"Our Afghan mission isn't finished" - Pamela Wallin and Roméo Dallaire

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Unionist
"Our Afghan mission isn't finished" - Pamela Wallin and Roméo Dallaire

Kicking off a year of pro-war propaganda...

Unionist

It can't be accidental that a Conservative and a Liberal - both known for boosting Canada's duty to intervene all over the world in the name of freedom and security - should collaborate in [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/our-afghan-mission-isnt-fin... the first shot[/url] for glorifying the invasion and extending the occupation past 2011.

Quote:
Our Senate committee, studying the same issue, has heard from key Canadian and other players in Afghanistan. None has said the mission should end. Many believe that at least some troops should stay. And all agree our contribution has been remarkable. [...]

Canada is playing a big part in this reconstruction of the civil society. We have been building schools, advising government ministries, helping to repair the Dahla Dam and its irrigation system to provide vital water – and much more. [...]

As for the work of our nearly 3,000 troops, whether it was from top U.S. military officials or a policy lobbying group, our committee heard nothing but praise. As Terry Glavin, with the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, told us, “It is hard to draw direct cause-and-effect lines between the death of a soldier and a young girl who learns how to write her name for the first time, but those lines are there.”

The young girl was likely orphaned by the dead soldier.

 

Fidel

2011 is what our corrupt stooges promised Canadians. Can either the Liberals or Tories be trusted with a phony majority? No way!

RedRover

This certainly does create room for the party to move further into Liberal territory with the Afghan issue.

I think it was a calculated risk for Iggy to take the lead on this issue - keeping troops on the ground - but was probably the correct one, at least from his political point of view.  He needs to limit Harper to at least minority if he ever wants to be PM and needs to insulate himself on certain issues in places like the East Coast and the West Coast where there is a disproportionately high military population. Put simply, he is trying to hold right leaning voters from leavng his tent, and loosen up some centre-leaning Conservative voters to come his way at some point. A little flag waving seems to go a long way on the centre-right these days.

I think it will help the NDP so long as our rhetoric is reasonable (ie: 'Our mission is over and it's time to bring our men and women home') and not overly passionate (ie: 'They are war mongers!').  We need to appear principled, consistent, and above reasonable if the Liberal voters that have not defected our way to this point are to do so over this issue.

PS - I find Iggy's decision to extend the mission (and it should be framed that way) is particularely corrosive when paired with the fact he also caved on the detainee document deal.  He IS becoming a Conservative, and there must be some idealist Liberals (peace, freedom, prosperity types) who are frothing over these recent choices.

Doug

What kind of situation would define "finished" and is there any probability of getting there any time soon? That's what's not being said.

Frmrsldr

Doug wrote:

What kind of situation would define "finished" and is there any probability of getting there any time soon? That's what's not being said.

The war will never end.

At least that's what the Pentagon, Defense Department, State Department, arms, oil and mining industries told me.

Unionist

Doug wrote:

What kind of situation would define "finished" and is there any probability of getting there any time soon? That's what's not being said.

I think they're looking for a "finish" similar to the U.S. victory in Vietnam, where they can withdraw with honour. I'd say we're around 1969 right now:

Quote:

  • 1968: Tet offensive

    • Students protest at Democratic Convention.
    • American troop strength at 540,000
  • 1969: Secret bombing of Cambodia
    • Vietnamization begins.
    •  American troop strength at 480,000.
  • 1970: Kent State killings.
    • American troop strength at 280,000.
  • 1971: American troop strength at 140,000.
  • 1972:  Secret negotiations between Americans and N. Vietnamese.
  • 1973: Agreement between Americans and N. Vietnamese reached.

Vietnam After the United States Withdraws

  • 1975: Saigon is captured by Communist forces.

All parties will now agree on "Afghanization" of the war in one form or another. When that's complete, the foreigners will withdraw, Karzai will fall, and some faction or factions of the insurgency will prevail. I just don't think it will take 6 more years, but who knows.

 

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

If, as Tom Flannagan has surmised, the Liberals and Conservatives are able to form a coalition of sorts, then I definatly see the missing being extended. Iggy wants a longer mission and you bet that the PM wants to keep us there. Only the Bloc and NDP want us out. Unless the Liberals implode completely and the NDP is able to absorbe their votes and some from the Bloc, I think we are in Afghanistan for the long(er) haul.

Doug

Both of them want to do a longer mission but there's a real question as to whether the military can handle a longer mission without a lot of new funding that's going to be hard to come by.

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

Doug wrote:

Both of them want to do a longer mission but there's a real question as to whether the military can handle a longer mission without a lot of new funding that's going to be hard to come by.

What do you mean where will they get the new funding? They will just take it from foreign aid funding or some other "Northern European Welfare State in the worst sense of the world" granted funding that PM Harper thinks is unnecessary.

Frmrsldr

Doug wrote:

Both of them want to do a longer mission but there's a real question as to whether the military can handle a longer mission without a lot of new funding that's going to be hard to come by.

Call a spade a spade.

Call it the "Long War".

The Defense Department got a 2% budget increase for this year.

Harper has agreed to $490b to half a trillion dollars worth of arms contracts that go 20 years into the future.

It's a question of morale.

Will the Canadian public and soldiers emotionally/psychologically be able to stand a Long War - another (minimum) 5 to ?? years?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

It's a question of morale.

Will the Canadian public and soldiers emotionally/psychologically be able to stand a Long War - another (minimum) 5 to ?? years?

Fortunately for us the drone planes don't kill us in our sleep.  I doubt if the emotional impact on Canadians is very large.  

Now a nice young Afghan girl who has just had her father and brother killed by Canadian forces and her school blown up by insurgents because it was built by the US Corp of Engineers. is likely to be a little more traumatized.  The war for the people of Afghanistan has not been going on since 2001 it has been going on since the 1980's.  To them it is not a Long War it is a multi generational war. 

To get back to the Vietnam era.  FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE FUCKING FOR VIRGINITY.

pogge

Unionist wrote:

It can't be accidental that a Conservative and a Liberal - both known for boosting Canada's duty to intervene all over the world in the name of freedom and security - should collaborate in [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/our-afghan-mission-isnt-fin... the first shot[/url] for glorifying the invasion and extending the occupation past 2011.

I would imagine that the op-ed was timed to coincide with the release of a Senate report entitled [url=http://www.parl.gc.ca/40/3/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/defe-e/rep-e/rep... We Go From Here: Canada's Mission in Afghanistan (note: pdf)[/url]. I haven't read it yet but I'm fairly confident that I can predict the high points it will hit. Start with the fact that they insist on referring to an ISAF mission in which American troops dominate and an American general commands as "Canada's mission." It's not Canada's mission and we're not in control. But to acknowledge that would deprive them of the opportunity to claim that we're covering ourselves in glory and "punching above our weight." One of the most disgusting aspects of this has been the way cheerleaders of the mission treat it as if it's part of some marketing campaign designed to promote Canada on the international stage. As if that's sufficient justification for sending armed Canadians into a foreign country to kill and be killed.

 

Fidel

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The war for the people of Afghanistan has not been going on since 2001 it has been going on since the 1980's.  To them it is not a Long War it is a multi generational war.

To get back to the Vietnam era.  FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE FUCKING FOR VIRGINITY.

It's a phony phucking war that just never ends! War is peace, and that country is FUBAR - the states that is. Afghanistan still has a chance if a group of world leaders can somehow help to extract them from this bullshit colder war.

Jingles

Quote:
Both of them want to do a longer mission

There's that word again.

Mission

I'm no general, but I did dig a trench or two, and if there's one thing I know it is that you can't have a mission without an objective. In this case, it is taken as a base assumption that there is a mission. Forever unasked is the question "what's the objective?". The answer seems to be "the mission". The objective of this mission is the mission. Hello, Marshal McLuhan.

But that's just for the public's consumption. The actual objective of the "mission" is pure, base domestic political advantage: who can best manipulate, exploit, and gain publicity from the mass murder of foreigners who've done nothing to us.