Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Parliament Needs Debate On Afghanistan Mission

Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay has rejected calls for a debate on the Afghanistan mission by the NDP, saying "the country must rally behind its troops without reservation". He also said the length of the mission will be decided by the generals, and our troops are there to help the war-torn country rebuild.

Liberals must not allow such US-style dismissal of military strategy by the Opposition to continue. Before the Conservatives can jump on the "support-our-troops" bandwagon, Liberals must remember it was us who decided to contribute in greater numbers to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Currently, the rules of engagement are being changed, and there are consequences for Canada. These consequences are to be debated in Parliament by the representatives of the people, our MPs. Peter MacKay is therefore wrong to dismiss calls for such a debate by the NDP.

I happen to know many friends who are in the Canadian Armed Forces, and can testify they are some of the most decent folk I know. I also happen to know that the Canadian military is well trained in hostile environments, and do NOT subscribe to the shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality. I also support their mission in Afghanistan, where they helped overthrow a brutal oppressive regime that exploited its citizens falsely under the name of Islam. Such a regime was a blight - a cancer - on the body of Islam and I was glad it was removed. I have full confidence in the capabilities of our men and women in uniform. However, there are ramifications of engaging the Taliban in greater offensive battles.

First, it leads to increased casualty rates of our troops. If our troops are going into pitched battles, they need to be properly armed, trained, insured, and protected. It is Parliament's job to ensure this happens, and debate failures that result in deaths of our soldiers.

Second, our mission makes Canada a target for terrorists. As a Canadian Muslim, there is nothing more frightful than the thought of a terrorist attack on our native soil. Parliament needs to debate if the government is doing enough to protect our citizens.

Finally, it extends the length of our mission. Parliament decided to place troops there till 2007. If the length of their stay is to be increased, and the nature of their mission changed, Parliament needs to debate those changes.

Such is the proper way to "support our troops". Leaving important decisions solely to generals is not the sign of a good government. Peter MacKay is thus wrong to dismiss calls for a debate on our Afghan mission.

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2 comments:

Clown Party of Canada said...

Of course you realise this would be the first time it would have been debated in Paralament.

The LIEberals never permitted debate - even though it was asked. Why the change of attiude?

The only debate should be to say which party suppports the troops.

The LIEberals didn't trust other parties, now no one trusts them. Their support is summed up in the Paul Martin approved ad during the election. The ad demoralized the troops and angered Canadians - exceppt the LIEberals of course.

And now they want a debate - They had years to support the troops and did nothing, without the concent of Paralament.

The military feel they are in the right place and dong a great service for mankind. The Conservitves and Harper feel they are in the right place and dong a great service for mankind. A great percentage of Canadians, myself included - according to polls - feel they are in the right place and dong a great service for mankind.

I suppose that te NDP and LIEberals want the troops to pack their bags and leave a country in need - Canada does make a differance - under a coalation military force - of which Canada is in command. That would sure send a message to the world - such as; you can not trust Canada to stay when the "arena" when it gets a little tugh. I think it would be an insult to all military - living and those who sacraficed their lives - to leave now because the NDP and LIEberals want a debate.

WW I and WWII had thousands that gave their lves so we can have the freeoms that we now enjoy - and the Canadian troops want those freedoms to continue - not only for us but for other countries. Is it dangerous - yes. There is possibility of loss of life - yes. What is the price of Canadian - and other countries that are under our command - for giving a peace like we have in Canada to other countries - priceles.

The LIEberals had chances to debate this and refused, lets follow Harper and the military on this matter - and forget about political points that the NDP and LIEberals want.

mezba said...

Actually a greater percentage of Canadians are growing opposed and critical of the Afghan mission. I agree they are in the right place, but it's for Parliament to decide, not any general. When they were deployed there, it was the Liberals that deployed them there, supported the mission, but with Parliament's support.