Canada’s “Good News Story” at NATO
Defence Ministers Meeting
The Department of National Defence (DND) paints a benign rosy picture of Canada’s role at the NATO defence ministers meeting, October 21-22. The DND communiqué said Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to strengthen NATO’s “deterrence and defence posture;” endorsed NATO’s “critical initiatives” to “ensure the Alliance’s success over the next decade;” addressed NATO’s Operation Allied Solace, its mission to evacuate NATO-Affiliated Afghan contractors and their immediate family members; hosted a defence ministers’ meeting of allies contributing to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia; and met with key partners to advance collaboration and coordination with NATO in responding to key geostrategic challenges.
In plain talk it means Canada endorsed NATO’s “master plan” of war with Russia; reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to troop deployment and command of NATO forces in Latvia on the Russian border; did its utmost to obfuscate NATO’s violation of international law and crimes against the people and country of Afghanistan; engaged with other NATO member states in discussing NATO’s missions in Iraq and elsewhere and, since everything is secret in the name of security, nobody knows what else.
For Canada, diversion and obfuscation were the name of the game to draw attention away from the fact that NATO is a warmongering alliance which needs to be dismantled so that the demand of Canadians and the peoples of the world against the use of force to sort out conflicts can take effect. Canada was represented by Harjit Sajjan who was still Defence Minister at the time the meeting took place. At no point did Sajjan take any responsibility for the disasters the U.S. and NATO created in Afghanistan. He announced that “Canada will resettle up to an additional 322 NATO-Affiliated Afghans and their immediate family members,” in Canada. This will bring the number of NATO-Affiliated Afghans that Canada has committed to resettle to 472.
In the final days of the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan, NATO countries evacuated some 120,000 people, including 2,000 who were directly “NATO-Affiliated.” Those airlifted out of Kabul were evacuated to “processing stations” at U.S. or NATO military bases in Qatar, Germany and Spain, as well as to Kuwait, Italy, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and as far afield as Colombia, Ecuador, Cambodia and Uganda.
Tens of thousands more are said to have gone to surrounding countries in those final days adding to the millions who had already fled decades of war and aggression.
For all the talk about relocation, the truth is that the NATO countries do not want to deal with the mess they created. They would rather pay neighbouring countries to keep the refugees in camps or relocate them to provide cheap labour in Canada’s meat processing plants. The European Union, for example, plans to allocate 600 million to Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to help cover expenses generated by the influx of Afghans, and 300 million euros for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
At least 2.6 million Afghans were already living abroad as registered refugees, with the largest numbers in neighbouring Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey. Iran hosts 800,000 registered refugees and up to 3 million other displaced Afghans. Pakistan has 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees and up to 2 million other displaced Afghans. More than 3 million people had been internally displaced in Afghanistan by the end of 2020, and the UN refugee agency estimated that 550,000 more Afghans were displaced within the country from the beginning of 2021 until August 10, including about 240,000 displaced since the withdrawal of the so-called coalition’s military forces began in May.
Canada’s “good news story” actually serves to cover up the enormity of the disaster that has befallen Afghanistan and millions of Afghan people as a result of NATO’s involvement in the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan.
(With files from Department of National Defence, NATO, UN Refugee Agency and Human Rights Watch)