Are They Dying in Vain?

September 29, 2009
Over 130 Canadian soldiers have lost their lives since Canada entered the war in Afghanistan in 2002. Are they dying in vain? Is it time to pull our soldiers out? Is it possible to succeed in creating a peaceful democratic state in Afghanistan? Is that why we are there?
A look at Afghanistan’s history says, clearly, No, peace can not be imposed on the Afghani people. Since Alexander the Great in 326 BCE Afghanistan has been cleansing the blood of foreign soldiers from it’s landscape.
Alexander the Great, in 326 BCE, made his move on Afghanistan, which crumbled the moment he left the area. The White Huns were next, then the Arabs, the Turks, the Ghurids and then even Genghis Khan, the great Mongol leader who was also defeated at Kabul.
British invasion

1836 First Anglo-Afghan War. The British invade Afghanistan and put a puppet king, Shah Shuja, in power. He is killed three years later.

1878 – Second Anglo-Afghan War. British try again. This time they were more successful, capturing Kabul and, by the Treaty of Gandamak, establishing the right to maintain a Resident in Kabul. However, after the Resident was murdered, the British withdraw.

1919 – Third Anglo-Afghan War. British forces try once again to bring country under their sphere of influence by assassinating the Afghan King Emir Habibullah Khan. His son and successor, Emir Amanulla Khan, wins independence for people. Amanulla pushes pro-Western reforms in education and gender equity.

1928 – Revolt against Amanolla. Mullahs and religious clerics revolt against Amanulla. Bandit leader seizes Kabul. Amanulla abdicates throne in 1929 and leaves for Switzerland where he dies in 1960.

In 1933 Afghanistan became a Monarchy under Zahir Shah which lasts for four decades until Zahir Shah is deposed by his cousin who declares it a Republic.

The Russians take their turn in 1979, spending a decade and costing 65,000 killed and wounded Soviets and the lives of an estimated 700,00 – over 2,000,00 civilians. When they leave another 50,000 die as the Mujahedeen fight to become the controlling faction in the country.

The Mujahedeen only last until the Taliban come along and establish a stricter Islamic state. Afghanistan was already an Islamic state, they just made it stricter.

The Taliban would have continued to rule Afghanistan with an iron hand had they not refused to give up Osama bin Laden. There had been no outcry over the lack of human right, the treatment of women, Sharia Law or the growing of poppies for that matter.

After September 11, 2001, when things settled down in New York City, all eyes looked to Afghanistan who harbored the terrorists. Their continued reluctance to turn over the terrorists resulted in today’s events. Canada stood by the United States and now It was our turn to experience Afghanistan.

Many of the countries participating along side of Canada and the US have been reluctant to put their troops in harms way. Thus Canada has taken the brunt of a lot of the fighting. This, shows their lack of commitment, desire or concern as to weather Afghanistan becomes a democracy or is ruled by the Taliban. Perhaps they knew something we are just coming to realize.

In 2011 Canadian troops are scheduled to pull out of Afghanistan. The Americans are loosing their taste for this war as well. Does it matter if your son is being killed in Iraq or if he dies in Afghanistan? Of course not, they want out as well.

And when all the foreign troops leave, weather a legitimate government has been established or not, the Taliban or a similar group will once again throw Afghanistan back into anarchy and turmoil. The poppies will bloom and life will continue as it did prior to 2001.

Are our troops dying in vain?  ……………… Ask Alexander.

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