Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Whither The Afghan Mission?

From the Winnipeg Sun:

The panel, chaired by former Liberal foreign minister John Manley, recommended Canada stay in a combat role in Kandahar province beyond February 2009 -- but only if it received the support of 1,000 additional troops from NATO or an allied nation, and obtained more helicopters and surveillance aircraft.

Yesterday Harper specifically embraced those conditions. He added he wanted time with his party to consider other parts of the report before bringing his government's plan to Parliament for a vote this spring.

Firstly, Mr. Dion and Mr. Rae are quite correct in taking a "wait and see" approach to all of this. More specifically, they should insist that no vote be taken in the HOC on a mission extension until after the April meeting of NATO leaders, which should help determine our allies' willingness to send reinforcements to Kandahar. A decision made before-hand just lets NATO off the hook

Secondly, any reinforcements should go beyond the short-term infusion of U.S. troops planned for this Spring.

And, assuming all of this happens and Canadian requirements are met, I am still conflicted. While more helicopters to help our guys avoid IEDs are always welcome, 1,000 extra bodies will do nothing to alleviate the real problems with the Afghan deployment, most especially an open Pakistan border that makes fighting the Taliban next door like stomping roaches in your living room while the rest of the building goes unsprayed.

However, such a NATO commitment would help alleviate the feeling Canadians get that we are being played for a sucker by the rest of the alliance, that we have been invited to a poker game in which we are the only party not allowed to cheat.

So, as I say, conflicted...

7 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

I'm not too conflicted because I really don't care much beyond thinking how much this is costing, and how much of those public funds are being diverted to cronies and courtiers.

What annoys me the most about this mission is how it gets co-opted by every stupid little GI Joe-wannabe to project his or her delusions of strength and toughness from the safety of their mother's basements or from their sinecures in the media and right-wing think-tanks.

And then we have hideous gremlin Christie Blatchford (see here and here), playing Betty Grable to our "boys at the front".

It's the ultimate fantasy war for these types; doesn't really cost us much in terms of real sacrifices of blood and treasure, but provides fabulists, pompous blowhards, self-righteous moralisers and brain-dead ignoramuses with a forum in which they can pretend to be people with depth and gravitas.

Next time we have a war, let's also have the War Measures Act. At least the totalitarian measures would have shut up a few of these irritating bores.

Anonymous said...

"the rest of the alliance"

An oversight, I'm sure, 'BCL' and that what you meant to write was 'the rest of the alliance except the Brits and the Yanks'.

biff said...

An article written by a gay writer about a freind beaten in Europe by a group of muslim men, along with wider statistics showing the phenomenah, and the "prgressive left's" desire to turn a blind eye in the name of "tolerance" to muslim culture.

"First They Came for the Gays" is an amazing article here:

http://tinyurl.com/2o65oe

A more fitting title for us would be "first they came for Europe".

I'm sure no one here will dare touch what the article discusses with a ten foot pole.

After all, the real enemy are the "neocons".

Ti-Guy said...

After all, the real enemy are the "neocons".

You got at least that right.

...imbecile.

It's amazing how far the fascist neo-nazis will go...while taking a break from bashing gays, blacks and jews and muslims...to find issues with which to sound noble.

biff said...

Interesting that in a comment wherein I expressed concern about gay bashing (a very genuine concern BTW - notwithstanding ti-guy's perceived abilities at clairvoyance),

ti-guy responds by assuming I must be a regular "gay basher".

So that's what happens when a progressive leftist is confronted with facts that conflict with their binary world view of pro "neocon" and anti "neocon".

Tell me ti-guy, does it make you uncomfortable knowing that you, as a "progressive", are turning a blind eye to real persecution at the hands of an intolerant subculture, because that subculture is tacitly aligned with your interests (or so you think, they're actually very much against everything you think you believe in)?

Sorry for the rhetorical question, your bizarre response to my comment above pretty much provided the answer for us.

It's also interesting how the guy who tacitly endorses gay beatings/killings if to do otherwise compromises his long term political objectives,

is the one throwing around the fascist label.

Ti-Guy said...

Tell me ti-guy, does it make you uncomfortable knowing that you, as a "progressive", are turning a blind eye to real persecution at the hands of an intolerant subculture, because that subculture is tacitly aligned with your interests (or so you think, they're actually very much against everything you think you believe in)?

It has nothing to do with that. People like you want to try and convict other people without due process and rules of evidence. Your approach to everything in the real world is guided by this morally bankrupt principle.

You are, quite plainly, an enemy of democracy and human rights.

..Nah, just kidding. You're just really stupid and should probably shut up.

Anonymous said...

"A decision made before-hand just lets NATO off the hook."

It really depends on what the result of a beforehand vote would be, doesn't it? And the result of that vote would be up to the Liberals and the Bloc since the Conservatives and the NDP have pretty much dug themselves in.

If the Liberals and Bloc were to vote down an extension before the NATO meeting on the grounds that the role of other NATO members is not sufficient, that would give the government leverage to go into the NATO meeting and make demands or face the reality of Canadian withdrawal from Kandahar. If Harper were to get the commitments from NATO, he could always re-introduce a motion for a vote on any new deal.

Insisting on the vote beforehand would allow Dion to clarify his position because if he votes it down he would be expected to explain himself as to why and what would have been required for his support (again helping the government in the NATO negotiations). It would also allow him to credibly take some credit if re-inforcments do arrive. And if reinforcements don't arrive, it allows Canada to save face in withdrawing because we didn't receive sufficient cooperation from NATO.