Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Come Get Some

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned Liberal Leader Stephane Dion that the Conservative government is prepared to go to the electorate as early as next week to seek a mandate to extend the military mission in Afghanistan, CTV News has learned.

Harper is bluffing. And if he's not bluffing, and he wants to go to the electorate on this issue without having secured even The Manley Minimum 1,000 extra NATO bodies, then he's got a death wish.

(Mind you, if more allies pony up along these lines, then there might be room for compromise, esp. if most Libs are as ambivalent as I am. But right now, sorry, no deal)

Update: Harper wants the vote (maybe a confidence vote, maybe not) in March, before the April NATO meeting where we find out if we get our extra 1000 guys, before we find out if NATO even meets the requirements of the Manley Report. He wants the oppo parties to approve a pig in a poke, in other words. Two words: Blo...Me.

29 comments:

agent orange said...

So you're hoping that Dion makes the government fall or not?

I saw Dion on "Tout le Monde en Parle" last Sunday, and although he was quite good at the usual pleasantries, his take on Afghanistan was certainly the weakest part of his performance.

He wants the mission to succeed, but he wants Canada out of there. Poor guy, he's forced to put out contradictory statements like that so not to alienate his party faithfuls - which like you stated of yourself, many are "ambivalent". He also is trying to follow the Liberal tradition of seeking the middle, moderate position.

In some cases, even in most, this is a winning strategy, but on Afghanistan, it's ridiculous. There are many valid positions on Afghanistan, but saying "we want to succeed but not do anything about it" is not one of them.

bigcitylib said...

He wants Canada rotated out of Kandahar and to a different part of the country. Nothing ridiculous about it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that reminds me to send in another cheque to Harper . . .

Anonymous said...

When we rotate out, somebody has to fill those boots. A Liberal will just leave, and say "It's not my problem." and thousands will die.

As Winston Churchill said, "Sometimes it's not enough to do your best. Sometimes you have to do what is required."

Anonymous said...

When we rotate out, somebody has to fill those boots. A Liberal will just leave, and say "It's not my problem." and thousands will die.

As Winston Churchill said, "Sometimes it's not enough to do your best. Sometimes you have to do what is required."

Anonymous said...

The Afghanistan mission is a Liberal mission, period. It was the warmonger Chretien who invaded and later the occupation was continued under the warmonger Martin. Liberal, Liberal, Liberal. Afghanistan = Liberal.

Which is why I find it bizarre to see Harper suggest he will call a referendum on the Liberal Afghanistan mission, which curiously wasn't even an election issue two years ago.

Barely half of Conservative voters support the Afghanistan mission, Harper knows this better than anybody, so this story doesn't pass the smell test. However, some sources report that the CPC has an "in" at CTV news (don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about), which would be invaluable to the Conservatives in an election.

Scott Tribe said...

I believe that the "in" at CTV is Mike Duffy and Craig Oliver... and everyone has known about that for a while ;)

I don't care BCL even if he has the 1000 troops secured (everyone figured that Manley knew he would be able to get them, hence the ridiculously low number). This is about rotation and getting NATO to step up to the plate and allow us to end our part of the mission honourably.

TO quote my favourite gameshow - "NO DEAL".

Ron said...

Unfortunately, now, today, it is a Canadian issue and no matter how badly the Liberals dealt with it in the past, or how many Conservatives support it or not, the issue truly is, what is best for the people of Afghanastan. Manley's group provides the most realistic response and I think most Canadians have come to realise that. I doubt Harper threatened Dion over this, (we all know how news organizations like to ramp up the rhetoric) but I do believe he was straight forward with his position and warned Dion that it is time to get off the fence. Mr Harper has been clear for years that this is an issue he feels strongly about and that even last year during the vote, he believed it was one that his government would stand or fall on. Him taking that position is not new. It is simply a factual statement to Dion - stop dithering - make a decision and lets move on.

agent orange said...

He wants Canada rotated out of Kandahar and to a different part of the country. Nothing ridiculous about it.

said like that it sounds reasonable but that requires you keep the blinkers on to ensure that your tunnel vision is not impeded by the bigger picture.

we are sufficiently invested, including the lives of 78 of our finest, so that any retreat until the job is done is not honorable.

pointing to the impotence of our NATO allies is no excuse.

friendly troll said...

The Afghanistan mission is a Liberal mission, period. It was the warmonger Chretien who invaded and later the occupation was continued under the warmonger Martin. Liberal, Liberal, Liberal. Afghanistan = Liberal.


What an unbelievable dolt. Its a UN sanctioned mission twit. We never invaded anyone, the US was the first in.

Typical of a neo-Con to now try and shift blame from a mission that worked until the Neo-cons took over the reins. Now its mired in lies, and secrecy.

wilson said...

Dion,
Go all in or all out, but for gawds sake, make a decision.

Not showing up for the vote is not an option.
Show some leadership here.

Kingston said...

Here is the problem, Mr.Dion's plan is crap, one, there is no where to rotate too, and no one wants to rotate south. Sorry folks, other countries have politicians too. Second, that leaves staying in K Province and pretending not to be in combat, there is now way in hell to do what Mr.Dion wants to do, so he should be honest about it and say, I agree with Mr.Layton, if we went with his local security plan around development project with out the battle group chasing down the bad guys, all we are going to do it get surrounded and have to wait for the Brits or Americans to come save our ass, or we could always just die. What kills me is the LPC has a perfectly good military adviser in Retired Gen Dallaire, why are they not asking him for advise.

Anonymous said...

Liberals send us into a combat zone, but they don't want us to fight. They want us to 'reconstruct' only even while people are shooting at us and trying to blow us up. They want us to be peacekeepers where there is not yet a peace. They want others to shoulder the load that we had to shirk for decades. They want the mission to succeed, but they don't want to actually have to do any hard work to help reach that goal.

Does anybody else see the contradictions in Liberal foreign policy?

Anonymous said...

When Dion says he's for the mission in Af'stan, he really means he's against it, except for those times when he should't be supporting it, because he's already said it's an important mission already.

http://dustmybroom.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2189&Itemid=29

wilson said...

''Liberals send us into a combat zone, but they don't want us to fight.''

Not exactly.
The Martin Liberals, with 100% support from the Conservatives (verbal, because there was no vote) sent our troops into combat.
The Martin/Iggy Liberals and Conservatives stand by their decision.

Under Dion's fine leadership, Liberals have made the Afghan mission front and center in QP, trying to hang the Cons with it (O'Connor to the gallows). Detainees, aid, bodybags, military secrets.

Pundants all beleived that the mission would be a big problem for Harper.
Turns out, is is a big problem for Dion.

NEVER trust the media to pick your battles for you. They are wrong every time.

bigcitylib said...

Spinning hard, eh Wilson?

wilson said...

Asked of other Liblogger, what's your comment BCL:

Which is more likely?

(assuming Jack does not get his way on complete pull out and tell the UN to get busy)

Germany will let their troops out at night and REPLACE Cdn troops in the deadliest area in Afghanistan, because it is their turn;
or
NATO countries (France/Polland etc) will send troops and equipt. into Kandahar to BACKUP Cdn soldiers.

Anonymous said...

The Surge has worked, and Iraq has almost been tamed. Yet if things aren't 'settled' by the time a possible democrat becomes president, they will somehow manage to allow it to be lost.

bigcitylib said...

Neither of those is likely. If they were, Harper would not have scheduled the vote for before the NATO meeting in April when we find out what if anything NATO is willing to provide.

wilson said...

p.s. if Canada is threatening to pull out due to the need for more troops in the Kandahar combat area,
any country that REPLACES Canada in a 'rotation' would have to send 2000 troops (not just replace the 1000 Cdn troops on the ground there), or face the same thing that Cdn troops are facing, a shortage of boots on the ground.

wilson said...

If the vote is a confidence vote, IMO, it is because PMSH knows he's got what he asked for.

Can't go to NATO in April, demand more troops and equipt,
get it,
and then say,
"hold that thought, now I have to ok it with the opposition"

The Government of Canada does NOT need Parliaments approval on this.
It is PMSH's PREFERENCE that there be a consensus, but not required.

Ti-Guy said...

Which is more likely?

That, no matter what, Wilson will continue to blather on about things he-she knows nothing about.

As with all really complex issues, my tendency is to take the opposite position held by those who are ignorant, dishonest or who will suffer no consequences with regard to their faulty reason.

I realise Conservatives can't be any smarter, but it'd be nice if they gave the impression that they're trying.

bigcitylib said...

Wilson,

If he is given approval previous to the meeting then NATO blows him off and what happens? We are stuck in Kandahar (which IMO seems to be okay with Harper et al).

Kingston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kingston said...

Sorry BCL, Removed it for editing of typo's. Posted the comment in a hurry.

Actually BCL, I see the motion being phrased in such a way that it will apply pressure on NATO to do come thru with the additional troops and equipment, It will be phrased something like this: the Govt of Canada agrees to extend the mission to 2011 depended upon NATO suppling additional support as requested and stated in the Manley report. If these conditions are not meet by,,, pick a date, then our mission will end in Feb 09. Now if I can think that up, I am sure someone being paid more then I am in the PMO office or Dept of Defense can also.
P.S. I have a naughty feeling that these additional troops, helicopters and UAV's are already in the pipeline for us anyway.
I cannot see Mr.Manley or Mr.Harper doing it this way, if they did not have some advance knowledge that the request would be met.

bigcitylib said...

Except, Kingston, that a bunch of other of Mr. Manley's recommendations are already being stripped out of the motion.

Kingston said...

Link Please, I have not heard anything about that BCL, and I just went and did a quick google. Help a brother out big guy,,LOL

bigcitylib said...

Kingsont, Google "Manley Minus".

Ron said...

Ok, honest question - will try to format in the most neutral manner I can - if anyone knows the answer, an honest response would be appreciated.

Question: What is the Liberal policy in the event NATO can not or will not provide replacement troops in Kandahar past Feb 2009?
Will Canadian troops rotate north as is the Liberal desire? Will Canadian troops continue/extend the current mission? Will Canadian troops leave Afghanastan?

As I have stated, this is an honest question - does anyone know the party position?