As fatalities mount, Canada’s Conservative government moves to extend Afghan intervention By Richard Dufour 14 April 2007
Canada’s minority Conservative government and corporate media had long planned to use this past week’s 90th anniversary of the First World War battle of Vimy Ridge to whip up public support for the Canadian military and, above all, to promote the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) intervention in Afghanistan. But the elaborate ceremonies and official invocations of sacrifice, duty, honor, and Canadian nation-building have been overshadowed by a series of deadly reversals for the 2,300 strong CAF contingent serving in southern Afghanistan. Six CAF troops were killed last Sunday when their armored vehicle was destroyed by a roadside bomb and two more were killed Wednesday in a wave of Taliban bomb-attacks.
The eight fatalities are the largest the CAF has suffered in a single week since the Korean War and raise the total number of CAF personnel to die in Afghanistan to 53. Most of these fatalities have come since the spring of 2006, when the CAF first assumed a leading role in the US-NATO counter-insurgency war in the Kandahar region of southern Afghanistan. There are parallels to be drawn between Canada’s role in Afghanistan today and the role it played in World War I, but they are most assuredly not the parallels dawn by Canada’s Prime Minister Harper, the Queen, and other dignitaries in their Vimy Ridge commemoration speeches.(Click here to read more)