Editor's note: This article was written before Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was reported killed in a Nato air strike on April 30, 2011. Three of the elder Gaddifi's grandchildren were also reported killed by the strike on the family compound in Tripoli.
As Canada enters the final days in 2011 election campaigning, politicians streaking across the country have offered little more than resounding silence on Canada's military role in Libya.
Operation Apollo, Operation Athena, Operation Archer, Operation Accius, Operation Altair... since Canada first entered the war on Afghanistan in 2001 the list of extensions, renewals and "spin-offs" has gone on and on and on. Originally scheduled to end in 2003, Canada's involvement in this imperialist aggression threatens to continue until 2014 if Prime Minister Stephen Harper gets his way.
Afghanistan has been the central preoccupation of Canadian foreign policy over the past decade. It has also been a main focus of peace movement activity. Mobilizations against the war in Afghanistan have not been nearly as spectacular as those against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The build up was slower, and it took more time to locate a basis of unity upon which to build mobilizations.
An initial look at the first 76,000 records in the "Afghan War Diary" leaked by Wikileaks yields some important information, much of which has been known or suspected by analysts for years. Given the sheer size of the database, there is a great deal more to be learned, but here are some initial findings.
The first impression is one of an extremely lopsided war, like all wars of occupation, where occupied casualties are vastly higher than those by the occupier.
In February of this year, a new government came into power in Ukraine proposing a sharp turn in the country’s economic orientation in favour of an austerity-based economic association with Europe. That turn is sharply opposed by the people in the east of the country. They are demanding political autonomy for their region. In April, the government launched what it terms an “anti-terrorist operation” against the pro-autonomy movement. The resulting war has shaken the political foundations of Europe. Throughout Ukraine, there are rising protests against the war and against the cuts to social programs that Europe has made a condition of loans and trade ties.