Monday, January 15, 2007

Canada Must Stay the Course in Afghanistan

This following column by Edmonton Sun columnist Doug Beazley who recently returned from embedding with Candian troops in Iraq. I give him full marks for supporting the Canadian troops in Iraq. Where I sharply disagree with him is his assertion that everthing that has gone wrong in Iraq is the fault of president Bush. He's also only partly right about many in Pakistan supporting the Taliban. In fact Islamist forces within the Iraqi military and intellegence service actually created the Taliban. Further Pakistan was one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan. The other teo were Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It was essential at the beginning og the war that Bush make nuclear armed Pakistan make Musharaf, president of Pakistan where his best interests lay. Musharaf is on shaky ground at the moment and has been the target of assisination attempts.

Beazely's got it right though that Canada must stay and help the people of Afghanistan get back to a sustainable way of life:

Sun, January 14, 2007

For Dion, Afghanistan is Quebec

By Doug Beazley

A cop stole my glove when I was in Kabul last month. He didn't keep it long - I'd dropped one leather glove on the sidewalk where I was conducting an interview, and a passing Afghan officer pocketed it.

He gave it back, sheepishly, when I asked for it. The event struck me at the time as being symbolic. The real problem with Afghanistan after the Taliban isn't war, or the drug trade. It's that the country remains so impoverished and mired in official graft that even police officers have to resort to petty theft to keep warm.

And it's not going to get any better any time soon - not as long as U.S. President George W. Bush stays in office, and certainly not if the Liberals under Stephane Dion take power after the next election. For Bush, the aim in Afghanistan was to crush the Taliban quickly and cheaply, and then move on to further triumphs in Iraq. We all saw how well that turned out.

For Dion, the Liberals' Afghanistan policy is actually their Quebec policy. The party badly needs to rebuild itself in Quebec and block any Conservative gains there. And the Afghanistan mission is especially unpopular in Quebec, where it is closely linked with the blundering Bush administration.

The rest of the column is here:

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