Sunday, August 26, 2007

Loyal to Whom?

Stephane Dion has been very clear since February, that Canada should inform NATO, the US and of course Afghanistan, that come 2009, Canada will be willing to stay in Afghanistan, but not on the front lines. Our mission will change then. He has called on Harper to make this clear, but of course Harper says nothing, except that we won't extend, unless there is consensus. There is of course no consensus, so I have no idea what that means.

I think I do now know why he is being so evasive. You see, we of course are not the only country voicing our concerns.

WASHINGTON - The United States is worried about weakening Italian and German military commitments in Afghanistan as casualties increase in the fight to stem the bloody Taleban insurgency, officials said.
Debate is raging in Italy and Germany, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands and Denmark, on whether they should remain in the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), already grappling with a shortage of troops in the face of one of the most intense military engagements in decades.


How can Harper let his buddy George down, knowing that many other countries are considering the same options? What this should tell us, is that many allies are seeing the futility of this war. However, as noted in the previous post, the considerations of the US seem to take precedent over Canadian interests.

What is interesting now though, is that Harper has political considerations at home to be concerned with. The war is not popular and it's bound to get worse. Activity by insurgent groups is growing, poppy crops/sales are up, civilians are being killed at a higher rate, including by troops, (specifically the US), and another "friendly fire" incident has taken place...it's pretty tough to argue that things are getting better.

So, will Harper choose his relationship with the US, or his desire for a majority? My guess is, they are working out a way to do both. I'm sure that Maxime Bernier and Peter MacKay are being given their "sell lines" as I type. They've been MIA, and while I have no doubt that Bernier is on a steep learning curve, MacKay is pretty familiar with the file and has been quiet as a mouse.

Other key countries like Canada and Britain remain committed despite their own losses. On Friday three British soldiers were killed while fighting Taleban forces near Kajaki Dam in Helmand Province after being hit by a bomb dropped by a US fighter jet.

Why no mention of the debate going on here? Every opposition party has been riding Harper on this issue for months, yet it's reported we're still solidly committed. Why do you suppose that is? Bush mentioned that he had a better understanding of where Canada stands vis a vis, Afghanistan, when he was here for the SPP. It's rather interesting that a report from the US, post SPP, doesn't seem to think so. Certainly the ones writing the story were not alerted to any concerns here. That tells me that Harper told Bush what his political problem was and they have come to an agreement. What that might be, I have no idea yet, but I suspect we'll start to get an inkling soon. Whatever it is, it can't be good.

You know, the oddest thing about this whole mission is the fact that the US continues to crow about it's importance and the need for resolve, yet they were the first to give up their commitment to it. NATO entered in good faith, but it's being played, imo. That we are supporting the US, while they flout most International Agreements, is quite something.

22 comments:

Johnny said...

KNB:

"Stephane Dion has been very clear since February, that Canada should inform NATO, the US and of course Afghanistan, that come 2009, Canada will be willing to stay in Afghanistan, but not on the front lines. Our mission will change then. He has called on Harper to make this clear, but of course Harper says nothing, except that we won't extend, unless there is consensus. There is of course no consensus, so I have no idea what that means."

It probably means
when parliament resumes
there will be a vote held
and we'll then see what happens with the vote.
Isn't that what parliament is for?

"WASHINGTON - The United States is worried about weakening Italian and German military commitments in Afghanistan as casualties increase in the fight to stem the bloody Taleban insurgency, officials said.
Debate is raging in Italy and Germany, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands and Denmark, on whether they should remain in the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), already grappling with a shortage of troops in the face of one of the most intense military engagements in decades."

I don't know where you
got this info.But I have
RAI International Italian
t.v. direct from Italy.
I listen to it every single night listening to their news. No mention of rethinking of the mission.

knb said...

The point is, there is no need for a vote, Harper knows how that will play out. Keeping his "crew" in check, they'll all vote in favour of whatever he proposes. No one else will.

I got the info from International media sources. Read the link. If it's not on Italian tv, I'd say that's a problem. It's been in their newspapers, even here in Toronto.

You see the problem with taking news only from one side? It allows you to nest. We must read, (as pathetic as the media may be), reports from all sides. People without information, do nothing to further their cause, imo. They diminish it in fact.

More news, I say. News that presents fact, not fiction. Interesting that I find that outside our country more often than not. Tragic really.

wilson said...

''Every opposition party has been riding Harper on this issue for months, yet it's reported we're still solidly committed. Why do you suppose that is?''

Because we are.
We are committed until Feb 2009, parliament voted, Libs made it happen.
Libs took us into Afghanistan, and in to combat, and voted to extend the mission.
Parliament will again vote on an extension, change or withdrawal from Afghanistan, as it should be.
NATO knows, Bush knows, what's Dion's problem with that?
Dion has never stated why he is against the vote.

Anonymous said...

wilson is a paid hack says:

Stephen Harper will try to extend the military mission (why else order up military room service if you don't expect to be there?), he may do a little dance about more aid and troops to other "stricken" countries (whoever bids the highest), and he'll tell one constituency (like North or BC) a different story than he tells elsewhere, especially in Quebec.
Everyone who matters got their papers at the jellybean summit of 2007.

Canadians should well ask just exactly who Harper is loyal to.

Johnny said...

KNB

Sorry but your wrong
when it comes to Afghanistan consensus it
has to go before parliament when it resumes. When the mission was extended last
year,the opposition were
all criticizing the government for not giving
them enough time to debate the mission in parliament remember? Now
you and the Liberals are asking the PM to end thee Afghan combat mission in Feb 2009 without parliament debate. Thats crazy you and Dion can't have it both ways.

I see the Liberals
strategy here.They want
the PM to commit himself
so it would take a lot of
pressure off of them. This way Dion has the PM where he wants him. I don't think that Dion trust his party mps they would vote his way!! Just like thee extension.

Example the bloc said
they would vote against
the throne speech if it
doesn't mention thee end
of the mission in 2009. Dion is playing it down
doesn't want to bring down the government over
the mission. So Dion is afraid that our PM may
put a motion before parliament and make it a confidence motion. That
could bring down the government in which the
Liberals said there are not interested in doing this. It would then put the Liberals back in a corner.

Anonymous said...

harpy is waiting for an election, hoping he gets a majority, and guess what, he wont have to deal with it, he will keep the troops there for his bum buddy the chimp, indefinatly, thats why hes keeping this issue floting.....simple and most dont get it..

Johnny said...

Anon (10:51 AM)

Harpy thats original
first time I've seen him
called this way funny.;)

wilson said...

Anon thinks Harpy will get a majority, thinks Dion thinks so too.

The only way Harpy can get a majority BEFORE the vote on the Afghanistan mission (PMSH said the vote would be Feb 2008, 12 months before the mission end date) , is if ALL 3 opp parties join hands and bring down the Gov't before the vote.
Bring it on!!!

Dion is setting up another one of the famous fearmongering Liberal themes:
'If Harper gets a majority...'

Johnny said...

Wilson the opposition
parties don't have the guts to bring down this government. This is why Dion wants harper to commit to the troop withdrawal now instead of a motion in parliament, because he is afraid that the motion would be considered a confidence motion.

Oldschool said...

Why is it that we are in Kandahar Province??? Could it have anything to do with the previous lieberal govt of Jean the Cretch dragging his feet till all the soft assignments in Afganistan had been picked up by our NATO Euro Allies . . . . so thanks to JC we were left with Kandahar . . . the most dangerous province . . .
I understand after Dion loses the next election he has a job on late-nite radio to air all his nutty conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

KNB says: How can Harper let his buddy George down, knowing that many other countries are considering the same options?

You make the case that Canada is only in Afghanistan to please George Bush. Was this the case in 2001 when we went in? If so, what makes the Liberals different? Also, if we are there only pleasing George Bush, why was Clinton just in Canada asking that we stay on. Is he a big Bush supporter as well?

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton thanked Canadians for staying the course in Afghanistan, knowing the price of that commitment is the blood of its soldiers.

“It's painful that you're losing people there and I'm sorry,” Mr. Clinton said Thursday in a speech to 7,000 people at Rexall Place.

“But you've done a good thing for the cause of freedom and the stability of Canada.

“And as a citizen I am profoundly grateful that you've stayed the course and I appreciate it,” he said to applause.

Johnny said...

What is going on today
with these names?
1) Anon 10:51 a.m)comes up with Harpy!

2) Oldschool comes up
with Jean the Cretch!!

KNB you have to admit
that these are funny!!

Johnny said...

Anon (12:50 PM) i couldn't put it better
myself congrats!

I've been trying to
explain it to them the
left that it is not a Bush mission but they will not get it no matter what.

The left is so blinded
of the hate of Harper they can't see straight its to bad anon (12:50 PM)

Oldschool said...

The underlying implication that is so rarely stated, is that conservatives are essentially optimists, looking to the ingenuity of the individual to solve problems. Leftists are inherently pessimistic, believing that nothing can be done, so we'll all just have
to do with less - as always, excepting those in authority who determine who gets what. Every generation faces new problem, and leftists always fall back on the same tired solutions.
I think there is great similarity between Islamofacists and liberals. They both HATE more than they love. And the hate is all consuming. They see nothing but hate. That's why they don't make much sense to anyone who has a brain.

LIBERALISM!!!!!!!!!!! The best analogy is this: Liberalism, is like the aids virus. Follow me now. Just as aids attacks the immune system and weakens the body's defenses. This allows other invading organisms diseases to then kill the body. Which is what liberalism is doing to America. Has attacked and weakened the military inteligence gathering agencies. Gives aid and comfort to the enemy. Wish I could take credit for this analogy. I heard it from Michael Savage

Bowler said...

OS - Your use of all caps and multiple punctuation is a very persuasive writing technique. Nonetheless, I was giving you a fair hearing until you referenced Michael Savage as your source. Of all the nuts, he may have the largest wingspan of them all.

knb said...

Michael Savage is your hero? That tells me all I care to know.

Oldschool said...

I merely used a quote of MS . . . that does not mean he is my hero . . . another example of clear lib thinking!!!
But you have to admit . . . its cute!!!
Libs always tend to respond in "EMO MODE" . .. . it has been said that conservatives think with their heads .......libs think with their emotions, and damn the facts. This is why they seldom come up with solid, constructive options, only railing criticisms.
Savage is a bit of a nut . . . but he sure has the libs figured out!!!

Oldschool said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bowler said...

Emotional? Railing? For example, reliance on all-caps and multiple exclamation points in a misguided attempt to persuade? LOL

knb said...

Perhaps he's not you're hero. The fact that you listen to him and feel compelled to quote him with some reverance, (a man consumed by hate), simply tells me that you are spewing unoriginal nonsense.

Bowler points out how clearly you and others like you, project.

BTW, the comment I deleted, was yours and it was simply a repetition of your most recent comment. I suspect you hit publish twice.

...lest anyone think I was censoring.

Johnny said...

KNB censoring!!censoring!!!
censoring!!;) No not really
just pulling your leg KNB;)

Johnny said...

People want to know why
our soldiers are dying 3 times has faster has our NATO partners just read this!
and you will see who has to share the big part of the blame!! Any comments?