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CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:37 pm
 


$1:
Living a lie over Afghanistan
By Jordan Michael Smith

The controversy over the proposed (but ultimately unsuccessful) removal of ribbon-shaped decals from Toronto city vehicles showing support for Canadian troops in Afghanistan underscores how unpopular this war is becoming.

Canada wants out. That's the message of a June 10 poll by Decima Research. Only 1 in 4 Canucks believe Canada should stay in Afghanistan longer than February 2009, even if "that is necessary to complete our goals there." Sixty-seven percent think "we need to do our best to accomplish progress in Afghanistan but that we must stick to the deadline and get our troops out."

The poll also shows that most Canadians think we're doing a good job rebuilding Afghanistan, but that we're not doing such a good job of battling terrorism.

Let's get something straight here. The real internationalists are those who want to stay in Afghanistan. They believe Canada, as a wealthy, safe country, should continue to rebuild a nation that has been marred by civil war, even if that means Canada suffers casualties. Such casualties, they think, are outweighed by the number of Afghan lives Canada is saving.

No benefit

The isolationists, the ones who are only concerned with Canada's immediate interests, are among the ones who want out. Remember that most Canadians think Afghanistan is being rebuilt, they just don't think Canada is benefiting.

I don't doubt that among those who think we should leave are those who think Canada is just killing Afghans and not helping the country, though the poll shows they're in the minority. But they are wrong.

A Johns Hopkins University study shows the mortality rate in Afghanistan has decreased to the point where 40,000 babies per year have been saved since the Taliban was toppled.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion in April, in the House: "As long as our NATO allies believe Canada's commitment in Kandahar to be open-ended, they will never prepare for our departure ... Canadians do not want an open-ended war ... By February 2009, we will have served the people of (Afghanistan) for seven years ...We will have served them in a full combat role for three years, in the most dangerous part of the country."

There are many ways to interpret Dion's ideas, but internationalism is not one of them.

Internationalism is not 'we will help you for a while' or 'we will help you as long as we don't take casualties.' It is, 'we will do whatever we can to help you beat the Taliban.' It is looking at the cost/benefit of us being in Afghanistan. And there is simply no way one can think the number of civilians we kill is too big a cost for the benefit of saving 40,000 babies a year.

Abandonment

If Canadians want a change in strategy, focusing less on military measures, that's one thing. It happens to be the position I hold -- every civilian we kill makes things harder, and the Americans, especially, rely on air strikes far too often.

But abandoning Afghanistan is not a change in strategy; it's an abandonment of strategy. Canadians want to leave because they are uncomfortable taking casualties in a foreign country with slow, hard-to-measure progress.

If Canadians don't want to take the internationalist position, they should at least be honest with themselves. Canadians want to look after themselves. They shouldn't fancy themselves humanitarians for abandoning Afghanistan to a medieval theocracy. That we can be both internationalists and isolationists is impossible. It's a lie, and one for which I want no part.


http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnist ... 90691.html


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Forum Junkie
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:07 pm
 


So have these want-outers, who think we're doing a poor job in the War on Terror, have any ideas on how to do a better job in the War on Terror?


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