The Ruxted Group is torn between urges to laugh and cry at the latest from the Liberal and NDP defence critics.
The Government of Canada put in place a 3D strategy to achieve our aim in Afghanistan, the aim of which is to:
1. defend our national interests;
2. ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs; and
3. help Afghanistan rebuild
See also: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cip-pic/current_discussions/kandahar-canada-en.asp for more on how 3D is working.
Now, less than six months after the government in which he was a minister deployed our troops to Kandahar, Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh wants to “refocus the mission”. NDP critic Dawn Black says: ”Canada should not be fighting a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan to support U.S. policy in the region.”
Dosanjh is merely expressing traditional Liberal disinterest in defence and is, in fact, trolling in NDP waters for left wing votes. He is not ‘in sync' with his party’s current and potential leadership:
• Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh said: “Canada's mission in Afghanistan has turned from peacekeeping to combat and.....that was not the intention.”
• Front-runner for the Liberal party's leadership Michael Ignatieff: “… the mission has not changed, despite tragic casualties.... he still supports the "broad political and strategic goals of the mission" -- and what has changed is not the goal, but the intensity of the Taliban offensive.
Obviously: two different sheets of music, and that the party isn't reining in one or the other illustrates a continuing underlying premise of the Liberal party: it's not worth sorting out Dosanjh because he's been relegated to a meaningless shadow portfolio - Defence. The Liberals didn't care when they were in power, they care even less when they're in Opposition.
Canada's mission in Afghanistan has never been to keep the peace; it has been to support the new Afghan government; the government of which Mr Dosanjh was a part redeployed Canadian troops to a region in which combat is required to provide this support.
The Ruxted Group has a message for Opposition critics: We are not fighting a counterinsurgency to support U.S. policy in the region, we are fighting one to aid the legitimately elected Afghan government which we pledged to aid. The reason we must fight and win a counterinsurgency campaign is because Canada wants and needs to “help Afghanistan rebuild” because that defends “our national interest.” It was not Canada or the US who tossed out Al Qaeda, it was the Afghan people themselves (with the support of the West, to be sure). What we need to do now is to help the Afghan people to keep al Qaeda and the Taliban (and other radical Islamic groups of that ilk) on the run and to prevent them from establishing bases elsewhere.
This may be the work of a generation – bloody, deadly work.
Before the diplomacy and development work can begin in earnest – before we can “help Afghanistan rebuild” - we need to help the Afghan army and police provide security for diplomats and development workers and, above all for ordinary Afghans, including schoolgirls and school builders.
We echo Globe and Mail journalist Christie Blatchford who said: “… the war is on. Canada did not declare it, but it has come to our shores as surely as it came to Manhattan's five years ago. Our soldiers are dying for it, in Afghanistan, but they are also fighting for Canadians … The least we can do -- and we do, in this country, prefer to do the least -- is stiffen our collective resolve, face up to the truth, and recognize that the soldiers' terrible sacrifice is in our name.”
It is time for Liberal and NDP leaders Bill Graham and Jack Layton to acknowledge the unpalatable truth of Blatchford’s words: we are at war, not one of our own making but a war all the same. Our soldiers, friends of many Army.ca members, are dying to win that war, to achieve Canada’s aims, to protect our country and all Canadians. Dosanjh and Black are irresponsible and wrong – dangerously wrong. It is time that both were replaced with responsible critics and it is time for the Liberals and NDP to be honest with Canadians.
All three of our opposition parties are acting as an unwitting fifth column; they are falling under the influences of propaganda being promulgated by the radical Islamic groups and their agents here in Canada. They are proposing that Canada withdraw from NATO, one of our strongest and most effective alliances. They propose that Canada withdraw or take a less aggressive stance in Afghanistan. These proposals will remove Canada's credibility on the world’s political and diplomatic stages. It would allow for the weakening of our national resolve and open the door for radical Islam to attack us at home.
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