As we’ve come to expect, the two political wings of the Canadian bourgeoisie (the Liberals and Conservatives) have agreed recently on a proposal, which will soon be passed to the House of Commons, to extend the military occupation operations of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan to at least 2011. Since the release of the Manley Report at the end of January, it became clear that the position of the bourgeoisie in Canada was firmly in support of maintaining Canada’s role in the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan.

Some hoped that the opposition parties, which maintain the majority of MPs, would foil the plans of Harper’s government and the military leadership of the Canadian Forces, both of whom are working to strengthen the relationship between Canada and U.S. imperialism under the name of the “war on terror.” But this “opposition” has all but disintegrated.

From a purely political standpoint, it is evident that Stephan Harper is even more of a genius than his now “good friend” and Leader of the Opposition, Stéphane Dion. The latter seems to have completely lost his spine since December 2nd 2006 when he won, against all expectations, the leadership of the Liberal Party. But this is not all due to Dion’s distinct lack of resolve (undoubtedly unequalled on the Canadian political scene since the brief reign of Prime Minister Joe Clark in 1979-1980). Liberals and Conservatives alike understood—and this is one of many things they completely agree on—that the strengthening of the Canadian Forces is in the best interests of the ruling class, who choose a long time ago to align itself behind the U.S. superpower.

The same day the agreement between the Liberals and the Tories was announced, after soft amendments proposed by the Liberals as “conditions” for their approval to the extension of the mission, Stephan Harper also announced that yearly military expenditures will be automatically increased 2% per annum until 2011-2012—on top of the fact that Canada has the sixth highest military budget of all NATO nations. The Prime Minister made the position of his government perfectly clear in a speech he delivered in front of the Conference of Defence Associations: “The successful pursuit of all of Canada’s interests around the world—trade, investment, diplomatic and humanitarian—ultimately depends on security… Without security, Canadian companies and consumers can’t take advantage of foreign trade and investment opportunities… That’s why we need to build a first-class modern military and keep it that way… I believe Canada should be a leader in the world, not a follower. And in today’s dangerous world, Canada must have a credible military to be a credible leader”.

In short, their aim is not to help the Afghan people liberate themselves from the chains of oppression, and this is clearly not the reason that the Canadian Forces are deployed in Afghanistan. Their aim is to strengthen and consolidate Canada’s position as an important imperialist power within the framework of the unfair and unequal division of the world on the international ladder.

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