rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Let's go Dutch! Government of the Netherlands collapses over Afghan War

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

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2,000 Dutch troops in Afghanistan, based around Uruzgan, south-west of Kabul, will start pulling out in August and be withdrawn by the end of the year."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, while striving to make it sustainable as well. 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 main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.