Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Mr. Prime Minister. You Are Not Mr. President.

In April of 2006, journalist Murray Dobbin stated that the "only thing missing when Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks is an American flag as the backdrop."

He runs the government like "his administration", not elected members of Parliament.

So should we really be surprised when he claims that he doesn't need Parliament to extend the Afghan war by three years?

In other words, he doesn't need us.

He is El Presidente. He'll do whatever he damn well pleases.

His suggestion is that we are not in a combat situation, only training. If that's the case, why so many fighting soldiers?

As Greg Weston says: Afghanistan 'training mission' doesn't add up
In theory, the trainers would train members of the Afghan army and police in classrooms and protected bases away from any actual combat zones. In other words, the Harper government is trying to paint a picture of Canadian troops staying in Afghanistan three years longer than expected but doing things where no one gets hurt. In practice, the Harper plan may simply lead to three more years of Canadian troops dying in combat disguised as training.

Canada's former top soldier, for one, dismisses the whole idea of trying to train Afghan soldiers safely away from actual combat zones. In a recent interview with Maclean's magazine, retired general Rick Hillier said: "You can come up with all kinds of schemes to hide away in camp and train people for the Afghan army, but they lack credibility. "If you try to help train and develop the Afghan army … you are going to be in combat."
And why 1,000?
NATO documents indicate the alliance only needs another 750 trainers from among the entire 42 countries with forces in Afghanistan. The vast majority of those trainers would be involved potentially in live combat.
So Mr. Prime Minister, you are not Mr. President. This is an obvious extension of the war, and you must take it to the people, by taking it to Parliament. You are not building schools. You are not making Afghanistan safer. You are not training Afghan soldiers.

You are securing the area for more oil extraction.

Three years? At what cost and what will it mean to Canadians? More belt tightening? Seniors must suffer for three more years? The poor must get poorer?

Canadians did not elect a dictator and only 2 of every 10 eligible voters voted for you. So this decision is not yours to make. It is ours. Unless the Corporate sector is picking up the costs instead of raking in the profits, we want our soldiers brought home. End of.


  1. That's tellin im, Emily.
    But will he listen? We have to find a way to make him listen. I wish I had a good suggestion, but I haven't. Not yet.

  2. He won't but hopefully Canadians will. Dare I dream?