The 'Olympic Truce' continues to be nothing more than a sick joke for the people of Afghanistan, as at least 27 more civilians were killed in a NATO bombing in Uruzgan on Sunday.
There is one big Winter Olympic country, however, that has (by sheer coincidence) given a nod to the values represented by the idea of a Truce during the Games. The government of the Netherlands has collapsed over the issue of the war, which is very big news indeed. Dutch troops, who have been stationed in Uruzgan, will be on their way out in six months. The Guardian reports:
"The Dutch government collapsed at the weekend, making it the first European and NATO administration to fall because of the war in Afghanistan... [this] means that the almost 2,000 Dutch troops in Afghanistan, based around Uruzgan, south-west of Kabul, will start pulling out in August and be withdrawn by the end of the year."
This could have major consequences for the future of NATO and its occupation of Afghanistan:
"The Netherlands could set a precedent, encouraging other European countries to get cold feet about their presence in Afghanistan... The Dutch withdrawal is a blow to President Barack Obama and comes as the U.S. and NATO troops mount their biggest operation in Afghanistan for years."
The politicians who have taken a stand by rejecting any more extension of the Dutch presence in Afghanistan stand to gain in the upcoming election: "The Dutch Labour party's vehement opposition to remaining in Afghanistan is popular, bringing it instant opinion poll gains at the weekend."
We could use some more vehement opposition to the war here in Canada. And if Harper and/or Ignatieff attempt to extend Canada's part in the occupation yet again, we should be ready to 'go Dutch'. The Afghan people have been paying the bill for NATO's folly for too long.
Thank you for reading this story...
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.
If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.
We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.