Author Topic: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view  (Read 2622 times)

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Online MarkOttawa

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Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« on: March 03, 2007, 17:02:11 »
Election's polarizing issue could be Afghanistan
Toronto Star, March 3, by Scott Reid

There could be a referendum this year.

Not in Quebec. No matter who wins the provincial election, there is little appetite for another vote on separation.

But keep your eye on Ottawa.

Quiet clues have been dropping that suggest the next federal election could become a de facto referendum on Canada's future in Afghanistan. In fact, the timing of our troops' withdrawal from Kandahar could end up determining who next sits in the prime minister's chair...

If the fighting this spring is as fierce as predicted (and let's hope it's not), it is possible, even probable, that the Afghan war could eclipse all other public concerns. That would create a nationwide debate over the timing of withdrawal, resulting in a 1988-like election – one that asks the public to resolve a single, critical policy dispute. Voters would choose between Harper's commitment to remain in Kandahar indefinitely and Dion's plan to withdraw troops in early 2009.

Like the free-trade election, such a scenario would divide public opinion and force voters firmly into either the Conservative or Liberal camp. The NDP and Greens would be squeezed much as Broadbent was, as voters anxious to see their policy preference enacted turn to only those parties capable of forming government...

More importantly, such a campaign would bring unwelcome scrutiny of his own policy failures in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister deserves credit for pressuring our NATO allies to do their part in Kandahar. Similarly, he is justified in pointing out that the original mission was launched under the previous Liberal government.

But the unmistakable truth is that this is Harper's war and he alone is responsible for our current predicament. It was his desire to eschew peacekeeping in favour of a more muscular combat focus. It was his minister of defence who characterized "retribution" as the government's motivation for our mission. It was his willingness to extend our Kandahar duty that relieved pressure on our NATO allies. And it is his insistence to leave open our commitment beyond 2009 that further takes our allies off the hook...

Scott Reid is a partner in Feschuk.Reid and was director of communications for former prime minister Paul Martin.[/i]

Afghanistan: Mission of folly (Part one)
rabble news, March 2, by James Laxer

The Canadian military mission in Afghanistan was launched during the fevered weeks that followed the terror attacks on New York City and Washington DC on September 11, 2001. The government of Jean Chrétien took the decision that Canadians would fight in Afghanistan rather casually. The members of the Chrétien cabinet saw the commitment as a way to show solidarity with the Americans at a time when there was almost universal sympathy for the United States internationally and certainly in Canada.

The experts in the Canadian Forces were ignored when the commitment was made...

In the more than five years that have passed since the gesture was made, Canada's Afghan mission has morphed into something its initiators never anticipated. For a time, this suited the Liberal government to a tee. When the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Canada was locked into the Afghanistan operation. Jean Chrétien's announcement in the House of Commons that Canada would not join the “coalition of the willing” in its assault on Iraq drew a sustained cheer from the Liberal caucus in Parliament...

By the time Harper did become Prime Minister in the winter of 2006, as leader of a fragile minority government, he fully recognized that to advocate participation in the war in Iraq — a war, by then, highly unpopular in the U.S. — would be unthinkable in Canada. Instead Harper injected the pent up pro-war enthusiasm of his party into the Afghanistan mission. Far from being a Liberal alibi for non-involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan became the place where a neo-conservative Canada could leave its mark...

For decades, Canadians have been poorly served by successive governments when it comes to serious public dialogue on questions of war and peace. Decisions about foreign policy and war need to be thoroughly opened up and democratized. Centralized government by cabinet on these issues is not good enough...

Frankly I find Mr Laxer a lot easier to read than Mr Reid.  And a lot more knowledgeable (and certainly less mendacious).

Mr Laxer's website:


Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Flip

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 14:16:06 »
The first article uses the "referendum" when describing the next election.
Using this word implies that a conservative victory would spell doom for
the Canada we want.

The second article implies the tired and poor who join the armed forces
to get in out of the cold, will be used by Canada's rich establishment in Afghanistan.

Both of these articles have strong liberal bias.

Both of these articles suggest the conservatives are in the position of
having to explain why the liberals started us down this path.

Neither of these articles acknowledge that the world has changed since WW2
or that the Americans are pretty good allies to have.

Neither of these articles acknowledge that Canada has enemies in this new world.

 Just a few observations........... ;D

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Offline Osotogari

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 00:52:32 »
The Libs never see anyone as enemies of Canada, they see voting blocks.  Hence Paul Martin's attendance at a Tamil Tigers fundraiser, and his party's reluctance to classify Hizbollah properly. 
If I ever went to war, instead of throwing a grenade, I'd throw one of those small pumpkins. Then maybe my enemy would pick up the pumpkin and think about the futility of war. And that would give me the time I need to hit him with a real grenade.

Jack Handey

Offline Bobby Rico

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 01:24:12 »
"pent up pro-war enthusiasm"

Good grief.  They make it sound like our Conservatives are as war-mongering as the Republicans down south.  Frankly, I don't think the Conservatives had any real motivation or desire whatsoever to participate in the Iraq war.  It's not Canada's war, so why should we get involved?  Afghanistan though IS Canada's war, because it's NATOs war.  I swear, the liberials like to forget that little thing called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which we happen to be a member of, and do have some obligations towards.  As a member we are obligated to support NATO how does that make Conservatives pro-war?  To me it just means they're a responsible government.  Hell, if NATO's mission were to change diapers and the conservatives supported diaper changing would that then translate into them having some kind of scat fetish?  It would in the Liberal mind it seems.
Hell looks alot like Parking Lot Echo.

Offline xo31@711ret

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 01:56:54 » soon we forget...before 9/11 no one thought 'it could happen here'; planes being turned into missles, subway bombings, night club bombings, etc, etc, a few years pass and we start to slip back back toward 'it could never happen here' attitude. My God, these people need to take their head out of their a**, take off the rose-coloured glasses and see what is really going on...

I was never a (previous) conserative voter in years past, but  :salute: to PM Harper

Offline Zip

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Offline Exarecr

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 09:11:52 »
What a laugher. To here Canada,s role in Afghanistan is being planned by "Neoconservatives". Harper is a big improvement over all the other riffraff but Neoconservative Harper is not. More like Conserv-Lite, except of course like politicians every where they would claim it,s to hard to swallow.

Offline Flip

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2007, 12:28:04 »
Harper is more liberal than any other conservative that has come to my attention.
In fact I think he used to be one.( a liberal )

I find Harper refreshing in that his motivations appear more honest and
he appears to posses a sense of right and wrong.

Liberal party morality has degenerated to the point that they couldn't see any
misdeed of theirs as wrong.

Case in point: When Allan rock announced a program to pay Hepatitis victims of
the tainted blood scandal, he made a deliberate exclusion based on liability law.
This of course, left people to die broke of horrible disease through no fault of their own.
Harper's' government corrected this "oversight" and gained very little politically.
It was the right thing to do. It was the Canadian thing to do.

Who best represents Canadian values?

The liberal democracy has only one flaw.....There will be liberals.

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2007, 22:02:13 »
If you're interested in reading Laxer's views in more detail, here's his (what appears to be) new online book, compiling his blog commentaries:

“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Offline FrenchAffair

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 01:25:00 »
I like Stephen Harper, I voted for him. But the poll really doesn't say much, the other selection is not much to choose from. Both the Liberal and NDP leaders are "weak" and not individuals who most Canadians could see in a position of leadership over all of Canada.

Offline PattiM

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Re: Afstan: A Liberal and a far left view
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 15:44:46 »
<donning flack jacket> I personally wouldn't vote for Harper if you held a gun to my head. <removing flack jacket> However, I support our presence in Afghanistan. (yeah, believe it or not, liberal types do).

The more I read of the media, the more I get angry at their ham-handed manner that is doing more to confuse Canadians than to inform. I just got through writing a rant (of sorts) about this on my site. To me, they are ignoring getting the stories from the people who could tell Canadians what is happening in Afghanistan. They people on the ground.

While the media may have gone heavily the other way during WW1, WW2 and Korea with bias in favour of the war, Canadians were able to withstand the casualties because they had a sense of purpose. Our modern media is so busy with the politics of the fight, they are ignoring the reality unless it lets them play silly bugger politics.

my 2 cents
Patti May
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I support Canada's troops & their mission