Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who Writes the Headlines?

Yes, yes, I know, it is not the reporter's who write the headlines. I also know they are written to entice and provoke, fair enough. This article however, entitled MacKay calls for more NATO troops in the south, sounds tough but solicited a big yawn from me.

I mean, haven't we been doing this for a long time now? The Government says we have, so what's new? Other NATO countries don't really care what we say and interestingly, we read what the Dutch Minister said:

The Dutch defence minister opened the talks on Wednesday with a call for other European countries to shoulder their fair share of the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"There is no such thing as a free ride to peace and security," said Eimert van Middelkoop, the defence minister.
"It is not about what we are willing to say for a safer and more just world," van Middelkoop said. "It ultimately depends on what we are willing to do. Fair risk and burden sharing will remain the leading principle for this alliance."



We also heard what the US said:

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates cranked up the pressure on wavering countries earlier in the week, with criticism of NATO countries who failed to provide the extra troops promised last year.
"I am not satisfied that an alliance whose members have over two million soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen cannot find the modest additional resources that have been committed for Afghanistan," Gates said Monday during a visit to Ukraine.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've seen nothing in print of what MacKay said. He tells us he was strong and we all know what a man of his word he is...gag.

When Major-General Lewis MacKenzie is in doubt,

"They (Canada) are starting to play hardball now diplomatically, so I'll give it a little bit of time, but it's not very encouraging," retired general Lew MacKenzie told Question Period.

there is a problem.

This is what the Liberals have been encouraging forever. Clarity.

A retired Dutch general told The Canadian Press in an interview that Canada shouldn't expect NATO to offer more help in Kandahar until the Canadian decision on extending the mission is imminent.
"As with the Dutch, they will do just enough to keep them in place," said Maj.-Gen Frank van Kappen


These are confusing times. Hillier wants to beef up the army and being in conflict is the best way to do that. Harper wants to wear the "macho" badge and an extension is a way to do that. That said, I do not believe either of these men are willing to place Canadian lives over their ambition.

What I do think however, is that ambition seems to have clouded reality and common sense. When do we ever hear honest discourse or even argument as to what is going on there? When is it explained how the Pashtuns are involved and aren't going to disappear, ever? When will clarity be drawn between al-Qu'ida and the Taliban? When will they state the reality of where the 9-11 terrorists came from?

My guess ia never. Clarity doesn't speak to immediate need. It does not serve any individual's purpose.

It does serve a global purpose though and the sooner we get there, the better off we will be.

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