Skip navigation

Cannon, Day visit Afghan prison on trip

Globe and Mail Update

Canada to spend $21-million on prison guards, police and human rights ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. Mister Fartleberry from Toronto, Canada writes: So where are the Bush protestors? For 21 million I'd rather see a traffic unit in Peel region. As a Century Canadian citizen I'm far more likely to be killed by an Afghan running a red light or driving down the centre of the road there. Not like their MPs care.
  2. Ivan Wilson from Canada writes: Well at least Doris managed to put his helmet on the right way round.

    Remember Chretin in the tank? What a laugh!
  3. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes:
    Money to burn? What a waste!

    Police by day, Taliban at other times?

    Why not help the 2010 Olympic Games instead?
  4. Noam Chomsky from Canada writes: Thats great they were able to visit an Afghan prison and ask the prisoners about their treatment. Will someone please ask them what about the fate of the prisoners in the US Air Force Base at Bagram? The recently murdered journalist 'JoJo' Jawed Ahmed alleged before his death that he was arrested by the Americans on the orders of Canadian military officials and held for a year and underwent torture while in US custody.
    Who cares about the whether prisoners are safe in Afghan prisons if Canadians are now just having the Americans arrest and torture those people who rub the Canadian military the wrong way?
    Does the Canadian military give names to the Americans of those they want arrested? That is the seminal question here that needs to be asked of the Defence Minister.
  5. james c from Canada writes: Noam Chomsky from Canada writes: Thats great they were able to visit an Afghan prison and ask the prisoners about their treatment. Will someone please ask them what about the fate of the prisoners in the US Air Force Base at Bagram? The recently murdered journalist 'JoJo' Jawed Ahmed alleged before his death that he was arrested by the Americans on the orders of Canadian military officials and held for a year and underwent torture while in US custody.

    Who cares about the whether prisoners are safe in Afghan prisons if Canadians are now just having the Americans arrest and torture those people who rub the Canadian military the wrong way?

    Does the Canadian military give names to the Americans of those they want arrested? That is the seminal question here that needs to be asked of the Defence Minister.
    -----

    unlike you, i have faith and confidence in our forces and the work they do.

    if you have any evidence the CF are doing what you allege, then bring it forward. and good luck.
  6. Just the Facts, Jack from Canada writes: At a time when Canadians are losing their jobs and homes, savings and pensions, Harper finds 21 million tax dollars for Afghan prisons. 112 CAN soldiers, a diplomat, and two aid workers sacrificed their lives, and 21 million is being sent for prisons. Disgusting.
  7. diane marie from calgary, alberta from Canada writes: Ivan Wilson:-- Yes, that's what's really important (haberdashery).
  8. Ruby Christal from Edmonton, Canada writes: Perhaps Day and Cannon will get a first hand look at the practice of exploiting "tea boys" in prison. Torture and child rape are not small cultural differences that Canadians should be ignoring. If that is what the Conservatives are proposing to fund, count me out.

    Also, it is clear that when Conservatives speak of human rights, they are not including women. That is consistent with their twisted idea that anything that a "democracy" decides can not be questioned. Remember, PM Harper considers Afghanistan to be a democracy whenever he uses that word.
  9. REX VicBC from VICTORIA, Canada writes: Canada is going even deeper into debt, yet our politicians merrily fly half way around the world and waste 21 million more to bribe more Afghans to be police. Don't they understand by now that the Afghans don't give a damn about WESTERN WAYS and are just waiting for the foreign invaders to leave so they can go back to their old feudal ways !! ?? How about packing up and leaving NOW ?? It is a shame that so many BILLIONS of Canadian taxpayers' dollars are so frivilously wasted on that WASTELAND called Afghanistan, when the Afghans themselves don't want to do anything to help themselves. Time the BILLIONS be used to look after Canadians---housing, medical, education, our own "gang-wars" etc.. and the thousands and thousands of unemployed Canadians.
  10. Wayne Crockett from Toronto, Canada writes: What is laughable is that Day and Cannon would believe that the randomly selected prisoners feel free to speak about conditions in the prison. They don't have to be individually coached in order to feel intimidated by the prison authorities. The Ministers are either naive or so caught up in their own policies they will grasp at anything.
    And please since when do we accept as legitimate the concept of political prisoners? The Soviets were big on maintaining two competing groups in their camps - the criminals who received relatively (very relatively) good treatment and the politicals who the criminals were encouraged to victimize.
    Either Afghanistan is being reconstructed on western values (extremely dubious in practical terms) which is what we are being told or it is just another thug state propped up to keep the worst elements in check.
  11. George Nikitin from Hamilton, Canada writes: How much are the spending on waterboarding and electro-gential conditioning?
  12. Jeff T from Canada writes: Wow, a bunch of vapid, rabid lefties without a clue in here... I guess I will come back when the frothhing of the mouth ceases.
  13. Wally Grisold from Toronto, Canada writes: 21 mill for cops and robbers! hell's bells, they could have sent the trigger happy Mounties with their tazers. Short and sweet.
  14. Oliver Pietila from Canada writes: Both the Globe & Star report that Mr. Day is the International Trade Minister, is he not the Defence Minister?
  15. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Really! 21 Million is a pittance in Canada and will go much farther in Afghanistan. Everyone rants about the corruption of the ANP but when somebody tries to address the problem they change their tune - selfishness is rampant here. It is a pity that the people who are so negative do not have to spend a few days living in the shoes of the people in Afghanistan - that would give them a taste of what real hardship is. We are not the only country dealing with a downturn in the economy but what would happen if every country suddenly decided not to provide aid? As it is, Afghanistan has been given a fraction of the aid provided to countries like Bosnia even though they need it more. BTW Our military and their families do their own fundraising to help people in Afghanistan and support projects they develop and which are maintained by the new as they are rotated to Afghanistan. These are activities they do that go above and beyond their assigned duties - even when they have returned home.
  16. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Just the Facts, Jack from Canada writes: At a time when Canadians are losing their jobs and homes, savings and pensions, Harper finds 21 million tax dollars for Afghan prisons. 112 CAN soldiers, a diplomat, and two aid workers sacrificed their lives, and 21 million is being sent for prisons. Disgusting.

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

    With posts like this, you may want to consider changing your moniker.
  17. M C from Canada writes: Oliver Pietila from Canada writes: Both the Globe & Star report that Mr. Day is the International Trade Minister, is he not the Defence Minister? Oliver, maybe you should read more than the Globe and Mail. The Minister of Defence is Peter MacKay.
  18. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: The futility of the entire Afghanistan debacle is exemplified by the simple facts cited in this article. Here is how the $21 million in aid from Canada is being allocated:

    - $20 million for police and prison guards.
    - $1 million for promotion of human rights.

    Put bluntly, the Canadian government and its military allies have no idea how to fix Afghanistan. After seven years of occupation, the hope rests on building up a state security apparatus in this notoriously corrupt nation.

    The ratio of foreign spending on the military-security side versus actually helping Afghans is captured succinctly in the numbers above. Less than 5% of what NATO nations spend in Afghanistan ever reaches the people- the rest is sucked up by the security effort. And the pittance that's spent trying to relieve the hardship of Afghans must first pass through the sticky fingers of our corrupt partners in the Afghan government.

    Last year, the US Congressional Oversight Committee put the total cost of the US's military efforts in Afghanistan at about $500 billion to the end of 2008. The combined costs of the military effort to other NATO nations cannot be less than an additional $200 billion. Yet today, those staggering expenditures have achieved only a deteriorating security situation and little to no NET improvement in the lives of Afghans.

    $700 billion- give or take- urinated down a deep, dark hole growing deeper by the day. Whereas even half of that spent directly on the Afghan people would have transformed their lives and denied traction to any insurgency.

    Just like the US's previous conflict in Vietnam, ALL RATIONAL PERSPECTIVE HAS BEEN ABANDONED IN FAVOUR OF A MILITARY GOAL. And just like with Vietnam, the fastest way for Afghanistan to stabilize, rebuild and join the world community is for the US and its allies to stop making war.

  19. Robin M from Canada writes: The Canadian Military have a worldwide reputation of being the most trusted in the world.. That these two rookie ministers (Day and Cannon) will be able to give a reasoned account of such a complex situation remains in doubt and is naive to expect..

    (1) will their reports reflect the 'true situation' facing the Afghans and the risks that our fine military men and women face everyday on behalf of the Afghan people. (2) will their assessments be based on furthering their own political idealogy... I don't think so...
  20. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: There are military personnel who would not voluntarily do another tour in Afghanistan - not because they don't believe they can defeat the Taliban, but because they cannot handle the poverty and deprivation they see. One person in particular is very familiar with poverty in Canada but was totally blown away by the poverty of the Afghans. When you go to a place where people have had to use mud and grass to survive you tend to appreciate more how lucky you are to live in a country like Canada. Poverty is a relative thing and as difficult as life may be for the poor of this country it is still far better than being in countries like Afghanistan. What I find ironic is that many of the poor here are more willing to share the little that they have with others than those who have more they could share.
  21. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: A few facts about Canadian aid to Afghanistan. There is lot more aid going to Afghanistan than just what is spent on the military. First of all, even prior to 2001 Canada was providing about $10 million per year in aid. In 2007 $172 million was committed to reconstruction aid. Canada also provided microloans to more than 140,000 Afghans (89% women) to start their own businesses. In 2007 they committed to provide $25 million for food aid and in 2008 a further $ 10 million to the World Food Program for Afghanistan. Other funds go to mine clearing and the RCMP training being provided. Civilian police are an essential part of restoring security and the rule of law to the country. Often the police are targeted more than the Afghan military because they are considered 'softer' targets.
  22. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Medernach belatedly gives a thought to the plight of Afghans? Better late than never.

    Afghanistan as a nation is so destitute it doesn't even register on the usual economic indicators that are used to determine a country's wealth. But as a rough indicator, Afghanistan's GDP is about 1/3 of that of Haiti, the most destitute country in the Western hemisphere. That's after seven years of Western occupation. During that period, those same Western nations have spent far in excess of $500 BILLION on the MILITARY effort in Afghanistan.

    Medernach remarks that some Canadian soldiers don't want to go back to Afghanistan because they don't want to face the grinding poverty that Afghans must live under. It's not a wonder those soldiers feel that way. Thus far, Canada has spent tens of billions of dollars sending troops to Afghanistan, while outside the gates of the Canadian base Afghans starve to death and children sell themselves to the police for sex.

  23. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Medernach states: "There is lot more aid going to Afghanistan than just what is spent on the military."

    Garbage! Pure, unadulterated rubbish.

    A TINY fraction of the amount spent on the military effort in Afghanistan is spent on aid. Anyone who tells you different is trying to deceive you.
  24. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Only about half of the population in Afghanistan are adults - and that includes women, and elderly and disabled adults. In addition to providing enough people for the military and police, they have to have people to run the government and educational and health services. There also have to be people to provide basic necessities such as food and clothing in addition to working on reconstruction projects. Given that many of the adults have a low level of literacy it takes time to have all of these things developed to a functional level. Being a police officer in Afghanistan means being at much greater risk than they would face here and when they lose so many in attacks by the Taliban they have to be replaced with new people who need to be trained. They are also the ones responsible for firefighting where we have a separate organization that does only that. Some of the equipment required, including a truck, were donated by firefighters in Canada.
  25. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Again Roskell you twist my words - what I stated was that it is not just military aid that is being provided - not that more money was spent in aid than on the military mission. And my observation about soldiers not wanting to return because of the poverty was not a criticism of them either - but you twisted that as well. That fact of the matter is that Afghanistan is the largest single recipient of Canadian aid today. BTW There are other countries that could provide more humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as well but don't.

    In addition, you constantly deride the efforts our troops are making to help the Afghan people. You refuse to give them credit for their efforts to raise funds and provide assistance to the Afghan people in addition to what is provided by aid organizations and what is required of them in their role as soldiers. The projects they develop and ensure that those who follow them maintain. The projects they continue to raise $ for when they return home.
  26. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    I couldn't twist your words any tighter than they already are, Medernach. And they're there for all to see. You said, "There is lot more aid going to Afghanistan than just what is spent on the military."

    A "lot more aid" than what is spent on the military; your words, Medernach, and they are deceitful.

    Still, one might forgive your attempted deception if what NATO nations spent on aid in Afghanistan was even close to what they spend on the military effort. But that's not the case. The amount spent on aid falls so far short of what's spent on maintaining a military presence that it might as well be zero. Considering all the damage done by the military as it makes war, the amount spent on aid can't even leave Afghans with a net gain in their wellbeing.

    Canadians need to understand this about NATO's efforts in Afghanistan. It is a MILITARY mission; and if one penny out of every dollar spent on that military mission reaches the Afghan people, it will be a miracle. The talk of improvements for Afghans are the lies of Western politicians and individuals like Medernach. It's the cover story for that mission, and it's exactly as thin as the aid that the West provides.
  27. Steve is reporting LIVE from the US / Canuckistani border from Canada writes:

    How dare those meanie pants Canadians invest in a better Afghan future!
  28. pik scott from Canada writes: Noam Chomsky from Canada, we are waiting for your facts or are you just another lying liberal. Imagine how many dead we would have in this liberal mission in afghanistan, if harper did not take over and get some decent equipment for our boys and girls in uniform. .
  29. pik scott from Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: I couldn't twist your words any tighter than they already are, Medernach. And they're there for all to see. You said, "There is lot more aid going to Afghanistan than just what is spent on the military." A "lot more aid" than what is spent on the military; your words, Medernach, and they are deceitful. Still, one might forgive your attempted deception if what NATO nations spent on aid in Afghanistan was even close to what they spend on the military effort. But that's not the case. The amount spent on aid falls so far short of what's spent on maintaining a military presence that it might as well be zero. Considering all the damage done by the military as it makes war, the amount spent on aid can't even leave Afghans with a net gain in their wellbeing. Canadians need to understand this about NATO's efforts in Afghanistan. It is a MILITARY mission; and if one penny out of every dollar spent on that military mission reaches the Afghan people, it will be a miracle. The talk of improvements for Afghans are the lies of Western politicians and individuals like Medernach. It's the cover story for that mission, and it's exactly as thin as the aid that the West provides. ------------------------------- Another liberal without the facts. I have friends that serve over there and the problem is how the leftist media hides the good work they do. And that attitude of yours is what really upsets these guys. Your problem like most lefties ,is you hate to see money spent that does not end up in your pocket.
  30. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: "But more than $1-million of the new Canadian funding will help promote human rights in Afghanistan, where torture is part of prison life."

    Give it up guys, torture is part of everyday life in this stone-age country. Human rights is literally a "foreign" concept to them. Imagine teleporting back to 5th century Europe and asking Attila the Hun to embrace democracy and human rights. No different with Afghanistan.
  31. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Roskell - you have now demonstrated exactly how you twisted my post to make it say what you claimed. Without offering any proof for your contentions, you accuse everyone of lying. What is obvious is your dishonesty. Previously you claimed that you supported UN Peacekeeping missions - but they too are 'military' missions and cost a lot of money. Do Canadians also need to understand that UN missions are 'military' missions? lol! It would appear that to you 'military' is a dirty word.

    There are in fact two separate missions taking place in Afghanistan - one is the US Enduring Freedom mission which is primarily a combat mission. The other, under the Afghan Compact, is the ISAF which is the NATO mission the Canadian troops are deployed on. It is not primarily a combat mission but does require combat trained troops in order to ensure security - as have all UN 'peacekeeping' missions.
  32. Geordie Lad from Canada writes: I feel embarrassed that these two represent Canada on anything. Day has consistently shown how inferior his ability is to understand any issue at all.

    A total waste of "hard working Canadian families' tax dollars" to quote the little fascist from Whitby.
  33. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: "A total waste of "hard working Canadian families' tax dollars" - and the families in Afghanistan are not hard working? What about the widows and orphans - are they not worth anything either? They are human beings and suffering in a country torn by decades of war. Thankfully the majority of Canadians are not as selfish as some of the posters here.
  34. Toronto Lover from Canada writes: Canon is an idiot, and embarrassment for Canada.
  35. Chris E. from Canada writes: A total waste of hard working Canadian families' tax dollars.

    A nation's borders provide a limit to its altruism and charity. There are seniors in need of care, youth in need of opportunities, crumbling infrastructure, public works in need of funding, and Canadian families without a breadwinner.

    The Afghans must think we're a country of millionaires to throw wealth around like this.
  36. Udom Thongpai from Victoria, Canada writes: On October 9, 2008 Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page said the expected cost of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan until 2001 is $18 billion. "Price tag of Canada's Afghanistan mission: up to $18 billion", Globe and Mail, http://tinyurl.com/ce8mcm

    ....On October 9, 2008 the Afghan Government said Afghanistan faced a deficit of two million tonnes of staple food - primarily wheat flour and rice - to feed millions of vulnerable people. "AFGHANISTAN: Ministry warns of severe food shortage" , IRIN, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, http://tinyurl.com/d47d5g

    ....In 2008 the total amount of food aid donated by Canada to the World Food Program in Afghanistan was $17,878,178. Appeals and Funding, Reliefweb, http://tinyurl.com/d72hvk

    ....We are giving more money to the Afghan police than we spent on food for starving Afghans in all of last year.
  37. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Medernach states: "There is lot more aid going to Afghanistan than just what is spent on the military."

    Garbage! Pure, unadulterated rubbish.

    A TINY fraction of the amount spent on the military effort in Afghanistan is spent on aid. Anyone who tells you different is trying to deceive you.
    -----------------------------
    Deceit must be your middle name Mr Roskell.

    100% of aid money going to Afghanistan is for aid. Money for the military effort is for the military effort. Two separate envelopes in a very big budget.

    What Ms. Medernach states is unequivocally correct, there is more aid than just is what is spent on the military effort. Just look at the CIDA website for proof.
  38. F.T. Ward from Canada writes: The money Canada contributes to aid in Afghanistan will likely be ~ 1% of the final total costs for the military effort and much of it will stay in the west in the form of salaries. The government of Canada has done very little to help Afghans when the cost is considered.

    If you believe Canada should be spending more directly on helping Afghans then you should be pushing for the cash to go through NGOs and not through the CF and government agencies which are the least cost effective way of delivering aid. If you think Kandahar is too dangerous for aid delivery without having a tank along then support efforts in the Central Highands or north east. The Afghans there are poorer than the south and won't try to blow you up so you can use the millions it costs for security in the south on actual development....unless you see aid as a COIN or intelliegnce gathering tool...which explains why the Taliban are targeting aid groups.
  39. Earl Street from Canada writes: F.T. Ward from Canada writes: If you believe Canada should be spending more directly on helping Afghans then you should be pushing for the cash to go through NGOs and not through the CF and government agencies which are the least cost effective way of delivering aid. If you think Kandahar is too dangerous for aid delivery without having a tank along then support efforts in the Central Highands or north east.
    ------------------------
    Brilliant suggestion. Canada move its support from Kandahar province to one of the northern provinces. Why did nobody think of that before?

    Perhaps we could get Germany, Norway, Hungary to swap out with us, and take Kandahar province, while we go to areas that do not require such a strong military presence.

    I am totally amazed nobody thought of this before you.
  40. Earl Street from Canada writes: From the CIDA website:
    For fiscal year 2007–2008, CIDA’s assistance to Afghanistan totalled approximately $280 million.

    Just CIDA, not the CF.
  41. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Earl Street, you sincerely believe that? You believe that Canada put $280 million in aid into Afghanistan in the last fiscal year?
  42. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Unable to get Canadians to buy into the Afghan war over her fears of a Global Islamic Jihad, Medernach now wants us to make war because it 'makes life better for Afghans.'

    From caring not a whit about Afghans- they're just the collateral damage to our war against militant Islam, after all- to insisting that we're there on behalf of Afghans. What an amazing about face! And that we spend an insignificant amount on helping Afghans compared to the staggering amount spent making war... this trivial fact is just me twisting the reality. Somehow, in Medernach's mind, we are actually spending more on aid than we are on the war. I guess if a Global Islamic Jihad is your fear, then almost any bizarre belief seems reasonable.
  43. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Earl Street, you sincerely believe that? You believe that Canada put $280 million in aid into Afghanistan in the last fiscal year?
    -----------------------------------------
    Obviously, the CIDA website must be wrong as it does not jive with your assessment of the "truth".

    My mistake. I apologize for post facts that are counter your "learned" opinion.
  44. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Earl Streets says, "100% of aid money going to Afghanistan is for aid. Money for the military effort is for the military effort. Two separate envelopes in a very big budget... there is more aid than just is what is spent on the military effort."

    More deceitful crap: except, of course, for the remarkable revelation that aid money goes for aid, and money for the military goes to the military. You heard it first here.

    Neither Earl Street nor Medernach seem to realize that the English language contains the word, "additional." One could truthfully say that, "Over and above the funds spent on making war in Afghanistan, ADDITIONAL funds are spent on aid." That would be accurate. That wouldn't be an attempt to deceive. Instead, Earl Street and Medernach insist on claiming that Canada sends, "more aid than what is spent on the military effort." That's a deceptive statement; and rather than simply correct what they've said, they insist that it's 100% correct.

    It's not. It's a lie. Canada spends roughly $2 billion per year on the military effort in Afghanistan. Far from spending more than that on aid, the amount of aid reaching Afghans is a tiny fraction of that amount.

    Let's be clear: even just wars are bad news for those who live under them. Yet if Canada gave two or three times as much aid to the Afghan people as what we spent on making war, we might have a moral argument for our activities. Even if we matched in aid what we spent on the war, we'd stand a chance of holding our heads high as a nation of civilized people. But we fall so far short of that standard that no civilized people could countenance what we do.

    The amount of Canadian aid that reaches the Afghan people is a pittance. It's NOTHING compared to what we spend making war. It's pennies of aid on the military dollars. It's not a Canadian war.
  45. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Earl Street, I didn't ask you for your opinion of me. I asked you whether you believe CIDA's claim that $280 million in aid went to Afghanistan in the last fiscal year.

    Why your reluctance to answer a simple question?
  46. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: What reluctance?

    CIDA is a federal government agency, answerable to the Minister. Therefor, all moneys spent by it must be approved by the committees of the HoC, released by the Treasury Board, and reviewed by the Auditor General.

    Further, their website is open to scrutiny by all groups whom are interested, including yourself if you were so inclined to see it, so it would be in their best interest to be accurate.

    So yes, I am inclined to believe that CIDA delivered $280,000,000.

    My question to you is why do you fabricate your opinion when there is hard numbers and solid facts to be found for those who care to look for them.

    $280,000,000 from CIDA for aid in Afghanistan in 07-08.

    Hard numbers.

    Just facts.

    Why do you make yours up?
  47. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:
    The amount of Canadian aid that reaches the Afghan people is a pittance. It's NOTHING compared to what we spend making war. It's pennies of aid on the military dollars. It's not a Canadian war.
    ----------------------------------

    280 million dollars in fiscal year 2007-2008.

    21 million to Afghan police and prisons yesterday.

    Pittance?
  48. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Richard Roskell,

    You seem like an intelligent person, completely able to research. I asked you earlier why you fabricate your "facts"?

    Why your reluctance to answer a simple question?
  49. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Mr. Street, if CIDA's claim of spending $280 million on aid for Afghanistan last year is what you describe as a "hard number", you do not understand how either, a) the government works, nor b) how government foreign aid works.

    Nor, despite your apparent ability in the English language, do you acknowledge your false claim that "more aid" is delivered to Afghanistan than what is spent on the military. The qualifying word you're looking for is "additional" Earl- look it up.

    But let's give Earl the benefit of the doubt and see how his "hard number" of $280 million in aid stacks up against military expenditures in Afghanistan. The cost for JUST the Canadian part of the military effort in Afghanistan is estimated to be between $18-21 billion to 2011. This is for current costs; not for longer term capital costs due to equipment replacement and veteran's benefits. Let's call it $20 billion in current costs (to 2011) and another $2 billion to replace worn out equipment and take care of veterans. Total - $22 billion for the ten year military effort, or $2.2 billion per year. Yet due to the greatly expanded military role during the latter part of that 10 year period, the yearly expenditures are now much higher than that average. Let's call it $2.5 billion per year in current military costs.

    According to Earl, Canada gave Afghanistan $280 million in aid last year. That's just over one tenth of the military budget. But as everyone knows, (Earl being the possible exception) 40% of that aid is repatriated to Canada. Another 10-20%- at least- is soaked up by NGO fees. Knock another 10% off due to corruption in Afghanistan. What are you left with? Maybe 5%- a NICKEL- of aid reaching Afghans for every dollar spent on the military effort. That's using CIDA's inflated claim.
  50. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    I could understand the war's proponents arguing this point if Canada's aid to Afghanistan was equal to or greater than what we spend there making war. I could even understand them quibbling if Canada's contribution of aid was a substantial fraction of what we spend making war. But it's not, it's not even close.

    Best case scenario using Earl's aid number from CIDA? If every penny of it reached the Afghan people- which never happens- they got about 11% in aid compared to our expenditures on war.

    My claim (quoted from above) is that, "The amount of Canadian aid that reaches the Afghan people is a pittance. It's NOTHING compared to what we spend making war. It's pennies of aid on the military dollars."

    Even using Earl's inflated claim about the aid we send, my criticism is correct. For every dollar spent on the military effort in Afghanistan, only pennies of aid reach the Afghan people. Earl can quibble about the specific amount that is sent, but he has no better idea than I do what that number really is. Yet even using his best case number, my criticism is valid.
  51. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: It is your comprehension is lacking Mr Roskell.

    I said that there is money set aside just for aid to Afghanistan, other than just the money spent by our government on its military effort.

    But Mr Roskell, you fail to answer my question. Why do you fabricate numbers, just like you did in the above post, instead of providing actual hard facts about where the money goes and is spent?

    Again I ask; why your reluctance to answer a simple question?
  52. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Roskell - you continually omit key words to make other people's posts say what you want them to say - you are playing semantic games. You also clearly hope that most posters have not any of my previous posts so will not know how deceitful you are being when you say "From caring not a whit about Afghans- they're just the collateral damage to our war against militant Islam, after all- to insisting that we're there on behalf of Afghans. What an amazing about face!" That is an outright lie and you know it. You play your deceitful games and accuse everyone else of lying - no source is accurate except yours and yours is the only viewpoint that counts. The thinness of your arguments is demonstrated by your need to attack other posters and accusing them. The point is anyone who has read your posts over time knows you hate the military and will always find a find to make the Taliban look like good guys - and don't care at all about the Afghan people.
  53. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Earl Street - RR never answers such questions - He is totally against this mission and the military. The only ones who can do no wrong are the Taliban and the only one who knows the truth about everything is RR.
  54. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Catherine,
    I see that Mr Roskell only accepts answers which are totally supportive of, or provided by Mr Roskell himself.

    He must be a very lonely person.
  55. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Because of the problems with having police officers paid, Canadian troops paid directly those they were training and mentoring. Unlike other countries they also provided uniforms and equipment and often food. They would go to market and buy a sheep which then would be cooked by the police officers.

    Much of the aid given to the UN and other NGOs does not reach the Afghans because of the way they operate. Money donated has been used to provide a private air service for UN workers where it should have been invested in the Afghan airline to help establish a critical part of the infrastructure - most Afghans have not been allowed to use this private service paid for with donor $ and nobody knows how much it cost or is still costing (because it is still being subsidized) they have told no one - not the Afghans and not the UN. Materials required are often purchased elsewhere instead of in Afghanistan which again would help develop the local economy and infrastructure.
  56. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Earl Street from Petawawa - RR also refuses to recognize the efforts of our troops that go beyond duty. Such things as raising funds for a school for the blind, an orphanage they adopted, school supplies, shoes etc. That they have their families and friends raise funds for these projects. Or that these projects are maintained by following rotations. There is a fund that provides financial resources to meet local needs that is maintained through the efforts of friends and families - I believe 'Boomer's Legacy' is the core of that fund.

    While it is true that the aid from the international community for Afghanistan is a fraction of what it should be, without security there would be no aid. Canada has pulled its weight and more in both military assistance and aid compared to other NATO countries - something RR will never accept.
  57. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Medernach states that I will never accept the Canadian military making war in Afghanistan, and never accept the claim that Canada has pulled its weight on aid to Afghanistan.

    For once, she's right on both counts.
  58. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: "The US and its European allies are ­preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai."

    The Guardian, March 22, 2009

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/22/us-afghan-plan-to-bypass-karzai

    Oh, but we're making war in Afghanistan at the "invitation" of the government of Afghanistan. And we're there to bring democracy to the people. And we're definitely, never, ever going to mess around with their way of life.

    It will be interesting to watch what the Canadian Forces once the US installs its chosen man in the Afghan government. Will they do what they democratically-elected leader of Afghanistan says, or will the do what the US's puppet says?

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff

close

Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top