The Star Gets It Wrong on Afghanistan

afghans.jpgToday the Star wrote an editorial stating that the Afghanistan mission is costly but worthy. Perhaps they have forgotten the polls that show that all the Afghans really want is for everyone to get out of their country and leave them in peace.

As we mourn the loss of our soldiers, let us remember, too, that Afghans are freer than before.

Thanks for the early morning Harper/Bush-like double talk Star, but somehow I doubt all the families of the Afghan civilians who have died as a result of NATO attacks are feeling all that free right now. This is why I don’t subscribe to big media news anymore. They seem to think we are stupid.

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16 thoughts on “The Star Gets It Wrong on Afghanistan

  1. JimBobby says:

    Whooee! The whole dang thing was doomed from the minute the Merkans decided to fergit Afstan an’ go after Saddam. When we signed on, we signed on to help build a nation and we thought we were a small part of a big team that was bein’ bankrolled and staffed by the bigass superpower Merkans.

    If they’d spent one-tenth the manpower an’ money in Afstan as they spent in EyeRack, we might just be seein’ that shinin’ beacon of democracy we thought we was gonna see.

    Afstan is officially known as The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. That came about *after* we helped toss the Taliban. Shari’a law is enshrined in the *new* Afghan constitution. Warlords dominate the Afghan government. Afghanistan is the world’s largest supplier of opium, accounting for 90% of the world market.

    We are not fighting to put and end to any of those things. We’re fighting FOR those things. We’re fighting to maintain the status quo – to keep the warlord Karzai and his Northern Alliance warlord buddies in power, to maintain the new Afghan Constitution and Shari’a law, to look the other way while the fledgling (narco) economy develops, to hand over prisoners to questionable jailers.

    How many more lives will be lost in this doomed mission?

    JB

  2. Dirk Gibson says:

    You might want to do a little more thinking rather than coming to a conclusion of Harper/Bush double speak coming from the Red Star of all places. Think of these numbers for example:

    **********************************************
    Improvements in women’s access to medical care since the Taliban fell five years ago have led to a marked decrease in Afghanistan’s infant mortality rates — 40,000 fewer infant deaths a year — according to a new study.

    Grim infant and maternal mortality rates have been regularly cited as evidence of Afghanistan’s backwardness after decades of war, and of the slow progress of the internationally funded reconstruction effort.

    According to the preliminary results a Johns Hopkins University study, the infant mortality rate has declined to about 135 per 1,000 live births in 2006, from an estimated 165 per 1,000 in 2001.

    The researchers “found improvements in virtually all aspects of care in almost every province,” the Public Health Ministry and World Bank said Thursday in a joint statement on the findings.
    ********************************************

    That was from USA Today.

    So, 40,000 babies have been saved. Per Year! 66 Canadian lives for 40,000 Afghani babies. Or 300 civilian lives to save 40,000 baby lives. By the end of 2007 that will be 80,000 babies saved in two years.

    Your flippant posting shows little understanding of the issue.

  3. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    Well if solving the early infant deaths issue is the reason we are there Dirk, then why aren’t we in Darfur or any other # of african countries where people and babies are dying by the 100’s of thousands. Infant mortality has nothing to do with why we are there.

    “Canada had provided some limited humanitarian aid, usually about $10 million a year, to Afghanistan even prior to 2001. Canada re-established formal diplomatic relations with the new Afghan government on Jan. 25, 2002, and reopened the embassy in Kabul in September 2003.

    At a conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo in January 2002, Canada made a major commitment to assist in the reconstruction of the war-torn country. Foreign Affairs says Afghanistan is now “the single largest recipient of Canadian bilateral aid.” So far, according to Foreign Affairs, Canada has allocated a total of $616.5 million to Afghanistan, covering 2001 to 2009.”

    Somehow with that much money I think we could do a lot more to help Africa and the middle east if we used it to provide health care and nutrition programs instead of on troops, tanks and war in Afghanistan.

  4. The Mound of Sound says:

    Good on you, Woman, for holding your own against these rants. It’s encouraging to see someone who instinctively filters out the spin. Keep at it.

  5. Dirk Gibson says:

    Yes indeed, good for you for keeping your head in the sand and ignoring the fact that our efforts are making a difference. (Woman At Mile 0, fingers in ears: “I can’t hear you. Nanananana…”)

    Nobody said we were in Afghanistan to provide a solution to infant mortality. Saving 40,000 lives a year is a direct result of our actions there in providing better medical care to the population.

    >>>Somehow with that much money I think we could do a lot more to help Africa and the middle east if we used it to provide health care and nutrition programs instead of on troops, tanks and war in Afghanistan.

  6. Dirk Gibson says:

    Yes indeed, good for you for keeping your head in the sand and ignoring the fact that our efforts are making a difference. (Woman At Mile 0, fingers in ears: “I can’t hear you. Nanananana…”)

    Nobody said we were in Afghanistan to provide a solution to infant mortality. Saving 40,000 lives a year is a direct result of our actions there in providing better medical care to the population.

    *Somehow with that much money I think we could do a lot more to help Africa and the middle east if we used it to provide health care and nutrition programs instead of on troops, tanks and war in Afghanistan.*

    Well, let’s get to the bottom of why we have troops, tanks and war in Afghanistan:

    ***************************************************

    Our new vision for Canada’s military will also see it playing a much larger, more significant role in the world – one in which our voice will be heard, our values seen, and our efforts felt. Our focus, in particular, will be on restoring order in failed and failing states.

    When I talked to Paul Wolfowitz about this recently, he understood that Canada is uniquely qualified to undertake this role and can often work in countries where the United States cannot – or does not want to – operate. He also recognized that failed and failing states – such as Afghanistan – often serve as the breeding ground for international terrorism and that we can play a special role in providing the security necessary for their recovery on the road to stable, prosperous states.

    With our new vision, Canada will be a more effective ally in the campaign against terrorism. In fact, we are now considering taking on an even larger role in Afghanistan. [which we did, under the Liberals in 2005!] We will also be a more effective partner in building peace, stability and security throughout the world – as we did with the United States in the First and Second World Wars, in Korea, during the Cold War, and in Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti and Afghanistan over the past decade.

    ************************************************

    Scary words indeed. Canada playing a bigger role in the world by fighting for what it believes. A new vision of Canada with a stronger, more important military. Is this scary old Harper talking? No, its the previous Liberal government from 2005 preparing the country for our new mission in Afghanistan.

    http://www.dnd.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=1630

  7. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    Oh goodness you quote a neo con not only Canada but most of the US despises. You honestly expect me to pay the slightest attention to something coming from someone out of the current criminal administration in the US? Did you check the latest polls on how much people detest these people? This imperialist vision of Canada you strive for will never be mine.

  8. Dirk Gibson says:

    *Oh goodness you quote a neo con not only Canada but most of the US despises. *

    Bill Graham, Liberal Defence Minister, a neo-con that Canada despises? Interesting. Not something I thought I would hear coming from you.

    I sense you are confused and I can see why you find yourself back at 0. Honestly, do you even know what you are typing?

    The link is to a speech from the Liberal Defence Minister in 2005, Woman. The “imperialist vision of Canada” that you say will never be your own is that of the previous Liberal Government of Canada. Are things becoming any clearer?

  9. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    I really don’t care what Bill Graham said or didn’t say on this issue. Last time I checked I could think and speak for myself. I lost my trust in the direction of this war after the neo-con Bush boot-licking Harper took over from Martin. The mission is about oil and supporting the Bush administration share of the load after they took their troops out and off to an illegal war. If you wanna stick your fingers in your ears and refuse to hear it….fine with me. Don’t try to con me into thinking its about helping babies. If the Americans feel so strongly about Afghanistan they can get their butts out of Iraq and back there pronto or we’re outta there.

  10. Dirk Gibson says:

    Sorry Woman 0, you can’t just say you don’t care what Bill Graham said or didn’t say about this. At least you can’t say that and fly the Liberal banner. Mr. Graham wasn’t just saying it in his spare time; it was Canada’s New Defence Policy for 2005 as envisioned by the Liberal Party. As in: “With our new Defence Policy Statement, we have the intellectual framework required to guide and shape the Canadian Forces to face the defence and security challenges of the 21 st century.”

    We got into Afghanistan in 2001 and by 2005 our course was set. Again from the Defence Minister: “In early 2006, Canada will extend its presence in Kandahar by deploying a brigade headquarters of approximately three hundred Canadian Forces members and an army task force of about seven hundred personnel for a period of nine and twelve months respectively. What this means for us is that Afghanistan is Canada’s principal military operation and will remain so for some time to come.”

    Well the Defence Minister must have been able to see into the future, because that is exactly where we are now, doing exactly what he said we would be. All your “boot-licking” bullsh*t is just that. Either we were “boot-licking” from 2001 – 2006 or we weren’t; make up your mind, because SFA has changed in the direction of the war since the middle of 2006. So then Woman 0, when did the war become about oil? The day Harper took office? LOL!

    http://www.csdr.org/2005book/graham.htm

  11. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    Tell me again how I have to think or speak because of my party preference and this conversation and your comments are finished.
    Here’s the sequence again Dirk just in case you have had your fingers in your ears and hands over your eyes for the past 6 years.
    Terrorists bomb Trade Centres.
    Majority of the world agrees to help Bush with terror problem in Afghanistan.
    We go in with the US. Security is established but tenuous (e.g an election is held)
    Then Bush and his thugs tell a bunch of lies to the world (e.g WMD’s) to start a pre-emptive war on Iraq for their oil.
    Much of the world is struck in horror as Bush initiates a pre-emptive war on Iraq. Battle in Afghanistan had really just begun. What’s he doing running off after someone else on dam shaky evidence.
    Invades Iraq with too few troops. Not enough resources.
    Pulls huge numbers of US troops out of Afghanistan (yah the invasion was their idea..seems kinda nervey) and sends em to Iraq (currently approx 155,000)
    Turns out no WMD’s just a giant scam to get oil.
    Now why are we left holding the bag in Afghanistan again? Oh yah..so the Bush administration could get their hands on Iraqi oil…like I said originally.

    Troops maxed out at 1200 under Libs and were to come home in 2007.

    This is not the same mission Dirk and I can withdraw my support for it if I want. When the Liberals were in power we had 1200 troops there and we were scheduled to come home in 2007. I disagreed with Graham and Martin on the more aggressive moves into Khandahar and I still do not agree with it today. I also don’t agree with the 1.3 million dollars a day price tag it has grown to under Harper’s watch…though I shouldn’t be surprised considering the Cons are spending money like water with few results…. cept war of course. .
    I agree with our new Lib leader’s position on Afghanistan and I trust him. I would like them home even quicker but I understand about keeping a promised commitment and can accept waiting to the end of the term. It’s called watching a situation evolve (e.g. like a vote in parliament to extend the mission) in a given context, analyzing it and adjusting my thinking accordingly.

    I enjoyed this article from the Canadian Policy Alternatives
    Summary
    • After the United States, Canada has sustained the
    highest number of military deaths as a result of hostile
    actions in Afghanistan since the original invasion in
    2001 (27 of 244).
    • Since February 2006, when our troops began
    operations in Kandahar, Canada has sustained 43% of
    all military deaths among U.S. allies in the coalition (20
    of 47 non-U.S. deaths).
    • When adjusted for the relative size of troop
    commitments, a Canadian soldier in Kandahar is nearly
    three times more likely to be killed in hostile action
    than a British soldier, and four-and-a-half times more
    likely than an American soldier in Afghanistan.
    • A Canadian soldier in Kandahar is still nearly six
    times more likely to die in hostilities than a U.S. soldier
    serving in Iraq.
    • If the current rate of military deaths since February
    2006 were to remain unchanged until the end of the
    mission in January 2009, the Canadian military would
    sustain another 108 military deaths, bringing the total
    number of military deaths for Afghanistan to 140, or
    four times higher than what is today.

  12. Dirk Gibson says:

    Well Woman 0, with that post you have redeemed yourself. If you say you didn’t agree with Graham and Martin and the direction the Liberals took the war starting in 2005, I say more power to you. What I find irksome is when people say that it was Harper who set this direction change in place, when it was clearly planned before he was even elected.

    Has Harper picked up where the Liberals left off? Of course. He picked it up and extended it by two years. But even the most die-hard Cons realize that the balance is not right over there and our men are getting blown to bits. I don’t see the mission going beyond 2009 for Canada in its current capacity. But nobody can say our men and women haven’t given it their best shot.

  13. Woman at Mile 0 says:

    I would agree they have done all they can Dirk. I believe the only hope for the mission in Afghanistan is if the Dems win in 08 and pull the troops out of Iraq and back to Afghanistan. Then we would have a whole new ballgame.

  14. Dirk Gibson says:

    Well that is certainly Clinton’s message when he is on tour. He would like to see Canada stay in Afghanistan and see more US troops join them.

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