Friday, August 22, 2008

Alexandre Trudeau: Leave Afghanistan now!

This is from the Gazette.
Trudeau seems to think that we are in Afghanistan to teach Afghans different values. We may be attempting to force some different values on them as he notes but our mission surely is to help the U.S. in their Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that got into high gear after 9/11. It is not just Canadian lives that will be lost but also those of other NATO nations and particularly the U.S. which has the lions share of troops. Most of all will be a huge loss in Afghan lives, the lives of those we are there to make safe!

Friday » August 22 » 2008

Leave Afghanistan now, Alexandre Trudeau says
'We have no reason to tell them how to live'

The Gazette
Friday, August 22, 2008
Canada's "aggressive" war in Afghanistan is all about "teaching lessons with weapons" and will leave nothing behind "except the blood we've lost there," the journalist son of the late prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau said yesterday.
"Our aggressive military activities in Afghanistan are foolish and wrong," said Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau, 34.
"The Pashtun (people) have extremely different values than ours, values we may not agree with in any case, but it's not our business to try and teach them lessons with weapons," Trudeau told The Gazette.
"Because, in fact, they'll be the ones teaching us lessons.
"We're going to have to leave the place or there'll be nothing left of us or of whatever we've done, except the blood we've lost there after we leave. So it's better we leave now."
Trudeau was speaking from Beijing, where he has been filing cultural reports on China as part of the CBC's Olympic broadcast team.
He made his comments at the end of an interview to promote his latest documentary film, Refuge, about war-ravaged Darfur. The interview was done two hours before news of the death of three more Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan was announced.
Trudeau knows the Canadian military firsthand, but not through combat. In the mid-1990s he trained as a reserve officer at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick and joined the Royal Canadian Hussars, one of Canada's oldest army reserve regiments, in Montreal as a second lieutenant.
Shortly after, he embarked on a career as a globe-trotting journalist and filmmaker.
Asked yesterday whether he now wants to make his next film in Afghanistan - an idea he floated last year on The Hour, CBC TV's late-night talk show hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos - Trudeau replied no.
"I don't think I'd go to Afghanistan," he said.
"I don't want to go and sit in the (Canadian Forces) camp in Kandahar and film the Tim Hortons.
"What I want to do is leave it to younger filmmakers to show who the Pashtun are, people we falsely call Taliban, in most cases, and why we really have no reason to tell them how to live their lives, why Afghanistan should be left to its own devices."
Trudeau said he had approached several TV networks to make a film about the country. Each one turned him down, probably because in 2006 "I made a film about Canadian politics, Secure Freedom, about Canadian security certificates," that was highly critical of the Harper government's anti-terrorism measures.
"Networks have shied away from allowing me to go to Afghanistan when I had the chance, and now I don't think I'd want to go - it's too dangerous," Trudeau said.
Before the birth of his son, Pierre Emmanuel, in December 2006, Trudeau travelled to places like Liberia, Iraq and the West Bank to make a series of subjective, point-of-view documentaries about the human cost of war and conflict.
He went to Sudan and Chad last year to live, travelling with rebels fighting the Sudanese government.
As a young father, his days of perilous travels are now firmly behind him, Trudeau said.
He intends to return to Montreal "in a couple of weeks" with the nearly completed manuscript of his "labour of love," a book about China that he has been researching and writing for several years and which is to be published next spring.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008

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