Sunday, February 10, 2008

Unambiguously incoherent -- Kandahar edition.

Well, Raphael starts off well:

Do Canadian Forces Want To Stay In Afghanistan?

Not according to this former soldier, who says that the mission in Afghanistan is little more than Stephen Harper's political posturing and foreign policy cozying up to the Bush administration.

Good, Raphael, good ... this is an important issue we should be discussing. But, oh shit, Raphael immediately lapses into stupid-speak:

It's almost so classically leftist an argument, that it almost doesn't bear repeating.

And yet ... and yet ... Raphael somehow realizes that there are people who know way more about this than he does:

And yet, Dave is an experienced and knowledgeable blogger who does provide some real insight into the problems facing not only the mission, but the military and their families. Once one gets past the six or seven paragraphs devoted to Harper-Hating, the core concern he has for the soldiers is at the very least worthy of the benefit of doubt for honesty. Dave speaks about attrition rates in the military, particularly returning soldiers from Afghanistan, and even the Department of Defense admits attrition rates have run at 6% in recent years and warns of a crisis which needs attention. He also speaks about the morale of troops returning from combat, many of whom go directly to voluntary release. There remains a real danger of war fatigue from troops returned to the field of combat for multiple tours like the Americans in Iraq:

And, hey, Raph, there's this, too:

'My men don't want to come back after 2009'

Not to worry, Raph ... just more irresponsible leftist crap, right? If only there were some war-happy Canadians who, full of support for "the mission," were willing to step in and take those soldiers' places. Wouldn't that solve everyone's problems? Now where might we find those folks? It's a mystery, isn't it?


Balbulican said...

Poor Raph. I think he was aiming for the "credible, thoughtful Conservative Blogger" mantle. There isn't a lot of competition. Unfortunately, he really can't keep it up...started raving about how much he dislikes "screaming muezzins" and whatnot. Pity. Had to put him down.

Red Tory said...

That was a pretty skewed interpretation of Dave’s article, I must say. I read it this morning, and rather than simple “Harper hating” (although clearly there’s no affection, or even much respect for Harper expressed there, to be sure), the purpose of those introductory paragraphs was to provide some context and background for what Dave contends motivates Harper with respect to the mission and to establish the groundwork for his suggestion that Harper actually cares little for the long-term welfare of the CF or even really the mission itself, but is more interested in currying favour with the conservative establishment in the US, in recapturing some of the old glory of the Canadian military, and in achieving the respect it’s felt that our role in that engagement affords us as once again being a serious international player “at the big table” (to paraphrase Hillier) or our “position in the parade” as Dave put it (based on Harper’s remarks made when Canada chose not to fall in with the invasion of Iraq).

It’s interesting that Raphael would deliberately avoid that article Dave linked to by Brian Hutchinson that appeared in the National Post (of all places) that would seem to quite clearly answer the question posed in the title of his post as to whether Canadian forces want to stay in Afghanistan. Perhaps he didn’t like the fact that the same article provides an utterly bleak assessment of the “reconstruction” efforts accomplished to date and the dismal prospects for the future given that much of the local populace in Kandahar is fed up with government corruption and the focus of the occupation that’s doing little to improve their daily lives.

Raphael Alexander said...

Actually, and this is straight up and no word of a lie, I remembered that article and that name and I really wanted to include it in my blog post. I searched in google news under "soldiers want to come back" and "soldiers don't want to come back" and "soldiers canada come back".

Nuthin. Sucks, because I really did want to include it but I had forgotten the publication was the Post.

Anyway, I think I went fairly easy on Dave. I gave him credit where it's due, and aside from the "leftist" comment, I quoted the important parts. Far more rope than he'd ever hang me with, anyway.

Red Tory said...

RA — But the link to the NP article was right at the bottom of Dave's post... I'm not sure why you'd have to go searching for it.

Raphael Alexander said...

Good point, but that was an update. It was not there when I read the article originally. Still, I dropped the ball there.

Red Tory said...

Ah ha.

To me, that NP article was more damning than the information Dave had provided (not to diminish the significance of the points he was making about the impact of the mission on the forces in general). It really shocked the hell out of me to see that in the NP.

It would also have been nice to have seen someone mention the remarks made by US Defense Secretary Gates the other day calling on NATO troops to serve longer rotations — 15 months as is the case with the US troops. That'll be a real morale booster!

CC said...

In Raphael's defense, that link from Dave's post was added later. But to take Raphael to task, it's getting seriously tiring to hear any well-founded and documented criticism of Dear Leader as "Harper-Hating."

It's way past time for people like Raphael to finally grow up and put away that tiresome canard of "Harper Derangement Syndrome," and to finally accept that people who really, really, really don't like Stephen Harper may, in fact, have good reason for it.

How about it, Raph? Can you do that? Can you grow up for us?

Red Tory said...

I would certainly agree with that about alleged “HDS” and compare it to the apprehensions many of us moonbat lefties had about Bush and the neo-conservatives waaaaay back in 2000 and maintained steadfastly throughout the run-up to the war in Iraq and have resolutely stood by since. All along, such notions were dismissed as “BDS” and blown off as leftist, moobat clap-trap. Well, I think the facts of the matter are now firmly on the detractors’ side of the equation whichever way you slice it. Even 70% of the American people (for whatever public opinion polls are worth) seem to agree. Likewise with the contention, long held by moonbats like myself, that Tony Blair was motivated, seeimingly against reason and history, by some strangely religious zeal and “crusading” animus in his efforts to commit the British nation to the war in Iraq. Now that he’s out of office we discover that, indeed, that was the case only he didn’t want to disclose it earlier lest he be regarded as “a nutter” (his words).

For some reason, the “Blogging Tories” and other Conservative supporters get particularly irked when Stephen Harper’s own words and previously expressed sentiments are utilized to make an opposing argument. I’m not sure if I agree entirely with some of the assertions Dave was making, but I most certainly think there’s likely a good deal of validity to them (one can’t discount the possibility of a changed mind or heart, after all) unless we are meant to simply ignore every single thing that Stephen Harper has ever thought or stood for prior to his taking office as PM.