Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our "Mission"

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There's a whole lot I feel called to blog about these days, so expect a number of entries.

To date, 77 Canadian soldiers and one Canadian diplomat have sacrificed their lives for, what I believe to be, a misguided mission in Afghanistan. Countless more have been injured both physically and psychologically. While I blame two successive governments and a number of senior military staff for the wrongheadedness of our approach, I think our men and women on the ground our doing the best that they can given what they have been told to do. I'll happily chat over my reasoning if people are interested, but I want to comment on recent actions more close to home.

On 16 Jan. 2008, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying "I'm worried we're deploying [military advisors] that are not properly trained and I'm worried we have some military forces that don't know how to do counterinsurgency operations. ... Most of the European forces, NATO forces, are not trained in counterinsurgency; they were trained for the Fulda Gap [a region in Germany]."

77 people lost in a combat role in a war with tactics (mis)guided by the Bush administration against a force that is constantly recharged and refueled by Bush's unilateral and illegal war in Iraq, and Gates has the audacity to claim that our NATO troops, and consequently Canadian soldiers, aren't trained and aren't ready.

Can anyone be ready for the help of an "ally" who creates more of the "enemy"?

Worse yet, our own Defence Minister Peter MacKay has worked hard to excuse Gates' comments in the Canadian Press (Times & Transcript, 17 Jan. 2008, C1) arguing that Canada was not singled out as one of the NATO participants in Afghanistan. Given Prime Minister Harper's careful control of his Ministers' comments to the media, one can only link this comment back to Mr. Harper himself.

Why is Canada's foreign policy so dictated by the Bush regime, when it is a regime that is thankfully about to be turfed?

Mr. Bush and Mr. Harper, I am still a Canadian and proud to be one!

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