The attack on a NATO convoy which resulted in the death of Canadian Master Corporal Byron Greff highlights, once again, that the Harper government is lying to Canadians about the nature of the new “training mission”. It is in reality still a part of the overall foreign military occupation and combat mission, and thousands of Afghan civilians have paid with their lives because of combat operations this year.
In fact, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, there has been a further 28 per cent increase in civilian casualties in 2011. The 920 Canadian troops still stationed in Kabul are part of these combat operations on a daily basis, joining in firefights with Afghan troops such as the September 13 battle at the US Embassy and NATO headquarters.
Harper, in an attempt to placate a war weary population in Canada was understating the possibility of attacks on the Canadian forces staying in Kabul and elsewhere in the country. There are regular attacks against NATO forces in these alleged safe zones and this will continue to be the reality until all foreign troops are removed from the country. And the resistance to NATO has the support of increasing numbers of the Afghan people. A recently released poll conducted by the International Council on Security and Development found that 87 per cent of southern Afghans and 76 per cent of those in the north oppose NATO’s actions in the country.
As long as our troops are there – regardless of what title you give the mission – Afghan civilians and Canadian soldiers will remain in danger and the killing will increase.