From: Will Zuzak
Date: Monday, October 02, 2006 10:40 AM
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada [Harper.S@parl.gc.ca]
Bill Graham, Leader of the Opposition [Graham.B@parl.gc.ca]
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois [Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca]
Jack Layton, NDP [Layton.J@parl.gc.ca]
Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs [MacKay.P@parl.gc.ca]
Subject: Killing Gooks
Forty years ago, when I was a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, the Vietnam War was in full swing. Initially, I paid little attention to the myriad of American draft dodgers flocking to Vancouver and the anti-war demonstrations frequented by “pot-smoking flower children”. But I took notice when the solution suggested by an American Nobel laureate in physics was to line up the protestors against the wall and shoot them as traitors. And when a comic strip depicted American soldiers bragging about “killing gooks” in Vietnam, I realized that this was, indeed, the case. The Vietnamese people were not humans, they were gooks.
Fast forward to the year 2006 with Canadian NATO forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. So far, 37 Canadians have died. Military spokesmen boast of killing thousands of Taliban, although it is likely that many of these were civilians. Elaborate ceremonies in Kandahar, complete with wailing bagpipes, mourn Canadian soldiers departing for Canada in coffins. There is not even an acknowledgement of the Afghanis that have been killed. In Canada, mothers weep and pray for the souls of their sons. No one prays for the souls of the Afghanis. In the eyes of God, are the souls of Afghanis less important than the souls of Canadians? If we do not also pray for the souls of the people we have killed and recognize their humanity, then we are, indeed, killing gooks in Afghanistan.
So I would ask the Canadian government and/or the Canadian military to supply me with the names, dates of birth/death, places of birth/death and ethnic origin of the people that they have killed in Afghanistan. This will allow, at least, one Canadian to pray for their souls.
Data from the Internet indicates that the ethnic composition of Afghanistan is 47% Pashtun, 25% Tajik, 11% Uzbek/Turkmen, 9% Hazara and 8% others with several different languages spoken. However, most of the Pashtun are concentrated in the south in the Kandahar region; whereas the Tajik-Uzbek Northern Alliance is in the Kabul area. During the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, some 6.2 million people (85% Pashtun) sought refugee in Pakistan and Iran, but most have now returned. Further complicating factors are the Sunni/Shiite religious rivalry; biased ethnic composition of the Afghan military and police forces; international organized crime selling arms in exchange for drugs; opium comprising some 50% of the GDP.
There is a danger that the Canadian NATO offensive in the area could lead to civil war as has occurred in Iraq, rather than the peace and prosperity advertised by the military and supporters of Canadian involvement.
My Email to you on May 16, 2006 stated: “I oppose Canadian military deployment in Afghanistan unless I can be convinced that the Afghani residents in the region want us there.” Sadly, I am not at all convinced that this is the case, despite the recent pronouncements of President Karzai.
Will Zuzak; 2006-10-02