Monday, March 06, 2006

We're there because we're there because we're there... 

Shorter Peter MacKay: 'Our troops will stay in Afghanistan because they're already there'.
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay apparently opposes a vote in Parliament about the Afghanistan mission because some MPs would vote against it: "The last thing we want to show is any wavering or any backing away from the commitment of our Canadian troops. We have to be 100 per cent behind them."
I guess he thinks our troops are stupid, and they don't know already that, depending on the poll, somewhere between 50 to 60 per cent of Canadians do not support the Afghanistan mission anymore.
So we aren't "100 percent behind them" even now. And they know it. But personally, I would think its more important to our troops that we make sure their mission in Afghanistan is important and worthwhile. What is it, exactly, we are asking them to die for? We had better make sure that we all know what it is.
I wouldn't say I oppose the Afghanistan mission, not yet anyway -- but I sure would welcome some discussion about what our troops are doing there.
MacKay couldn't actually seem to identify a real goal for our troops, like protecting cities or villages or making sure roads are safe for travel, or running special ops against taliban and warlord areas,for example. Instead, he just talked about how "this is the type of mission demanded in this day and age", that terrorism "has its roots in Afghanistan" and that we are "committed to fight with our allies".
And Stephen Harper is just as bad -- he says "You do not send men and women into harm's way on a dangerous mission with the support of our party and other Canadians, and then decide, once they're over there, that you're not sure you should have sent them."
Well, why not?
If the troops get there and find out they don't have a mission or they're not being used effectively or they're just cannon fodder or bait (which is how Canadian troops actually have been used at other times and in other wars) or the whole Afghanistan war has become a misbegotten, poorly-executed exercise in futility that is not worth anybody dying for, then I would hope we would get our troops out of there and the sooner the better.

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