Book review: Afghanistan and Canada

Columbia Journal reviews Afghanistan and Canada, edited by Steven Staples and Lucia Kowaluk (Tom Sandborn, “Review: Afghanistan and Canada,” Columbia Journal, July 2010):

This collection of essays on Canada’s misbegotten “mission” in the blood soaked mountains and plains of Afghanistan is, although subject to the inevitable unevenness of tone and effectiveness that go with a mixed bag of authors, an extremely useful compendium of facts and opinion that should help Canadians conduct the much needed national debate about what our tax dollars and the blood of the young people we send to fight are doing there.

Yes, before any protests arrive at the Columbia Journal desk, I know that Afghanistan is not Vietnam and 2009 is not 1968. However, the Afghan war is this generation’s version–a war that serves murky imperial and commercial agendas while its defenders invoke high moral issues to justify the carnage wreaked on innocent civilians…. We should be asking more questions about what purpose is being served, and this extraordinarily useful book can serve as a citizens’ took kit of information and possible challenges to the politicians who have committed us to yet another two years, even as we learn from a brave whistle blower in the diplomatic service that Canadian troops transferred Afghan prisoners to Afghan prisons where they were regularly and brutally tortured.

More information about the book:

Afghanistan and Canada
Lucia Kowaluk, Steven Staples, editors
Black Rose Press
Montreal/New York/London
2009

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