Action Alert: Stop CF-18 warplanes from being deployed to Afghanistan

Action Alert


Stop CF-18 warplanes from being deployed to Afghanistan

Send your letter to Stephen Harper right away.

Dear supporter,

As you may have heard on the news, up to 100 Afghan civilians are feared dead as a result of U.S. air strikes.

Now, I am writing to alert you of a potential major escalation of Canada’s war in Afghanistan: Canadian fighter-bomber warplanes.

The military is engaging in a lobbying campaign to have a squadron of our CF-18 Hornet fighter bombers deployed to Afghanistan.

The planes would be used to attack suspected insurgents and to fight with Canadian and U.S. troops engaged in search and destroy missions. But they would also kill untold numbers of Afghan civilians in these attacks.

The deployment of CF-18 fighter bombers would be a major increase in our combat role in Afghanistan, and should be opposed by Canadians. Please send your letter to Prime Minister Harper right away.

Bombing runs by similar warplanes used by the United States and other Western forces have killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children. As well, U.S. pilots have already killed five Canadian soldiers.

According to the United Nations, 530 Afghan civilians were killed by U.S. and NATO air strikes in 2008, a 65 per cent increase over 2007. Experts all agree that the growing numbers of civilians killed by air strikes is eroding Afghan support for foreign troops.

Canadian warplanes should never be part of these deadly bombing and strafing runs in Afghanistan. How many deaths of innocent Afghans would be on our hands?

It’s clear that the military has been waiting and preparing for this opportunity to ramp up the war. This is a well-orchestrated campaign by the military lobby.

In 2007 the Toronto Star reported that the military had laid secret plans to send six aircraft armed with 2,000 pound laser-guided bombs and other weapons, capable of undertaking untold numbers of “sorties” over a six-month period.

Now we learn that the Canadian general who leads the coalition’s air war in Afghanistan, Major-General Duff Sullivan, told a reporter that the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Central Command want to “get Canadian F-18s into the game over here.”

In order to put pressure on the government, the Canadian General delivered the message through the media using a reporter friendly to the military. Matthew Fisher of CanWest news service, who was given the interview with the General, accepted an award from the military-funded Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) in 2007.

The government says it has no plans to send the warplanes, but so far has not ruled it out.

We need to push back against the military lobby by sending a strong signal to the Harper government, and the military, that we do not want Canadian CF-18 fighter bombers sent to Afghanistan. Please send your letter to Prime Minister Harper right away.

Thank you for doing what you can to end Canada’s war in Afghanistan.

Steven Staples,

Tags: Afghanistan, CF-18, Civilian deaths from air strikes in Afghanistan, Conference of Defence Associations, Defence lobby, Major-General Duff Sullivan, Matthew Fisher