Canadian Troops in Kandahar

Asoka Weerasinghe Gloucester

From THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, Thursday, January 24, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Panel confirms Canada's role in ensuring global security

Re: Marines to back up Canadians in Kandahar, Jan.23.

I doff my hat to John Manley and his panel of experts for having showed us that, after all Canadians can understand the reasons why our valiant troops are present in Afghanistan.

Their report explained that bringing the troops home, which is what the NDP and some other Canadians want done, before they can finish their work, would do irreparable harm to the people of Afghanistan and Canada's reputation.

What should be underlined is that withdrawing has geo-political implications of instability in the region, which will have a ripple effect on Canada, and damage global security. Canada is part of that global community, so we cannot just abdicate our international responsibilities.

The panel has very clearly mapped out for Canada how to gain real weight and credibility as an international player that can solve international problems and reclaim our stature of the Nobel Peace Prize Pearsonian era.

This certainly undercuts the foolishness of Liberals wanting to become international peacemakers in Sri Lanka's separatist feud, when at the same time helping to stuff funds in one of the antagonists, the Tamil Tigers' war chests, via the Tamil diaspora, especially in the Greater Toronto Area. That is clearly not how international peace mediation works, and it is embarrassing to say the least.

I don't think most of our parliamentarians got it when Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai addressing our Parliament said that the military mission in Afghanistan was important for the long-term security, not only for his country but also in Canada and the rest of the world.

Mr. Karzai also said that Sept. 11, 2001 showed us that the cost of ignoring Afghanistan was higher than the cost of helping it, as Afghanistan was the breeding ground of the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers with hijacked planes.

That is what our involvement in Afghanistan is all about, together with helping Afghans to live in a peaceful country, after many decades of turmoil and foreign invasions, so that they can chart their own course to prosper as a peaceful democracy.

Asoka Weerasinghe

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