Letter to Editor 2009 - Ottawa Citizen: Harper's Poetry


Morgan Duchesney: 2009


While Stephen Harper was honoring the sacrifice of Canada’s Afghanistan dead on September 11, he waxed poetic by quoting Archibald Lampman, “But we the living know that to everything there is a season.” Perhaps he was also referring to the possibility of an expensive fall election.

To counter his poetic attempts to minimize the horrific waste of life Canada has endured in Afghanistan, I offer a few reasons for Canada’s presence in Afghanistan whose predictability is matched only by the degree to which their publication is muted and otherwise suppressed. All of the points I make concern Canadian appeasement of the U.S. government and the transnational business interests they serve.

- Canada is in Afghanistan rather than Iraq to appease our powerful U.S. allies. The Afghanistan counter-insurgency, with its lower casualty rate and NATO approval, is more politically viable than the Iraq quagmire.
- Afghanistan is unfortunately located at the centre of a group of oil and natural gas producers such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran. The U.S. government and the transnational corporations they serve must control access to these resources.
- Afghanistan itself has considerable natural resources and can’t be permitted to control its own resources. Hence, the Afghan people are saddled with the inept and corrupt puppet government of Karzai who was elected only after being “selected” by the U.S. government.
- Afghanistan is located at the centre of three nuclear powers: China, Pakistan and India. There is no love between India and Pakistan and the economies of China and India are expanding at a phenomenal pace. The U.S. government must maintain a military presence in this vital and volatile region.

To justify and hide the main reasons or our presence in that unfortunate country, the Canadian government is pretending to believe that that Taliban are a genuine threat to the West. The excellent humanitarian work of Canadian soldiers and aid workers is presented as an emotional smokescreen to discourage dissent and mute critics through a cheap and transparent appeal to emotion.