Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Harper Hints About Extending the Afghan Mission

During the weeks leading up to the current parliamentary break, the prime minister was repeatedly asked whether his government had been having discussions within NATO to determine whether Canadian troops would stay in Afghanistan beyond their February, 2009 commitment and/or what plans were being made for Canada's eventual withdrawal. Harper responded that it simply was too early for such discussions - along with spouting several other excuses.

He seems to prefer to be more candid with the press in Afghanistan though than with MPs who represent Canadians:

Canada could lengthen Afghan mission, PM signals

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Canada could keep its military mission in
Afghanistan beyond the scheduled February 2009 withdrawal date despite increasing pressure to bring the troops back on time, Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated on Wednesday.
"You know that your work is not complete. You know that we cannot just put down our arms and hope for peace," Harper told a crowd of soldiers at an outdoor ball hockey rink at the Canadian military base.

"You know that we can't set arbitrary deadlines and simply wish for the best. And you must also know that your hard work is making a real difference to real people and their families," he said.

Channeling Bush.

Brigadier-General Tim Grant, Canada's most senior soldier in Kandahar, said the mission could not achieve all its aims by the withdrawal date.

"The work will not be done here in February '09 and so we want to make sure we do as much as we possibly can between now and then. But at the same time it would be irresponsible for us not to plan past that point for the good of the country," he told reporters.

And here's Harper acting like the complete ass that he is once again:

Harper, who won a January 2006 election in part on a promise to increase defense spending, says his critics care more about the torture allegations of Taliban suspects than they do about Canada's troops.

Which part of the fact that people who care about human rights can also care about the troops doesn't he get? Why is it always one or the other with conservatives? And exactly who does he think he's fooling with that cheap shot besides his drooling base who fawn over any red meat he throws their way?

"It is clear in our minds that this prime minister never had any intention of leaving in 2009 ... it's normal in an international mission to have an exit strategy," said Liberal legislator Denis Coderre, a party defense spokesman.

Sorry Denis, "normal" doesn't apply to this so-called "new" government of "accountability" and the Liberals who caved and voted for this extension last spring should have known that.

I spoke to an Afghan immigrant who's been in Canada since the late 70s this morning and who has been back to his native country several times since then. He said quite bluntly to me that the idea that Karzai's government is exercising anything like control beyond small pockets of Afghanistan is a myth. "There is no government", were his words.

No comments:

Post a Comment