Monday, September 29, 2008

Elizabeth May on the Afghan mission

This is a bit of a surprise:

Thanks to Spaceman Spiff at babble for drawing my attention to this. In fairness, it's actually worth watching the entire interview, since most of what she said is quite reasonable. Ultimately, though, it's pretty clear that she favours keeping a military presence in Afghanistan, which to me seems like a fatally flawed proposition. Certainly there is a significant need for peacekeepers in that country, but I don't think we should be doing it -- after all, why the hell should they trust us? We invaded their country for fuck's sake. We helped create the need for peacekeeping in the first place. I'm not sure who should be doing the peacekeeping there, but whoever it is should be someone who didn't participate in the invasion -- maybe Indonesia, South Africa, and Sweden could do it.


Lonecrow said...

Thanks for posting this. I am in full agreement with Ms. May.

We may have got involved in the first place for somewhat sketchy reasons. We kept a twitchy USA happy but covered our asses by saying yes to Afghanistan and no to Iraq. But I'd say that we made the best of a bad situation with that call.

We are still there, but not for oil, global western hegemony, or any other self-interest. We are there because the ultimate political mission is a good one.

The first ever woman police officer in Afghanistan was ambushed and killed yesterday in broad daylight on her way to work.

I am proud of our troops and the work they are doing. I hope they get the best leadership possible from the top on down to avoid the kind of trigger happy racism that is causing so much trouble in Iraq.

-And yes I vote Green

Lonecrow said...

Sorry about the orphaned paragraph in the middle of that comment.

I wanted to mention Lt-Col Malalai Kakar, the first ever police woman in Afghanistan. She was ambushed and killed yesterday on her way to work.

The Afghans need our help and we have an opportunity to show the world that there are alternatives to USA style interventions. I think it is our duty to provide assistance to the innocents in failed states. If not us who?

nitroglycol said...

Well, I should say up front that many of my fellow New Democrats (including at least two members of my former riding association) agree with you. I don't, though I definitely know where you're coming from.

Certainly the Afghans need someone's help. Should it be us, though? I think our brand is badly tainted in that area, owing to our participation in the invasion. As mentioned in the original post, the answer to "if not us, who?" should be some country or countries that stayed out of the original invasion.

Don't take this as a criticism of our troops either. I don't doubt that most of them are doing their best. In the end, though, it doesn't matter what you or I think, but what ordinary Afghans think. And again, why should they trust us?