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Friday, August 10, 2007 

Lies The Canadian Military Tells About Afghanistan

The Canadian public is getting very mixed messages on our mission in Afghanistan.

Here is what the Canadian Military want us to believe:

"KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The deputy commander of Canadian troops in southern Afghanistan says the war with Taliban insurgents could be a long and arduous one. Col. Christian Juneau distanced himself from predictions made a few days ago by Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid that NATO forces would defeat the Taliban in the not too distant future. "Things are still explosive and will continue like that," Juneau said in an interview on Thursday. "When can we say it will be all over? Will it be in two years, three years or 10 years? It’s difficult to say."
Halifax Chronicle

But what are the Afghani's saying to Canadians?:
"Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday the Taliban was a defeated and frustrated force that poses no threat to the stability of his country's government. "They're not posing any threat to the government of Afghanistan," said Karzai, who spoke during a news conference with U.S. President George W. Bush after wrapping up two days of talks at Camp David, Md.


So - are Canadians being lied to by our own military? It seems to me that there is no reason for President Karzai to lie - so why is there such a huge disconnect between the messages we are getting?

Canadians deserve better from our Military Command. WTF is going on?

Photo by Martin Ouellet / CP

I'd be reluctant to start calling anyone a liar. I think it's more a matter of context - understanding the motivation of the speaker.
Karzai needs to show progress and spin as positive a message as possible. If he were to preach doom and gloom it would simply speed up the process in the west whereby the public would "give up" on Afghanistan and force our politicans to recall our troops. This way he can call for support for "just a bitlonger while we wrap this all up".
On the other hand, Canada's military are left in a state of confusion by the varuious and sundry statements made by Harper, O'Connor, et al, and so need to be hedging their bets. On the off chance thatthey may still be there in a few years, it's in their best interests to claim the battle is far from lost so at least they can continue to get government support, improved equipment, etc., etc.
"The first victim of war is truth".

We deserve some honesty from the military and the government.

"Taliban! - Taliban!" We are told that they are our ENEMY - the ones who are killing our young soldiers in Afghanistan. Yet Karzai is sorta talking to them - trying to convince NATO that perhaps there is some way that the Taliban can play a roll in the government there. We have a 'big ass' disconnect between reality in Afghanistan versus what General Hillier and Stephen Harper are telling us.

Hi Leftdog,
Let me just say first that I think your blogging and the quality of your blogging has improved immensely over the span of time!

I blogged about this the other day, and was swarmed by the extreme right. I supported the original mission in Afghanistan, but think Canada exhausted its stay there years ago. It is time for Canadian soldiers to come home.
I don't think the military is lying to us, but I do think the Harper Government is looking for reasons to extend Canada's participation in the Afghanistan war.

"I don't think the military is lying to us .."

John, if you are correct and the military is NOT lying, then the only conclusion I can come to is that they are incompetent. It would be the same as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeldt NOT being aware that there are 2 factions of Muslims in Iraq, (Sunni and Shite).

The level of incompetence involved in both Afghanistan and Iraq is shocking!

At the moment, I'd have to assert two things:

1) The Canadian government (and I include the military in this) are presenting a vastly distorted picture of reality when it comes to Afghanistan. I can only speculate on the reasons for this.

2) Where in 2002 we were participating in an invasion with the expressed purpose of capturing Bin Laden, today we find ourselves in the position of taking sides in what amounts to a civil war.

(* Note: Toppling the Taliban regime in Kabul always struck me as a secondary objective *)

I like your observations in point 2 - AND please do speculate as you mentioned in point one! I'd like to see what ideas you have.

Bush also had an ulterior motive. he was far more interested in giving the Carlyle group (in which his family, the Saud family, and the Bin Laden family are heavily invested) access to build a pipeline from the Stans to Karachi than he was in capturing Osama.

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