Public Safety Minister ignorant of realities in Afghanistan

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Thursday, June 21, 2007
by: Joe Hueglin

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in stating the insurgents are "losing the battle on the ground in Afghanistan" demonstrates his ignorance. Attacks are no longer concentrated in Kandahar province in the south of Afghanistan. In the last week Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Zabul, Paktika have witnessed battles or bombings. One city, "Mazar-i-Sharif, seen as one of the most peaceful Afghan cities" experienced the first suicide bombing in three years. The battle ground is being extended rather than being lost.

Battles on the ground are lost by insurgents. Frequently, however, only after air power is brought into play. Winning by air strikes is costly. The "collateral damage",(the euphemism for


the deaths of civilians) is leading to loss of support among the general population. It may be the aircraft of Operation Enduring Freedom that do the bombing but there is little distinction between one foreign soldier and another.

Canadians have a choice. Accept Day's word the insurgents are losing or that of the Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. who wrote on June 21, 2007 in a column headlined "Taliban put up a new fight" that "As evidence of the new Taliban approach, southern Afghanistan has witnessed an array of devastating suicide attacks and guerrilla operations since Sunday, covering Kabul, Kunar, Nooristan, Khost and Paktia. There have also been incidents in Urzgan, Helmand and Kandahar."


Joe Hueglin

1. Brown, Jim, Taliban threat is PR ploy, says Day (pdf), June 19, 2007, Canadian Press (Yahoo News)

2. Shahzad, Syed Saleem, Taliban put up a new fight (pdf), June 21, 2007, Asia Times Online, Pakistan


3. Haviland, Charles, US forces in Afghan killing row (pdf), June 20, 2007, BBC News


4. Zabuli, Saeed, Taliban capture another district in south (pdf), June 19, 2007, Pajhwok Afghan News


5. BBC News, District recaptured from Taliban (pdf) June 19, 2007, BBC News


6. Reuters, U.S. -led air raid kills seven Afghan children (pdf), June 19, 2007, Regina Leader Post


7. Harmim, Javid/Asaifhel/Haidar, Governor wants probe into madressa attack (pdf) June 18, 2007 Pajhwok Afghan News

8. BBC News, Children die in Afghan air raid (pdf) June 18, 2007, BBC News

9. BBC News, Can the war in Afghanistan be won? (pdf) June 17, 2007, BBC News


10. Sabour, Abdul & Qadry, Tahir, Taliban launch second day of Afghan suicide attacks (pdf) June 16, 2007, The Scotsman, Reuters



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