allies to make a radical change in a manner of execution of the war in Afghanistan.

We must win this war on ‘terrorists’ for sure (I don’t understand the term “War on Terrorism.” How can you fight a concept?) But I think the way NATO forces are going about the war is wrong. We are in a no-win situation. There are very few historical precedents where a regular army successfully fought irregular fighters i.e. guerrillas or terrorists, whichever you choose to call them. It’s like trying to get rid of bedbugs in a bedroom with a sledge hammer. There are bound to be unnecessary destruction – which is called collateral damage but it is in fact deaths of non-combatant women and children.

War against irregular combatants is a work for the Intelligence Service and the Police. For example, it is now quite clear that 9/11 was the result of a massive failure on the part of CIA and FBI. They knew something like that was going to happen but their warning was not taken seriously by higher authorities. And those agencies behaved like lackeys.

What was the response to the 9/11? Send in the army. In the case of Iraq, into a wrong country which took no part in 9/11 atrocity. Yes, Afghanistan accommodated Al Qaida thus Talibans had to be dealt with. But Talibans are a bunch of irregular fighters, a bunch of out-laws. We have the police to deal with outlaws, and the intelligent services to do the sleuth work to find them. Let them do the work properly. We know that people of Afghanistan don’t want Talibans. Let us help them to establish the credible Afghan police force, and stop our young people to perform a hopeless job.

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