Friday, October 12, 2007

Harper's Afghan panel - a bunch of hawks and deep integrationists....and one homophobe

Harper has appointed a panel to review options on the future of the Afghanistan mission after 2009, calling for a "full, open and informed" debate on the country's options....

As opposed to a branch office of the US war on terra you mean?
An introduction to Harper's panel, in their own words :

Former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley [and NAFTA negotiator and Canadian Chair of the Task Force on the Future of North America] :
"Building a North American Community" by Manley, Aspe, and Weld : "The Task Force's central recommendation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter."
"I would argue that our involvement in the Coalition campaign against terrorism is in fact very much in keeping with Canada’s excellent reputation for advancing international peace & security. The military action in Afghanistan is an act of self-defence that is being undertaken under the auspices of Article 51 of the UN Charter."

CP : "We often seek to define Canada's role in the world. Well, for whatever reason, we have one in Afghanistan. Let's not abandon it too easily."

Derek Burney, Canada's former ambassador to Washington, former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney, and CEO of CAE and Harper's interim gov rep:
"The enduring myth of Canada as a peace-keeper is somewhat at odds with tasks in places like Afghanistan that go well-beyond the blue beret model. That image and the comfort or softness of our affluence seems to be engendering an aversion to war-fighting"
"Canada’s security on this continent is guaranteed by the United States, as we are wont to say, “whether we like it or not.”

Broadcater Pamela Wallin, also Canadian consul general in New York :
"Pamela Wallin, Canada's consul general in New York, said she believes most Canadians support signing on [the US missile defence system], despite polls suggesting otherwise. "Being at the table is an important way of hearing what the Americans are saying. It's a way of exercising our sovereignty."
"And agree or not, for Americans the reality is that this war began on September 11. It's part of a continuum that runs through to the routing of the Taliban from Afghanistan, and moves forward to the war in Iraq--just another step along the path to remove terrorist threats around the globe."

Paul Tellier, former Clerk of the Privy Council, former president and CEO of Canadian National Railway and Bombardier,and member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives :
"The chief executive of Canadian National Railway Co. called Friday for a greater integration of the Canadian and American economies :
"Canadians face a crucial debate about the consequences of increasing Canadian and American economic integration. CN's success - and the success of other Canadian businesses - comes from acknowledging that our economy is increasingly integrated with the United States. The integration will continue. It is inevitable. It is irreversible..."
"My own view is that, eventually, Canada and its biggest trading partner will move to a common currency."

Former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister [and Mulroney health minister] Jake Epp to the National Gay Rights Coalition concerning the pending Human Rights Code issue : "I would like to see what kind of support you have now after what has taken place in Toronto. What is needed is not protection for homosexuals, but for Canadians who are not deviant."

I'm guessing Jake here appears to be our best hope so far.

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