What else would anyone who has been paying attention expected??? Harper doesn't put together "panels" and "commissions" to get answers that he doesn't want. He wants the "Yes Man" answer, which is why he picked Manley to head it, so he could have a Liberal appearing to be his "Yes Man". Harper could have used a trained parrot to put this report together, but with that parrot, he couldn't run around the country during the next election saying "This former Liberal Deputy PM and Finance Minister told me to do this, and I will agree to follow his recommendations... Look how non-partisan I am". The picture of the string puppet there was very apt, because Manley just became the Harper Conservatives most high profile new toy and they will use this toy over and over again.
"Manley just became the Harper Conservatives most high profile new toy and they will use this toy over and over again."The Conservatives will campaign on it.
They will campaign on it for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the plan from the start to defuse this issue for them. They know that anything coming from their mouths is looked upon with sceptisizm and in a bad light. So how do you get your message to be accepted? Get someone who seems to have more credibility say it. It reminds me of a line from The Simpsons Movie when Tom Hanks (as himself) says "Hi, I'm Tom Hanks. The U.S. Government has lost all of it's credibility, so I'm lending it some of mine".
yeah that was my first thought too.. how Much Money did this boloney cost To Us???The "Mission " is a misguided misadventure what cannot land in any decent fashion .. we were drawn into by the USA /Bush/ By threatening our economy It started out about getting the “ bad guys “ and punish THEM. They are Ghosts now… No one knows what is the goal and everybody knows it became a quagmire without Clear achievable Goals. No one can "control" that land Our Troops are just like” pepperspray “ on that Huge unforgiving land … almost inhabitable For our guys we are mostly forced DEFENDING our positions ..the Soviets needed 10 years to admit it. Are not we smarter then them?? it is a pure waste of human lives and money.../i would say reckless waste /…Harper needed this panel to wash his hands spread the Blame … when It became obvious It wont Give him the GLORY he is washing his hands …./ As with other “independent ‘ advisors ./ What a crook … a slime a snake ... marta
Sorry, I know this is unrelated. But I have to make this prediction now.I now predict before any polls show it, that Hillary Clinton will win the SC primary.The headlines the next day will be, "It's The Economy Stupid"The collapse of the global stock markets yesterday assures Clinton a victory in the Democratic nomination.In fact, Mr. Obama may not even win 11 primaries, as Jesse Jackson did in 1988. Now is not the time for pretty speeches.Watch for Clinton's lead over Obama nationally to open up to more than 15% in the next week.btw Manley's recommendations aren't outside of what Liberals want, which is a troop roation from NATO, not a pulloout.This is not just important for Afghanistan, but for the continued relevance of the NATO alliance, which is in jeopardy.
"I now predict before any polls show it, that Hillary Clinton will win the SC primary."You should call the campaign and give them the good news! Hillary isn't even campaigning in South Carolina. If that doesn't speak VOLUMES, I don't know what does. cam"I wouldn't be surprised if that was the plan from the start to defuse this issue for them. They know that anything coming from their mouths is looked upon with sceptisizm and in a bad light. So how do you get your message to be accepted? Get someone who seems to have more credibility say it."Not only would I not be surprised, I'm willing to bet that was the initial calculation, that lead to the panel in the first place. This whole exercise was meant to create political cover, it had nothing to do with moving the debate beyond "partisanship". Knowing how this government operates, how anybody could believe otherwise is hard to believe.dame"how Much Money did this baloney cost To Us???"I'm willing to bet it cost more than one of those helicopters we so desperately need.
Whooee! Thankee fer postin' that link to download the report. Could you post a link to Wajid Khan's Pakistan report?;-)I don't think it matters what Manley says. A sizable majority of Canadians are opposed to this Afghan mission and I don't think Manley is going to win anyone over. For those who want Canada out of the role of supporting the warlord-dominated narco-state known as The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, there's not too much difference between Grits and Cons. It's only a difference in tactics, not ideology. Karzai does not deserve the blood we're shedding for his opium dealer brother and his "elected" warlords. The new reports of confirmed torturing by the folks we're dying for is far more potent than Manley's rubber stamp job. JB
What don't you like about the report? It calls for accountable measures, and an independent auditor to ensure the progress being made. Why won't you support this mission?
JBLol on Wajid :)raphael"What don't you like about the report?"I don't accept this process as legitimate, I don't buy the "independent" angle, I don't think this panel had the qualifications, I don't think they have produced anything new. If you read the scant recommendations, there is really nothing there. The Americans are already bringing in more forces to the south, so I'm sure the "big" brigade Manley is demanding is already in play.MacKay and Bernier have started to emphasize training, an evolution to the mission, that will be less about combat, more about training and re-construction (see Afghan photo-ops). Criticizing CIDA, everyone already knows the re-construction is moving too slow. More diplomacy, gee that's original.This report is basically a fluff piece IMHO, vague with intent, to allow the government to do basically whatever it wants. My attitude towards this panel has nothing to do with supporting/against this mission.
Steve,I don't accept this process as legitimate, I don't buy the "independent" angle, I don't think this panel had the qualificationsI would have been as happy as anybody if the government had put forth an independent and non-partisan panel. Unfortunately that has not happened.I don't think they have produced anything new. If you read the scant recommendations, there is really nothing there.Maj-Gen Lewish MacKenzie said on an interview with CBC Newsworld on Sunday that the recommendations made are pretty much what have been called for all along. Afghanistan needs more time to bolster forces, and improve their own security situation. But he also made a strong case for what he called "the abandonment of the mission" given that Canada has literally invested millions of dollars in military infrastructure which the NDP and Liberals seem to want to toss to another country.As for your next point, I would say that Mr.MacKenzie also said it was a shame that people think the Americans should be responsible for bolstering the NATO ranks, when they already represent the largest contingency. Where is our sense of honour in that? And where is NATO in general?MacKay and Bernier have started to emphasize training, an evolution to the mission, that will be less about combat, more about training and re-constructionI think there is a reasonable doubt as to whether Afghanistan is secure enough for Canada to leave in good conscience of having served to the aims of mission success. The panel cites that two more years is more likely a reasonable time to allow the Afghan government the time it needs to gain true independence in the region, and be able to provide the kind of security it needs to fend off the insurgency of the Taliban. Perhaps the panel isn't based on "new ideas", but it does cite two critical factors. The Canadian Forces mission requires a solid mission that is not "open-ended", and a plan needs to be developed to qualitatively improve the life of Afghanis, instead of just fighting the Taliban.
raphael:How did the panel come up with the time line of two more years?Most truly independent observers, including Rick Hillier, have stated the middle of the next decade as a minimum, with the most likely timeline being sometime closer to 2020. Of course, General Hillier "corrected" himself to agree that it will be in about two years, which is the same timeline as the Conservative government. Do you really believe it is a coincidence that the panel has accepted the government line and not that of other observers?As for a clear conscience about leaving the south, Canadians have served in that region for three years and they have done it with distinction. When they leave, regardless of when that is, they can leave with their heads held high and Canadians can watch with a crystal clear conscience.
Do you really believe it is a coincidence that the panel has accepted the government line and not that of other observers?Well, far be it from me to accuse others of not reading the report yet. I myself have barely read the first third of it, and I assume that not everyone has had the chance to read it thoroughly. Having said that, it's possible that the report falls in line with the government stance, but one of the charts in the pdf bears mentions:On page 24 it says that the growth of the Afghan National Army is due to grow by 500 troops in Kandahar province from August 07 to Feb 08 with the help of 32 Canadian Forces trainers.On page 14 it shows that the ANA is due to grow to 55,000 strong by March of 2008. The current NATO stabilizing force is comprised of 54,800, which would exceed foreign troops for the first time. As the ANA grows in strength and number it would make sense that NATO could then draw down, or turn to a role more of military administration. By December of 2008, the ANA will have 66,000 troops, with 70,000 by March of 2009 as outlined in the Afghan Compact. The last bar shows a projection of 80,000 strong for optimum performance by May of 2010.This shows clear and tangible methods in which NATO aims to improve the security situation in Afghanistan.As for a clear conscience about leaving the south, Canadians have served in that region for three years and they have done it with distinction. When they leave, regardless of when that is, they can leave with their heads held high and Canadians can watch with a crystal clear conscience.Absolutely. But not without consequence.
I've added a longer argument to my blog, with supporting argument from James Travers of the Toronto Star:This report is not a rubber stamp
Again Raphael, where do the authors of this report come up with their figures, when many other observers who were not appointed by Stephen Harper disagree with their assessment?Does the fact the report tacitly rejects those other assessments in favour of a position that dovetails so well with the Conservatives not give you pause?
ottlib, the figures are based on a number of sources, including the Afghan Compact mentioned in my previous comment. I refer specifically to page 78 in which it speaks about Security in adding 70 to 80,000 troops in the Army, including proposals to bolster the Afghan Border police.Does the fact the report tacitly rejects those other assessments in favour of a position that dovetails so well with the Conservatives not give you pause?No, I think that it dovetails nicely with the recommendations in the Afghan Compact of 2006.
Sorry Raphael, I still do not buy it.Stephen Harper wants to extend the combat mission in Afghanistan and this report recommends just that. Certainly, they dress that recommendation up in all sorts o rhetorical finery but that does not take away from the fact this report supports the position of Stephen Harper.I would say that is quite a coincidence but then I remember there are no coincidences in politics.
I think ottlib raises a very good point, one I had considered. Quite a coincidence that the panel's recommendations are completely in tune with the Harper timeline.I would just add, it's fine for people to argue that this panel gives us a clear roadmap, but I would counter that all these facts were in place, prior to this exercise, there is really nothing original to add to the discussion. A all party committee would have gleamed the same information in my opinion, with the added bonus of better representation from divergent viewpoints. Also, that approach was propably a better forum to reach a consensus, because everyone was actively engaged. I think you have a better chance of the Liberals coming on board, if they were more invested in the conclusions.
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