by Eric Margolis
(Toronto Sun, Canada)
"As Canadian, American and British soldiers continue to die in Afghanistan, it is time the truth be told about this ugly little war. Much of what we’ve so far been told by our governments and media has been untrue, wishful thinking, or crass jingoism.
Claims that withdrawing Western garrisons from Afghanistan or Iraq will leave a void certain to be filled by extremists are nonsense. Half of Afghanistan and a third of Iraq are already largely controlled by anti-Western resistance forces.
“Good Morning, Afghanistan!” Doesn’t anyone remember the Vietnam War’s fruitless search-and-destroy missions and inflated body counts? Don’t NATO commanders know their every move is telegraphed in advance to Taliban forces? Did Canadian officers making such fanciful claims really believe the Taliban’s veteran guerillas would be stupid enough to sit still and be destroyed by U.S. air power?
What the West calls “Taliban” is actually a growing coalition of veteran Taliban fighters led by Mullah Dadullah, other clans of Pashtun tribal warriors, and nationalist resistance forces under Jalalladin Hakkani and former prime minister Gulbadin Hekmatyar. Many are former mujahadeen once hailed as “freedom fighters” by the West, and branded “terrorists” by the Soviets.
The U.S. and its allies are not going to win the Afghan war. They will be lucky, the way things are going, not to lose it in the same humiliating manner the Soviets did in 1989. Ottawa’s deepening involvement in a conflict in which it lacks any national interests — save pleasing Washington and selling lumber — jeopardizes Canada’s security. Western troops are not fighting “terrorism” in Afghanistan, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims. They are fighting the Afghan people. Every new civilian killed, and every village bombed, breeds new enemies for the West."