May 19, 2006

Afghan Vote was Symbolic

“Do not blink in the face of adversity” Romeo Dallaire’s words ring true. Liberals could complain all they want over the procedure but I may remind them for 13 years they sat on the other side playing tricks on the Alliance/Reform/Conservatives. I think we shut down debate over 100 times in 11 years...

The vote was about doing what was right. Everyone is well aware of the stakes that are at play in Afghanistan. Did 10 months of debate change anything in Holland? We had a debate on Afghanistan previously in the House. The Liberals debated the resolution in caucus for 6 hours, plus the 6 hours in the House. They had time to ask questions of Harper, MacKay, Verner, and the other Conservative Ministers who stood to defend the mission. By not giving them time, the Conservatives exposed the Liberal Caucus for what they will portray as weak. Tories stood and took questions. They defended their record and coincidentally, our record as well.

The Liberals are used to having all the time in the world to set the agenda. Well, sorry guys, but Stephen Harper is the dealer now. And he said show your cards. Hamid Karzai was watching, our armed forces were watching. Who would not blink in the face of adversity? Who would do the right thing without the time to spin their opinion first? 124 Tories 24 Liberals and André Arthur did the right thing. Thank You!

13 Commentaires:

Blogger MPM a dit...

How is Ignatieff's support of extending the Afghan mission going to play in Quebec?

5/19/2006 12:17 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

we will have to convince the people of Quebec that the mission in Afghanistan is the right thing to do.

How it will play in Quebec should not be a factor in making a decision on principle

5/19/2006 12:36 p.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

Supporting the extension of the Afghan mission is the right thing to do at this time. The problem is that Stephen Harper is a poor communicator. It was his job to convince the Canadian people and he failed to communicate.

Some of those who voted against the extension saw the polls and chickened out.

Kudos to Ignatieff for showing that he has what it takes to be a true leader.

5/19/2006 1:38 p.m.  
Blogger loraine king a dit...

I am sure glad we are having this discussion here between Canadians. Can you imagine telling an Afghani that we are sending our soldiers to his country because we want to help in its rebuilding and we believe in democracy. And that in the Canadian democracy we elect persons to represent us in a Parliament where each member can cast a vote. BUT whatever the result of the vote might be, it will be the will of a small group, the cabinet, that will prevail over the will of the people as expressed by a vote in Parliament. Boy I’m glad I don’t have to explain this to an Afghani. I do now, as I have always, support the mission and I think military mission should be a well-informed decision made by the executive who are responsible for the decision, not Parliament - unless we need to conscript.

5/19/2006 2:15 p.m.  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

Harper is a smart motherfucker. I cannot believe he turned the party against himself.

I wonder if Harper has a preference over who becomes the next leader. Perhaps he wanted to hurt Ignatieff's campaign... but now I'm just being paranoid... but it is a good conspiracy theory.

Perhaps he wants Dion because he's unpopular in Quebec or Rae in hopes of taking back the right-wingers of the Liberal Party... think about...

It could very well be bullshit, and it probably is, but interesting nonetheless...

5/19/2006 3:49 p.m.  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

Sorry, I'm reading my post again for the second time.

The first line should say, I can't believe Harper turned the Party against itself.

Personally, I don't think it should, but it looks like a lot of people think it has... blah... don't let Harper win!

5/19/2006 3:50 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Townsend a dit...

I'm thinking that Harper's motives were obvious enough in politicizing the mission; if they weren't, his cheesy "embarass Ignatieff" trick drew a good line under it.

The Afghanistan mission will take something like at least 5 more years and probably more; this has been acknowledged for a long time. So there was no 'wrong answer' in what was essentially a political and meaningless vote in my view.

The real mistake would be to allow the supposed 'divisiveness of our non-decisive vote here become the issue, instead of the real oversight of the Afghanistan mission which is so necessary.

5/19/2006 11:14 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Si vous plait Antonio,

In 2003 Canada deployed 2000 troops for the International Security Assistance Force, (ISAF) under Chretien's leadership.

The mission was to provide security and stability to the new Afghan government in Kabul.

An exit strategy was developed to deploy the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) of 200-300 troops after one year and pull out of combat operations (ISAF) in Kabul.

In early 2005, it was decided that the PRT would be deployed to Khandahar. Martin relunctantly approved the extension of a 1000 troop combat deployment for one year only, with the assurance from General Hillier that we would still be able to respond in Darfur or Haiti when needed.

ISAF was only to stay one more year. PRT was meant to stay indefinately to continue reconstruction work while the counter insurgency deployment was removed and handed over to another partner in NATO.

The debate on Wednesday evening did not need to be framed as all or nothing. Retaining PRT in Khandahar or even increasing their size while removing (ISAF) to respond in other regions is the option that was what Martin intended and should have been hammered home by ALL Liberals in Parliament.

Now Mr. Harper hass carte blance for a combat mission until 2009. This is not our responsibility or our traditional role in the world.

5/19/2006 11:45 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

ok Shoshanna I'll bite, please explain to me what is our responsibility to these people?

5/20/2006 12:27 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Using Romeo Dallaire's words to support "Operation Enduring Freedom", which is what we are doing is a bit rich Antonio. Let him speak for himself on this matter. You misuse his words and his intentions.

I'm pretty sure he would prefer us to be able to respond effectively in Darfur, given that he was refering to the Rwandan genocide, which is strikingly similar to the situation at hand there.

I believe you owe Mr. Dallaire an apology.

What do we owe the Afghan people? Humanitarian and development aid, not furthering a domestic conflict. They have had outside forces interfering in their domestic policies for far too long and at a great price.

We owe them help negotiating peace with the rebels which cannot happen while they are being hunted like animals.

And we owe them a hand-over of the NATO mission to another country, so that it doesn't become one nation controlling what happens there. We need to share the responsibility with the UN with a multilateral force for many reasons.

We also owe the people of Darfur more help through the UN, when it is allowed. We cannot do that now.

Right now we are engaging in WAR inside another sovereign nation. This is not what anyone is owed by Canada and not what most Canadians want our military to be doing.

They do not want the new "paradigm shift" that your Igs talks about. We are not the US nor do most of us want to become the US or an extension of its foreign policy.

Does that answer your question?

5/22/2006 1:45 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


I use General Dallaire's own words from the caucus meeting that morning where he was telling MPs to vote for the resolution.

5/22/2006 2:52 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

From what source Antonio, because I believe that I have heard this before. Is it not from his book about Rwanda? Perhaps Mr. Dallaire was being quoted that morning.

5/22/2006 7:52 p.m.  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

This is the source:

According to insiders, the strongest interventions at caucus in favour of the motion came from Quebec MP Raymonde Folco, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell and Senator Romeo Dallaire.

Dallaire, who formerly commanded the ill-fated UN mission aimed at preventing genocide in Rwanda, argued passionately that the party must support the 2,200 Canadian troops already in Afghanistan, sent there by the previous Liberal government. He maintained that failure to support the extension would be seen as failure to support the troops.

Dallaire urged Liberals not to "blink in the face of adversity," according to one MP.

The soldiers themselves are also in favour of the extension.

Listen to what they have to say:

"The fact that the mission is being extended comes as no surprise because very few, if anybody here, believe that the task would be done by February, 2007."

Warrant Officer Bruno Wissell likened the Afghan mission to Bosnia.

"It's going to be similar to Bosnia, where we were there for 10 years and we had people that were doing two or three tours," he told reporters from Kandahar Thursday.

"Once you get into a mission, you always want to finish what you started."

Sergeant Scott O'Neill also approved the mission's extension, calling it "a no-brainer."

5/23/2006 11:13 a.m.  

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