Author Topic: Interesting Interview with the MND  (Read 1159 times)

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Offline sgf

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Interesting Interview with the MND
« on: February 26, 2008, 19:43:00 »

This site is from the newspaper in Nova Scotia, in Peter MacKays riding, and its an interview done with a local reporter. Hope you all enjoy this.

On Afghanistan -

"I spent Christmas Eve at a forward operating base sleeping out under the stars, literally, in a sleeping bag within sight of the Pakistan border with Afghanistan. So, it was quite a different Christmas for me. It's one that I'll never forget. And certainly it gave me a new appreciation of the dedication and professionalism of our soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan. And, I suppose, what it's like to be away from your family and your loved ones at a holiday season in a foreign land. So, it's one that I really will always cherish. And, it left me with some very vivid memories of what's at stake in a place like Afghanistan, where people have so little - and, where we're continuing to make what I consider an enormous contribution.

"As I said to the soldiers, there's no greater gift that you can give at any time of the year than peace and stability. Everything else seems to flow from that.

"It was a place called Masum Gar. And, it was an interesting place. It was one of the spots that I was headed the last time when we were interrupted, if you will, by a rocket attack."

"Masum Gar connects with another community - by a giant causeway that was built by allied forces, including Canada, to connect these two communities for the first time. It will allow commerce and travel, and connect families, whereas before they would have had to take a very long circuitous route around this reservoir. That's the type of tangible physical infrastructure we're putting in place, in addition to the security. Those types of contributions, as basic as they seem, roads, water and sewer, schools hospitals, buildings, where people feel that the effort that is taking place in Afghanistan is bringing them direct benefits."

"We're not there invading the coutry. We're there at the invitation of the Afghanistan government with 37 other coutries in a NATO-led exercise that has a U.N. mandate."

On our NATO allies' contribution -

"In spite of some of the challenges that are there of the constitutions - countries like Germany have constitutional limitations, coalition governments that prevent perhaps a parliamentary or a democratic mandate and caveats that are placed on troop movements by certain national governments. In spite of all those things, there are governments, Poland - Croatia is another. Croatia's not even a NATO country, but they aspire to be a NATO country and they see this, I'm sure, as a favourable contribution that would help their ascendancy to NATO. And, there are others within the coalition, who I think certainly have the capacity and they need, simply, the political will to make it happen. And, it goes beyond just troop contributions, although that's probably what's needed most - equipment, helicopters these so-called enablers - all forms of military equipment."

"We're talking about bringing a country forward that has essentially been trapped in its own violent past and they were under governance by a terrorist organization. It's hard to imagine."

"It's a country that, when you compare it to where it was five or six years ago and see it today, you see massive progress."