Tuesday, April 1, 2008

1,000 The Meeting

Reading all the hype about Harper's visit to Romania for the NATO meetings, you would think the balance of the free world was depending upon Canada getting a 1,000 troops.

Will Canada get them, won't we get them.  Harper and Bernier are optimistic one day, but so much the next day and often of opposing opinion.

There were stories from Canadian Press, Reuters, Globe, CTV, CBC and of course a plethora of positive positioning from the Canwest media.

Here's a few examples prior to, during and following the meeting:
PM appears to dampen NATO meeting expectations from Canadian Press on Saturday

The Post had this article about Nato agreeing with Canada and taking the Canadian lead, published under different headlines on their sites.

Talk about spin, you would think it was 1919 and Harper was on his way to Paris. Unfortunately when you see them in the pictures or read their quotes, it seemed more like the junior sales staff were attending their first sales conference. Let's show Canadians that we are pulling out all stops to get the support our troops need and were demanded in our manly report.

"I have every reason to believe these conditions will be fulfilled in the not-too-distant future,"

"I hope we will have our troops -- maybe at this meeting or maybe later,"

"If we don't succeed (in getting) these 1,000 troops in the south, in Kandahar, it will be a failure for us, it will be a failure for the NATO mission because we cannot succeed in Afghanistan if we don't succeed in the south."

"I anticipate in the weeks to come there will be additional commitments made in Afghanistan by some of our allies,"

"I don't think we will necessarily finish that process at Bucharest but we will finish it in the very near future."

But in the end it is all summed up by this Peter McKay quote: "We've done everything humanly possible to set up those conditions -- but keep in mind we have until February 2009 to fulfil those commitments,"

Right. Somehow Harper has twisted the extension of Canada's tour in Afghanistan to solely depend upon 1,000 troops coming from NATO. Because 1,000 is the magic number, that's all that matters to the Canadian public. The 1,000 will eliminate the Taliban. The 1,000 will eradicate the opium production. The 1,000 will clean up the corrupt Afghan government. The 1,000 will prevent our troops from being killed and maimed by road side bombs.

Bull shit. The 1,000 is a fictitious panacea that Harper is trying to make the only objective he has to meet to extend Canada's role in this Afghan quagmire. Surely there must be other objectives or measurements that should be considered over the next eleven months to warrant our troops remaining there beyond Feb 2009 or for that matter beyond July 1st, 2008.

So all this press and posturing was just hype, headlines and marketing to justify our increased military spending (we're not sure how much), project Harper as a world leader and unfortunately risk the lives of more Canadian troops.

Meanwhile, the US has already committed 2,000 marines and stated that they will maintain that level. That was announced earlier on in the week and I believe they are part of NATO. So fuck off, you are covered either way asshole.

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