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.

Opposition to Afghan War will greet G20 leaders

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

The Canadian Peace Alliance is organizing a show of opposition to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, one of many protest actions that will greet the G8/G20 meetings in late June. The G8 countries, of course, are among the key players in NATO's occupation. This even includes Japan, a leading funder of the Karzai regime's police force. (Russia, the newest member of this elite club, is the exception, but then maybe the old G7 would be wise to consult the history of that country's invasion of Afghanistan.)

The G8/G20 meetings will occur during what is expected to be a time of heightened fighting in Afghanistan. NATO's long-planned Kandahar offensive, if it goes ahead, should be well underway by then.

Although the story has barely been picked up in Canada, the real facts on the ground in Kandahar continue to come out into the open. This recent story in the Financial Times tells a key part of the story:

"The US government is facing fresh questions on its oversight of war funding amid mounting evidence that a $2.16bn trucking contract is enriching Afghan warlords linked to the controversial half-brother of President Hamid Karzai...

Carl Forsberg, a researcher at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, says Mr Karzai relies on militias and security companies benefiting from US contracts to project power in the province.

In a report released last month, Mr Forsberg identified one of the companies that helps Ahmed Wali Karzai extend his influence as Watan Risk Management, an Afghan security company run by members of the Karzai family. The company is a big player in escorting convoys and also guards the $50m Dhala dam, Canada's flagship irrigation project in Kandahar, Canadian officials say. The company declined to comment on the report.

'You have about 30 oligarchs who have built little empires with Isaf money,' Mr Forsberg said. 'We are ultimately creating a shadow government.'"

Call them oligarchs or warlords, you get the picture on whose behalf NATO's pending military assault in Kandahar is going to be waged. This week, another Canadian death was announced, bringing the overall toll of troops killed to 144. That number, as well as the much greater number of Afghan civilians killed, is bound to go up significantly this summer. And that's just one reason it's crucial to bring a strong anti-war message to the streets of Toronto when the G8/G20 assembles. Here is the statement from the Canadian Peace Alliance.

"The Canadian Peace Alliance is calling on peace groups and individuals to join us for a rally and march during the G20 meetings on June 26th, in Toronto. We will be meeting at a rally organized by our friends in the labour, environmental and social justice movements at Queens Park for a mass march through downtown Toronto.

The G20 countries are some of the biggest arms dealers in the world, responsible for more than 85 per cent of global military spending and 95 per cent of global arms production. They will spend $1.2 trillion on the military this year. The CPA is demanding that this money be re-allocated for food, education, green jobs, environmental programs, health-care and to improve the lives of the people of the world.

Poverty and environmental degradation are chief causes of conflict in the world. Spending massive amounts on the military, rather than addressing the root causes of conflict is a wasteful and counter-productive process. True security comes when the people of the world can meet their basic needs for a happy, healthy life.

In Canada, the Harper government has overseen the largest military spending increases since the WWII. The Canada First Defence Strategy, the blueprint for the militarization of Canada, allocates an unprecedented $490 billion to buy tanks, warships, bombers and other weapons. Canada is now the 13th largest military spender globally and is 6th among NATO countries in war spending.

The Government of Canada has already spent more than $20 billion, and the lives of 143 Canadian soldiers and countless Afghan civilians to wage war in Afghanistan. The majority of Canadians are opposed to the war yet the Harper government has announced that they will keep Canadians in Afghanistan to train the corrupt Afghan Police and Army to continue to prop up a government of drug warlords. In typical fashion, this secretive and deceitful government has announced that there will be no debate in the House of Commons on the extension of Canada's role in the war.

It is time for the people to stand up to the G20 war mongers and call for an end to war. Join us to raise the voice of peace at the G20 meetings this June.

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.


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:


  • 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.


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