For those of you outside Canada, let me catch you up. The previous Liberal government, contrary to what polls said were the wishes of the majority of Canadians, committed Canada to military action in Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, the new Conservative government positioned itself as the champion of this new aggressive Canadian foreign military policy. Now, as casualties mount and tangible accomplishments fail to manifest in a public manner, the public has seriously turned against this conflict. The government commissioned the so-called “Manley Report” to advise on how to proceed.
Unsurprisingly, the Manley report has issued a recommendation that puts the blame and responsibility for future action on NATO, not on the Canadian government. As Eric Margolis puts it,
“The Manley report provides the latest doleful example of the opposition Liberal’s pathetic failure to demand Ottawa answer tough questions about the growing mess in Afghanistan. Canada’s opposition has done even worse than the Democrats in Washington. Both are petrified to oppose a war that no matter how futile and foolish risks provoking charges of `not supporting our boys,’ and `being soft on terrorism.’”
Margolis underlines the true issue surrounding this country’s Afghan adventure: we have no political agenda or goal…. at all. Why is this a problem? Because without a defined endpoint, this stupid affair will continue indefinitely, expanding and morphing into war, policing, nation building, skirmish operations, and Zod knows what else. Sigh.
So what needs to be done? Well, we’ve gone to lengths to establish ourselves as the peace-keeping presence there, so many of the NGOs depend on a NATO presence for “protection”. So I suppose some peace-keeping force needs to remain. But without a political endpoint, active armed excursions don’t seem to have a point. Time to negotiate peace with all parties, flood the place with money, and let a natural government evolve. The current US-installed government is non-functional; Karzai is essentially the mayor of Kabul, and his security force is made up of foreign mercenaries, since his own people want him dead.
In Other News…
CNN newsfolks continue their downward spiral to pointlessness. In this latest installment, Kyra Phillips, after being the tail end of two broadcasts, one by a white chick, the other by a black dude, commented that they were part of a “reverse Oreo”. Here’s the exchange:
Gerri: Alright Don, you come too.
Kyra: We could bring him along with the girls.
Gerri: Come on!
Kyra: He’s paying! Thanks, Gerri.
Don: A little sandwich!
Gerri: Whoa, I have to go now!
Kyra: Yeah, good time. You don’t want to talk about the reverse oreo!
Racist or no? Or just hot?
In Other Other News:
The other Ray sends us 20 things we didn’t know about science fiction. He also sends us these, apropos of earlier discussions on Deonandia.
Lastly, Howard S. comments:
“This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address occur on the same day. And as it has been pointed out: ‘It is an ironic juxtaposition of events – one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little critical thinking ability for prognostication, while the other involves a groundhog.'”