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2,000 Dutch troops in Afghanistan, based around Uruzgan, south-west of Kabul, will start pulling out in August and be withdrawn by the end of the year."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.
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