Pubdate: Tue, 23 May 2006
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Alastair James Berry


To the Editor,

It seems that Canada's role in Afghanistan has changed from helping
rebuild the devastated country to protecting the U.S. organized gangs
of "poppy eradicators" in Kandahar province.

What else can I take from the statement by Brig.-Gen. David Fraser,
the Canadian commander of coalition forces in the south,who says "the
opium trade must be destroyed" and that "Canadian Forces do support
the anti-poppy work of the national government in Kabul."

But Fraser is equally adamant that "we're not here to do poppy
eradication. That's not our job." What is this, if not duplicity?

The peasants, barely able to survive,have no other cash crops and since
their lands and dwellings were ruined by carpet bombing, it is no
wonder that they booby-trap the tracks and kill
our personnel.

Canada should not be doing the dirty work for the USA's Drug
Enforcement Agency. Colombia is an example of what happens. After five
decades of DEA coca eradication, the situation is worse than ever and
there are now said to be more land mines there than in any
other country.

Canada should stick to reconstructing schools and hospitals, and not
hunting down and killing peasants protecting their livelihood.

Alastair James Berry,

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