↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Friday, February 29, 2008

Canada extends its committment in Afghanistan

Here, in the Great White North we live in the shadow of a behemoth - the U.S. And in a sense we are more susceptible to its rumblings than other far off countries.

There was a time when Canada had an independent foreign policy. Lately, like the poodle Bush had across the pond, Ottawa has been trying to out do everyone. Specially under the current minority government of Stephen Harper, who when ordered to jump by the U.S. neoconzix asks 'how high'.

Canada, as you know has committed troops to Afghanistan. A majority of Canadians wants them pulled back. Harper has elicited the Liberals commitment to extend the deployment of its troops till the end of 2011.

Haroon writes about it in his column.

Canada clings to war as strategy for Afghanistan

The Liberals are talking their way out of their political quagmire in Afghanistan. They are joining the Conservatives in extending our military mission there.

The Liberal-Tory consensus comes amid increasing divisions among NATO allies as well as in the emerging power centres of post-election Pakistan over what do about the endless Afghan war.

The Liberals are now as irrelevant on Afghanistan as the American Democrats have been on Iraq.

The Liberals initiated the combat mission in Kandahar and the Democrats supported the Iraq war. Each has had difficulty pretending to be the party of peace.

By contrast, the Conservatives have been as sure-footed as the Republicans. As advocates of war, both have had clarity of purpose.

Stephen Harper and Gen. Rick Hillier are also using the same unsavoury tactics as George W. Bush and the American commander in Afghanistan – namely, that any democratic expression of doubt about the war is tantamount to aiding and abetting the enemy.

You are either with the Tories or you are "an agent for the Taliban," says House Leader Peter Van Loan.

The Liberals had a chance to carve out a clear position between a continuing commitment to an overly American combat warfare or abandoning Afghanistan altogether. John Manley, besides recommending an extension of the military mission, had called for a series of parallel steps to boost the civilian component of our commitment: A re-engineering of CIDA's failed efforts, a greater emphasis on reconstruction (there hasn't been much, even in areas where there is little fighting), democracy-building initiatives and a regional solution in concert with Pakistan and others.

The Liberals did nod in that direction but, in the end, let the government cherry-pick Manley's report.


Post a Comment

<< Home