Malalai Joya: Canada must withdraw troops from Afghanistan immediately

By Malalai Joya

I have just completed a two-week speaking tour across Canada, bringing a message to the great people of this country: The people of Afghanistan are fed up with the occupation of their country and with the corrupt, Mafia-state of Hamid Karzai and the warlords and drug lords backed by NATO.

On behalf of the suffering people of Afghanistan, I offer my condolences to the families here who have lost their loved ones. I believe these fallen soldiers, themselves, are the victims of the wrong policy of your government. The families of Afghan civilians killed in this war share your feelings of loss.

If we turn these sorrows into strength, we can end this war. Bringing the troops home at the end of 2011 is too late; the troops should be withdrawn as soon as possible, before more Afghan and Canadian lives are needlessly lost.

Today, it has become an open secret that the Canadian government of Stephen Harper has been complicit in the torture of countless innocent Afghans. This is just one reason people in Kandahar and across my country are tired of this war.

It is clear now that the real motive of the U.S. and its allies, hidden behind the so-called "war on terror", was to convert Afghanistan into a military base in Central Asia and the capital of the world’s opium drug trade. Ordinary Afghan people are being used in this chess game, and western taxpayers’ money and the blood of soldiers is being wasted on this agenda that will only further destabilize the region.  

The recent so-called election in Afghanistan tells you all you need to know about what kind of "democracy" has been imposed by the occupation. It is ridiculous to Afghans that the Harper government and Defence Minister Peter MacKay have called this process a "successful election".

Even the cats of Afghanistan laugh at this kind of statement, because everyone knows that this was the most fraudulent election possible. Before the vote, people on the streets predicted the outcome with a proverb, "It will be the same donkey with a new saddle." In the end, in fact, we have seen that even the saddle–Karzai–is not new.

Now that Karzai has been inaugurated again, the nature of his government is more obvious than ever. Both of his new vice-presidents, Fahim and Khalili, are warlords with the blood of innocents on their hands. In Kandahar, where Canadian troops have been stationed for years, Karzai’s brother is reported to be involved in drug trafficking, and the New York Times recently reported that he’s been receiving regular payments from the U.S. CIA.

So do not be deceived by talk of Karzai cleaning up corruption. His appointment of a new anticorruption team is a case of the rabbit being put in charge of the carrots.

Torture, drug trafficking, the continued rule of warlords and fundamentalists–these are the only things that this war has brought Afghans. Today, our people are being vicitimized by two enemies: the occupation forces bombing us from the sky, and the warlords and their Taliban brothers-in-creed.

If the troops withdraw, it will be easier for Afghans to fight one enemy and to determine our own future. It is the duty of the Afghan people to work for freedom and democracy; these values can never be donated to us by the very foreign powers who–after nearly three decades of funding various fundamentalists are arming warlords and other criminals–are responsible for many of the problems Afghanistan faces today.

While I am opposed to the policy of the Canadian government in Afghanistan, I have been very moved by the support of ordinary people across this country, from Victoria to Halifax. Having spoken to big public meetings in cities right across this country, it is clear that the Canadian people are fed up with their government’s policy in Afghanistan. Let's raise our voices together to end this unjust and devastating war.

Malalai Joya was the youngest woman elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005. She has recently completed a cross-Canada book tour in support of her new political memoir, written with Vancouver writer and activist Derrick O'Keefe, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.




Dec 2, 2009 at 10:03am

Is Malalai Joya willing to go back and live under the Taliban? Things may be far from perfect now, but under the Taliban, she won't even be able to vote, let alone run for office. Good luck.

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Dec 2, 2009 at 12:40pm

Joya has already lived under the Taliban, and has already publicly stated that she is going back to Afghanistan to continue to oppose both the Taliban and the western-backed warlords of Karzai's government. Cassandra22 writes as though there are only two options - Karzai or the Taliban. Joya's entire politics and life has been about building another option, an Afghan politics based on ordinary people themselves fighting against their oppression. That sort of politics is the only viable option for anyone serious about justice in Afghanistan. Everyone in Canada should be supporting her.

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Dec 2, 2009 at 2:56pm

She didn't seem to be having a lot of success before the troops moved in. And now at least the Taliban have been ousted.

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Dec 2, 2009 at 3:24pm

I Agree completely with GHdge , and to answer your question , actually yes the people of afghanistan , the women specially are were better off under the Taliban than they are under the millitary occupation , you only have to look at the stitistics of rape and violence agaisnt women that has had a HUGE increase over this "liberation period" . look at how much more opium trade is happening , the Taliban actually almost got rid of all opium in Afghanistan , the occupation there isn't about liberating women or the afghan people it is a part of a bigger plan for gaining dominance over the whole region and making it weak , gaining power over Pakistan and Iran, And the afghan peaple can deal with the Taliban themselves .
you must be very naive to think that you can free a people with a bunch of troops and guns. that has historically proven not to work , YOU CAN'T Bring peace with war my friend
FYI the Taliban wouldn't be there in the first place if it wasn't for the civil war durring 92-96 which the U.S supported and sold the Taliban all their weapons , a little history helps

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Dec 3, 2009 at 9:29am

Everyone who supports a better world free of terror, lies, and mafia warlords ansd other assorted creeps should support her. She has risked her life to speak the truth that NATO, the Taliban and the drug warlords are together and it's the innocent people who have suffered. Supporting the US, CIA, NATO, Taliban, drug warlord criminals and sending 30,000 more American kids to bomb and kill does exactly what? Yes the globalist mafia banksters wanted to build the Trans Afgan Pipeline to supply India with the Caspian cutting out the Russians but who does that benefit? A few banksters and the criminal classes. The 30 billion is extra costs ripped off from American taxpayers? The dead kids coming back with those Chinese made flags? America is virtually bankrupt now and the debts and insane military budgets ensure the devaluation and implosion of the currency itself. The globlists want that and to take out the USA and morph it into their global nightmare mafia scheme. It's not just the horrors in Afganistan, Iraq, or the Vietnam fiascos but the destruction of the USA also. Decent people need to realize they are being lied to and played while a very few ghouls are stealing all thier money,killing their kids, and destroying their countries. I wrote to the Nobel Committee urging them to take back their "Peace Prize" for the first time ever and do so VERY publicly. People should have the right to live in peace without the mafias, armies, airforces, fundamentalists, slaughtering their children and dreams for heroin profits, access to oil and gas, or political power. America itself like Detroit show it's also hitting them at home. Ending the private FED/IRS scam and nationalizing the FED system, banning the lobbyists (all 34,000 of them!) and restoring our system of justice and the US constitution would maybe help us to take back our country from the gangsters here too. War doesn't benefit the soldiers or the womem and children and the dead are merely dead. It's merely organized crime-murder.

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Nasir Khan

Dec 3, 2009 at 9:53am

Nasir Khan

Obama stands for imperial war, power and deception

What President Obama decided was no surprise. The Bushite high officials and generals in his administration had made it all possible. Bush and Cheney may have already sent their congratulations to their worthy successor, who knows?

With the limited resources we have at our disposal, an existential reality, we who believe in human values and respect for human life should stand up, and say loudly and clearly: No to imperialist war in Afghanistan, No to fascism, No to warmongers.

Can we do that? Yes, we can. The people can.

We can defeat the warmongers and their criminal plans. I believe, the vast majority of ordinary Americans will be with us when they become aware of what crimes are being perpetrated in their name for the wars of aggression under the cover of false pretexts and misleading propaganda. A big task though, but we should do what we can because we love peace and hold humanity in respect. The war criminals have to use the rhetoric of ”˜good wars' though, to deceive their people to gain support for their criminal wars and human bloodshed.

If we can inform the people by our continuous struggle about the reality of war, the motives of war and the profiteers of war, then and only then the ordinary man and woman will stop supporting genocidal wars.

The military-industrial complex in the United States has economic interests to carry on such criminal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

What Obama is doing now is part of the same game.

For the warmongers, weapon manufacturers, war contractors and the rest of the war profiteers war is a very lucrative business. The loss of human life, either of the invading soldiers or their victims has no significance. It is part of the game.

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Dec 3, 2009 at 11:43am

"the women specially are were better off under the Taliban than they are under the millitary occupation". That says all you need to know about the idiocy of the "forces out" side.

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Dec 3, 2009 at 7:05pm

If you read her book you'll soon learn that the Taliban have profited quite handsomely from the American occupation. And a lot of war criminals have just shaved off their beards put on a suit and joined the Afghani government. They're corrupting the government from the inside out. Unfortunately most of the money for rebuilding goes into corrupt hands.

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Dec 6, 2009 at 1:16pm

"Opium is permissible because it is consumed by kafirs in the West and not by Muslims or Afghans." Abdul Rashid, the head of the Taliban's anti-drugs control force in Kandahar.

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Dec 6, 2009 at 5:12pm

how do you suppose this chick bops round the world with her 'my people' want neither Karzai-puppet nor Taliban? Better to speak to people having lived under the Taliban and aware of Ample drug profits accrued by a Criminal Organisation mending its nets for when NATO withdraws. How does our amazingly well heeled daughter of a refugee in PK propose to stave off several more Herat-style incidents?

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