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Random thoughts

Random thought #1: Maybe it’s just me, but it looks to me to be a tad paranoid to be ripping out trees, saplings, bushes or any other random plant because the security units for the G8/G20 summit are afraid branches will be used as weapons by protesters. All of this tree cutting is presumably factored into part of the Billion Dollar Budget for this event. Hopefully the tree-replacing as well.

Random Thought #2: The Liberals and Ignatieff released their foreign policy platform yesterday afternoon. My own impression of it? It seems to me that Ignatieff’s foreign policy stances are definitely to the right of past Liberal leaders – if still slightly left of Harper’s and the Conservatives. I’m not crying about it, as there are other issues and stances and strategy to do with domestic politics that I think are more important that I’d prefer he address, and let’s face it, foreign policy stances rarely affect whether people vote for you or not, but personally, I’m on the wing of the party that prefers Lloyd Axworthy-style foreign policy, not a Conservative-lite edition.

Random Thought #3: I said yesterday I was going to reserve judgment on the Afghan detainee documents agreement that the Conservative government reached with the Liberals and BQ. I’m still holding that view, but I’m not particularly encouraged when Professor Amir Attaran declares this agreement to be a mess.

4 comments to Random thoughts

  • I agree with JimBobby. I see the Liberals doing three things here. Protecting the former Liberal government (pre 2006) from getting nailed along withe the Conservatives. I see the Liberals not wanting Parliament to exercise powers that could come back to haunt them, should they ever lead a government again and I see the liberals avoiding an election at all costs.

    Its a good thing they are avoiding an election. The position Iggy has taken on Afghanistan is one Bob Rae suggested a month or so ago. This is not popular in Canada and would end up being a combat mission in a poorly made disguise.

    If an election were to be called this fall, the Conservatives would attack the Libs for wanting to extend the mission. The Libs would be the only party on record saying , lets stay on in Afghanistan.

    Where is the the party of great thinkers? You need a few more Warren Almonds(sp).

  • I’ve seen you say this is a couple spots JimBobby and you’re wrong. There are essentially two aspects to training in Afghanistan, non-combat, classroom-type learning, and field training. It is quite possible to train Afghan police without being in a “combat role”, though of course there’s still danger (but if that’s your litmus test, then every RCMP officer and diplomat in Afghanistan is in a combat role). What he has in mind I don’t know, but technically you can train people and not be in a combat role.

  • Michael L. Maynard

    Re: Point #2.

    JimBobby: “Any such program – even in Kabul – would be targeted by Taliban and would require a combat component for security.”

    Quite right sir. But if we have a small contingent left to facilitate only the delivery of training, someone else can and will likely provide the security.

  • Re Random thought #1 – “A tad paranoid” is a bit of an understatement, Scott. Have a look at this picture of a brand new sidewalk they installed just for the g8 up in Huntsville. Notice that the sidewalk is made of concrete paving bricks. Any 97 pound weakling could pull out a paver and toss it through a window or at the tiny head of a BrackO or the giant head of King Steve. What sort of protester could yank out a tree by its roots and use it as a weapon? Big Joe Mufferaw?

    Re Random thought #2 – Ignatieff made it sound like you could have a military training program that doesn’t involve combat. Any such program – even in Kabul – would be targeted by Taliban and would require a combat component for security. Who doesn’t think the combat component would grow and morph into exactly what we have now? The current mission was supposed to be aimed at training the Afghans and we’ve been at it for 9 years. The current mission morphed from a nation building exercise into the combat mission it is. The polls show that Canadians are ready to get the heck out of Afghanistan altogether. Harper and MacKay are saying that’s what they’re planning. General Leslie was on P&P yesterday saying the same thing. How many votes are the Liberals going to lose by adopting a policy to extend an extremely unpopular mission. We see it as a quagmire and we see a chance to extract ourselves from it by December 2011. If Ignatieff wanted to sink the LPC completely, he couldn’t have picked a better way to do it.

    Re Random thought #3 – The Cons have been stalling, stalling, stalling on the detainee file. The compromise agreed to flies in the face of Parliamentary supremacy and gives the cons an opportunity to stall some more and to withhold some documents when Speaker Millikin’s ruling made it clear that ALL documents were fair game. The truth will be elusive. Meanwhile, NGO’s on the ground in Afghanistan tell us that the current transfer agreement is failing and we are continuing to hand over detainees to be tortured. Travers says Harper is “having his way with a rival too frightened to resist.” That about sums it up.

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