No schools without security. This is such a simple concept, yet many times I have had discussions with people who are vehemently opposed to any of our troops being in Iraq or Afghanistan. Canada's troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan in 2011, but now I hear the Prime Minister qualifying that with : "the combat role of Canadian troops will be over in 2011. There will still be Canadian troops there, in supportive roles," or some bafflegab like that. Politics at its not so finest.Those who scream the loudest that Canada is a peace-keeping nation seem to miss the part of the scenario that in order to have peace, the brutal regimes have to be eradicated first. Impossible to build schools, etc when the bullying neanderthals are adamantly opposed to education for girls, micro businesses for the locals, hospitals, roads, running water etc etc - twenty-first century basics that you and I take for granted.
As always, a military man gets to the heart of the matter. As always, one of our warriors eloquently sets out the faulty logic of the simpleton, "no war" folks, who only see as far as building the schools, whilst ignoring the marauding thugs who kill routinely to try and stop the tangible progress being made for the locals.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Today in the New York Times, Nicholas D Kristof discussed his column from yesterday, "More Schools, Not Troops." He is idealistic in his Op-Ed and unfortunately just plain wrong. While no-one argues that building schools is a bad thing, and very honestly is an imperative along with other parts of development, you can not build critical infastructure without security.
He builds his arguement around this point:
The hawks respond: It’s naïve to think that you can sprinkle a bit of education on a war-torn society. It’s impossible to build schools now because the Taliban will blow them up.
In fact, it’s still quite possible to operate schools in Afghanistan — particularly when there’s a strong “buy-in” from the local community.
Greg Mortenson, author of “Three Cups of Tea,” has now built 39 schools in Afghanistan and 92 in Pakistan — and not one has been burned down or closed. The aid organization CARE has 295 schools educating 50,000 girls in Afghanistan, and not a single one has been closed or burned by the Taliban. The Afghan Institute of Learning, another aid group, has 32 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with none closed by the Taliban (although local communities have temporarily suspended three for security reasons).
Very simply, you're wrong Nicholas. First off, sometimes the Taliban do not attack the school directly. Sometimes they just drive by the girls going to school and throw acid upon them; or beat them and rape them. All for the price of trying to go to school. ...
"More schools, Not Troops" is not only idealistic, it is dangerously naive. All well and good for sheltered op/ed writers to prove how clueless they are, but it is the local people in these ravaged lands who know the idiocy of such pronoucements. Men like Major C know the truth, because they have been there, done that.
Read the rest of his well-informed column here at A Major's Perspective.
Thank you, Major!