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PM sounds like defeatist, father of slain soldier says

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Says he's upset that Stephen Harper has called the Taliban insurgency unbeatable, arguing it's bad for troop morale ...Read the full article

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  1. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: .....now that the futility of this enterprise has been established at the highest level, we look forward to the immediate repatriation of our people before further loss of life and limb....
  2. Richard Stanczak from Corunna, Ontario, Canada writes: The Taliban are a grass roots organization with support in Afghanistan and the region. Mr. Harper is finally facing the truth. NATO, which includes us, would have to continue to occupy Afghanistan for decades to contain the Taliban.
    This occupation can only end when a political accommodation is reached between the Afghan political parties which would include the Taliban. Canada and NATO's interest should only be in assuring that Afghanistan is not allowed to be a haven for Al Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization. The remainder of the details are up to the Afghan people.

    I for one am glad that Mr. Harper is finally leveling with the Canadian people. Perhaps the departure of Canadian forces will spur NATO and the Afghanistan government to negotiate an end to this occupation.
  3. D G from Canada writes: Why didn't the Liberals and Conservatives understand this before they even went over there? Hundreds of Canadian soldiers dead, hundreds more permanently injured. thousands of innocent Afghan citizens dead and billions of dollars wasted. You are supposed to understand history so you don't repeat it. Afghanistan has never been defeated - ever! Canadians desrve better than this!
  4. Gardiner Westbound from Canada writes: .
    Sad over 100 brave Canadian soldiers have died for nothing. No foreign invader has ever succeeded. It's a civil war. Let them slaughter each other. They're very good at it.
  5. Oilman Auger from Edmonton, Canada writes: Intelligent analysis about 8 years too late. Occupations of non-industrial based societies are a waste of resources. The only positive to come out of the Canadian military being over there is that the troops are experienced in their business now. Bring the troops home so the money that would be saved can be spent by corrupt politicians here in Canada.
  6. loraine lamontagne from Canada writes: Taliban Steve!
  7. F.T. Ward from Canada writes: Where were these officers with their sage analysis in 2005? Did they keep this to themselves because they wanted the glory of a small war? to ensure the cash and kit they wanted came? not to contradict Hillier and risk their careers? Or did they not have a clue about Afghanistan or insurgencies? And if the government can't expect sound and truthful advice from the 'professional' military what exactly is it for? I think we should think long and hard about why we have been paying for a very expensive defence establishment that doesn't seem to function above company level.
  8. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes: Flip Flop.....again
  9. My 2 Cents from Canada writes: The Soviets rotated over 620,000 soldiers through Afghanistan over 10 years. At their peak, Russia had over 104,000 soldiers deployed at one time.

    The Soviets killed over 1 million Afghans.

    The Soviets lost that war.

    Do not mock Harper for expressing concern about the difficulty in destroying a resilient enemy that is hungry for theocratic power

    All in a land where no foreign occupier has succeeded...ever!

  10. 514 boy from Canada writes: The Afghan mission has accomplished its true goal, pleasing our largest trading partner. Not get the troops out of there. Poll after poll shown this is what Canadians want. It is as if the Yanks have cast a spell over our two major political parties.
  11. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Gabriel Allon from Canada writes:

    Flip Flop.....again

    -------------------------------

    ...and what flip flop - again - would that be?

    Try as I might, other than the 'cut and run' statement, I cannot; as much as I try, find anything where Harper ever said the Taliban WILL be defeated...if you have something that shows otherwise then by all means share it.

    Full transcript of the interview here...not that the G&M would ever omit details or anything like that...:-)

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/03/obama-harper-ca.html
  12. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I am not surprised that family of the military, and the military themselves feel betrayed by Harper.

    Perhaps he might have changed his change of heart to the folks most affected...the troops.

    Perhaps he might have spoken to the Canadian public, not the CNN American audience, when he decided to share his insight.

    For the fallen, and the families, Harper has publicly stated he is not surprised at the outcome of a failed mission.
  13. shaun narine from Fredericton, Canada writes: Mr. Harper is correct, of course - - but, then, it's been obvious for years that 'defeating' the Taliban is impossible. There was a very brief period, immediately after the invasion of Afghanistan, where it may - and that's a very big 'may' - have been possible to make lasting and substantial changes in Afghanistan that might have been able to knock out a Taliban insurgency at the knees. But that period was lost as the US went into its unnecessary war in Iraq, and that opportunity will not come back. Again, this has been obvious for years.

    Canada's involvement in Afghanistan has improved the lives of many people but, in the end, the government of Afghanistan must be the one fighting the Taliban. Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons to believe that the government will lose such a conflict, or at least never be able to really bring the Taliban under control. Any negotiated settlement is going to push the country away from the West, but a negotiated settlement is the only real prospect for peace.
  14. 4Cryin Outloud from Canada writes: '[From] my reading of Afghanistan history, it's probably had an insurgency forever, of some kind,' Mr. Harper said.

    It's that 'probably' that gives Harper's 'reading of Afghanistan history' no authority and that's almost 6 years into the battle?

    From my 'reading' of Harper's Afghanistan war we went there to first kill the 'murderers' and 'scumbags', then bring democracy, then give little girls schooling, then women freedom, then restructuring, then police and military training......and now?????? Had he been more 'read' on Afghanistan when the reading was important he would have been listening to Jack Layton years ago already. But no, Harper needs to make his 'points' doesn't he? He can't just be agreeable or generous he needs to jockey his way into looking like the 'SMARTEST MAN IN THE ROOM' while stepping on the toes of the smarter people that saw what was needed when he couldn't. He goes to the US of A to make a concerted effort to outshine Ignatieff and Obama!!!!! He keeps looking for approval anywhere he can get it and now that more and more of us know he's nothing more than the prime opportunist he needs to go further afield to fool anyone.

    I don't think Harper sounds like a defeatist nor a prime minister he's our prime opportunist. I have never agreed with this war but I do agree with this soldier's father that even if you don't think this war can be won you do not go spouting that off in your own country let a lone some other country TWO YEARS BEFORE YOU INTEND TO BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME. HUGE A-H0LE thing to do!!!
  15. Nestor C from Canada writes: Sorry people, but those who defend this occupation behind statements like 'Afghanistan is better now than it was' or 'We're doing good', fall to ask the very simple question:

    By who's standards!

    Sure we might be building schools or whatever the propaganda mill spews out, but in the end, if the grassroots John Q Public doesn't see his life as getting better, or more importantly even wanting his life to get better by Western standards, then you don't stand a hope in hades of doing there what you thought.

    We are not there fighting a country like in the WWs, we are fighting a people (big difference).

    Countries can be defeated eventually, people cannot if they don't want to be, and in this case they don't as our values and their values still don't intersect.

    Many people have correctly brought Russia into this and it truly does beg the question that if Russia at the height of it's military might (which was on par with the US at that time) could not roll through and conquer easily, what makes us think that little wee Canada can do that?

    I say again and again, our fine men and women in the military deserve better than to fight for an occupation where the majority of the indigenous folk don't even want us.
  16. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: Why is anyone surprised by this public flip by the PM . And why does anyone actually believe him ? Given the things he said about the economy in the face of obvious recession . And yet he calls himself an economist . This man has a long history of saying or promising one thing , then later doing / saying the opposite . His word is not to be trusted . Media reports prove this . How can we get responsible governance from someone that can't make up his mind ?. That said , he still doesn't get what the Canadian military should be doing while in that country . Don't blame that on Nato - The direction for military commanders should be coming from Canada . Don't defer to Nato . But that would require him having to actually firure out that which the rest of us already know . Will there always be resistance in Afganistan - probably , and that is normal . There is resistance to the Harperites in Canada - thank goodness there is . Otherwise we would be living under a dictator . Dictator Harper - consider that horror for a moment . Early on the Afgan Nato / Canadian commanders should have begun an alternative way of farmers making a living someway other than growing poppies . If they had done that , far less of the country would be under seige by the Taliban. Loyality lies with those that allow you to feed yor family . The Farmers need western help with that - it is impossible for them to grow anything else except poppies as a cash crop under Taliban rule .
  17. Tim N from Canada writes: At least Harper can admit the truth....

    once he has no choice left, that is. (The economy, Afganistan...)
  18. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I am not surprised that family of the military, and the military themselves feel betrayed by Harper.

    Perhaps he might have changed his change of heart to the folks most affected...the troops.

    Perhaps he might have spoken to the Canadian public, not the CNN American audience, when he decided to share his insight.

    For the fallen, and the families, Harper has publicly stated he is not surprised at the outcome of a failed mission.

    -------------------------------

    Catherine, when Harper made his 'cut and run' comment what followed was years of 'war monger', 'Bush's poodle',etc...

    Had Harper said the insurgency would be defeated the above comments would still be ringing through the hills....

    No one has said the mission has failed...perhaps if you followed the above link I provided you would see that.

    The bottom line is no matter what Harper says or does in regards to the deployment the whiners will still complain...
  19. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I would never call the father of a fallen soldier 'a whiner.'
  20. Naomi Y from Canada writes: The west is acting more and more like Soviet Union. Wasting hundreds of billion of money on wars while suffering from a terrible economic crisis at home.

    Pull back all troops now and cut foreign aid now!!! Funnel the money back into the economy. It's the only way we can hope for a quick recovery.
  21. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes:

    Jason Roy: I would never call the father of a fallen soldier 'a whiner.'

    ---------------------------------------

    I was refering to the posters on here...
  22. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Richard Stanczak writes:
    This occupation can only end when a political accommodation is reached between the Afghan political parties which would include the Taliban. Canada and NATO's interest should only be in assuring that Afghanistan is not allowed to be a haven for Al Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization. The remainder of the details are up to the Afghan people.
    -----
    Perhaps many won't like what you wrote concerning the inclusion of the Taliban, but they are not going away, and are said to control over 70% of the country!

    No matter what we believe, revolution and change MUST come from within. Of course it's ugly and dirty, but we cannot impose our will, or what we deem is the right thing to do. Some would call that arrogance!

    I always wondered how Americans would have felt if they were invaded and occupied during their Civil War?

    It is terribly unfortunate that political forces changed the original mission in 2002 from' Find Bin Laden and destroy the training camps!' to change the govt. and occupy a country.

    As author Carol Brightman so aptly stated, and history is full of examples:
    ' Never wage a war against a PEOPLE'.
    .
  23. Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: I laugh at the Conservative posters who now are supporting Harper's statements about the Taliban. If this was said by Jack Layton the Taliban Jack statements would be all over this forum. It's funny how the gung-ho Tories are just as left of the war debate as the Liberals and the NDP.
  24. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: We are losing soldiers, in Afghanistan, and Harper, upon doing a little reading, states that the mission is doomed. Two years before our soldiers are to change the role of the mission.

    Harper makes his revelation on CNN.

    Did he plagiarize his announcement too?
  25. LOU Padula from montreal, Canada writes: Now that president Bush is gone,perhaps some sanity can be brought back into the discussion. Osama Bin Laden should always have been pursued as a criminal. Labeling his movement as a terrorist movement, created a massive self propelling bureaucracy with the objective of producing democratic societies in backward rural societies, with no hope of ever succeeding.
    The sadness in all this is how many flag waving nationalists both here and in the US supported this foolish madness over the past 8 years.
  26. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes:

    Jason Roy: We are losing soldiers, in Afghanistan, and Harper, upon doing a little reading, states that the mission is doomed.

    ---------------------------------------

    Harper said this?

    Let me guess, you DIDN'T follow the link I provided - as usual?
  27. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I will follow your link when I have time, Jason.
    But, Harper has found time to do a little reading, and has changed his mind. Of course, the troops feel betrayed.
  28. D F from Canada writes: We need a leader with true vision, and the ability to put good plans into action with a successful conclusion, plain and simple.
  29. Russell Barth from Nepean, Canada writes: admitting that the war in afghanistan is unwinnable is one of the only truths the uber-lair harper has ever uttered. Now if he would only come clean on the fat that the war on drugs is not winnable either, we might get someplace.
  30. forty sum from Canada writes: Bush is gone and there is a new drumer in the USA, of course Harper is going to say what somebody has told him, he is not smart enough to figure it out on his own. His mantra is to lie, he is good at lieing, problem is his poor memory, canadians will remember all his lies though.
  31. Winston Churchill from London, Canada writes: Its an insurgency stupid! It can defeat you, but if by 'victory' you mean a Mount Suribachi moment, that's just not going to happen.

    Victory comes when an insurgency peter's out to the point where its incapable of launching a successful drive for power. We were there, a few years ago. Right now, the search for the Suribachi moment, and the implication of more American troops, might well be making the thing truly unwinnable. If, by victory, you think that Afghanistan should be a participatory democracy without political violence, and with little girls going unveiled to secular schools, then of course we aren't winning -- that 'victory' was never obtainable.

    The PM is poorly informed, or his briefers are. A little realism needs to be blown into their conference room, and the rest of the dope seized (its still illegal man). Victory is still possible, you just have to define it correctly.

    How do you win when you don't know what victory looks like, in a particular context?
  32. Bruce Gerrard from Toronto, Canada writes: And people wonder why PM Harper does not give the same kind of interviews to the Canadian press? He goes on CNN, looks the most Prime Ministerial anyone has since Mulroney, speaks sincerely and honestly and the Globe has run nothing but cynical, negative articles.....so typical.
    I feel badly for the father and families of any and all soldiers or anyone in the military. It's a tough job and a great sacrifice that Canadians should be proud of. I feel sorry for this man that he is being exploited by the G&M to promote their cynical left wing agneda.
    I do not think that the Prime Minister was saying that we can not be succesful, he was just being honest. Let's not doubt though for a second that Canada and the allies will be succesful in restoring power to the Afghan people and keep in mind that we did not go there to 'win' and we are not trying to occupy a country. I do not think that the PM is sending mixed signals but in this country honesty seems to get you nowhere.
  33. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes:

    Jason Roy: I will follow your link when I have time, Jason.

    ----------------------------------

    So in other words you didn't and most likely won't - instead doing your usual dance and deflect...

    This is for you:

    'And I'm not saying we cannot improve things. But if we think -- our experience has taught us, if we think that we are going to govern Afghanistan for the Afghans, or over the long term be responsible for day-to-day security in Afghanistan, and see that country improve, we are mistaken....We're not going to win this war just by staying...What has to happen in Afghanistan is, we have to have an Afghan government that is capable of managing that insurgency and improving its own governance....a part of the calculation there is the fact that, ultimately, the source of authority in Afghanistan has to be perceived as being indigenous. If it's perceived as being foreign -- and I still think we're welcome there -- but if it's perceived as being foreign, it will always have a significant degree of opposition....'
  34. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Bruce Gerrard: Ah, Canadians do not show appreciation for Harper, so he is granting interview with CNN and not the Canadian media.

    Did anyone notice a Canadian flag behind Harper, or should we conclude that he is now sanitized Americanized.
  35. Ron in Ottawa from Canada writes: Is it any wonder politicians lie so much. Anytime they tell the truth they are pummeled and attacked and insulted. Harper, nor anyone else with any serious knowledge, ever said we would beat the Taliban and be able to claim total victory; that was never a real possibility. The Taliban is not one group, not one cohesive unit. It is an amalgamation of several groups from many different countries. Mr. Harper was being honest and straightforward about the prospects and objectives - let the attacks, insults and criticism begin - how dare he tell the truth.
  36. Robert Moses from Toronto, Canada writes: It may be bad for troop morale, but its the truth. And the truth hurts, but sets you free.
  37. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I did read your article, between the house tidy up and the compiliation of the errand list.

    Harper and his crew made much of little girls getting to school in Afghanistan, Jason.

    The habits of the Taliban have not changed.
    Harper has changed.
  38. John Doucette from Manotick, Canada writes: So, Harper finally spoke the truth and now we're worried about troop morale. Folks, blind obedience is always stupid. That in fact has always been the greatest military weakness for all nations: Blind obedience led us to the charge of the Light Brigade, Custer's Massacre, Viet Nam, and the Holocaust.
  39. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I did read your article, between the house tidy up and the compiliation of the errand list.

    Harper and his crew made much of little girls getting to school in Afghanistan, Jason.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    ...and that is only part of the picture Catherine. Other parts include training the ANA and ANP to the point they can hold their own...

    ...or would you prefer we be there forever...I mean if that were the case it would give ammo to the CPC bashers...

    ...perhaps we should encourage Iggy to bring down the government...then the sheep now labelling this mission as ``warmonger Harper pleasing Bush (Obama)`` can go back to their pre-Harper stance of ``nation building and upholding Canada`s image on the world stage`` as we perform ``peacekeeping and aiding the Afghan people...
  40. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I would appreciate a Prime Minister who did not need on the job training to get up to speed.

    Harper has many of his hard truths sliding from under him.
    It is a sorry necessity that our troops are making the altimate sacrifice.
  41. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    LOU Padula from montreal, Canada writes: Now that president Bush is gone,perhaps some sanity can be brought back into the discussion. Osama Bin Laden should always have been pursued as a criminal.
    ---------
    Of course you are absolutely correct! When one looks at this in a cold and objective manner, 9/11 was a criminal act committed by a group of individuals and NOT by a government or nation state!

    Again, the supposed and trumpeted original mission was to find Bin Laden and destroy the terrorist training camps.

    If the original goals and objectives would have been adhered to, there would not be this mess.......unless, of course, there were/are other motives.

    ' Revenge is a dish best served cold'
    .
  42. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: That would be 'ultimate.' Off to run errands.
  43. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: Retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie said there's been a 'subtle change' in Mr. Harper's message on Afghanistan. 'He's too intelligent not to know the nuances.'

    Mr. MacKenzie is very correct in his assessment. Yet again with Mr. Harper its all politics all the time. The man has no principles and it is apparent that he has used the young men and women of the Canadian Forces for some years now as cannon fodder for his political ambitions.
    It is quite evident that Mr. Harper knows not what he is doing in Afghanistan other than creating a photo opportunity for he and his ministers. He now sees the winds of political change blowing in from our southern neighbour and has turned his sails to try and catch the moment. In the meantime young men and women must bear arms at the front in a futile effort that Mr. Harper promoted in order to score points with his great mentor from Texas.
  44. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes: Jason Roy

    Good luck to shovel ready steve selling that to the troops in Kandahar, they've been sold out.
  45. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: I cannot understand how soldiers and their families must feel after hearing Harper's prediction. People are expected to be there for at least 2 more years in combat and then have hinted they will be there longer under a different guise.
    What game is Harper playing? He has been hot enough for this war since he has been in government. Now he is running to the US to announce that he has a completely different take on the situation.
    Would this be because Obama is planning to send troupes from Iraq to Afghanistan?
    I personally have never supported this war and I am the first one to say bring our guys and gals home. If Harper believes this to be true then why are our troupes not on planes coming home?
  46. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Jason Roy: I would appreciate a Prime Minister who did not need on the job training to get up to speed.

    Harper has many of his hard truths sliding from under him.
    It is a sorry necessity that our troops are making the altimate sacrifice.

    ---------------------------------------

    Sigh...

    Once again Catherine...where did Harper ever say the Taliban would be defeated...
  47. chicken grambo from Canada writes: And I am glad Harper has changed and is resolved tio end this nightmare. Chretien never NEVER should have taken us to war. He was a Bush lap dog to be sure! And we won't even mention Mr. Dithers!
  48. Zack Fair from Canada writes: Catherine, who said the military felt betrayed? I think Mr Davis did not understand what the PM was saying. From the article military analysts, Gen McKenzie and Prof Bland understand what was really said. It is no different than before. We cannot win only militarily, governance must be afghan, we must continue to offer security an help build infrastructure, etc Again, if the mission does fail and the Taliban are back in governing Afghanistan, it will have been an international failure, not solely a Canadian one.

    I think Mr Obama's surge strategy may work if it buys enough time for instilling stability and governance for and by the Afghans.

    Many refer to Russia's failure to conquer Afghanistan. We conveniently forget that they were winning up until the time when the US stepped in. This was a proxy war between the two.
  49. Censured Comments from Canada writes: I wonder who told Harper to say that? He would never speak out against anything the American administration would want to protect. He even supported the war in Iraq.
    So, perhaps his lunch with Obama gave our PM his new mandate?
  50. Misodzi Sithole from Canada writes: The PM is stating what the majority of the population has known from the beggining of this ill-advised mission. People should learn their history and know that if you are an ocuupation army, you will never win the gratitude of those who you are occupying. Canadians would not give roses to an occupying army so I wonder why some feel the Afghans should have. It is because we have been deceived and brainwashed here on the realities of the sentiments towards foreign armies' presence.
  51. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Zack Fair: I suggest you read your history, no one wins in Afghanistan for long. The surge idea is British and the Afghanie's have already kicked them out of there at least twice. I am not sure they are the best people to be taking advice from.

    Jason Roy: Give me a break, if you send combat troupes to a combat zone it is implied that they are there to win. If you have only sent them to be cannon fodder than you should be the one on the front line.
  52. S D from Canada writes: PM is 100% correct.
  53. Proud Canadian from Canada writes: Its time Canada ditched this Harper guy. Really, I dont care if its Liberal or Conservative the government, but not one led by dictator Steve Harper. If it means defeat at the polls, let it be, if it means a very sliight minority in his favor next time so he will just leave on his own, let it be, but decision after decision being made by the war room bullies vs the elected members of parliament no matter what party has to be disposed of. And with Harper gone, lets get the Harris Hacks out of there also. And maybe some of the ultra religious Alberta Reform group to boot.
  54. chicken grambo from Canada writes: Where did Chretien come up with such a hair brained idea.It must have been Bush putting him up to it!
    Maybe he just wanted to hand Dithers a real problem to deal with.
  55. chicken grambo from Canada writes: Chretien did all the lying. Harper is the truth.Harper is the light!
  56. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper was asked about Martin's comments following a meeting in Bucharest with Romanian President Traian Basescu, where they also discussed the shared effort in Afghanistan where the two countries are involved in a NATO-led mission to support the Afghan government and eliminate the Taliban.

    He said that the current mission in Kandahar, which lasts until 2007, is the same mission that the former Liberal government approved. Harper's Conservative government voted in May to extend Canada's stay in the country until 2009 after this mission ends.

    The prime minister has spoken in the past about the need to bring security to the country, through force if necessary, before real aid and reconstruction can begin. But instead of repeating that explanation,

    Harper lashed out at his predecessor saying that such a mindset illustrates why he was no longer fit to lead the country after just 18 months in office.

    'When you make those kinds of decisions as a prime minister you have to be able to take responsibility for them and stick with them,' Harper said. 'The fact that Mr. Martin is unable to do that ... illustrates why he is no longer prime minister.'
  57. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Ron in Ottawa from Canada writes: Is it any wonder politicians lie so much. Anytime they tell the truth they are pummeled and attacked and insulted. Harper, nor anyone else with any serious knowledge, ever said we would beat the Taliban and be able to claim total victory; that was never a real possibility.

    -------------------

    This seems to be the latest talking point that you and Jason seem to have. Harper never did actually say that the Taliban could be defeated in those words, I will give you that much.

    BUT, he did berate politicians and others that have said exactly what he is saying now, claiming they were unpatriotic, cut and runners, and any number of other insults. This is the same as having said the opposite and flip flopping.

    It's sad to see that some of you can't grasp this simple little fact. Harper owes an apology to all those he has accused of being unpatriotic or taliban sympathisers for saying what he is finally admitting to.
  58. Mark Mills from Sault Ste Marie, Canada writes: I cant believe Harper would go on American television and publicly sound like a defeatist. All it will accomplish is backlash from our Allies and bring our troop moral down.

    With nearly 2 years remaining on our current commitment and the almost certainity of more Nato soldiers being killed and wounded over there, why at this time would our PM say such things. What a slap in the face of the current roto and the future one's to follow.

    Think of the soldiers currently over there. The 16 hour shifts, the blowing sand and dust they breath in and sadly all the ramp ceremonies they've endured. Are these sacrifices and more being done for nothing?

    Thanks Mr. Prime Minister. You've just let us all down again!

    There is a time and place for honesty, maybe 8 years ago was the time but to go on American television and speak to the American public wasn't the time nor was it the place!
  59. Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Leave the locals to slaughter eachother.

    You can't help people who don't want to be helped.
  60. marlene stobbart from high river, Canada writes: PM Harper is a pragmatic individual and, a realist. He was speaking truth with respect to Afghanistan - the terrain is impossible to overcome the Taliban, etc. That has been the case in that country the past 2,000 years.
    We were originally in that country in a protective mode only on behalf of NATO and were signed into the fighting mode by PM Martin in March of 2005. That PM Harper spoke on CNN was, in my humble opinion, to notify the US that we will NOT be pressured into continuing past the due date of 2011. IF all the people of he world could go into that country and bring all those women and children - only then could a strong message to these Taliban men be made. Our young men and women have been giving their lives to help but, when the rest of the world are not wishing to we have to think what is best for them. National pride, national unity and pride in our military is what Canada is about.
  61. Cross the Border and up the Hill from Canada writes: He's facing the truth? Funny thing though. I mean, you admit to not being able to win yet you continue on? This isn't a hockey game Steve or a Rambo movie. If you believe they are unbeatable then why in the he!! are you keeping them over there? Wasting lives and, less importantly, money. Just as illogical as Nortel giving out bonuses to keep 'top talent' or government giving money to GM. The more these guys talk the more The Planet of the Apes looks probable.
  62. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Give me a break, if you send combat troupes to a combat zone it is implied that they are there to win. If you have only sent them to be cannon fodder than you should be the one on the front line. -------------------------------------- Oh puleeze.... Before Harper became PM the mission was hailed as 'peacekeeping' and reconstruction... When Harper became PM somehow magically overnight the mission became one of 'warmonger Harper pleasing his master Bush'... When Harper said Canada would never cut and run he was labelled a war monger... When Harper held the first vote he was labelled a warmonger... When Harper held the second vote he was labelled a warmonger... When Harper said Canada is out in 2011 he was labelled a flip-flopper, despite the fact the end date was decided in Parliament... When Layton said victory was impossible and talks with the Taliban were the solution he was hailed as correct by the ones against the deployment... When Harper unjustly accused the LPC and NDP as being Taliban sympathisers he was rightly criticised for that... Now that he's said the insurgents cannot be defeated he's criticised for that... Would you have criticised Martin for withdrawing CF on schedule in 2007? Did you criticise Dion for reversing the LPC's prior position? Has there been any opposition to 'warmonger' Obama sending extra troops? I could just imagine the comments if McCain had won the election...
  63. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Give me a break, if you send combat troupes to a combat zone it is implied that they are there to win. If you have only sent them to be cannon fodder than you should be the one on the front line. -------------------------------------- Oh puleeze.... Before Harper became PM the mission was hailed as 'peacekeeping' and reconstruction... When Harper became PM somehow magically overnight the mission became one of 'warmonger Harper pleasing his master Bush'... When Harper said Canada would never cut and run he was labelled a war monger... When Harper held the first vote he was labelled a warmonger... When Harper held the second vote he was labelled a warmonger... When Harper said Canada is out in 2011 he was labelled a flip-flopper, despite the fact the end date was decided in Parliament... When Layton said victory was impossible and talks with the Taliban were the solution he was hailed as correct by the ones against the deployment... When Harper unjustly accused the LPC and NDP as being Taliban sympathisers he was rightly criticised for that... Now that he's said the insurgents cannot be defeated he's criticised for that... Would you have criticised Martin for withdrawing CF on schedule in 2007? Did you criticise Dion for reversing the LPC's prior position? Has there been any opposition to 'warmonger' Obama sending extra troops? I could just imagine the comments if McCain had won the election...
  64. Michael Manning from Mississauga, Canada writes: Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: 'If this (Harper's statements) was said by Jack Layton the Taliban Jack statements would be all over this forum.'

    Alas, some people are are childishly partisan.

    IF, instead of invading Iraq for no discernable reason (beyond some bizarre pipe dream of a New American Century) the Bush administration had finished what it started in Afghanistan there MIGHT have been an opportunity to effect permanent change in the region.

    While saying it leaves the taste of bile in my mouth, Jack Layton was correct. The only way to stablize the system is to talk with the Taliban. Unfortunately, they are much stronger and much more popular today than they were five years ago when the conversation should have started.

    Mr. Harper is enough of a pragmatist to understand that Canada is not in the drivers seat. Our influence on strategy and policy is minimal. Like Tony Blair, he is hoping to help shoulder the American's burden in order to have an effect on decisions. I wish this were the case but ultimately it is always U.S. domestic politics that trumps all other concerns.
  65. Walt Robbins from Canada writes: I am happy that the Government of Canada has set a more realistic goal for the Afghan mission; to help the Afghan Government to help itself, to defend itself and to restore itself as a member of the community of responsible nations.

    To achieve this difficult goal, NATO and the UN must continue to do whatever it takes using every strategy and tactic available to it, to continue to destabilize the Taliban. Military victory in the classic sense is very unlikely, but over time, authoritarian organizations, such as the Taliban, usually self destruct, fade away, etc.

    On a Macro scale, the same 'grinding down' tactics will be necessary to deal with terrorist groups around the world.

    The world community must never again allow the al-Qaeda network to consolidate itself, in any part of the world, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the 'center piece' geopolitical nexus of Islamic extremist ambitions.
  66. Jake The Snake from Canada writes: I'm sure it's hard news for the family of fallen soldiers to take but what is worse, being fed a bunch of gung-ho propaganda or being told the truth. War is not a John Wayne movie and its about time that nonsense finally stopped.

    Unfortunately the gung-ho propaganda side have been dominating the conversation for the last few years wearing the flag on the sleaves ready at the drop of a hat to label, chastise and denigrade anyone who spoke in a different tone. Well this is what that behaviour begats. Broken hearted families who were sold a bill of goods. Good job chickenhawks you should be proud of your worthless selves.

    Stevie is right to finally acknowledge the truth, a truth which those in the know have been saying for years. But he and his MP's are not getting off for fueling this fire to suit their smear and fear political needs. And as was mentioned earlier it's unfortunate he was in front of a CNN crew when he finally started talking squarely on this.
  67. Hey, that's my armadillo, get your own. from Canada writes: Has everyone forgotten why Afghanistan was invaded? All the Taliban had to do was hand over bin Laden.

    The Taliban continues to protect the leaders of Al Qaeda. And we should hand Afghanistan back to them? How pathetically naive can people be?
  68. Stan L from Canada writes: marlene stobbart from high river, Canada writes: PM Harper is a pragmatic individual and, a realist. He was speaking truth with respect to Afghanistan - the terrain is impossible to overcome the Taliban, etc. That has been the case in that country the past 2,000 years.

    marlene.....I agree with respects to Afghanistan....many have tried in history with that country and many have failed. If that's the case then, Harper should not have wrapped himself in the flag with the 'Canadians don't cut and run' commentary in the first place. I get why the Liberals went in there....in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and with the support of the US and NATO we were going to get Bin Laden, we were going to liberate them......But, in 2006, away from the precipitating incident, Harper continued this mission secure in its correctness, poured money into it, accused the Liberals of not supporting the mission in the first place...heck there was even an attempt at that whole 'if you are not with the war you are against the troops nonsense'.......now these sobering words, this is not the rhetoric of someone who is pragmatic or a realist....had he been, he would have not overblown the rhetoric and the hype in the first place...at the very least.
  69. Michael Feighney from Toronto, Canada writes: It's one thing for the PM to believe this in private, but to publicly speak out does nothing but support to the Taliban and encourage them to increase their attacks against NATO and Canadian troops.

    It's the PM's job to provide both material and moral support to the men and women in our armed services. By openly expressing doubts he has pulled the rug out from under these fine men and women.
  70. Scrappy T from Canada writes: Without the help of the Afghan people themselves, they were so quick to accuse Canadian soldiers of killing those two children, it is impossible to 'win' this war.

    If other countries had done their share maybe things could have been different. I don't think 'any' Canadian government knew they would end up doing so much on their own.

    We will not, nor cannot, pull out before 2011, the results would be catastrophic for the Afghan people who have benefited by our involvement.

    With the Taliban being aided by Pakistan, the war is really on two fronts.
  71. O Perdana from Canada writes: Yah, but, but, they have tasers, and, and we only have staplers plus those old useless military maps we bought from Isreal.
  72. Jesse Winger from Calgary wants Clarity, Canada writes: Harper now wants to cut and run.

    Last month he was claiming the Opposition partys loved the Taliban more than our troops.

    What's it going to be then, Stephen? Do you really know what you're doing? Looks to me like you're staggering in the dark.
  73. Barry Turner from Ottawa, Canada writes: I don't think its entirely fair to conclude from his remarks that Harper is a defeatist. He has simply reached the point in his development as a politician where he realizes that to stay in power, he has to side with the majority of voters on major issues. The majority of voters want Canada out of Afghanistan and don't care if that is perceived as losing. Neither do the majority care if that country is run by Islamist extremists who have a fondness for chopping off heads. To satisfy his supporters, those still with him, Harper has to justify troop withdrawal with some kind of acceptable, to them, rationale. Concluding that the Taliban can't be beaten offers a logic that will make sense to committed Tories who, like Harper, want to stay in power at any cost. If they cant be defeated, there is no good reason to stay - that would just be sacrificing more Canadian lives for nothing. Sadly, Harper had to sacrifice one hundred or so lives to learn that. But that's politics, folks. You get the government you deserve in a Harper democracy.
  74. The Lakeman from Nova Scotia, Canada writes: To put it is the simplest of terms Mr. Harper, our Prime Minister. blew it big time. Those words should never have been uttered from the Prime Minister's lips. If he thinks our troops are in an impossible mission he should take them home immediately and let the U.S. bomb the Taliban back to the caveman days. Some how I believe that would not take many bombs.
  75. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: R. Carriere writes :

    Again, the supposed and trumpeted original mission was to find Bin Laden and destroy the terrorist training camps.

    If the original goals and objectives would have been adhered to, there would not be this mess.......unless, of course, there were/are other motives.
    ____________________________________

    Question is: What other motives....

    Will we ever know? In the meantime, our Canadian troops are still in the worst part of Afghanistan, stuck in Kandahar, and the only change in that region is that the Kandahar Air Base is under more construction and getting larger which does not bode well at all for our troops.

    Any help coming from other NATO countries?? In spite of promises we haven't seen any. Last year there were about 800 Marines deployed to Afghanistan and after 6 or 7 months, they all returned to the US, just prior to the presidential elections... Kandahar? Will at least a few thousand new troops promised by Obama go to Kandahar? When? Will it matter?? Will it change anything?

    -
  76. B. Goode from Canada writes: There was an interesting incident described by one of the guests on CPAC's Goldhawk on Sunday.
    There was a village where the women had to walk for two hours to get water and then two more hours to haul the water back. The soldiers decided that they could help and installed a pipeline from the well and a pump. After a few days, it was discovered that the pumping system had been deliberately broken. Who did this? It turned out that it was the women who broke it. They wanted to walk to the water source because that was their opportunity to socialize with each other. Otherwise, they would have four hours each day with nothing to do to fill that time.
    Theirs is a completely different culture.
    We shouldn't be trying to impose Western style civilization.
  77. Fran Irwin from Medicine Hat, Canada writes: When I saw the news clips from CNN of Harper's 'new' frank message on Afghanistan, I thought two things: 1) I felt he was in fact tryting to 'lecture' Obama, with a 'I know better than you, I'm still the smartest guy in the room..' attitude. The following form the article suggests it was indeed a statement directed across the bow to Obama: 'Military analysts suggested Mr. Harper's comments - made on national U.S. television - were directed at the Obama White House rather than Canadians, saying he appeared to be trying to influence the direction the Democratic administration takes in Afghanistan.' 2) Memories of Harper railing against opposition parties (especially Layton) for even suggesting that the Taliban in fact controlled up to 80% of the country, that there was no purely military solution, that political negotiations were necessary, or even mild suggestions that the government in place in Afghanistan was corrupt - all of these statements were 'treasonous' and indicated that the Opposition did NOT SUPPORT OUR TROOPS - at least according to Harper. I have a big problem with Harper going to CNN to find his 'reason' on Afghanistan. Made be recall when Harper and Monte Solberg went down to appear on FOX News when Chretien refused to send troops to Iraq to declare that he was 'ashamed of his country' for not standing by Bush's invasion. No one should be surprised by Harper's attempt to 'out-smart, out-impress' Obama - it is so true to his character. Harper has shown time and time again how ineffectual and dangerous he is in all areas of foreign policy. This father is expressing the pain of realizing that your son may have died in vain, there will be other Canadians who will not return - and this government has no idea how to rationalize their loss, or how to handle our role in this NATO mission.
  78. Bruce Gerrard from Toronto, Canada writes: No Catherine, the Canadian media can only be blamed for their cynical view of everything. It's nice to see unbiased reporting and unfortunately it had to be done on an American broadcast. It is not that PM Harper is Americanized and I'm sorry that you too can not get past your small minded, cynical socialist views but that their is larger work to be done right now and sometimes being Prime Minister, for the betterment of your own country requires a leader to extend themselves beyond our border. Their is a larger world out there that we depend on to be succesful. Positioning yourself (Canada) as a leader in that arena is crictical to our ability to recover from this global recession in a strong position. Unfortunately, the small minded socialists just sit and wait with hands wide open for when the Dole express comes riding back into town.
  79. none of your business from Bethuneville, Canada writes: his son is already defeated.
  80. Henry Egan from Cyberland, Canada writes: .
    But I wonder what will happen after we pull out?

    Most posters seem to conclude that the Afghanis will just slaughter each other and the matter will be confined to their own borders. But what if there are broader geopolitical implications?

    Will the Afghanistan government be able to withstand an invasion by the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies?

    If the Taliban is successful in their invasion and with only one front, will the Taliban then be able to focus on fully destabilizing an already weakened Pakistan?

    If there is a threat of Pakistan disintegrating into chaos, will India suddenly invade to take control of their nuclear arsenal?

    If India invades, will China standby? Then what will Russia do?

    Kind of mind boggling. Once the dominos start falling, they sometimes cannot be stopped.
  81. WE NEED SOLUTIONS, HORATIO AND NOT CURSES from Canada writes: A dose of reality from PM Harper. This might calm down the unthinkers, those dyed in the wool Conservatives who have been describing Mr. Layton as Taliban Jack.
    CYMRO
  82. gordon davies from Victoria b.c., Canada writes: I sympathize with the father of the slain son for his wrath at the waste of his son life. I don't like Harper & his ilk , but to hold back the tide an exercise in futility to an illegal war. Its strange that few sons of people in power ,stand in the way of bullets from the opposition.
  83. Hans S from Canada writes: The question still remains, when will PM Harper actually address Canadians, on Canadian television about this issue?
  84. Yogie Bear from The Forest, Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova writes: I cannot; as much as I try, find anything where Harper ever said the Taliban WILL be defeated...if you have something that shows otherwise then by all means share it.
    -------------

    'Afghanistan is not yet won but it is winnable and it is being won.'

    Harper 29/11/06
  85. ALASTAIR JAMES BERRY from Nanaimo Vancouver Island, Canada writes: The war was lost from about the second week on................when the Americans arrived on the ground about 2 or 3 weeks after the CARPET BOMBING of the country and the Taleban had fled. and stopped the Brits (AND RUSSIANS - unarmed and in Bright Blue uniforms, to boot)) from opening more mobile hospitals for the civilian casualties, and started rounding up Afghan citizens and building prisons to house them in.....................................the war was lost right there!

    Armed forces can never subdue the Afghans but friendship and help, to rebuild, right then might just have won them over because they were truly sick of the Taleban too!
  86. Yogie Bear from The Forest, Canada writes: Peter Mackay then:
    Before the Taliban’s overthrow, Afghanistan was a real threat.
    International terrorism had taken root like a cancer.
    Today, Afghanistan is a democracy and a key ally in the campaign against terrorism.
    There&8217;s no doubt that Canada, its coalition partners and the Afghan security forces are in a fight against a committed opponent.
    But together we are confronting the insurgents head-on.
    We are defeating them on the battlefield.
    And more importantly:
    We are defeating them by helping Afghanistan chart a democratic course;
    We are defeating them by enhancing the Afghan government&8217;s capacity to rule justly and effectively;
    We are defeating them by fostering economic and social development; and,
    We are defeating them by building up the Afghan National Army and Police so they can defend their country.
    --------------
    Harper today:
    'Quite frankly, we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency.'
  87. Kevin R from Waterloo, Canada writes: If the media would have actually quoted Stephen Harper rather than paraphrasing him in a misleading way, we probably wouldn't have this situation. He didn't say we couldn't defeat the Taliban, he said that NATO couldn't defeat them alone. There is a clear and distinct difference. Now we have the grieving parents of war heroes thinking he was claiming defeat. He was making a long term statement that we can't occupy the country forever. We need the Afghans to have a sustainable military force themselves that they can use to fight off the Taliban. Only through Afghan sustainability can there be victory against the Taliban.
  88. Paul, Bytown, from Canada writes:
    Objective

    Definition 1
    Mission, purpose, or standard that can be reasonably achieved within the expected timeframe and with the available resources. In general, an objective is broader in scope than a goal, and may comprise of several different goals. Objectives are the most basic planning tools underlying all planning and strategic activities. They serve as the basis for policy and performance appraisals, and act as glue that binds the entire organization together.

    Definition 2
    Neutral (bias free), relating to, or based on verifiable evidence or phenomenon instead of on attitude, belief, or opinion. Opposite of subjective.
  89. WE NEED SOLUTIONS, HORATIO AND NOT CURSES from Canada writes: Bruce Gerrard from Toronto, Canada writes: No Catherine, the Canadian media can only be blamed for their cynical view of everything. It's nice to see unbiased reporting and unfortunately it had to be done on an American broadcast. It is not that PM Harper is Americanized and I'm sorry that you too can not get past your small minded, cynical socialist views ****************************************************** Here as in the USA words seem to be losing their meanings. What was there in Catherine's views that could be called 'socialist'? It is a well known ploy of Republicans and now Canadian Conservatives to alter the meanings of words. It has reached the point where whatever a Republican says has no validity except to the already converted. I am happy that that is so. It is a fond wish that Conservative pronouncments engender the same reception. I was watching CNN when PM Harper made that admission. What was unbiassed about it? He said it during an interview. What was CNN to do? What was biassed about the Canadian media reporting what he said? Just where is the cynicism? You said,'Canadian media can only be blamed for their cynical view' Get a good dictionary look up 'bias'. 'socialist' and 'cynicism'. Just make sure it is a not a Republican dictionary. CYMRO
  90. Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes: Kevin R from Waterloo, Canada writes: If the media would have actually quoted Stephen Harper rather than paraphrasing him in a misleading way, we probably wouldn't have this situation. He didn't say we couldn't defeat the Taliban, he said that NATO couldn't defeat them alone. There is a clear and distinct difference. Now we have the grieving parents of war heroes thinking he was claiming defeat. He was making a long term statement that we can't occupy the country forever. We need the Afghans to have a sustainable military force themselves that they can use to fight off the Taliban. Only through Afghan sustainability can there be victory against the Taliban.

    And you wonder why journalists are treated with as much contempt as politicians? They are supposed to report the news and not manufacture it by taking things out of context or omitting facts.
  91. Maximus Bishop from Fergus, Ontario, Canada writes: Lets face it , the attack by operatives of Al Qaeda was planned in Germany and other European countries and not in Afghanistan, the Country of Afghanistan was used only as a remote Training ground for this and other operations, as it was remote and lawless the operatives where able to train with no one around to bother them.

    The Taliban are the Pasturn people of Afghanistan, that's why they will never be defeated, may I suggest readers read the Book 'The American Ru' by Eric Margolis it explains all, its too bad that NATO was invited to participate in this no win War!
  92. Roman Spears from St. Catharines, Canada writes:

    Bruce Gerrard from Toronto, Canada writes:

    and I'm sorry that you too can not get past your small minded, cynical socialist views but that their is larger work to be done right now and sometimes being Prime Minister, for the betterment of your own country requires a leader to extend themselves beyond our border.

    *****

    Like when Taliban Steve told the electorate that Canada's economy was much better administered than America's and that the global economic crisis wouldn't affect us much so that he need do nothing? Is that the 'think-outside-your-borders' leader you want? Guess it was a bad idea to vote Conservative then and certainly not much reason to support them today either.
  93. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Kevin R from Waterloo, Canada writes: If the media would have actually quoted Stephen Harper rather than paraphrasing him in a misleading way, we probably wouldn't have this situation. He didn't say we couldn't defeat the Taliban, he said that NATO couldn't defeat them alone.

    =============================================

    If you check other media sources, they quoted correctly and put it into context.

    What the G&M does is try to foment anti-Harper sentiment by misquoting.

    Unfortunately it works very well as our resident liberal brain trust takes no time to research for themselves, they just read the G&M and automatically believe every word written.

    Saddens me there are such sheep in Canada.
  94. JP Warwick from Canada writes: What Harper was saying was that the goal is to train the Afghan army and police and get them up to strength so that they can take over the security of their own nation without foreign influence. Then NATO can leave. If NATO leaves before then, the government collapses and the country goes back to Taliban control which means more executions of little girls for the sin of trying to be educated or be free of male ownership. If NATO stays longer, resentment will grow that the 'occupation' is aggressive rather than helpful and those who are now disposed to think that the occupation is worth the short-term suffering for long-term (relative) peace will then join the rebellion against the occupier. NATO MUST make sure the people of Afghanistan know that their country belongs to them and is not being dictated to. The idea being that NATO isn't there to bend the Afghan people to its will and crush resistance, they're there to help the government gain control of its own territory and help the people there build a better life. Harper said this on US soil so that it was clear to both Afghanis and Americans that the rhetoric must be in keeping with the goals of the exercise and does not alienate the very people we are attempting to help. But, leftard partisans, carry on your Harper bashing. In your pitiful, lonely existence, it's all you have... lol.
  95. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: The plan under Mr Bush was, in my estimation was--
    1/ Get a sympathetic man president. Ex CIA.
    2/ Train Afghan troops and police.
    3/ Install our type legal system for them to enforce.
    4/ Make sure property rights are enforced.
    5/ Allow US corporations to build their pipeline.
    We fell for it hook line and sinker.
    What a shame Right Mr Harper?
  96. A C from France writes: 'Bruce Gerrard from Toronto, Canada writes: ..your small minded, cynical socialist views ...small minded socialists just sit and wait with hands wide open for when the Dole express comes riding back into town.'

    You not see the irony in our PM making this slip up/ admission to US media. Others do and have made pertinent points. Your arguments might have more weight without the labels, and unfortunately for us if you were talking about someone other than Mr. Harper. I really don't see the pertinence of yours remarks...
  97. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Give me a break, if you send combat troupes to a combat zone it is implied that they are there to win. If you have only sent them to be cannon fodder than you should be the one on the front line. --------------------------------------

    Oh puleeze.... Before Harper became PM the mission was hailed as 'peacekeeping' and reconstruction...

    When Harper became PM somehow magically overnight the mission became one of 'warmonger Harper pleasing his master Bush'...

    When Harper said Canada would never cut and run he was labelled a war monger...

    When Harper held the first vote he was labelled a warmonger...

    When Harper held the second vote he was labelled a warmonger...

    When Harper said Canada is out in 2011 he was labelled a flip-flopper, despite the fact the end date was decided in Parliament...

    When Layton said victory was impossible and talks with the Taliban were the solution he was hailed as correct by the ones against the deployment...

    When Harper unjustly accused the LPC and NDP as being Taliban sympathisers he was rightly criticised for that...

    Now that he's said the insurgents cannot be defeated he's criticised for that...

    Would you have criticised Martin for withdrawing CF on schedule in 2007?

    Did you criticise Dion for reversing the LPC's prior position?

    Has there been any opposition to 'warmonger' Obama sending extra troops?

    I could just imagine the comments if McCain had won the election...

    ===========================================

    Excellent summary on the use of troops as political fodder by the left.
  98. Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes: Roman Spears from St. Catharines, Canada writes:

    Bruce Gerrard from Toronto, Canada writes:

    Like when Taliban Steve told the electorate that Canada's economy was much better administered than America's and that the global economic crisis wouldn't affect us much so that he need do nothing? Is that the 'think-outside-your-borders' leader you want? Guess it was a bad idea to vote Conservative then and certainly not much reason to support them today either.

    Last time I checked our decline was roughly half of that of the US. Our economy is better administered because our banks are stable, The Bank of Canada has an excellent reputation of being transparent and we have less debt. It's nothing politcal.
  99. Lee Turner from Canada writes: Canadian politicians are simply playing politics and using the lives of Canadians as pawns in their game. That is the most disgusting aspect of all of this.

    The Conservatives, the Liberals, they only care about scoring points in their little battle of one-ups-manship, getting that sound byte, get that partisan zinger in there. They care as much for Afghanistan or the Canadian soldier as it wins them politcal points, otherwise, they'd be working on real solutions, not trying to out maneuver one another
  100. MICHAEL T from Canada writes: Harper spoke the truth. Why are we spending our money to support a primitive Moslem country that is corrupt and whose only industry is cultivation of poppies for heroin production? Why do we have to risk our soldiers to protect Moslems from other Moslems who are protected by Pakistan. The billions of dollars could be better spent in Canada. If we stay there a hundred years the same problems would still be present. It's time for Afghanistan to grow up and start looking after itself.
  101. Rob b from Lethbridge, Canada writes: Ok.. rather than try and argue with the 'converted'.. let me just make two absolute observations:

    a) For those who say Harper was just appeasing the U.S. - well, Obama still is saying we can 'defeat' the Taliban and has just committed to more troops.

    b) If you want a quote from someone who is a lickspittle for the U.S., who actually referred to himself as an 'American'.. how about this quote:

    ''The 21st century imperium is a new invention in the annals of political science, an empire lite, a global hegemony whose grace notes are money, free markets, human rights and democracy enforced by the most awesome military power the world has ever known.'

    Who was that.. yes, American toady, Michael Ignatieff.. who was quoted as complaining that the 'Michael Moore-style left' damaged the Democratic party in HIS country with their 'pseudo-Marxist realism' that betrayed the goals of the U.S. in the 'promotion of democracy'.

    Yes.. those who worry of an unhealthy bond with the U.S. need look no further than Michael Ignatieff..
  102. Ruby Christal from Edmonton, Canada writes: Harper's comments on CNN are intended to slag President Obama's plans for Afghanistan, not to kill troop morale.

    The PM is showing signs of cooperating with his Republican friends south of the border, in their opposition to Obama's programs.

    I for one feel that Canada can no longer afford to be led by a mindless neo-con. The sooner we get rid of Harper, the sooner we can correct the damage from the neo-con era.
  103. Rodger Harding from Canada writes: So much for the Harper/Hillier/O'Connor combo of yesteryear - 'We'll bloody noses' and show-em...

    Anyone who was anti the war several years ago was accused of threatening troop safety and defiling the memory of soldiers slain since time began...

    So political paragmatism wins...and most of us continue to swirl in its wake like so much unthinking plankton...
  104. richard raymond from portland, ontario, Canada writes: Im very disapointed in my Prime Minister Mr. Harper who I have always supported and I am a strong supporter of the conservitive party. I am a supporter of standing with our allies always at all time. Mr. Prime Minister you owe our troops a clear explanation of what you said and you should spead directly to them over in Afghanistan. Please do this and gain back the respect you have lost to the conservitives in Canada and our great Troops representing us.
  105. M. Thought from Canada writes: Harper - what a nasty piece of work! 1st he threw Bush under the bus; now it's the soldiers!! Who's next?
  106. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: Yogie Bear from The Forest, Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova writes: I cannot; as much as I try, find anything where Harper ever said the Taliban WILL be defeated...if you have something that shows otherwise then by all means share it.
    -------------

    'Afghanistan is not yet won but it is winnable and it is being won.'

    Harper 29/11/06

    --------------------------------------

    The part you left out...

    'As the NATO Secretary General himself said...'

    http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1434

    'The world leaders left their dinner meeting with 'a strong message of … solidarity' about Afghanistan, said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer of the Netherlands. 'It is winnable; it is being won, but not yet won.'

    http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/pakistan/h06113004.html
  107. Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes: If you want to get rid of the Taliban, then you have to march into Pakistan and finish them off - end of story. Who here is prepared to see the US and Canada do that especially if it's against Pakistans' will?
  108. Roman Spears from St. Catharines, Canada writes:

    Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes:

    Last time I checked our decline was roughly half of that of the US. Our economy is better administered because our banks are stable, The Bank of Canada has an excellent reputation of being transparent and we have less debt. It's nothing politcal.

    ****

    Half of a disaster is what? Its still a recession, perhaps a depression - the verdict is still out on that one, for us. No decision is still a decision and our PM continues to react instead of act. I understand his borrowing a page from Pierre Trudeau and going to the US to talk to Canadians, I just wish he had as much foresight as he has hindsight.

    Its a tough time to be a leader and there is no shame in admitting its too big a job for Taliban Steve. He should just step aside and let a leader with vision and influence move this country forward instead of side to side.
  109. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Still Learning at 78

    The pipeline plan was by a Canadian company who has ties to Chretien (the company, Petrokazakhstan, was later sold to the Chinese government.) The plan was abandoned by them shortly after they brought it up.

    The US plan was thought up shortly after the wall fell but was abandoned long before 9/11 and has never been resurrected.

    You leftard 'it's all about oil' dimwits never give up though, do you?

    As for the twit who called this 'Harper's war,' I would remind the mindless imbecile that it was Chretien who put us in the war, Paul Martin who shifted us to combat and Harper only extended the Liberal's war. He did so because he believed in the goal of it. You can agree or disagree but it was still the Liberals who put us there and it's the Liberals who are scummy enough to pretend they didn't. Vulgar, dishonest, cretins that they are.
  110. A C from France writes: 'Jason Roy from Central Nova / Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes Excellent summary on the use of troops as political fodder by the left. ' A$$tounding arrogance not to mention ignorance. The left? When will posters get past their it... you do not possess powers of clairvoyance. As for soldiers, you can't fault a soldier for wanting to do a tasked mission. That's a soldier's job and it requires motivation to the point of being willing to die. You don't get that kind of motivation in a desk job. And I think we all sleep the better for it (I personally do). But the same is true on 'the other side', for very different motivations which I will not delve into. What I find absolutely beyond the pale is our generals' (including the respected-by-some Hillier) and political leaders' apparent unwillingness to absorb objective analysis and lessons from history to the point of willing to sacrifice such dedicated servants to our greater good! It seems much more likely to me that the dishonest tradeoff served each and the others' interests to the expense of truth to the public and our soldiers' blood. If this is not literally treasonable behaviour it is certainly grounds for a non confidence vote for an illegitimate minority government. Yes you've read this before. I have also read your shill before.....
  111. j wilson from vancouver, Canada writes:
    The local 'allies' in Afghanistan arent fighting for democracy and freedom. Theyre using NATO to displace the Taliban so the feudal warlords can regain power and rule again once the latest war is over.

    Get out. The eventual outcome of success is as bad as the Taliban was, just in different ways. Goodbye, Islamist rule, hello, heroin trade.
  112. A C from France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: ...leftard 'it's all about oil' dimwits ...

    As for the twit ...mindless imbecile ....Liberals who are scummy enough to pretend they didn't.

    Vulgar, dishonest, cretins that they are.'

    Assuming one follows your reasoning sir, what does that make you?
  113. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: JP Warwick, the move by liberals to start a war and then try to pin it on Harper when it became politically expedient, is the reason why after 30 years of voting liberal, I couldn't stomach it anymore.

    It was the single most disgusting act I have ever witnessed in Canadian politics. Now that Obama is pro-Afghan war, the upside is that we don't see liberals trying to score political points anymore with 'Harpers war' and 'Harper the warmonger' talk anymore.

    To put troops into harms way and then to use those same troops as leverage for political gain, is subhuman.

    Oh liberal, my liberal.
  114. James Young from Brampton, Canada writes: Anybody with a brain working would have know the Mission to Afghanistan was doomed from day one.

    Nobody ever knew the primary objective. It has never been defined beyond stupid propaganda utterances, like support the troops, so little girls can go to school, so little boys can fly kites,nonsense written by Christie, and the silly Manley Report.

    The legacy will be ramp parades, the most expensive Canadian Officer's Mess in the world, highway of heroes, and a hell of a lot of wounded for 11 November parades in future years. Fifty billion wasted for absolutely nothing.

    Well done CPC and Liberals! The only one with a brain in the who parliament was Taliban Jack. Speak up you dumb jingoists. Idiots one and idiots all.

    Durgan.
  115. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: Another idiot who took the mop and pails headline hook and sinker. He should do his son some justice and read a little further into it, rather then being a drone and taking articles for face value.
  116. gilles monenemie from Montreal, Canada writes: I would be upset as well. Harper was the guy who gushed 'Canadians don't cut and run' and sent young soldiers to the field as roadside bomb fodder. Its appalling he won't apologize to the dead soldiers parents that he was just dead wrong on afghanistan from the outset. His judgement was equally wrong on Iraq but thankfully that didn't cost canadian lives. He must make an apology to the families.
  117. J M M from Canada writes: It wouldn't matter what Harper says its wrong. If a Liberal says any thing CBC and G&M claims its GOOD. Harper could be some what right on this one.
  118. JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C

    Is there something I said that wasn't factually accurate?

    Feel free to point it out. Did you read up on the post I was referring to when I mentioned the 'all about oil' canard that the poster made?

    Look up to the post by 'Still Learning at 78' before commenting. He claimed that the only reason why we are in this war is for a pipeline. Only the truly stupid and left would say such a thing.

    The second part was a response to the guy who claimed this war was Harper's. Much like the leftards blame Vietnam on Nixon despite it starting and escalating under the Dems. It was JFK who turned a small handful of non-combat advisors into 100k front-line combat soldiers. It was LBJ who escalated into a fiasco. It was Nixon who is blamed by dishonest creeps of the left.
  119. A C from France writes: 'Allan Simonson from Canada writes: Another idiot who took the mop and pails headline hook and sinker. He should do his son some justice and read a little further into it, rather then being a drone and taking articles for face value.'

    Please have some respect for the father of a fallen soldier. This man isn't posting in this thread, his words have been reported by a journalist. He doesn't deserve your shill, neither do we. Maybe I could say the same about you?

    Your point would also have some weight if you weren't talking about Harper.

    'Taleban Jack' Harper, remember?
  120. Colin Niloc from Canada writes: Harper and Obama have no souls..

    To tell hundreds and thousands of parents of dead and maimed children that they sent their children to be slaughterred for no reason at all is despicable.

    War is always about power and who wants it versus who has it. It is alway futile for those who perish fighting it for those that want power but that is the way of human history...ridiculous that people continue to waste their lives for the powerfull who never fight..but hide behind meaningless platitudes.

    Harper has no business sending Canadians off to fight to keep the americans in power..he is a beneath contempt.

    Colin
  121. Sam Courtney from Canada writes: Steve is doing this to increase his votes in Quebec. I expect he will anounce next week a position for his poodle Mario.
    Funny the cons have much more in common with the Taliban, ie thier respect for human rights, womans issues, a blief in fairies that live in the sky.
  122. A C from France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes' My beef is your partisan shill, give it a rest.

    BTW, just to help you out with credibility when posting, maybe he's your hero but Nixon isn't much of a reference when it comes to calling someone a 'creep'.
  123. Bob Cajun from the glorious nation of coboconk, Canada writes: Can't defeat the insurgency? What a load of crap!

    The Russians had 104000 soldiers in the A'stan and could not do it - but their generals told the Kremlin they needed to maintain 250000 soldiers deployed there in order to suceed.

    Similarly NATO maintained a troop to population ratio, not to mention aid dollar to population ratio that was way way higher in Bosnia than it is in the A'stan. Bosnia is now stable.

    NATO CAN succeed in Afghanistan IF they have the political will. But given some of our NATO allies, I can't blame Harper for what he said.
  124. Roman Spears from St. Catharines, Canada writes:

    A C from France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: ...leftard 'it's all about oil' dimwits ...

    Assuming one follows your reasoning sir, what does that make you?

    ****

    You're playing in the mud A C and, unless you like that sort of thing, looking for the rational just upsets them more.
    As everyone knows, its not about the oil at all. America can buy that more easily and at a lower cost than it can fight a foreign war.
  125. J M M from Canada writes: To the Liberals posting here..keep in mind Afganistan is Chreten and Martin's doing. The Conservatives left with it, and the Liberal's voted for 2011. Martin cut back money for the military so the government of the day has had to shore up the budget to put better equipment in the hands of our outstanding troops. So what have we got here--The Liberals should be held accountable. Lets read the truth once in awhile !!! (CBC-the truth--joke)
  126. JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C

    My post wasn't about Nixon nor was it to defend him. It was about the left's lies. It was about the left taking an action, then denying it ever took it and blaming the mess they made on the other guy.

    I guess you wouldn't understand.
  127. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: 'Please have some respect for the father of a fallen soldier. This man isn't posting in this thread, his words have been reported by a journalist. He doesn't deserve your shill, neither do we. Maybe I could say the same about you?'

    Why respect him? He allowed himself to be manipulated. I have no respect for people like that. You can say whatever you want about me whether I'm here or not.

    He is doing his son NO justice by allowing himself to believe Harper's twisted out of context words.

    Harper did NOT sound like a defeatist. He simply stated the insurgency will never be defeated. That does NOT mean WE will be defeated. Completely different.

    Judging by the history of Afghanistan, he's right. He even made a comment about that. What's important is to minimize the insurgency, with the help of the local government.

    But most of the fools here seem to completely miss the point.

    Drones.
  128. okanagan pakman from Canada writes: Keeping Canadians informed and realistic about the Afghan situation is not an easy job...professional soldiers do what they do because THEY believe in the mission and THEY choose to hear the call to duty....there is no draft, there is no 'for king and country' BS....political discourse about the probability for success is necessary and at this point, does not dishonour the fact that our troops have denied safe-haven in Afghan to Al Quaida for 7 years....winners and losers are hard to identify in today's conflicts...Harper has my vote on this one
  129. Richard O'Connell from Melbourne beach, United States writes: The last thing a military person needs to hear is that he cannot win a war he is fighting. I served in the U.S. Military and some of that time in the Northern reaches of Canada during the Cold War and the last thing myself and my Canadian Military Allies would have wanted to hear is we cannot win. I was in Canada when the Berlin Wall went up and those of us in the Operations Section (Radar) were convinced that there would be war and that we would not survive, but we did our duty, because we believed in the end we would win.
  130. A C from France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C....I guess you wouldn't understand.'

    How does your remark advance the debate on PM Harper's declarations exactly?

    Where do we go from here? Do the troops stay, do they go? When? Is there a mission? Is the PM credible?

    Forgive me if I've lost your point, I confess I have a small memory and only took your comments for the partisan rant it was.
  131. Man of La Mancha from Canada writes: chicken grambo from Canada writes: Chretien did all the lying. Harper is the truth.Harper is the light!

    Yes, you're right - Harper would never Cut and Run, he said we'll stay until achieve Victory! He Supports our Troops and would never send them on a futile mission. Only Taliban Jack would want to negotiate with the Taliban/enemy. As Hillier says, let's kill all the scumbags who are preventing the little girls from going to school! I trust Harpo!
  132. Stan L from Canada writes: Look, this is not about being in the war, who supported what and whatever revisionist history either side is trying to espouse......the fact is that as the leader of the country, Harper's comments are dismaying at best. With troops in the field right now and with a new American president trying to garner support for increased prescence in the country.....these comments were ill-timed, inconsiderate and poltically idiotic. The Manley report talked about the need for tranparency in communications and not polticizing the issue to the public....these comments defy that in word and in spirit......As I mentioned elsewhere, sometimes it's not what you say but how you say it that matters......Harper is the poster child of the 'before' picture for Dale Carnegie in this instance.
  133. A C from France writes: 'Allan Simonson from Canada writes: '... Maybe I could say the same about you?'

    Why respect him? He allowed himself to be manipulated. I have no respect for people like that. You can say whatever you want about me whether I'm here or not. '

    Drones. '

    Wow, ok then you have just argued your own stupidity : 'rather then being a drone and taking articles for face value.' => This man isn't posting in this thread, his words have been reported by a journalist.

    Who's the drone?
  134. Ted Andrews from Canada writes:
    END THE OCCUPATION!
    ALL FOREIGN TROOPS OUT NOW!
  135. JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C

    I was responding to other posters - as you responded to mine. The difference was that I understood what I was referring to. Given your question, obviously I can't say the same for you.

    To recap, my original comment had two parts. One was responding to the glaring idiocy of the guy who claimed that this war has only had a pipeline as its goal. The second was responding to the guy who claimed this whole war was 'Harper's war.'

    I made the analogy to Vietnam because in both cases, the party of the left started it (Vietnam in the US, Afghan in Canada) and in both cases, the left blames the wars on the right. So, in both cases, they deny both the facts and their culpability and role in them. That, not the merits or lack thereof of Nixon, was my point.

    Is there something factually inaccurate you disagree with or are you just upset with my tone? And, to turn your comment around, what did YOUR post do to 'advance the debate on PM Harper's declarations exactly?' You know, since this seems to matter to you.
  136. Eric Yc from Canada writes: Never liked Happer but support him this time. The following are words from a returning soldier: 'We don't care the people there. We only care the American's interest because our Canada depends so much on them', 'No body forces us to go there. No others should be blamed regardless whatever happens to us'.
  137. Steadfast N.L. from Canada writes: How did we go from Harpers flip flop on the war In Afganistan to oil and pipelines and so on.This is About our troops here people.I ask each and everyone of you should we leave them oner there or should we pull them out.I vote pull them out.
    We have lost enough good men and women who are fighting a war we will never win.I support them 100% but enough is enough.
  138. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: 'Wow, ok then you have just argued your own stupidity : 'rather then being a drone and taking articles for face value.' => This man isn't posting in this thread, his words have been reported by a journalist.

    Who's the drone? '

    I agree with you somewhat. It would be nice to get more context on what he said. However it's pretty cut and dry, compared to Harper's comments that are not.

    'HARPER: We're not going to win this war just by staying. We're not going to -- in fact, my own judgment, Fareed, is, quite frankly, we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency. Afghanistan has probably had -- my reading of Afghanistan history, it's probably had an insurgency forever, of some kind.

    What has to happen in Afghanistan is, we have to have an Afghan government that is capable of managing that insurgency and improving its own governance.'

    Beginning and ending with 'we need to change the way the war is going'. In the middle is the nugget, which was picked out and torqued for headlines as 'Harper signals defeat in Afghanistan' which is nowhere near what he said.

    The soldiers father said:

    'I tell you, Mr. Harper sounded to me like a defeatist,' Nova Scotian Jim Davis said. 'For the Prime Minister of a country to do that, it just didn't make sense to me.'

    I'd love to get more context, but this is more cut and dry to me.
  139. walt canada from walt, Canada writes: With all due respect to this father and his loss,Harper is calling this situation as it really is.This fight could go on forever,and people would continue to die on both sides.These kinds of wars are never won,they are finally just settled with both sides claiming victory and life goes on,just like Vietnam.
  140. bruce t from Boston, United States writes: It is clear a diplomatic solution is the only way. That means NATO must negotiate with the majority moderate Taliban. The sooner this happens the quicker NATO can leave.
    What a mess. Not only afghanistan, but ever dangerous Pakistan. It's hard to know what to do. Simply extricating NATO from both countries is not an option. And as long as NATO is there Canada should be involved. Maybe in a reduced combat role.
  141. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: And here's the major difference:

    I'm not going to do an interview about the person(soldiers father) in the article calling him drone.

    Just like I wouldn't do an interview about Harper calling him a defeatist.
  142. Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Here's what the US/NATO should do.

    Pull all troops out of Afghanistan, let the Taliban gather their forces to take Kandahar and Kabul, and then bring in the B-52s.
  143. JP Warwick from Canada writes: walt canada

    I'd prefer an outcome closer to South Korea than Vietnam. South Korea was less than a complete victory but left the people in the South free (after too long a gap.) Vietnam was a total loss and cost too much both during and after the conflict.
  144. kK J from mississauga, Canada writes: Just because the combat aspects of the war are not the old school victory - we can all be happy that we have moved Afghanistan in the direction that they will be able to govern and protect its people. The left should be rejoicing on two fronts - one - women and children are treated as human beings (Taliban Jack is not happy about this one?). Schools are being built and guarded by troops from around the world (Jack is not happy with this one?) Two - the health of the entire Afghan nation is being upgraded because of clean water, vaccination programs and food programs (Jack must hate that?). The father of the Canadian soldier must be proud of this progress. His son did so much to further these issues. PM Harper made sure his son had the right equipment and is truthful about the type of victory we can expect now. We have heard from this father before - his message is the same. War is never pretty and it is heartbreaking to lose a loved one - as a Canadian I thank you for your son's sacrifice - and I would like to thank all the Canadians in Afghanistan for all the great work that you do - we are so proud of all of you.
  145. Stan L from Canada writes: walt canada from walt, Canada writes: With all due respect to this father and his loss,Harper is calling this situation as it really is

    ======================================

    If that were the case then it begs the question why Harper ramped up the mission in the first place, increasing our money and time commitment to the cause....nothing has really changed from then to now other than the increased commitment of the US.....but it doeen't matter, the comments are pandering and shortsighted at worst and its unintended consequence is that it sends a mean-spirited and inconsiderate message to the troops and their families who DID buy what he said about 'cutting and running' and who did buy his assertion that they were committed to winning.
  146. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Stan L

    'why Harper ramped up the mission in the first place'

    Repeat after me: 'Paul Martin ramped up Jean Chretien's war. Harper extended the war, he did not 'ramp it up' as it was fully ramped prior to Harper making a decision on the matter which the Liberals fully endorced.'

    Repeat until it sinks in.

    This conflict is not a Harper Production. It's a bi-partisan (I say bi-partisan not in the US way but to limit it to just two parties as the Bloc and the Dippers were against it) affair.

    You get an opinion. Everyone does. You do not get to invent your own facts.
  147. diane marie from calgary, alberta from Canada writes: F.T. Ward asked the question that sprang to my mind when I read this article. We realize that the Forces do what they are directed to do by the government of the day, but where were the dissenting voices within the military? It suspect that they all saw it as an opportunity to see big bucks spent on materiel (aka toys), to see themselves the center of attention, and to do whatever was conceived for them by the silver-tongued General Hillier. If ever there were an example of how the Military-Industrial Complex is able to worm itself in the public mind and leave behind a mind full of holes, this is it.

    Let's all remember the ridicule pro-CPC posters directed at Mr. Dion for saying exactly what has finally occurred to our dim-bulb PM, who was still in short pants during the Vietnam War: an insurgency based in another country (Pakistan, for example) can't be defeated by people who believe themselves to be civilized.
  148. Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: bruce t from Boston, United States, you summed it up well by stating 'What a mess. Not only afghanistan, but ever dangerous Pakistan. It's hard to know what to do.'

    It isn't a simple question one can solve, one could guess or intuitively be right however we would not know until after the fact. So...you statement stands. It is hard to know what to do. I just wish they would quit playing politics with peoples lives. That is the disservice.
  149. Stan L from Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: Stan L

    'why Harper ramped up the mission in the first place'

    Repeat after me: 'Paul Martin ramped up Jean Chretien's war. Harper extended the war, he did not 'ramp it up' as it was fully ramped prior to Harper making a decision on the matter which the Liberals fully endorced.'
    Repeat until it sinks in.
    This conflict is not a Harper Production. It's a bi-partisan (I say bi-partisan not in the US way but to limit it to just two parties as the Bloc and the Dippers were against it) affair.
    You get an opinion. Everyone does. You do not get to invent your own facts.
    ==========================================

    Right back at you....perhaps you can start with reading my ENTIRE post where I said that all of that was besides the point.....the real issue is the inoppotune comments by the PM regardless of the right or the wrong of them, and regardless of the history real and imagined of who's on first......these comments wer esimply ill conceived and insenstive and frankly idiotic.
  150. Martin Fedgrass from Canada writes: So here's a thought........get out!!! get out now!

    We never had any business going over there and we have none now.

    Any deaths by soldiers have been meaningless ones...sadly - and there will be more unless we finally admit it was stupid to go there in the first place and just get out!
  151. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: P Warwick from Canada writes: Still Learning at 78

    The pipeline plan was by a Canadian company who has ties to Chretien (the company, Petrokazakhstan, was later sold to the Chinese government.) The plan was abandoned by them shortly after they brought it up.
    The US plan was thought up shortly after the wall fell but was abandoned long before 9/11 and has never been resurrected.

    You leftard 'it's all about oil' dimwits never give up though, do you?'

    Since when is Union Oil of California a Canadian company you dimwit. You Never give up do you. Do you work for the CIA like the president of Afghanistan did. Get real man.
  152. Mark Tunis from Canada writes: It was a stupid decision to go into Kandahar, based upon the same level of intelligence that urges us to all go out and 'fight' on those TV ads. Harper and Hillier and (no doubt) a bunch of the boys in the Services wanted to turn us into a mini-America and look at what that has accomplished: dead bodies and wasted money. Either bring them home and restructure the Forces (and the Prime Minister, while you are at it) or send all of the supporters over there, including our PM and most of the population of Alberta, and let the rest of us get on with watching hockey.
  153. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Stan L

    If the history was beside the point (and it isn't,) why did you include it?

    Was it Lenin who said that if you repeat the lie often enough people will believe it? The truth matters.

    You can agree or disagree with the war. But shifting the facts in this case has meant the liberals have used the war to bash Harper rather than work towards a solution.

    Yes, many times the right plays politics. Yes, the rhetoric has often been unhelpful. Yes, they tend to use their support for the war to bash their opponents like the 'Taliban jack' comments. What they don't do is use their revisionist lies to pretend they didn't support the war when they did and then attempt to undermine our efforts just to score points. They score their points while supporting the effort. There is a difference. Still political, often unhelpful. It's fair to call them on it. But a mile off of what the Liberals are doing. At least 'Taliban Jack' is consistent and not lying about the facts.

    Harper's rejig of the goals of this war are overdue. The 'we will destroy our enemy' cant was unhelpful as it implied a conquest rather than a helping hand. You don't 'win hearts and minds' by threatening Armageddon.
  154. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: P Warwick from Canada---read this you dimwit--

    The plan under Mr Bush was, in my estimation was--
    1/ Get a sympathetic man president. Ex CIA.
    2/ Train Afghan troops and police.
    3/ Install our type legal system for them to enforce.
    4/ Make sure property rights are enforced.
    5/ Allow US corporations to build their pipeline.
    We fell for it hook line and sinker.
    What a shame Right Mr Harper?
  155. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: Taliban Steve is a defeatist, he has betrayed our soldiers and cheapened their sacrifice, his statement gives comfort to the enemy, he is a traitor. Oh, wait .....that only applies to Jack Layton and 60% of Canadians who have been saying the same thing for years.

    Let me start this again. Stephen Harper is a man of vision, he's insightful, he alone has revealed the true facts of Afghanistan's troubled history, he will lead us out of the darkness .....after two more years of futility. Now, let's all go out and buy some stock; Stevie says there are some great opportunities.
  156. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Another invading nation coming to terms with its crimes against Afghanistan.

    This should be a lesson to all Canadians of the dangers of following American jingoism into quamires we know absolutely nothing of.

    Let me clarify that last statement. Most of the world had a pretty good understanding the Taliban were primarily a national movement, as established across that country as the chambers of commerce are in small town Canada.

    Sure, not everyone loves them, but they have the clout and the links to keep on running.

    Why is it we think Afghanis want to live our western lifestyle more than they want to remain Afghanis with all the historic and cultural baggage or experience that entails?

    While I sympathise with this soldier's father, his new found distrust or confusion about Stephen Harper's ideals are quite a few deaths too late.

    Why did he believe Harper in the first place?

    Bring all of Canada's troops home and let the Americans to clean up their own mess and maybe, just maybe, earn some new credibility across the world.


  157. Eye Sore from Dog Pound, Alberta, Canada writes: Prime Minister Harper comes off sounding like a bitter 'dead-ender,' like one of the 'cut and run' brigade, a made-in-Munich 'appeaser'. General Hillier needs to come out of retirement and return to public lifer and begin by slapping 'Steve' upside of the head. Aw . . . shucks! Jingoism isn't very
    Canadian, I know. But heck! . . . I tried!
  158. Mike Z from Canada writes: I don't see PM Harper's comments as defeatist, flip-flopping, or anything other than pragmatic.

    To those who say 'why go in if we cannot win?' I would say that there is a very significant difference between being unable to defeat an enemy and allowing the enemy to proceed without hindrance.

    The nature of the Taliban makes its defeat almost impossible (precluding genocide). That doesn't mean it cannot be contained, or that the Afghan government cannot make real, measurable strides in improving the lives of its citizens.

    Similar to conflicts anywhere, when you fight an idea, culture, or people, defeating the opponent utterly is only possible through genocide. Since that option is rather unappealing, the best we can do is to oppose it, contain it, and limit its power.

    On a side note, I am presuming that all the people shouting their hatred for Harper on this issue must all hate the Liberals equally. I make this presumption given the fact that the Liberals were the ones who sent us to Afghanistan, and the Liberals have been just as vocal in their support for the conflict as the Conservatives.
  159. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: P Warwick from Canada----You are in complete panic node and do not know what you are saying. The first sign of defeat is name calling.
    Have a Good Day

    PS---- This is my opinion---
    The plan under Mr Bush was, in my estimation was--
    1/ Get a sympathetic man president. Ex CIA.
    2/ Train Afghan troops and police.
    3/ Install our type legal system for them to enforce.
    4/ Make sure property rights are enforced.
    5/ Allow US corporations to build their pipeline.
    We fell for it hook line and sinker.
    What a shame Right Mr Harper?
  160. A E from Canada writes: How many insurgencies have been defeated in history?

    The odds are rarely in favour of the invasion/occupation forces. Never mind whether or not it's right to invade and occupy, we're the good guys after all.
  161. sheila ross from Vancouver, Canada writes: 'He's too intelligent not to know the nuances'??? I beg to differ. This is a) a bizarre stmt for a leader to make in a foreign country, a country whose emerging foreign policy has the eyes on the world trained on it. b) insulting to his own miliary c) shows a flip indifference to Afgan history.

    Harper is a clown, 'forever.'
  162. JP Warwick from Canada writes: aging oldtool why is it some people excuse totalitarian thugs? The Taliban didn't come to power by popular support. They came to power by killing all who opposed them. They maintained power by violence and terror. The vast majority of the people of Afghanistan didn't want the Taliban even if they do have glaring cultural differences with western society. They want peace as much as every other normal person on earth. Most Hungarians didn't want their Soviet oppressors even if they didn't want to be rules by the US either. The left used to know this. When I was in university, it was when the Taliban had mostly run over the country (but hadn't consolidated that power) and the lefty feminists were campaigning for 'someone to do something' and wearing anti-Taliban badges to signify support (it was before coloured ribbons...) Then the guy they hated more than the Taliban actually did something. The left immediately threw the women and children they pretended to care about under the bus. It took a millisecond or less. I guess anti-American and anti-Republican hatred trumps needy women in the demented 'feminist' mind... The same lefties have moved on to 'save Darfur' which they will continue unless someone actually does something then they'll shift to their anti-war hats there as well. Will we 'win' in Afghanistan? Maybe. I have my doubts. But if we don't, we should stop trying in other places as well. It won't be worth the effort just to keep failing. Either we see it through long enough for the indigenous government to be able to maintain stability (relative stability, not downtown Montreal,) or we don't go at all. That includes the Darfur's, the Kosovo's and all the other needy places of the world. Either we have a consensus that human rights across the world are worth fighting for or we don't think other people are worth fighting for. But once a decision is made either way, we really ought to see it through to the best of our ability.
  163. Stan L from Canada writes: Mike Z from Canada writes: I don't see PM Harper's comments as defeatist, flip-flopping, or anything other than pragmatic.

    So the thoughts of a father who has lost his son or by extension the thoughts of all family with those in the military are irrelevant? It wasn't so long ago that any dissention any talk of this was met with a 'if you are not for the war you are against the troops'.....and now the pendulum has swung completely the other way from the hyper patriotic to the hyper realist....neither bits of rhetoric was good and these comments no matter how pragmatic are not the mark of a leader who has a vested interest in another country in a field of combat....that vested interest being people. Again, I go back to it...it's not what you say, it's how you say it.....and that is a lesson Harper needs to learn and fast.
  164. Stan Sambey from Canada writes: Better pull the troops home where they belong, defending the homeland. If in reality we were the moral police of the world we'd be in lots of other places long before Afghanistan, places like Africa.

    It's sadly apparent that the vast majority of posters get their history lessons from Reuters and the Associated Press, and not the writings of individuals such as retired Generals, foreign expatriates, and returning soldiers. You may as well be quoting from Archie comics.

    No military campaign of the last nearly 2 score decades has had anything to do but protecting our economic interests. Even Haiti was to secure the white gold (sugar) industry.

    The Taliban was seen by the west as a stabilizing force in the Middle East (opium production neared extinction under them) until they decided against an oil pipeline. You may not like it, but this is the cold, hard reality of our world. We talk a good talk about freedom, about democracry, about the people having a say..but it only applies so long as we like the elected parties. Seems Hamas won an election fair and square fully observed by the international community. Imagine if the worlds leaders were to bypass our government to work only through the Bloc.

    Today there are still people that fawn over the Magna Carta, not understanding one whit the true meaning of the document. Exceptionally few people really and truly understand the nature of our western philosophy.

    Alexander Herzen in 1858 stated: 'We will not call for the axe as the ultima ratio so long as there remains one vestige of reasonable hope for a solution without the axe. The further I look into the western world, into the chain of events which brought Europe to us Russians, the more there arises in me a disgust for all bloody revolutions.'

    That was 150 years ago folks. Blow the dust off some books.
  165. C R from Canada writes: Now Stephen Harper needs to be a man and come back to Canada and apologize to Canadians for pushing for the extension and needlessly wasting more Canadian lives with what he now says is an unbeatable war on American media. Apologize to the families for their lost boys and girls and apologize to Canadians for demonizing them and their initial opposition toward the changed combat oriented role he put us in with the Afghan war. Admit like a man he made a mistake. Otherwise making such statements on US airwaves and then fiddling with contradictory messages at home would be playing politics with the matters of our military mission and military lives and that would be the most disgusting display of political games.
  166. sheila ross from Vancouver, Canada writes: C R from Canada - well said. Some might call this an 'international incident' but as you say, it is his own country he is undermining abroad. He lacks character, and this is how it is 'acted out' on the world stage. I'm ashamed.
  167. JP Warwick from Canada writes: C R 1) You misunderstood what Harper said. He isn't 'cutting and running' he's saying the goal is to leave when the government of Afghanistan can continue the work of suppressing the Taliban and maintaining relative stability. It's long overdue realism. 2) Harper did push the extension and the liberals did vote in favour of that extension. But you are 'misleading' at best when you describe that extension as a change toward a combat oriented role as that was done by Paul Martin previously. In other words, the escalated combat role was already in place. There was no change in role put in place by Harper. Harper only extended the status quo and he did so with full support by the Liberals who voted in favour. 3) If you want Politics with the military, I'd suggest I'd take you more seriously if you started with the Liberals who put us there but who pretend otherwise and who blame Harper for the war as well as deaths and consequences of that war even before the date of the extension. In other words, the Liberals got soldiers killed, undermined the mission then blamed it all on Harper and they started doing so before the date where the extension they voted for even started. That's unforgiveable - regardless of your position on the war.
  168. Hugo Giovanni Felice Yassin from Thunder Bay, ON, Canada writes: When I heart the speech of our PM., it came in mind one of the Greek writers for the proble of young children. Esope narrates about the parable unter title :' Peter and Wolf'.

    If the PM says the true or false, nobody has his/her credibility about his words. Politically, he lost the popular confidence which can destroy his political life. There are many questions about his speech reguarding the NATO's Military Force in Afganistan.: what during the Bush's administration several political leader of oposition, NDP and PQ sustained the situation of military in Afganstan was dangerous, thus , our army force must be retired from the place, in February 09?

    Why he asked the former Liberal Deputy PM to investigate if the termin should be extended after 2009?

    Why this moment it began the Obama's Administration, it came in his puerile mind that the NATO'S Force, can be defeated the Taliban;s insorgency?

    Therefore, he disrespected the relatives of the soldiers who were killed and offended the whole members of NATO army Force.

    Finally , this is his political suicide!

    Hugo
  169. aging oldtool from Canada writes: JP Warwick, your game was over when you had to reach real low and come up with the usual 'lefties' are to blame for everything.

    Perhaps you missed one of the Afghani history segments, but if you go down to the local used book bin you might might the chapter on the Russian occupations and the efforts by 'righties'( as in American righties) to prop up Afghani insurgents to fight the Russian trrops.

    Oh, gee. I think Osama bin Ladin was part of that anti-soviet push, too, wasn't he JP?

    I don't mind discussing these things JP, but you are obviously lost in the earlier chapters about when the dinosaurs arrived. I know they look cuddly and all JP, but they truly are part of the problem.

    Actually, if you were in university when the Taliban took over, then you are perhaps a bit too young to know about the Russian involvement, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and blame it all on your right-wing poli-sci and history profs.

    BTW, your lecturing tone seems way beyond your grasp of issues.
  170. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: It is true that Canada has always talked about building up the Afghan government so we could leave, but permanent occupation of the country was never an issue. Defeating terrorism in its Afghan home base was. It is disingenuous, if not outright deceptive, to paint the PM's words on CNN as nothing new, and simply a more 'blunt' articulation of what his government has always held to be true.

    But of course, long-time supporters of the military mission--including the Globe & Mail editorial board--are closing ranks around him, shamelessly blurring the differences as fast as they can. His change in tone alone counts as a significant departure from the past; the Globe editorial characterizing his strident past speeches as 'occasionally getting carried away and hinting at wiping out the Taliban altogether' is mendacious.

    I remember PM Harper fulminating about waging war on terror in Afghanistan and defeating Islamic extremists there before they attack us in our homes. I remember then Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor talking about seeking retribution for 9/11. They were consistent in their words and tone; there was nothing 'occasional' about it.

    The final indicator (to me) that things have changed was John Manley's obvious discomfort on CBC's Politics program last night, trying to square his panel's recommendations with the PM's new tone and words on CNN.

    If what the PM says now about fighting the Taliban and insurgencies in general is true now, it was always true. That he is now admitting it is a relief to many; that it is a change is evidenced by the fact that his words are being reported as major news around the world.
  171. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: Joe Dick,

    I had NO idea that it was the Liberals who 'started' this war. Have I missed something or have the revisionists been at work while I slept last night?
  172. JP Warwick from Canada writes: aging oldtool Actually is was Carter who helped push the Soviets into their Afghan war. His CIA guy admitted as much and stated that the goal was to give the Soviets their own Vietnam. Clearly, it worked. So, unless you consider Carter a 'righty' then scratch that off the list. Yes, bin ladden was supported by the CIA when he was fighting the Soviets. A lot of thanks the yanks got for their help… Lots of 'lesser evil' stuff went on during the cold war much like Churchill had to team up with Stalin in WWII (which, if you know anything at all about Churchill, had to pain him to no end.) Not all of it worked and a lot of it backfired spectacularly. Bin Ladden is a prime illustration of that. Yet context is sometimes helpful in understanding things. This current war is not to conquer Afghanistan and Harper's words - however late - are helpful. That is part of what needs to be made clear, both to the US and to the Afghani people. Otherwise, things will not go well. The Brits can also let you know how tough the Afghanis are. The goal is to leave a government in Afghanistan that is strong enough to be able to fight the Taliban without falling and strong enough to maintain enough stability to ensure at least a fighting chance for the normal, peace-wanting people of Afghanistan to have as normal a life as they can. The goal is not to subdue the will of the people. If they think that is part of the plan, hell hath no fury… I was in university for some time. Two degrees and a gap between will do that.
  173. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Jesu Pifco

    The Liberals started Canada's involvement in this war. As it started in 2001 after 9/11 you should be able to figure it out. It can't be that difficult.

    Revisionism is when Liberals claim otherwise. Perhaps you fell for it?
  174. Spin Assassin from Quebec, Canada writes: I think the big confusion here is one of semantics. The media has changed the definition of war to include occupation and passification.

    Occupations aren't won, they are finished when they aren't necessary.

    Has Vancouver been lost to gangs because they continue to operate? Does a person lose control of their body when they have the flu?

    I'm afraid that the outcome in Afganistan will have more to do with hearts and minds in Canada than Afganistan. The media and the opposition seek to influence the perception of success in Afganistan to sell newspapers and spur anger.
  175. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    'PM sounds like defeatist, father of slain soldier says'

    It's understandable that the father would be bitter about the PM's comments, and protective of his son's memory and sacrifice. The public's role at this point is, while sympathizing with the families of the fallen, to reduce to the absolute minimum the number of other families who will sustain a loss in this war. We cannot bring back the dead, but we can refuse to see more Canadian soldiers killed and maimed in a mission that was impossible from the start.

    The tragedy isn't simply that Canadian soldiers fell in Afghanistan. THE TRAGEDY IS THAT VICTORY WAS NEVER EVEN AN OPTION. This reality should have been abundantly apparent to every knowledgeable observer, and certainly to the leaders of our country. Mr. Harper has finally come to this conclusion, but too late.

    Mr. Harper must share the blame for this tragedy. In particular, in early 2006, Mr. Harper reveled in the idea that Canadian combat troops were going to secure Kandahar, defeat the Taliban, and make him look like a strong and forceful leader. Three years later he's eating his words over the bodies of 100 Canadian soldiers.

    While there will be some individuals who, for personal emotional reasons, insist that the fight should continue, calmer and wiser Canadians must overrule that impulse. Do not support the deaths of more Canadians in this futile and ultimately illegitimate endeavour.
  176. Jack Rip from Canada writes: ' Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes:

    ...and that is only part of the picture Catherine. Other parts include training the ANA and ANP to the point they can hold their own...'

    I would submit that this unrealistic as well. Afghans, since the dawn of time have owed loyalty to family, clan and tribe. The problems with the ANA and ANP arise from the fact that many Afghans do not identify with the 'Afghan Nation' or its national institutions (like the National Army and Police). I read that the ANA has ended recruiting large numbers of Harazas, in a nation that is country that is largely Pashtun. In this article, the reporter wrote that the Haraza ANA troops cannot even communicate with the people they are supposed to be protecting in 'hot' Psahtun tribal areas, except through interpreters. Haraza's are Shi'ite muslims, Pashtuns are Sunnis. So the Pashtuns consider Harazas heretics. Also, the Taliban pay better than the ANA and ANP who often complained about not getting paid on time, or sometimes at all. It is this type of complex dynamic that many people miss ... you think that neat and tidy objectives are straightforward, when in fact they are complex and rooted in events hundreds or thousands of years in the past. It is likely that Afghanistan may take hundreds of years to get sorted out, if it ever will.
  177. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: I would like to know WHY he had to make this speech on CNN? Did he get paid? And, if not, was he trying to raise HIS profile in the U.S.? And did our CBC lose -even book value loss?
  178. teddy bear from United States writes:
    the PM represents canadians

    thus if the views espoused by the PM are defeatist, then it follows that canadians are defeatist as well
  179. P M from Windsor, United States writes: Hard to agree with Harper.. but reality is reality, and while I respect the sacrifice of military families, one simply can't ignore the lessons of history, and continue to press an agenda without a clinical analysis of its likelihood of success in a given region.

    We must stop expecting our leaders to be simply cheerleaders, and rather show responsible judgement, even in the face of sorrow and pride.
  180. Bill Harrison from Canada writes: Bruce Gerrard is absolutely correct about how the Canadian media deals with Mr. Harper. The Ottawa elitist media, many of whom are embedded with the Opposition Coalition, will never give Harper credit for anything he does. They are too busy stoking the anti-Harper crowd with stories of 'attack ads' and 'flip flops.' Notice how they never accuse the members of the Opposition Coalition of making attacks on Harper, which, of course, is done daily in the House of Commons and on the speaking circuit. Is it any wonder that newspapers are suffering? People just have no confidence in the ability of reporters to be fair and objective. We saw that in the U.S. election, and we will see it again in the next Canadian election, just as we saw it in every election in which Harper has been the Conservative leader.
  181. Robert Fisher from canada, Canada writes: Mr. Davies sounds like a bitter Man, but sending additional troops to this lost cause will not bring back his Son. Canada should have maintained the course of being a peace keeping nation and should have never been involved in American Nation building. This war is wrong and the bitter pill for Mr. Davies to swallow will be that hus Son and many others will have died for nothing.
  182. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada----You Young Pup you do not witch end is up.

    The Taliban didn't come to power by popular support. They came to power by killing all who opposed them.

    Aided by the CIA and having discussions about pipelines with Union Oil of Cal in the USA.

    Have a Good Day JP and don't panic please is to hard on you, Calm Down.
  183. C R from Canada writes: One thing can be certain Harper just killed the morale of our troops.
  184. Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: taking what the PM said out of context is pathetic and the only people upset are the harper haters who for the most part should be ashamed of themselves. Although who I really find pathetic are journalists who grap a entence from a speech take it out of context and then interview the family of a fallen hero -> these reporters should have their press credentuials removed and be ashamed of themselves. The PM said what he has been saying all along = WE can not defeat the insurgency ever. Indeed a true statement this is why we train the Afghanis as ultimately THEY are responsible for the future of their country case closed ...no doubt about it ... next stop 2011 troops come home then we move on to the next challenge.
  185. A C from Paris, France writes: 'aging oldtool from Canada writes: ....
    While I sympathise with this soldier's father, his new found distrust or confusion about Stephen Harper's ideals are quite a few deaths too late.

    Why did he believe Harper in the first place?'

    Yes please do sympathise. Because he could do nothing about the mission nor about his son's choices in life. Those are the breaks. And when that is the case usually you make the best and hope everything will be alright. Like most soldiers in Afghanistan and their families, this man possibly supports the mission. Which is entirely laudable, even if I personally don't. It is a soldier's job to believe in the mission and get it done, with the chance it may kill you before you get it done. I for one sleep better for these soldiers unwavering dedication, even if in this case I believe the actions in A'stan to be counterproductive.

    I am shocked that some here seem to me have belittled this man's loss, despite what they think of the mission.
  186. Rt. Revd. Malachy Egan from Halifax, Canada writes: Wow! Thank god for Wayne Young, who shares his vast experience with us and allows us to see things as black and white, while adoring Harper for his enormous contribution.

    Go to Afghanistan Wayne, take a peek, then post again...
  187. A C from Paris, France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: aging oldtool Actually is was Carter who helped push the Soviets into their Afghan war. His CIA guy admitted as much and stated that the goal was to give the Soviets their own Vietnam. Clearly, it worked. So, unless you consider Carter a 'righty' then scratch that off the list. Yes, bin ladden was supported by the CIA when he was fighting the Soviets'

    You have not wavered from your path, sir. Why play the partisan game? It is sterile. A'stan IS Harper's war NOW. Stating that only places responsability squarely where it belongs. Get over it.
  188. Roger Cooper from Canada writes: There is a revealing story on the conflict in Afghanistan in a interview between Bill Moyers and Michael Winslip here:

    http://tinyurl.com/6paf5v

    Regardless of the reasons, I salute every Canadian serving in Afghanistan. THUMBS UP!
  189. A C from Paris, France writes: 'Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: taking what the PM said out of context is pathetic and the only people upset are the harper haters who for the most part should be ashamed of themselves. ...these reporters should have their press credentuials removed'

    Wayne I guess what most people have a hard time swallowing is the suddenly reasonable analysis of the situation on the ground. Particularly since the Harper camp has vilified those who did the same before him.

    As for removing press credentials I will burn my passport the day such a thing happens, as it will then not be worth keeping.
  190. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: teddy bear from United States writes:
    the PM represents canadians

    thus if the views espoused by the PM are defeatist, then it follows that canadians are defeatist as well
    ****************************************
    MMM if I were to continue with that logic then when Bush was in power and said that he had been 'misunderestimated', that 'no weapons of mass distruction were a dissappointment' ect. etc. etc.
    Now would I believe all Americans are as dimwitted as this man? No, because I interact with our southern neighbours often. However there is always an exception to the rule, want to guess who I think that is?
  191. Peter Guindon from Hellifax, Canada writes: It's about time the PM stated what all of us have fully realized by now.
  192. A C from Paris, France writes: 'Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: teddy bear from United States writes:...want to guess who I think that is?'

    Don't feed the trolls ;-)
  193. Jo Blo from Canada writes: F.T. Ward from Canada writes: 'Where were these officers with their sage analysis in 2005? Did they keep this to themselves because they wanted the glory of a small war? to ensure the cash and kit they wanted came? not to contradict Hillier and risk their careers? '

    You've got it, Pontiac! Except it was Hillier himself who gave the advice and analysis. Nobody in the General Staff (what we call here the Defense Staff) dared contradict him and thus make a career limiting move.

    It's starting to sound like Hillier took himself as General Douglas MacArthur. Truman called him 'his majesty'. Harper probably fired Hillier for the same reason Truman fired MacArthur, when Harper found out the other side of the story.
  194. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Before Harper became PM the mission was hailed as 'peacekeeping' and reconstruction...
    ********************************************
    Jason: This mission was never billed as peacekeeping or reconstruction. It was an UN supported invasion of Afghanistan to dig out Bin Laden and company.
    Check you facts! Every Canadian understood this was a combat mission, except you. MMMM maybe you are too young to remember, or so old you have forgot.
  195. J M M from Canada writes: Yvonne W--what a silly comment!
  196. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: A C from Paris, France writes: 'Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: teddy bear from United States writes:...want to guess who I think that is?'

    Don't feed the trolls ;-)
    ***************************8
    Good advice my friend
  197. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: JP Warwick,

    I agree.....'started Canada's involvement in this war', not 'started a war' as Joe Dick originally stated and which you have correctly 'revised'.

    Not being a partisan fool, I don't fall for much and am quite aware of the history of foreign intervention in Afghanistan and what motivated it in these recent three centuries.
  198. Johnny Test from Pork Belly, Canada writes: Roman Spears from St. Catharines, Canada writes:

    Its a tough time to be a leader and there is no shame in admitting its too big a job for Taliban Steve. He should just step aside and let a leader with vision and influence move this country forward instead of side to side.

    Obama already has a job.
  199. Jo Blo from Canada writes: The unfortunate ultimate reality of being a soldier in the Armed Forces, is that it's your job to die for your country. In a democratic society, the mandate to fight always comes from the politicians, as war is the carrying out of foreign policy by other means (von Clausewitz said that, I think).

    Political thought can spin on a dime. In this case, I'm glad Harper had the courage to finally publicly admit what I and a lot of people had been saying for years (against a great current of popular hubris), that it is impossible to win against an insurgency. This is especially true when fighting against the biggest tribe in the world, the 30 million Pashtoons, including a great many of them who side with the Taliban cause.

    It is unfortunate that people are sacrificed in the name of their country. But that is what serving in the Armed Forces is ultimatley all about: living or dying at the whim of political power. That's why those killed or wounded in the service of their country are true heros. But that's also why it's so important for the politicians to ponder very carefully the thought of engaging in war in the first place.
  200. JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C

    Saying the current regime has to deal with the current war whether they started it, inherited it or otherwise is fine. That's stating fact.

    Stating that a war started by one person is the other guy's war is dishonest at best. Many of the posters have claimed that it was Harper who either started or changed the role of the war (depending on their level of either lies and stupidity.)

    The Liberal's started our participation in the war, escalated the war by changing the focus to combat and Harper (with the liberal's votes) extended it. Those who attempt to paint this war as partisan are liars.

    So you get over it. Like it or not, the facts are on my side. You still haven't pointed out a single factual error in anything I have said.
  201. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Jason Roy: Before Harper became PM the mission was hailed as 'peacekeeping' and reconstruction...
    ******************************************
    Jason: This mission was never billed as peacekeeping or reconstruction. It was an UN supported invasion of Afghanistan to dig out Bin Laden and company.
    Check you facts! Every Canadian understood this was a combat mission, except you. MMMM maybe you are too young to remember, or so old you have forgot.

    ---------------------------------

    No $h!t?!!? Whoda guessed...?

    Re-read my post. It was a response to some of the comments I've seen on these threads - from both sides - over the years.

    The one in particular you refer to was what I read plenty of times from blind partisan lemmings who went from being in total lockstep with the deployment to being against it overnight for no other reason than the election results on January 23, 2006.

    The same fools who think Chretien sent Canadian Forces to Afghanistan in order to keep Canada 'out' of Iraq...

    Sorry for the misunderstanding....
  202. Mike Z from Canada writes: Stan L from Canada writes: Mike Z from Canada writes: I don't see PM Harper's comments as defeatist, flip-flopping, or anything other than pragmatic.

    So the thoughts of a father who has lost his son or by extension the thoughts of all family with those in the military are irrelevant?
    ----------------------------------------------

    Stan L,

    In my opinion, the father of a fallen soldier does not necessarily know any more about the conflict than anyone else. He probably is more familiar with the current events of the conflict, but how in the world does having a son serving in our military qualify someone to comment on matters of foreign policy, military ability, or a conflict that is far from our traditional model?

    I grieve for the fallen, and for their families, but that doesn't mean I suddenly think they are policy experts.

    The Afghan conflict is not so much a 'war' as it is an attempt to help the Afghan government keep the peace in its own country, and to help it have the space to develop the abilities to become self-sustaining and democratic.

    The Taliban has too much support, and it's ideas are too grounded in the local culture and identity, for it to be defeated by force. That is why every single military occupation of Afghanistan has gone poorly for the occupier. The Soviets, the British, the Greek (going back a LONG way). All tried to 'pacify' the locals and create a type of vassal state, and all failed.

    But if the goal is not to 'pacify' the locals, but to enable the friendly locals to take power, this changes the dynamic. We are no longer trying to convert the locals, but instead working with the locals we approve of, trying to help them build a better Afghanistan.
  203. A C from Paris, France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C' I tried, I've done my bit, I give up. You are a troll and will not get a rise out of me anymore.
  204. JP Warwick from Canada writes: C from Paris, France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C' I tried, I've done my bit, I give up. You are a troll and will not get a rise out of me anymore.

    AKA: can't find an actual point where I am wrong so you declare victory and move on... Not one single point I made - not one - have you refuted.

    Crabbing without any actual point makes you, not me, the troll.

    Good day.
  205. Roger Cooper from Canada writes: Sorry, should have checked my own link. The story I was thinking of was in Slate:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2059487/
  206. chatter box from Canada writes:

    The insurgency in Afghanistan will never be defeated only by maintaining an international troop presence in the country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a U.S. television interview Sunday.

    Source:CNN
    -
  207. A C from Paris, France writes: I lied, here's my final reply to you.

    You didn't like my point about your posts, so you ignored it.

    No one on this thread has been as partisan as you on the war, despite your attempts at cloaking your diatribes as refutations of other partisan comments.

    Which is not helpful to the debate at hand, Mr Harper's statements and a father's reaction to them.

    Good NIGHT for me.
  208. Edward Rudnicki from toronto, Canada writes: I am not a Harper fan. but this is one thing that I agree with. We have been crying all along to stop the fighting. But what scares me is the though talk on Iran, Russia and the like.
  209. JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C

    If you take a look at other posts I made, I said many times that Harper has said and done things which were not helpful. That would be criticism. I don't mind taking any politician to task when warranted. When just lies, I find offence and I say so.

    The points you refer to were taking to task others for lies and errors which I did so with facts (as well as a large dose of insults.)

    So, it is tone alone in which you object. That is fine.

    So, good NIGHT.

    PS. How's Paris by the way? My wife has been, I've not yet had the pleasure.
  210. Kevin B from Canada writes: As much as I'm not a supporter of Stephen Harper, he's right, although he should have been saying that a year and a half ago.

    Accusing him of defeatism is a simplistic, kneejerk reaction. Just because the armed forces aren't going to stand on top of the defeated insurgents in a grand victory doesn't mean the victory won't happen. Clean wars with clean results have become a piece of history, and victory in Afghanistan is going to be a slow and unsatisfying one. I have more faith in our troops than to say that this will destroy their morale. Being in Afghanistan and knowing the situation intimately most likely makes them more aware of the truth in Harper's statements than anyone else.
  211. A C from Paris, France writes: 'JP Warwick from Canada writes: A C...PS. How's Paris by the way? My wife has been, I've not yet had the pleasure.'

    Off topic but polite, I'm game.
    Paris is a nice place to visit. But if you do visit it is better to have money to spend, as you must also do as a resident.
    That said I have enjoyed the charms more and more over the years, and have learned to see past the (many) inconveniences.
    Cheers
  212. David Browne from Toronto, Canada writes: The sad thing about this Afghanistan Mission is that it was doomed from the beginning and the experts new this but were ignored. Getting mixed up in what is a tribal war amongst competing tribes was a senseless exercise resulting in the needless deaths of coalition forces and Afghan civilians. The UN sanctioned mission was only to allow the Americans to go after Bin Laden and his followers. It was not to straighten out Afghan society and politics. Once again the Americans have blundered into another Vietnam and Obama seems willing to escalate this conflict further. The so called War on Terror is a phony war as these conflicts are regional and not global. During the Cold War, the Americans attempted to classify such regional conflicts to right regional injustices as being a conspiracy of monolithic communism. It was used as the War On Terror to justify American Imperialism. Will we never learn?
  213. ralph mercer from Canada writes: i have to say i agree with both sides, the PM and the father,but i agree with more with the father that the PM should keep these kind of comments to himself, and, if the PM thinks like that get our troops away those .........
    .......!! savages .
  214. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: 'Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: taking what the PM said out of context is pathetic and the only people upset are the harper haters who for the most part should be ashamed of themselves. Although who I really find pathetic are journalists who grap a entence from a speech take it out of context and then interview the family of a fallen hero -> these reporters should have their press credentuials removed and be ashamed of themselves.'

    Wayne I can tell you're a good man and we'd get along great. Couldn't have said it better myself!
  215. Misodzi Sithole from Canada writes: Harper pragmatic- my foot. More of Harper the opportunist. If the mission is doomed then why not do something about it soooner rather than later. One wonders too when the Wise Leader came to the realilization or did he know all along but it was not politically expedient for him to acknowledge it then. Equally sad are Harper's sheep (like in Animal Farm) who arealways praising the nonsense that we hear from the PM.

    People may insult the Afghans all they want but the fact is we invaded them. They never invited foreigners to come to their country and if anything the savagery is ours. We know that Bin Ladin and company were trained, sponsored and sustained by the Americans and we are just being dragged into the mess.
  216. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: If memory serves me right, Prime Minister Clueless was an ardent and fervent supporter of the Iraqi war when his puppet master, G.W. Bush, proclaimed war on that Country. Furthermore, Clueless also criticized Chretien for not sending Canadian troops to Iraq to help Bush and Rumsfeld. As recent as up to one month ago, PM Clueless kept reassuring Canadians that the Taliban would be routed and thoroughly defeated in short order. Like everything else this clueless Prime Minister, once again, has reversed his somewhat demented thinking. Does this clueless, moronic, dolt of a Prime Minister have any brains or does he simply 'wing it' ?
  217. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: PM Harper is not a defeatist; he merely wants to stay in power. To do so he continues to parrot the line coming out of Washington, as he has done since coming into office. On everything from the environment to Afghanistan, the Harper government has been saying 'Me too' to everything President Obama's government says--or more accurately, 'That's what we've been saying all along.'

    Except it's nonsense. But hey, that's politics, and if the Harper government wants to synchronize with the Obama government, that's fine with me. In the meantime I don't think it's uncharitable to have a chuckle, watching the leopard try to change its spots with a straight face.

    Don't forget: these people sought power not to govern but to dismantle government as much as possible. Afain, to do that they have to stay in power. Watch out for increasing lip service to the enlightened governing principles coming out of Washington, accompanied by contradictory, regressive policy moves--especially on the domestic front.

    On another note, I sympathise with the father who is tormented by the idea that his son died for nothing. I think the net result for Canada's military when our soldiers leave Afghanistan will be the fulfilment of Gen. Hillier's ambition to prove that Canadian soldiers 'aren't just peacekeepers.' History and bereaved families will be the judge of whether the sacrifice was worth it.
  218. Life Insurance Bribe from Canada writes: TALIBAN STEVE!!!!
  219. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Lyn Alg from Canada writes:

    If memory serves me right, Prime Minister Clueless was an ardent and fervent supporter of the Iraqi war when his puppet master, G.W. Bush, proclaimed war on that Country. Furthermore, Clueless also criticized Chretien for not sending Canadian troops to Iraq to help Bush and Rumsfeld. As recent as up to one month ago, PM Clueless kept reassuring Canadians that the Taliban would be routed and thoroughly defeated in short order.

    ----------------------------

    Obviously memory didn't serve you right as you posted thesame stuff yesterday about Harper saying the Taliban would be defeated and were proven wrong....
  220. Lets All Be Nice Yours Truly from Canada writes: .

    What about building 7? Why haven't building codes been updated to prevent fire from imploding a steel-framed structure in just over 6 seconds? Has the government introduced legislation to have all steel-framed structures in Canada investigated to ensure that there is not some flaw in the way steel is used in buildings????
  221. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: Yes, we know Harpo. We've been telling you all along that Canadians do not want our military used as an invasion force to attack, destroy and occupy other countries in service to U.S. Imperialism.
    More Poland, Herr Chancellor?
  222. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Oh, well...

    A ''War of Words'' going on and on and on....

    Better than huge Howitzers who can destroy targets 30 kms away, and the next day proclaim to feel sorry for the ''collateral damage''...

    Good night.

    -P.S. Those Howitzers don't get fired all by themselves; they need so-called ''human beings'' taking orders to fire from higher-up-the-echelon human beings... Canadians and Americans in Afghanistan...
    Oh well, at least the mighty Germans are not allowed to shoot at anything in this ''Afghanistan war''....

    -
  223. William E. Demers from Toronto, Canada writes: The PM sounds like a defeatist? Correction: he IS a defeatist.

    The Conservative Party used to stand for something. Now it doesn't. And guess what, to the people in Ottawa who think they're going to have the support of their party-base in the next election because they are the "lesser of two evils"... think again. We're fed up with Harper's lies and compromises.

    If Michael Ignatieff is as right-wing as his former writings would indicate, most conservatives would take him over Harper any day.
  224. A C from Paris, France writes: "Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country, Canada writes: Lyn Alg ....
    Obviously memory didn't serve you right as you posted thesame stuff yesterday about Harper saying the Taliban would be defeated and were proven wrong...."

    Would you care to reply to the three points LA made?

    (apparently elliptical and rebutt are flame words, I don't know where my post original post disappeared to... )
  225. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Lets All Be Nice Yours Truly from Canada writes: .

    What about building 7? Why haven't building codes been updated to prevent fire from imploding a steel-framed structure in just over 6 seconds? Has the government introduced legislation to have all steel-framed structures in Canada investigated to ensure that there is not some flaw in the way steel is used in buildings????
    ________________________

    Good question. Since 2001, I presume that some Federal Government in the US and Canada has seen the utmost urgency in updating all building codes to prevent the implosion of any steel-structure in just a matter of seconds.

    Any of you smart Con guys know where such updated building code exists. Since when?? Is it in effect in all states and provinces?? Which states and provinces do not abide by the new code (if there is such a code)....

    No doubt that those New Government of Canada people who post on the Globe and Mail non-stop 24-7 have an answer. We're eagerly waiting...

    -
  226. Simon Simon from Canada writes: Jim Davis can call Mr Harper's long-overdue recognition of some hard Afghan realities "defeatist". In the 19th century, officers with Gen. Elphinstone's army of occupation in Afghanistan called those with similar views "croakers". Perhaps they used this term right up until the end. We'll never know; the entire army was massacred in 1841.

    'Defeatist' or 'croaker'; what matters is that these folks were right.
  227. who's your daddy from Canada writes: Too bad Harper didn't listen people have been saying telling him this for years. Lots of good men and women would still be alive and Canada would have a lot more money .
  228. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: PM Harper seems to have taken the time to read a bit about the long history of Afghanistan, which any well-read A student in 12th grade knows, and also knows about Rudyard Kipling...

    Not hard to imagine that our PM Harper was all about math and statistics in college and probably never ''wasted his time'' reading the classics... About time he should read at least Rudyard Kipling and if he's too busy preparing his next attack campaign against Iggy, he might want to take an hour or less to read Rudyard Kipling on Afghanistan... (the women of Afghanistan.... the corpses... the not-yet dead....the whole gruesome bit...)...

    Still waiting for the BushHarperGuys to give us an answer about updated building codes for Building7andSimilarBuildings..... Are they updated or not? Easy: Answer Yes or No.

    -
  229. Up Yours from Canada writes: !!

    L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: PM Harper seems to have taken the time to read a bit about the long history of Afghanistan, which any well-read A student in 12th grade knows, and also knows about Rudyard Kipling...

    __________________________________________

    You can also see what Stevie is reading right here:

    http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca/
  230. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Up Yours from Canada, writes:

    You can also see what Stevie is reading right here:

    http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca/
    _______________________________________________

    Great list compiled by Yann Martel and it brings back fond memories... In my youth, my favourites were no. 6 and 7 on the list... Voltaire and his Candide and Sagan and A Certain Smile, both ''A L'Index'' meaning ''forbidden'' in some circles...

    However, I doubt that our PM Harper, in his youth or middle age has read even one or two of those books, even No. 1 on the list, Tolstoi 's Ivan Ilithch or anything by the german Reiner Maria Rilke...
    Must have read Orwell's 1984 which would give some ''modus operandi'' to some people in high places... This ''1984'' must be the only one and perhaps recently, a quick look on Wiki to find out about Afghanistan in the past 2000 years or so...

    That's all for now. I'm outta here! Thanks again Up Yours!

    -
  231. snowy lander from Edmonton, Canada writes: Taliban Steve finally gets it.
  232. Terry Hultquist from Canada writes: Lets All Be Nice Yours Truly from Canada writes: .

    What about building 7? Why haven't building codes been updated to prevent fire from imploding a steel-framed structure in just over 6 seconds? Has the government introduced legislation to have all steel-framed structures in Canada investigated to ensure that there is not some flaw in the way steel is used in buildings????

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    I watched the entire WTC tragedy, most of it live. The camera was pointed to Building 7, and the announcer was describing how a detonation team had planted explosives to bring the building down, as they were concerned about structural damage, and for safety reasons, they thought that this procedure would prevent a further unexpected collapse.
    This happened some time after the collapse of the Twin Towers. I hope I'm not the only one that knows this, unless it was a very realistic dream.
  233. J M from Canada writes: This father had his family destroyed by war. We should support him in his loss and anger with the government, but we should debate the reasons why his son had to be in this war and die.
  234. Jo Blo from Canada writes: Simon Simon from Canada writes: "Jim Davis can call Mr Harper's long-overdue recognition of some hard Afghan realities "defeatist". In the 19th century, officers with Gen. Elphinstone's army of occupation in Afghanistan called those with similar views "croakers". Perhaps they used this term right up until the end. We'll never know; the entire army was massacred in 1841."

    Elphingstone's officers were probably calling him a defeatist themselves. Elphingstone was solely responsible for the destruction of his army, as he ordered its evacuation from Kabul before winter, and set out to make it back to India through the treaturous mountain passes. They were massacred along the way in the mountainous terrain. Elphingstone was a ditherer, unwilling to take advice from his staff, but unable to make any decisions about counterattacking. What was left of the army did counterattack, but only after he died; it was too little and too late.

    "Not bloody likely!" was the famous phrase uttered by the sergeant who led the last beseiged holdouts against the Pahstoon tribesmen, when they were asked if they wanted to surrender (others who had surrendered previously had been massacred).

    What's this got to do with Harper? Not much but it's an interesting footnote.
  235. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: The PM has been saying what he has been saying all along. The military provides the security for our humanitarian work and the Afghan Army is being trained by our ARmy to take over the security and policing of the Afghan ountry. What's changed? Nothing.
  236. John Kanuck from Canada writes: J M from Canada writes: This father had his family destroyed by war. We should support him in his loss and anger with the government, but we should debate the reasons why his son had to be in this war and die.
    ----------------------------------
    I would normally agree with you, but Mr Davis loses that privilege when he politicizes his son's death.

    Mr Davis, last yr, chastised the PM for looking to continue the Afghan mission, now he chastised the PM again for looking to end it....which stance does he support?
  237. Sidha Baat from Calgary, Canada writes: The war game in Afghanistan is being played under two sets of rules. NATO code: It is a fight for democracy. Uphold human values. Don't kill any one on suspicion. Follow Geneva convention. Avoid high-handedness. Don't "torture" (experienced by the guy, who came back from Syria, had no medically proven signs of "torture" and yet managed to get our Ten million tax Dollar) any prisoner. Win hearts of religiously programmed, ungrateful populace. Be prepared to face "Humanists" in the media gallery of your own country who will ignore your service for 364 days and will overblow your failure to serve on the 365th day. Taleban code: It is a holy war; if you are a Shaheed (martyr), you shall fall on the laps of beautiful girls of heaven even before your body hits the ground. Treat every non-Muslim as your enemy. Kill any one co-operating with infidels, even if it means killing ten innocent people. Televise beheading of hostages. Gun down critics. Enforce loyalty through brute force. Obviously NATO can't win.
  238. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: Stephen Harper must stop playing games with Canadians who serve or the Canadians who have family serving. The mission in Afghanistan is either a NATO mission or Stephen Harper's fabulous Risk game baby. Harper can't have it both ways. Either Stephen Harper as PM of Canada is standing four-square with NATO on Afghanistan, or he's waffling. Trying to cuddle some war to his breast to seem brave. Stephen Harper and his government seem to be a mite candy on the commitment to the mission. Recent convos out-of-country point that way. How many children of MPs serve? It might be a good time to call an election when the Prime Minister has thrown in the towel on the only war that brought him to power. If he can't back Canadians over there, what good is he here? Harper has to be the worst war-time PM Canada has suffered. Harper is out of touch with Canadians on home and foreign fronts. Harper is not a leader. He's abdicated his authority and oversight of Afghanistan. Harper has belittled Canadian losses in Afghanistan by changing his definition of success, told anther country before he brought his new-found idea of defeat on home to Canadians. He'll be afraid to face those returning, just as he has been afraid to face the coffins, watch flags lowered in honour, or stand on the Highway of Heroes. And he tried his damndest to ensure ordinary Canadians could not honour those who gave their lives in service to Canada. Yet he beaks off in a foreign land that his purported country's efforts are in vain. Did Harper just read the history of Afghanistan a week ago? .
  239. Will Farnaby from writes: Look on the bright side: at least Harper and his Cons weren't in power early enough to join in the illegal invasion of Iraq (although Comrade Harpoleon was gung-ho). So, at least Canada and Canadian Forces avoided one very dirty quagmire.
  240. don ross from Toronto, Canada writes: John Doucette from Manotick, Canada writes: So, Harper finally spoke the truth and now we're worried about troop morale. Folks, blind obedience is always stupid. That in fact has always been the greatest military weakness for all nations: Blind obedience led us to the charge of the Light Brigade, Custer's Massacre, Viet Nam, and the Holocaust.

    Johnny boy, in each case, disobedience would have meant
    death. If everyone in an army decided to do just what THEY want then they are doomed from the start.
  241. Geoffrey May from Canada writes: When Harper achieved his firts mnority in 2006 , one of his firts acts was to visit Afghanistan , basically wrapped himself the thne mission flag. Support for Harper ,and the mission surged in the lead up to the anniversary of the battle of Vimy ridge , and has gradually flaggerd since.Harper created his bogus Blue ribbon pannel under John Manley , to try to create the appearance of by-partisan support , which he got from Dion's Liberals, to extend the mission to 2011. Within days of dropping the writ last fall, Harper announced that when the current extension ended , Canada would leave .

    I don't think Harper ever gave a damn about Afghanistan, or the Canadian Forces. He swa it as an issue he could use to increase his popularity , and when that failed , he jettisoned it , basically an $11 billion , hundred plus lives popularity contest.Afghan mission , Senate reform, small governmnet ,fiscal responsibility, income trusts, fixed election dates , every Harper policy, are only about poitical advantage . All Harper has ever cared about , his only core value is, himself.
  242. Duane Freemantle from writes: It is not hard to understand the feelings of a father's of a soldier who died in Afghanistan. However, there is a clear reality in the Prime Minister's comments. 8 years later and the Taliban have not been defeated. However, they were pushed from controlling the capital 8 years ago. History has some real hash lessons to be learnt by some.
  243. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: Never underestimate the power of denial. It must be a horrible feeling to know down deep that your son died for nothing.
  244. Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Terry Hultquist:

    "The camera was pointed to Building 7, and the announcer was describing how a detonation team had planted explosives to bring the building down

    I hope I'm not the only one that knows this, unless it was a very realistic dream."

    ------------

    Must have been a dream. There was NEVER any anncouncer proclaiming that a detonation team was taking down WTC7.

    Just another 9/11 kook lie. Yawn.....
  245. Interested Observer from United States writes:

    "PULL IT"

    . . . .debris fire melts steel.

    3 more die in vain.
  246. Jeff T from Canada writes: Must be a horrible feeling, not having anything worthy to fight for... Such people are called slaves. Always.
  247. Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Interested Observer from United States writes:

    "PULL IT"

    . . . .debris fire melts steel.

    ----------

    Silverstein's "Pull it" referred to pulling back the FDNY from the building (which the FDNY corroborates). Only kooks think "pull" means "blow up."

    And steel doesn't have to melt in order to fail.

    Why are all truthers so bloody stupid?
  248. Up Yours from Canada writes: !! RE: Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes And steel doesn't have to melt in order to fail. Why are all truthers so bloody stupid? _____________________________________________________ How do 110 storeys of concrete and steel come down in free-fall speed through the area of most resistance (ie: down into the building itself). And how did the Empire State Building survive a direct hit by a B52 without the same result as the WTCs?
  249. Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Up Yours from Canada writes: "How do 110 storeys of concrete and steel come down in free-fall speed through the area of most resistance (ie: down into the building itself)."

    It's called GRAVITY. It causes things to fall DOWN.

    In what direction does a 50,000 ton mass fall in your world? Sideways?

    "And how did the Empire State Building survive a direct hit by a B52 without the same result as the WTCs?"

    Because it was a B-25 (not a B-52) and the ESB has a completely different designed than the WTC. But of course conspiracy kooks can't be bothered with that kind of stuff To you guys all buildings are exactly the same.

    I suppose you also have no clue as to what WTC7s design was either.

    Seriously, why are you guys all so bloody stupid?
  250. Tim Carter from Canada writes: There are a lot of people who don't understand how things work in the long run.

    The Taliban CAN be defeated, but it will take literally decades. It will be, to Canada, what Cyprus was: a mission that lasted an entire generation.

    But then there are a lot of people who don't understand the implication of defeat, what is so-called "inevitable", and so on.

    First, if we aren't containing and slowly winning the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban WILL eventually destroy the Afghan government. So talking about the Afghan gov't being able to "manage" the insurgency is pure nonsense. It either has to be defeated, or it will win over us / Afghanistan.

    Second, if the Taliban do win in Afghanistan, the long-term implications for Pakistan - which is already starting to fight for its life - will be horrendous.

    Eventually, if the Taliban win, it WILL come back to haunt us. Make no mistake. Afghanistan is not on another planet. We can't just wish that problem away. It will visit us somehow.
  251. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes---Thanks for the fine comment.
    Get out NOW.
  252. marlene stobbart from High River, Canada writes: IF the above commentators had studied what was happening these past ten years - they might have given PM Harper a break. SO, understand this.
    When former Liberals PM Chretein and Martin signed us into Afganistan they did so and, then asked permission from Parliament. When PM Harper extended the mission time table - he did so with permission from Parliament. Canada is obligated under the UN and NATO and we cannot easily pull out. That PM Harper spoke on CNN and expressed his viewpoint "Insurgency in Afganistan cannot be defeated. and Canada would not provide more troop without a clear exit strategy. We aren't going to win this war just by staying and, frankly we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency. Afganistan history tells the country has been in a permanent state of insurgency. The fact he said this on CNN is telling. He is telling the new US administration the facts of life and, in doing so, is protecting our own military - our sons and daughters.
    PM Harper, if you really think about it, is a pragmatic man and brilliant. Be glad he spoke up. My son was an F18 fighter pilot in the first Iraq war - now he finally speaks of its horrors. We are all proud of our military and sadden when one or more have lost their lives and sadden for the families who have lost their child, husband or father. Make no mistake about that but how much better is it to have our Prime Minister speak up and say what is truth ?
  253. Jan Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Tim Carter from Canada writes: There are a lot of people who don't understand how things work in the long run.

    The Taliban CAN be defeated, but it will take literally decades. It will be, to Canada, what Cyprus was: a mission that lasted an entire generation.

    -----------------

    Cyprus was mostly peace-keeping - ie. standing around checkpoints after the combatants have stopped fighting. Afghanistan is a guerilla war.

    It simply doesn't matter who runs Afghanistan

    There are no good options in a place like that. Everyone in a position to lead the country is corrupt, ignorant, Islamist, and hates women.

    All that is left to be decided is whether or not women will be beaten with 10 lashes instead of 15.

    Do you want our troops dying for such a cause?

    To hell with Afghanistan. Canada and NATO should focus efforts on people who WANT to be helped.
  254. D F from Canada writes: I'm not saying that "war" is the best way to solve the taliban problem and free those who are oppressed by the extremists. However, the extremists have said in no uncertain terms that their goal is to ensure that basically the world follows islam. They have said that otherwise you should be killed. Do we just ignore it? They are showing time and again that when they choose to they are very good at exploiting weaknesses.

    While the war might not be the best answer, people are losing their lives trying their hardest to solve the problem. If that's not the answer, I suggest the rest of us start coming up with some better ones.
  255. Jeff T from Canada writes: Truthers, still can not find the truth, with a road map, GPS, guide, photographs, and a big giant follow me yellow arrow painted on the ground for them... They still do not get it. Because they are idiots.
  256. Yogie Bear from The Forest, Canada writes: Mr. Harper tell CNN in an interview broadcast March 1 that Canadian and other foreign armies can't beat the Taliban. ------------------ Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): We have forgotten the original reason why we went. We invoked article 5 of the NATO resolutions because one of our member countries was attacked. We have not finished the job yet. One of our colleagues mentioned that the soldiers are watching and asked what this is going to do for their morale. The Taliban are watching, the terrorists are watching and terrorists here in Canada are watching. How does he think our soldiers are going to pay for the lack of resolve-- -------------- Mr. Dave Batters (Palliser, CPC): The headlines tomorrow will simply say that this House is either with our troops on this mission or it is not with our troops on this mission. That is what our troops will see in Afghanistan. This is what the headlines will show. Does the member realize that he will be helping to send the wrong message to our troops and that it will not be good for morale?
  257. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Yogi, Gallant actually said that? Wow the conservatives are really in trouble if someone took that nutbar out of her cage and removed her muzzle. She's been living under the conservative whip since ti was the reform party, her greatest contribution was opposing pro choice. Since they become the PC party Harper has basically told her to shut up and not go to all candidate's meetings. She'll be backtracking by tomorrow.
  258. Yogie Bear from The Forest, Canada writes: In fairness Norm Jom, Gallant said this in the HoC awhile ago but I believe it still pertains to Harper's comments.
  259. Prsn Nep from Canada writes: loraine lamontagne from Canada writes: Taliban Steve!
    ----------
    I'm surprised more people aren't calling him Taliban Steve. It seems fitting since Jack Layton was labeled "Taliban Jack" for the same reason. Some people will never admit Layton figured it out way before Harper.
  260. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: Jeff T from Canada writes: Must be a horrible feeling, not having anything worthy to fight for... '

    Cheney and Scumsfeld thank you for the contribution of your life to the enrichment of their personal portfolios.
    A worthy cause...
  261. Jeff T from Canada writes: And the Taliban thanks you Steve French for your part in enforcing their dominion over a people who do not want it. As for anyone getting rich over this? In what way? You going to trot out the tired old line of oil? If so, what do you have against Afghans? Such a development would mean hundreds of millions of dollars a year going into the Afghan coffers, which thusly turns into jobs, and economic stability that is not dependant on narcotics.
  262. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Harper will say or do anything to stay in power...........

    Now he's joining the taliban..........with Taliban Jack

    Taliban Harper.....Taliban Jack....A Coalition.
  263. Bill Woodcock from Canada writes: What's the big surprise here. As the PMO staff member (read Puppet) said, Harper has not changed his stand on Afghanistan, he's just saying it differently.... LMAO..... He did it with Senate appointments, Income trusts, fixed election dates and the current economic problems..... As I have said before, it's a good thing that Harper is not in the shoe business because he'd be overstocked with flip-flops...
  264. Bill Woodcock from Canada writes: an Burton from Toronto, Canada writes: Tim Carter from Canada writes: There are a lot of people who don't understand how things work in the long run.

    The Taliban CAN be defeated, but it will take literally decades. It will be, to Canada, what Cyprus was: a mission that lasted an entire generation.

    -----------------

    Cyprus was mostly peace-keeping - ie. standing around checkpoints after the combatants have stopped fighting. Afghanistan is a guerilla war.

    It simply doesn't matter who runs Afghanistan

    There are no good options in a place like that. Everyone in a position to lead the country is corrupt, ignorant, Islamist, and hates women.

    All that is left to be decided is whether or not women will be beaten with 10 lashes instead of 15.

    Do you want our troops dying for such a cause?

    To hell with Afghanistan. Canada and NATO should focus efforts on people who WANT to be helped.

    JAN....You have just received my vote for the best post of the day...

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