Mission in Afghanistan "critical": Nobel Peace Laureate
Sometimes, one has to wonder about Canada's so-called "peace movement".
With mere days to go before staging another series of underattended "Canada out of Afghanistan now!" rallies, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has come out... in favour of the war in Afghanistan.
Jimmy Carter, who won the prize in 2002, at least partially for his efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (culminating in the signing of the Camp David Accords), would have been a man the Canadian "peace" movement should have considered a principal ally.
But apparently not.
Carter has described the Afghanistan conflict as a rare one he supports.
"The primary role in Afghanistan is still a very important one: just to maintain peace, with the hope that we could have a free and democratic society there," Carter announced following a meeting with United Nations secretary general Ban-Ki Moon.
"Now it's pretty much a holding game and I'm not sure about the progress, but I think it's important that Canada and others participate," Carter added.
One has to consider that this is coming from the man who devoted his presidency to fostering peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It takes a very solid commitment to peace to even think that what is so widely considered a lost cause would be worthwhile, let alone wagering his place in the history books upon.
Of course, it isn't as if Carter is a stranger to the issue of Afghanistan. During his presidency, he authorized aid to the muhajadin groups fiding the Marxist PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan) government and the Soviet troops sent to reinforce them.
The PDPA had come to power by overthrowing the previous government, headed by Mohammad Daoud Khan, a progressive leader who was deemed insufficiently Marxist by the Soviet Politburo.
Contrary to commonly-espoused public belief, the Taliban was not among these mujahadin groups funded under Carter's administration
Now that one of the world's leading advocates in favour of peace has come out in favour of the war in Afghanistan, one has to wonder about what the issue is really about to Canada's co-called "peace movement", and whether it's really about peace at all.
At this point, it's a widely known fact that the Taliban -- the party we are trying to prevent from returning to power in Afghanistan -- harboured Al Qaida terrorists, as well as allowing terrorist training camps to flourish. Following the events of 9/11, it was quickly determined that Al Qaida, led by Osama bin Laden, planned and executed the attacks and that while the perpetrators were predominantly Saudi (though not in good standing with the Saudi government, essentially branded as outlaws), that the safety provided to these terrorists by countries like Afghanistan was instrumental in the training of these terrorists.
A world in which any country constantly lives under the shadow of terrorism is not a peaceful (or stable) world. President Carter understood this when he went to such lengths to foster an accomodation between Israelis and Palestinians. He understands this still when he acknowledges the importance of the Afghanistan mission: peace under terrorism is not peace, and even the most fickle so-called "peace" activist should be able to recognize this.
So, then, what's really at the root of Canada's so-called "peace" movement?
Their posters provide a clue.
In large letters on these posters, "Harper and Bush" are instructed to get "out of Afghanistan and Iraq now!"
Maybe it isn't about peace after all. Maybe it's more about politics.
After all, to point the finger of blame in the vicinity of these two men alone (overlooking the fact that it was a Liberal government that committed Canada to Afghanistan and the war in Iraq was initiated with widespread support from the Democratic party), is fundamentally a political tactic, one that overlooks important details of the issue in order to score some quick and easy points.
Surely, there are some among Canada's "peace" movement whose motives are largely apolitical, and geared entirely toward the promotion of peace. But there has been a very palpable strain of manipulation used by the politically-minded "peace"niks (many of them affiliated with certain political parties) that has led some of these indviduals to spurn an international order that actually qualifies as peace and favour one in which the threatening anarchy perpetrated by extreme elements (actually of varying stripes) is ignored in the name of ill-defined global utopianism.
Fortunately, Jimmy Carter is not so afflicted with such a naive point of view. Carter's dissent from Canada's so-called "peace" movement should give some of them pause to reconsider.
Not that we actually expect them to.