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The Liberal government will bear the shame and guilt of any fate, and it will certainly be grim, while waiting for hundreds of Afghans forced out of shelters on Friday.
The beatings, the rapes, the executions, every miserable terror-filled minute that will occur at the hands of the Taliban in the future could have been avoided.
Important and troubling fact: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has refused to fund these safe havens that keep people alive since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan.
Money raised under the auspices of the Veterans Transition Network (VTA), run by retired military officers, to feed, provide medical assistance and protect these Afghans in shelters is nearly depleted.
Almost all of the 1,700 terrified men and women, except about 10%, accompanied by children, will be on the radar of the vengeful Taliban, helpless targets as they make their way to the streets.
They believed in a promise from the Canadian government that they would be protected from retaliation. Thus, these Afghans served, primarily as interpreters, loyally and faithfully alongside the Canadian military between 2001-2014, taking the same risks, running in the same danger zones, saving Canadian lives.
The Liberals lied to them.
And so were the soldiers who knew them, trusted them, took care of them, and vouched for them.
Years have passed since Canada withdrew from Afghanistan, but thousands of these controlled Afghans remain trapped despite the relentless efforts of ordinary Canadians and military personnel to help them out.
When the Taliban violently seized absolute power in August, the danger intensified. The hunt for them intensified.
Yet it has been left to a network of military personnel, lawyers and volunteers to honor the promise to protect them.
They should never have had to carry that weight. But these extraordinary people have continued and will continue to continue tirelessly, heroically, faithfully against all odds.
How their heavy hearts break when shelters are closed.
They raised nearly $ 3 million through donations from individuals and businesses to keep shelters open and work in the field at a cost of approximately $ 20,000 per day.
Recently, the federal government finally gave $ 1.7 million, but harshly stipulated that it could not be used to fund shelters, only logistics.
This is the same federal government that recently pledged $ 50 million in additional aid to Afghan causes with no one on the ground to ensure it does not end up directly in the bloody hands of the Taliban.
The shelters were meant to be a temporary measure while applications and travel documents to come to Canada were processed.
It has been a slow process as bureaucrats shuffle papers from one side of their desks to the other, dealing with valuable requests because no political decision has been made.
Meanwhile, three retired majors-generals – Dean Milner, Denis Thompson and David Fraser – have been working feverishly since July to evacuate these Afghan performers via the VTA. They are all former task force commanders in Afghanistan.
Retired Canadian Lt. Col. Eleanor Taylor is Chief of Staff of Aman Lara, a non-profit organization that runs the shelters.
These retired officers and countless volunteers – honest, compassionate and courageous Canadians, some of whom face dangers on the ground in Afghanistan – have not had much sleep in months.
Trudeau made a big splash about Canada hosting 20,000 Afghan refugees, then doubled it to 40,000. A fraction have arrived so far, with few interpreters.
But Trudeau has his priorities. He’s so busy worrying about climate change and promoting a twisted and unnecessary agenda to save the planet that he doesn’t care about saving people.
Canada’s ridiculously bloated delegation to the COP26 talks in Glasgow saw 277 bureaucrats, all unnecessary extra baggage, go on vacation.
Who knows what the final bill will be. But anyway, the cost of 277 fewer bureaucrats and fewer traveling ministers would have kept the shelters open longer, and more people alive. Priorities, eh?
Meanwhile, there are rumors that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada may be able to pay money for shelters already being evacuated.
Global Affairs Canada, citing security concerns, declined to comment on what it might do. Obviously, that does little or nothing. The shelters have closed and the ongoing nightmare is about to escalate.
Judging by how little they have done to protect these vulnerable people when they have had ample time, it may be safe to assume that these politicians and bureaucrats don’t care. No one can be so stupid or incompetent. Can they?
Are they not aware of the appalling reports that regularly come from Afghanistan? The Taliban continue to rampage, stalking, hitting, massacring, raping. Probably sharpening their knives at the prospect of more casualties.
Young brides are sold into bondage by less reputable Afghans who choose to give up their children to feed the rest of the family. Recently, CNN reported that a nine-year-old girl was sold to a 55-year-old pervert. It is an age-old custom that intensifies in times of desperation.
Yet the federal government is procrastinating, showing no sign of shame or guilt. Is ice water flowing through these veins?
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Slobodian is the Manitoba Senior Columnist for the Western Standard