Saturday, October 10, 2009

Afghanistan 'Mission' to Exceed 2011 Withdrawal "Deadline"

BREAKING: Harper Lies Exposed:
Afghanistan 'Mission' to Exceed 2011 Withdrawal "Deadline"
by C. L. Cook
The man whose friends need more than a little help from Canadian taxpayers, (already in the hole on the Afghanistan adventure to the tune of billions of dollars, albeit Canadian dollars, with no clear accounting discernible) now says the 2011 "withdrawal" agreement hammered out in the parliament is as illusory as the caves of Osama bin Laden.

State broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC online) is today doing service for the "New Government of Canada," sending media trial balloons o'er the Autumnal Canadian skies declaring a redefinition of what they meant those long months ago when intoning the words "mission" and "withdrawal."

Quoting the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) spokesperson, Dimitri Soudas, the CBC reveals there will in fact be Canadian soldiers stationed in Afghanistan beyond the parliament mandated expiry date of late 2011. Soudas adds though a caveat, saying there will be "fewer."

"I would caution you against saying dozens or hundreds or a thousand, there will be exponentially fewer. Whether there's 20 or 60 or 80 or 100, they will not be conducting combat operations."

So much for parliament.

Of course, like Osama and the cave-dwelling masterminds of 9/11, Harper's promise of an end finally for Canadian entanglements within benighted Afghanistan is just so much shadow-play on the walls; to be shared for public consumption, and not to be taken seriously.

Plainly and simply, all said so far are lies told to incrementally continue Canada's relentless march towards a permanent state of militarization in union, (or harmonization) with the United States and the rest of the desperate West. Between the lines of the latest communique from his bunker in Ottawa, Harper asks us to keep faith in 'The Mission' and its missionary's position saying laying atop the people of Afghanistan with boots and bayonets will usher forth the birth of democracy, and all that prostituted term stands for.

How Many Bodies, How Many Billions?

"When we have men and women in uniform, diplomats and development workers who are putting their lives on the line, the government will spend what is necessary to make sure they are safe and successful."

"Well, let me be very clear …Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011."

— Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Some in parliament that voted in 2008 to extend Canada's participation in Quagmiristan past the originally past due date of 2009 are squawking now about the New Government's shifting position-through redefinition. The CBC cites befuddled New Democrat foreign affairs critic, Paul Dewar begging, before the latest pronouncement for clarity, saying;

"We have one minister, minister MacKay, saying we're going to be there after 2011, there will be a role for the military. We have the prime minister and other ministers — minister [Lawrence] Cannon — getting up and saying, it's all over in 2011. What do you say to the men and women [serving there]? And what do you say to Canadians? And, finally, what do you say to our allies?"

Despite enjoying the political immunity low expectations confer, and confident it will likely never form a government within living potentiality, the NDP has still sat on the fence on the Afghanistan file. While NDP leader, Jack Layton has been the most forceful among the three national parties (the Bloc Quebecois being the most outspoken) against the war and continued occupation, he has consistently fallen short of calling for immediate withdrawal. That reluctance may be coming to an end, with Dewar demanding;

"We should be putting our allies on notice in written form that we are out and the date. If we don't do that, we're not being responsible to our allies, we're not being responsible to the men and women who are serving, and we're not being accountable to Canadians."

As of writing, 131 soldiers, two aid workers, and one Canadian diplomat are officially listed as killed in Afghanistan. Numbers of physically and emotionally wounded are more difficult to come by, but as with every war, the tally can never reflect the true costs to the individuals and their families, or to the nation. Canada does not release, if indeed it records, the estimated numbers of locals and fighters killed and maimed through its actions.

With two years left on the parliamentary "mandate" yet to run, the prime minister added his murky comments to the muddied waters of Canada's future intentions, saying;

"We set out some time-lines there for training and for exit and the government has no intention of asking for an extension of that mission. By the time we reach 2011, we will have been in Afghanistan longer than we will have been in both world wars combined, so I think it is time to transform that mission towards development and humanitarian efforts."

That Depends on the Definition of "That"

Though it's difficult to imagine Stephen Harper having had sexual relations with that mission, the "that" qualifier twice appearing in his parting statement are pure meal. Harper's sleight of hand and sidling into legalese regarding the nature of this mission and that is, in the opinion of one cynical reader, merely another slap in the face of parliament and the vaunted democratic process Harper and his allies repeatedly claim to wish for the people of Afghanistan.

It's also a bare-faced rebuke to the majority of Canadians who continue now to oppose Canada's involvement in this disastrous misadventure as they have from the beginning. And, if Mr. Harper's latest statement is to be believed, it means a coming of full circle too for how "The Mission" was first presented to Canadians as a humanitarian effort so long, and too many lives, ago.

Chris Cook is managing editor at and broad/webcasts Gorilla Radio from the studios of CFUV Radio at: