Monday, October 23, 2006

Let's take just a moment to review shop safety

Aug 29 : Canadian Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor visits Afghanistan.

Sept 22 : A senate committee investigating, among other things, "questions over reconstruction spending" in Afghanistan is denied entry into the country by Chief of the Defence Rick Hillier on the grounds it is too dangerous :
"For reasons of personal safety, the committee would no longer be able to travel to Kandahar."
My Blahg covered the subsequent deliberate trashing of the senators in the press.

Oct 23 : Canadian Minister of International Co-operation Josee Verner arrived in Kandahar today before flying to the capital Kabul, where she announced money for two new projects. $14.5 million for a girls' education project, plus $10 million for other ongoing reconstruction projects.

Safe, not safe, then safe again. Got it.

UPDATE : A better post on this from Accidental Deliberations .


Mike said...

Damn it Alison, don't you know that only the CPC is allowed to use our troops for crass political grandstanding?

I mean, if preventing a Senate committee from actually getting facts from the field will further that aim, then tough titty, they are gonna prevent them from doing it.

Its not about governing, after all, its about tricking us into giving them a majority so they can save us from ourselves...

Scotian said...

I have to admit this pattern is troubling to me. It is not typical of our history for such blatant partisan use of the military and military missions by a sitting government. Yet this time we see CPCers being able to be secured enough to visit Afghanistan while for the Governor General and the Senate Committee with three Lib and one PCPC Senator on it it is not possible to secure them in Afghanistan.

It is interesting to also note that the significant drops in the polls for Canadian support of the Afghanistan mission started after Harper's first PM visit to Afghanistan when he first started politicizing the mission with his infamous cut and run remark. It is even more interesting to note that while the PM and Defence Minister could visit in the Spring the Governor General could not because it was not secure enough for her but it was for the PM and Defence Minister. It is amazing how selective the insecurity in Afghanistan is for Canadian politicos, when they are CPC it is secure enough and when they are not suddenly Afghanistan is nor secure enough.

Personally, I think this is strategic in nature. I think it is so the CPC can say we have been on the ground and know what we are talking about while the opposition has not gone there to examine for themselves and therefore not only do not know what they are talking about but also have demonstrated a lack of sufficient interest to even go there to see for themselves demonstrating their lack of real concern/interest in this issue. It would be entirely consistent with Harper/CPC actions to date and is entirely consistent with the GOP playbook on political tricks the Harper CPC is clearly so devoted to following.

Alison said...

Thanks, Scotian, I'd forgotten all about GG's attempts to go.

Mike : "Getting things done for Canada" is "hard work".

Scotian said...


No problem, I thought you might have forgotten the GG, since that is a useful additional data point to show the selective nature of the state of security in Afghanistan depending on whether you are CPC or not. Given the role of the GG as head of State and titular head of the military this underscores the partisan nature of the matter IMHO.

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