12 Canadian Mennonite June 22, 2009
Viewpoints E MCC counsels Canadian
government on Afghanistan mission
l Readers write The following letter was sent to Prime Minister Stephen
Harper on May 20 and appears on the mcc.org website.
We welcome your comments and publish most letters sent
by subscribers intended for publication. Respecting our We write to offer our concerns and counsel re-
theology of the priesthood of all believers and of the im- garding Canada’s ongoing engagement in Afghanistan.
portance of the faith community discernment process, this Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has worked
section is a largely open forum for the sharing of views. in Afghanistan for over a decade, providing assist-
Letters are the opinion of the writer only—publication ance in the areas of food aid, education, irrigation and
does not mean endorsement by the magazine or the church. support for community-level peacebuilding. In the
Letters should be brief and address issues rather than past month our regional staff visited Kabul and our
individuals. partners there. The purpose of this letter is to identify
Please send letters to be considered for publication to some of the concerns that our partners raised.
email@example.com or by postal mail or fax, From our experience and the recent counsel of our
marked “Attn: Readers Write” (our address is on page 3). Afghan partners, we encourage the following:
Letters should include the author’s contact information 1. Canada should invest a higher proportion of its
and mailing address. Letters are edited for length, style assistance for Afghanistan to providing direct aid to
and adherence to editorial guidelines. improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. Our partners
estimate that up to 90 percent of people join the
Taliban for economic reasons. Afghans are hungry,
impoverished and without work, and the Taliban
provides them with an income. Measures to improve
food security, to meet basic needs and to foster eco-
nomic development will lessen support for extremist
Canada recently passed a law stipulating that our
country’s official development assistance be guided
first and foremost by the goal of alleviating poverty.
Jesus Matters We appreciate Canada’s involvement in polio vaccina-
Good News for the tions and in rebuilding the Dahla dam and irrigation
system, and would support a much greater investment
21st Century in direct poverty alleviation.
Each author in this collection 2. Canada should discontinue the practice of
teams with one or more engaging military personnel in development and re-
young adults to consider the construction work through Provincial Reconstruction
various ways we encounter Teams.
and experience Jesus. Topics We acknowledge the Canadian government’s desire
include Jesus and creation, to have an integrated approach to its engagement with
Jesus and the cross, Jesus and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, our partners and,