Weekly Update into Afghanistan Situation – Feb 26, 2010

-the commander of US and NATO forces went on National Afghani television on Tuesday to apologize for the latest round of Afghani civilians killed by NATO forces in the country. Between 21 and 33 civilians were killed in NATO airstrikes that mistook civilian cars for insurgents and resulted in the deadliest attack on citizens in Afghanistan over the last six months. At that time, In September, U.S. pilots dropped bombs in a German-ordered airstrike near the northern town of Kunduz in which as many as 142 people are believed to have died or been injured.
-despite the apology, the NATO commander defended the repeated NATO action of civilian deaths by saying that the Taliban uses civilians as human shields. Claiming Taliban exploitation as an excuse for killing Afghani civilians simply re-inforces the civilian populations`opinion that NATO does not have the welfare of Afghanis in mind, but is pre-occupied with death, destruction and body-counts. It also leads to questions from Afghani civilians as to whether NATO ever had the best interetst of Afghanis in mind or simply see civilians as un-important pawns in NATO`s chess game with the Taliban.
-President Hamid Karzai signed a decree last week giving him the power to appoint all members of the Electoral Complaints Commission, a group previously independant and dominated by U.N. appointees that uncovered massive fraud in last year`s presidential election won by Karzai.
The decree, which was made public Monday, suggests that Karzai wants to tighten his control of the electoral process ahead of parliamentary balloting next September. The election was due in May but was postponed because foreign donors would not help pay for it without reforms.
-Speaking of foriegn donors here is the update into the latest situation regarding foriegn complience with the continued occupation of Afghanistan:
-In the Netherlands, the Labour Party, part of a government coalition, refused to `go-along` with a NATO request to extend the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, and, along with the members of the opposition brought down the minority conservative-right government. Canada should take note. New local elections will be held within two weeks. What is most indictive of the new European attitude towards involvement in Afghanistan is that this government was brought down because it wouldn`t rule out a time-extension for Dutch troops, not simply because it was proposing one. The Labour Party’s actions reflect the growing majority of Dutch who want out of Afghanistan. A quote from an independant Netherlands blog (www.quirksmode.org):
“continuing presence in Afghanistan does not serve any Dutch or European interest, only a US domestic politics one. The US strategy of occupying Afghanistan while chasing the pipe dream of making it a democratic country that will somehow magically transform itself into a reliable Western ally and a denouncer of everything Taliban is just wrong. Obama is just wrong with his troop surge; it does not serve any vital Western interest but is instead aimed at pacifying the proto-fascist wing of the Republican party that is beyond pacifying anyway. Besides, this policy will fail both in Afghanistan and in the US. So why not end our involvement now?”
-Although Germany did undergo some cabinet-shuffling, the Dutch government was the first European and NATO administration to fall because of the war in Afghanistan. What NATO fears is that this example of backbone from the Netherlands will set a precedent where by the countries in Europe will prioritize the opinion and voice of their electorates over the pipe-dreams of the US and NATO. Here are some numbers:
Canada – 60% out
USA – 60% out
Britain – 70% out
Australia – 55% out
Poland – 75% out
France – 55% out
Germany – 55% out
-The European opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan may be just the tip of the iceberg for NATO’s titanic. Over the next few weeks five NATO states, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Luxembourg will call on the US for the removal of all its nuclear weapons from European soil. Canada should take note.

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Filed under Canadian Politics, Community Rights, Human Rights, International Politics, Political Accountability, United States Politics

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