Friday, February 16, 2007

Harper's propaganda, a page out of the bush / condi play book ...

Canada will win support in Afghanistan in face of insurgent warnings: Harper
February 16, 2007

Canada is committed to success in Afghanistan despite renewed threats of violence from the Taliban and al-Qaida, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday.

"Our plan for Afghanistan is to be successful," Harper said after attending the opening of a medical aid distribution centre that will be providing supplies to the troubled Asian country. "We know it will not be easy. We know it will involve casualties, but Canada has not shrunk from these kinds of responsibilities before."

Military brass are already anticipating a renewed spring and summer offensive from the Taliban in Kandahar province, Harper said. The fight won't be easy, but the government is committed to the mission, he added.

"Our soldiers, men and women ... know full well when they go over there that not all of them will return," Harper said. "That's one of the real risks in this country."

Since 2002, 44 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died in Afghanistan.

The medical aid offered by Health Partners International of Canada comes at "a critical time" and will complement the efforts of Canadian soldiers, diplomats and aid workers, Harper said earlier in his speech.

The charitable group, which receives some federal funding, is assembling a large shipment of medical supplies destined for Afghanistan.

"Our soldiers made great progress last year in securing large sections of Kandahar province," Harper said.

"This year, to consolidate those gains, we'll need to move ahead with reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and development in those areas. Providing basic health services will be crucial to our success."

Canada is involved in more than 100 reconstruction and humanitarian projects in Kandahar province alone, Harper said, but those projects are still "at risk" from the Taliban.

"Our challenge is to secure these areas and keep them secure," he said. "Ultimately, this is the path to success in all of Afghanistan."

Harper's comments came in the wake of a purported al-Qaida video posted Friday on the Internet claiming the people of Afghanistan support the insurgents.

However, NATO authorities have questioned the authenticity of the video, which depicts what is supposed to be an attack on a U.S.-Afghan military position in southern Afghanistan.

Officers with NATO's International Security Assistance Force say they have checked their records and found no engagements that would match the time frame given in the video.

Harper also seemed to shrug off U.S. President George W. Bush's recent failure to mention Canada's role in the deadly southern part of Afghanistan, which has angered opposition parties.

"It reiterates, obviously, the call of Canada," Harper said. "The United States and our allies have expressed great appreciation of Canada's contribution."

On Thursday, Bush called for an all-out allied effort to defeat the Taliban, singling out for praise several countries that recently pledged extra forces or equipment.

But he failed to mention Canada or the Netherlands, which both have big commitments in Afghanistan and are fighting in the most dangerous areas.


candu said...

Isn't it interesting that only countries with big 0il companies are willing to fight in Afghanistan? The States have Exxon-Mobil and Chevron, the Dutch have Royal Dutch Shell, the Brits BP and Canada Husky and Suncor. The war is about securing land for pipelines and if they have to kill and displace people they will do it. They will also fail; the Pashtuns have never been conquered and they do not want to be occupied. We are wasting money, soldiers and resources for nothing.