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The official website of Paul Franklin: a father, veteran, activist, motivational speaker, and proud Canadian.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sometimes a Smurf story is a bad Smurf story but with a good Smurf end

The War in Afghanistan has been raging in one form or another since the 1979 Soviet invasion.
After the fall of communism the Warlords carved up what pieces were left and then like hyenas they fought over even the remains.
The Taliban (with Pakistan, Saudi and UAE support) rose from the ashes and as the people begged for a strict government to stop the lawlessness they quite literally got what they asked for.
The Taliban sought to turn the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan into the first Islamic Caliphate and they had hoped that would slowly lead to the dissolution of the other Central Asian states into this beacon of 4th Century Islamic purity.

Insecurity has plagued the country for decades and the end results have been the fall of the Soviet Empire, Insurrection in Pakistan  that has developed into civil war, the rise of Al Qeada and the attacks on the west and of course the worst atrocities imaginable to the women and children of Afghanistan.
The Western Invasion and the collapse of the Taliban government in 2001 has led to many questions if this war is still a right and justifiable war?
Its true things happen in war... horrible evil things and that it is usually not the soldiers that suffer the most.
With that being said.... is there hope or should we walk away?

Sometimes a Smurf story is a bad Smurf story

What happened in Afghanistan was that our NATO allies, some of them,  turned out not to be willing to fight.'     '

Therefore, our assumption that we had ample troops - US and NATO troops - turned out to be not a true assumption. 
So we adjusted,' he added.  
George W Bush has been quoted

 from his new book 'Decision Points

GW Bush has placed the blame of the failure of the Afghan War on the shoulders of the NATO and International coalition and not of course on his focus on the up coming invasion and occupation of  Iraq.

There is corruption and conflict even within the current Afghan government.

Corruption is a huge concern especially in a country where the average income is only $600 a year... and they are asked to payout an average bribe of $160 a year.

It almost seems that this story can not have a good end.

Gross Domestic Product Growth

Some facts ...
There are 30 million people live in Afghanistan 
 Life expectancy of 44 years, from a low in 1960 of 30 years.
53% of the population live below the poverty line
1 in 4 children die before reaching their 5th birthday
72% of the population over age 15 are illiterate
Only 50% of all Afghan children between the ages of 7 and 13 attend school
(CIA World Factbook, WHO, World Bank)

This is where I like to be hopeful, when times are at their worst and where there seems to be no hope.

In country where the people of Afghanistan its difficult to truly throw their support to what is perceived to be a Western backed government over the Taliban forces.  

The fear the common Afghan has is that if they sleep with one enemy what will happen when the west leaves....?
The minaret of a mosque is silouetted against the setting sun at the Canadian Forces forward operating base in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan in this May 6, 2007 photo THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz 
Having talked, emailed and chatted to many Afghans that are living in the country and that have emigrated, we as a Canadian population should be proud of what we are doing and have done.
The people in Afghanistan have seen up close that a country with no historical reason for being there, for  a country that is quite literally on the other side of the world and in one of the most secure locations of the world, and for a country that has no plans of empire is there simply because we are trying to do the right thing.
Afghan National Army and the Canadian Army
One day we will leave Afghanistan.
Hopefully our blood and sacrifice will have been worth the pain and suffering we have put our families through.
I am proud of what the Canadian Forces have done in Afghanistan.
There is no more noble concept then helping out those that can not help themselves.
Canada and the Canadian Forces has done the right thing and the Afghans know that even if their own world implodes once again there is a place on earth that is built on hope, understanding and care of our fellow human being.

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