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Afghanistan: Why we should be there (or not), how to conduct the mission (or not) & when to leave

Remius

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The Bloc senses an opportunity.  They lost several seats last time to the PC.  Given the mood of the province, this will be an election issue that will make or break Stephen Harper.  He's already pissed off the maritimes and now Quebec will either vote Liberal or Bloc.  For the Bloc this is probably the best time to force an election.  I just wish the PC would take a firmer stance, be clear and be  more proactive at explaining the mission.
 

Reccesoldier

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Brockvegas said:
He wants an election. Pure and simple.

Bring it on.  I'm sick of being blackmailed.  An information and marketing offensive aimed directly at explaining the message and showing in graphic gory detail the differences in Afgh from today and from the darkest days of the Taliban.  

Throw money at the issue (explaining why) and make the election a long one. The Conservatives are the only party in the position to run a protracted election of propaganda.  Drown the Liberals in fiscal Red and bleed the NDP and Greens of all their Green

This is what I wrote to CTV in the comments section, I know it won't see the light of day there.
Yes, that's what we, as honourable peace loving, rights respecting people should do.  We should abandon the people of Afghanistan and the UN mandated mission.  We should let the Taliban go back to stoning homosexuals to death and executing women by shooting them in the back of the head with an AK47 for the crime of having been raped.  

Lets also ensure that girls no longer get an education and women are whipped if so much as a wrist shows beneath their burka.  Lets close all secular schools leaving only the madrases that ascribe to the very narrow dogma of the Taliban stay open.  Lets close the hospitals and make it an offence to fly a kite.  

Yes, that's what we should do because peace is so important to us.  More than that though, we should do it because we are so ostrich like in our world view, because we are so self-centered and most of all we should do it because the lives of 69 Canadian volunteers are worth more than the tens of thousands of Afghani’s that were and will be killed by the Taliban should this moral cowardice come to fruition.
 

Flip

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My note to CTV was a little more inflamatory.

I don't expect to see it.  ;D

What I do expect is a grass roots upswing in support for the mission.
I seriously doubt the little bump in what was sure to be a slanted poll
will last or have any real meaning.

I for one will not let any opportunity to educate pass.

Ignorance needs to be confronted with facts.



 

Remius

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Flip, I don't share your confidence in the grassroots upswing.  Real information on the mission si what is needed, and from the government.  Seeing those police services and fire personnel lining the 401 is inspiring and we need more stuff like that accross the country.  But we need real action by the government about the mission.  Leaving it informally to the troops and their families will probably not cut it.  It's a start but more is needed sooner than later.
 

Flip

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Crantor, I agree. The government needs to communicate on this subject and seriously!

Information is not being reported by and large.
CBC had a good broadcast last night - more of that would help.
Mostly about CIDA and the PRT.

I didn't say the upswing in support would be a large one. ;)

Now that the RCR are returning we are likely to hear more in the media
about their experiences.

Hey, just a few notions.....

By the way, who was it that supported the government during the last motion in the house?
Politicians don't always say what they mean - and they certainly don't always do what they say.








 

Zell_Dietrich

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Crantor said:
Flip, I don't share your confidence in the grassroots upswing.  Real information on the mission is what is needed, and from the government.  Seeing those police services and fire personnel lining the 401 is inspiring and we need more stuff like that across the country.  But we need real action by the government about the mission.  Leaving it informally to the troops and their families will probably not cut it.  It's a start but more is needed sooner than later.

Personally,  I love the large scale showing of support.  I LOVE it.  

Unfortunately, I find that  those against the afghan mission, get more settled in their beliefs and those who are undecided tend to lean against the mission. To understand how to persuade people you need to look at their reason for being against the mission.  Most who are against the mission, honestly believe that this is Bush's war and that we have no part supporting that Jingoist.  Holding rallies does nothing to address the source of their resistance.  

Unless we get the message out about why we went there in the first place,  what we're doing, how we're doing it, why we're staying and when we'll leave Canadians will elect a government that will pull us out 2009.  There are only two ways I see, on a national scale, that level of debate, communication and changing of opinion.  One way is an election.  The other is if we get an organised grass roots effort started,  pool our reasoning's etc and everyone convinces 1 anti war person a week the necessity of supporting the Afghan government.  (We might loose the election,  we might get the reputation of being the 'Amway like cause' but at lease we can say we worked for what is right)
 

canadianblue

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I think the general consensus here is that most civilians simply do not understand why we are there, and I think another problem is that they are unsure of whether or not the violence will ever end and if losing more Canadian lives is worth it. While I support the mission 100% I think that the government has to do a much better job of explaining it, and showing the good that is being done on the ground. If someone comes up to me asking about the mission, I always attempt to talk about how we are in general improving the conditions in that country, and the progress that is being made of the different fronts.

As for the grassroots upswing, I doubt it'll happen. In fact even many European countries are seeing sliding support for the mission in Afghanistan. While this might come off as "anti-Americanism" the reason behind it is largely the general disdain towards the way the war on terror has been waged by the current president and I'd agree with them on some aspects.

In the end though it's up to the government to tell the people what the plan is for Afghanistan, and give civilians here at home an idea of what kind of progress is being made, and when we can possibly leave Afghanistan. But I think that if Canadian's think that we'll be seeing the same level of violence five years from now they will continue to support a pullout unless being told what objectives are in place and how we plan to meet them.
 

IN HOC SIGNO

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Reccesoldier said:
Bring it on.  I'm sick of being blackmailed.  An information and marketing offensive aimed directly at explaining the message and showing in graphic gory detail the differences in Afgh from today and from the darkest days of the Taliban.  

Throw money at the issue (explaining why) and make the election a long one. The Conservatives are the only party in the position to run a protracted election of propaganda.  Drown the Liberals in fiscal Red and bleed the NDP and Greens of all their Green

This is what I wrote to CTV in the comments section, I know it won't see the light of day there.

Excellent letter. Why can't the Government say these things?
 

Nemo888

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“Now that a Quebecer has died we must run away. I did not care when it was just dee Anglo’s.”  I officially hate Gilles Duceppe.
 

Hunteroffortune

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Flip said:
Crantor, I agree. The government needs to communicate on this subject and seriously!

Information is not being reported by and large.
CBC had a good broadcast last night - more of that would help.
Mostly about CIDA and the PRT.

I didn't say the upswing in support would be a large one. ;)

Now that the RCR are returning we are likely to hear more in the media
about their experiences.

Hey, just a few notions.....

By the way, who was it that supported the government during the last motion in the house?
Politicians don't always say what they mean - and they certainly don't always do what they say.

I think there is an upswing happening, read the comments at CTV, mostly supportive. The petition for changing the highway to the Highway of Heroes, was at 17,000+ signatures when I signed it. The tide is turning, PM Harper has planted a very interesting seed that has taken root. He keeps repeating it, even GW repeated it, and that's very simply that, it's Parliments decision, not just the governments decision now. So, Harper has forced the opposition to take a stand. Now, I know that's a political move, but if you were an MP, how would you vote? What if you're the MP for the Trenton area? That little seed has been growing, you see, now it will be the opposition's fault if they vote to bring our troops home, recent polls have shown that support is 50/50, so the 3 opposition parties will have to fight for 50% of the vote, and the Conservatives are all alone with the other 50%. I think only if it is a whipped vote, will it fail, so the question is, does Dion whip the vote?

You alone make up a huge voting block, because, your families, friends and co-workers, will support the mission, think of how unions get their power, you have the same power, and you have it across Canada.

I would like to see more military in malls, just shopping in your fatigues, let us see "heaven forbid", more troops in our cities, with their families, buying groceries or school supplies. Put a face on the troops, that will go a long way.
 

canadianblue

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I think what we need is just a debate in general on where the mission is headed, and what Canada's foreign policy in general should be. If we could simply get both sides to state their case, and do it in a way that the public is completely informed I have a feeling we'll see more support for the mission. So far we haven't seen that, and most of the reports from Afghanistan have only been about Canadian soldiers dying.

We can't expect people to simply support the mission if they have no idea what the goals are, how long we are going to be there, what progress has been made, and why this mission benefits Canada.
 

Shec

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If Quebec wants to throw in the towel, go for it Gilles.  2 things though:

(1) I thought those Vandoos who unfortunately died were Canadian soldiers,  not Quebec soldiers,
(2) Notwithstanding that he may be an elected representative to Parliament his party does not represent the majority of Canadians , who live beyond the borders of La Belle Province;  which means that Gilles deserves less of our respect than Taliban Jack.  At least the NDP can represent Canadians Ad Mare Usque Ad Mare.   :cdn:

Therefore Gilles.  until such a time as you are able to represent the interests of all of us shut your poutine hole. 
 

DaveTee

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I'd agree that the government just has to spend more time promoting and speaking about the mission. Taking soldiers testimonials, footage of rebuilt towns and the like. As soon as support for the mission hits 60% all the opposition parties will be talking about how much they supported the war all along...
 

Jaydub

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DaveTee said:
I'd agree that the government just has to spend more time promoting and speaking about the mission. Taking soldiers testimonials, footage of rebuilt towns and the like. As soon as support for the mission hits 60% all the opposition parties will be talking about how much they supported the war all along...

Or maybe the testimonials of Afghanis who's life has been affected in a positve way because of our involvement. 
Show a class in a girl's school, or even somthing as simple as Afghan children flying kites, or a man exercising his right to shave.
None of this was allowed under the Taliban.
 

Kat Stevens

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Shec said:
Therefore Gilles.  until such a time as you are able to represent the interests of all of us shut your poutine hole. 

:rofl:

Dammitt!  A big crunch combo looks really gross all over the monitor!

:rofl:
 

HollywoodHitman

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You ever get so sick of the rhetoric that spews from the Bloc, the Lib's and the NDP that you can't form any polite sentences?

I'm there. To all of the above political parties...!*@$!%@.

Thank you.
 

Kirkhill

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I'm with Flip, Hunter and Zell on this one.

I think that Harper could get his majority on this issue.

It sets him apart from the rest of the herd in a number of areas: consistency and doing the right thing, for starters; standing for his principles in the face of the opposition, the polls and the press; offering parliament a meaningful role in the decision making process.

The Liberals can't match him on any of those grounds.

As well the underlying polls demonstrate that more than 57% of Canadians generally would vote for Harper - they may not like him but they respect him enough to vote for him - even if it is, faute de mieux, for lack of a viable alternative.

Also, as the polls demonstrate, if the question is phrased correctly he could get over 80% on that issue. 

He has the war chest that the rest of the parties lack to be able to set the tone of the debate and the images to back up an effective campaign - stonings vs smiling girls in school, virtue and vice coppers whipping ankles versus civil police learning how to keep the peace, smilling villagers, Harper and MacKay visiting, new tanks and aircraft offloading at Kandahar......

It might be too much to say that he wants an election on this issue ..... on the other hand I think the opposition would be playing to his strong suit.

Even in rural Quebec - La bas, ils ne sont pas "les Rouges".  And I don't think that all Quebecers are of the cut and run type.  The CF is still drawing recruits and if 68% of Quebecers are opposed the day after Pvt Longtin was killed - that leaves 32% not opposed.  And 32% is more support than the PM got in Quebec when he won his 10 "surprise" seats.

Now income trusts or the environment.......although the environment could do with a bit of "messaging" as well.

The only poll that counts for a politician is the one on election day.  Money spent that does not contribute to that poll is money wasted.  The fact that Harper and the Tories are still where they were on election day is not a bad thing necessarily - they are still holding their core support and are better positioned than most to pick up more.

This is the electoral equivalent of double shotting your muskets and waiting until you see the whites of their eyes.  Unfortunately it doesn't do much to give you guys the warm fuzzies.

 

Sassy

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Why doesn't Harper do what the liberals always do-LIE-agree to remove the troops when our mandate has expired.  Really their is no need for him to act moral, the liberals and NDP have been walking over our dead soldiers for political gains for two years.  As for Quebec Politicians that assert that Quebec soldiers are more important than those from the rest of Canada well what can one say except @!@#@$**&&^^^^&ing.  I mourn the death of all soldiers, Quebec no more or no less.  In fact it must be rather humiliating to the Vandoos to watch their politicians act like sniviling cowards.  Regarding the poll, if it were done in Montreal yes it would be in favor of removing the troops.  Montreal is just another socialist hell like Torona, they always vote against our military.  They think the Military should be used domestically to shovel snow and stuff.   
 
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