I'm not an expert on Afghanistan by any means, but I do try to explore the issues and form opinions about what I've learned.
I accept that there are varying views on our mission and the mission in general and that is fair. Where I become annoyed is when people who are informed attempt to mislead the general public to serve their own needs and worse those who are not informed also attempt to do this and somehow feel qualified to make ridiculous statements that they have 'heard' and without investigation accept them to be true. To be frank, I do not know how you can live a life that way, let alone make decisions for a country. But that's just me.
Today, Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad warned that Canada must stay the course (hmmm, where have we heard that expression before?), in his country or we could face dire consequences. I understand why he wants continued international support and I am not adverse to assisting that country with respect to helping it get back, or perhaps I should say, get it to a time where they have a stable government and infrastructure. However, Samad seems to be making a plea not to leave completely, full stop. Well, unless he believes that Jack Layton is going to be the next PM, that is disingenuous.
Furthermore, to imply that the Taliban would simply take over again, then Al Qaeda will once again have safe haven and plot to hurt the West is ludicrous. Just where does he think they, Al Qaeda, are at the moment? Sitting back waiting for an invitation back after all these years and doing nothing until then? Obviously not. They are happily go about their evil work attacking the West where ever they feel able to so.
Afghanistan will not be abandoned by the West, so the Taliban (which is a pretty generic term by the way and does not apply to one homogeneous group), is not about to re-form government and their motives have nothing to do with the West. In that respect they are not aligned with Al Qaeda. Given how harbouring Al Qaeda turned out the last time around, it's hardly likely they'd repeat that error don't you think?
No, the Taliban are comprised of Pashtun tribes, half of the Afghanistan population and they the Pashtuns were largely excluded from what was called the fully democratic election in that country. It was not fully democratic, by that exclusion alone. It was a step in that direction, but Karzai, who is Pashtun btw but not extremist, was installed then protected, by the US. Without that support their government would fall like a house of cards cobbled by a 5 year old.
The Pashtun, (not the Taliban who were created incidentally by Pakistan's intelligence services), were the traditional ruling party. To suddenly be excluded from power, obviously would give rise to rebellion which is what are seeing happen. The Taliban as most are wont to label them now, were against the poppy trade. Now they support it, though it goes against their values, it provides cash.
Ohhhh, frustration showing on my part. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this is very complicated and we have it all wrong on this side of the world. What we are seeing is civil war, pre a real civil war if we were not there. It will not stop. I do not care if you put 100,00 troops versus 1000. Tribes, voices of a country that want to be heard but are being excluded from the process, will make their point by whatever means possible.
Think people. Think about Ireland, think about Palestine and Israel, think about Lebanon and think about Quebec and the FLQ. Exclusion of voice as the Americans would have us do, never, ever, solves the problem.
I've never heard one expert in this field suggest that this will be won by the military. It's necessary at the moment but unless we redefine this stuff and Canadians really get what is going on, this will go on forever.
I guess this post is about doing some homework. I still don't have it right, but I'm digging for info. I hope you do do too.