The Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) ( http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/ ) plans to hold a series of demonstrations on 28 Oct 06 as a “Call for Action.” The CPA has a right to express its views; it has no right to manufacture ‘facts’ to support them.
It is frightening to think that Canadians might be convinced by the hollow arguments of the CPA. It has no rational alternatives to suggest; indeed, in some cases it appears to support the Taliban. Its position smacks of conspiracy theory-induced paranoia and of grasping at the flimsiest of straws.
Ruxted contends that the CPA and its supporters are either misinformed or are deliberately trying to mislead Canadians.
To facilitate open debate, the Ruxted Group offers some guidance to help the CPA correct its underlying premises:
1. Canada is not occupying Afghanistan. Canada, like other members of the United Nations-authorized International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), was invited by the legitimately elected government of Afghanistan to help bring peace, security and aid to that unfortunate country.
2. Afghanistan is not an American effort. The US is one of more than 35 members of ISAF. This makes much of the CPA’s knee-jerk anti-Bush propaganda irrelevant. The democratically elected government of Afghanistan is, steadily, gaining control, and international military forces throughout the whole country fall under the direction of the ISAF which acts in support of the Afghan government.
3. There is no American Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAP). Since the Taliban was ousted in 2001, a proposal for an India/Pakistan-financed pipeline has gained some support from the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. However, continuing instability in the region deters potential investors and there is no concrete plan four years after the initial discussions. Moreover, UNOCAL (the Americans) have had nothing to do with the Trans Afghanistan Pipeline for over eight years. Clearly the CPA is still seeing the US corporate-industrial bogeyman under every international bed. They love a conspiracy theory and revel in yet another attempt to wheel out this long-discredited canard. Their argument is nothing but a pipe-dream.
4. The CPA is out of step with most of the international peace and human rights community. The UN, the International Crisis Group and Care International, amongst others, support the Canadian combat mission in Afghanistan because they understand that it is essential to have security before real development can take place. The world wants Canada to succeed because it wants equal rights for Afghan women and children; the CPA talks a good fight but is unwilling to provide real, tangible help for women and children in Afghanistan. As with the NDP, the CPA has abandoned it's traditional support of the UN, Non-Aligned Movement and multilateralism simply because it cannot see past its anti-Americanism.
The Ruxted Group believes that some of the CPA’s supporters are misrepresenting their members’ views for partisan political purposes.
Union endorsement of the CPA is a good example. Do the men and women who are carrying on the legacy of their forefathers in the shop floors and union halls of Canada really side with groups who apologize for al Qaeda? Do they really want to be seen as supporting terrorists and thugs who hang teachers, burn schools and blow up markets in Afghanistan? We think not.
What genuine union purpose is advanced by union leaders when they decided to give financial and moral support to those who mislead Canadians about Afghanistan? Union leadership support of the CPA has absolutely nothing to do with saving Canadian lives. Nor does it have anything to do with making life more secure for the desperate people in that poor country. For the union leadership it is all about "getting" Stephen Harper and bringing down the government at any cost, to some people nothing else matters. Will unions expend their members’ dues and their own political capital supporting those who will tell any lies, distort any truth, hide any contradictory fact, bend any rule, threaten, intimidate and shout down anyone necessary, and heap scorn upon those who support the Canadian mission by slurring them as warmongers or fascists?
It is true that Canadian soldiers are shedding much blood for what may be the most worthwhile UN mission this country has undertaken. Yet the people who oppose the mission appear to take gleeful opportunistic pleasure in their hollow expressions of sorrow.
The soldiers fighting and dying in Afghanistan are first cousins to the Canadians on the shop floor; the soldiers are outraged by the CPA and fellow travellers and wonder how union members, with that true Canadian characteristic of fairness, pride and resolve, can, passively, support such tripe. Hard earned wages diverted to pay union dues are wasted for Machiavellian political purposes while the sweat equity earned in developing a good name and a proud union heritage is usurped and soiled. And for what? Helping the poor, oppressed people of Afghanistan? Saving Canadian soldiers? Not likely. It is about partisan politics.
Canada is a free country, more than a hundred thousand Canadian sailors, soldiers and aviators have died to make it so. Thus, the CPA has a right to promote its views, however ill-founded, and other groups have a right to ‘endorse’ them, including those which seem to oppose peace and free choice for the Afghan people.
Ruxted questions the motives of the CPA and of all who ‘endorse’ an organization which, through either ignorance or malice, misrepresents Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
The Ruxted Group on : Franciso Juarez
Franciso Juarez In a recent Ruxted Group commentary, we pointed out that the Canadian Peace Alliance "has a right to express its views; it has no right to manufacture ‘facts’ to support them." Now we see the NDP, the Canadian Peace Alliance, and fel