Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Worth Staying in Afghanistan

I didn't write about it last week and I should have. The Conservatives' announcement that they will pull all troops out of Afghanistan by 2011 is a bloody shame. A Toronto Star Headline highlights the bitter irony well: Afghan war worth fighting . . . but only until 2011. Thomas Walkom is right when he says, "Logically, this position makes no sense. If this is a war worth fighting, we should stay until the job is done. If it is not, then we should exit as quickly as possible."

Stephen Harper has spent several years rightly defending the mission. The mission was just and remains important for the people of Afghanistan and for protecting our country against Islamist terrorists. The Canadian Forces are behind the mission, we have heard constantly from the parents of soldiers who have died how they supported this mission. It really does seem to be a betrayal of the sacrifice that's happened already especially when the mission is not complete.

It's strange that Peter MacKay sounds like he could be Stephane Dion here:

"We will … be there, and the role will change," he said, "We'll emphasize the humanitarian aspect, continue with training, continue with our people there that
are both with the domestic police and maybe on the military side to build … capacity."

Some Canadian soldiers will remain in Afghanistan after 2011, MacKay said, primarily working on training and reconstruction.

"We have combat engineers that are there helping with the Dahla dam, we have people building roads and supervising some of the training exercises that go on but the emphasis will change, and that's consistent with the parliamentary resolution."

C'mon guys, you've been showing real leadership on this issue for years, now you've fallen back to some lame humanitarian aide is as good as military support. How spineless.

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