Thursday, October 09, 2008

Canadian Election Watch - Day 33

Another day, more bad news for Steve: Afghan mission will top $18B by 2011: report. You can see the video of the press conference here followed by Kevin Page answering questions about the scope of the report and the problems he encountered as his team tried to compile the relevant information (damn near impossible thanks to shoddy departmental accounting practices).

The bottom line is that this was a war run on the fly despite the fact that these departments could have used 'best practices' accounting from other countries and the revelation that it will end up costing twice as much - or more - than Harper predicted is bound to have at least some Canadians deciding that they simply can't trust that guy anymore.

Page also noted, of course, that these problems occurred under both Conservative and Liberal governments since the Afghanistan war began and Steve made sure to emphasize that point when he was questioned by the press today but the buck for what's happened since the Liberals were in power stops with him. After all, this is the party that sold its way into the last election by promising accountability and transparency - both of which Page found extremely lacking. No surprise there. Steve and the Cons have been anything but open and transparent in too many areas.

Meanwhile, back at the US military ranch, Gates has not only been out globally panhandling for more money for the Afghanistan war from whoever might have any (in this economy? who's he kidding?), he's also now begging for non-NATO countries to send troops. No matter who wins the upcoming US election, a surge similar to that in Iraq is definitely on the table. Both Obama and McCain support that strategy and plan to divert US troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to attempt to recreate what they (haven't really) pulled off in Iraq. Read my lips: the war in Afghanistan cannot be won militarily. Just how many more years do we have to stick around there until somebody in charge figures that out? So why are we still paying for what has been an incredible failure until 2011?

$18 billion...$20 billion...who really wins? Not "peace in our time" since that's not going to happen. No, the winner is - just as it's been in every US presidential and vice-presidential debate - the military-industrial complex. Corporate America. Corporate Canada. All of those huge companies that it's unpatriotic to complain about. Does anyone really believe that the number one concern of conservatives in the US or Canada is health care (as Steve was trying to convince Canadians on Thursday)? Not a chance. Throw a little money at it here and there but spend, spend, spend on war like there's no tomorrow while they fearmonger that there won't be a tomorrow unless you let them "protect our interests overseas". Right. Well, the majority aren't buying that anymore but apparently we're still buying military equipment.


U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan
Petraeus: US Should Talk With Talk With Taliban, Other Enemies
US, Pakistan Torn Apart Over Terror

PS: Have I mentioned what an absolute asshole Stephen Harper is? He's using the same failing tactics as McCain and his lady pitbull: when you can't handle talking about the issues, use some nasty distraction to try to impeach your opponent's character. Let's just ship Steve to the US and be done with it.

Update: I see even Don Martin writing for the National Post is pounding Harper, Duffy and CTV for their incredibly bad judgment.

In the end the incident they hoped to use to define Mr. Dion as a confused ditherer may actually provide more telling insight into the character of Stephen Harper.

Oh we're well aware of Steve's character, Mr Martin. That's one thing he hasn't been able to hide from the Canadian public.

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