Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ending Afghanistan's Agony

                                                    Ambassador Chris Alexander  

                                                        Bob Rae

                                             Babur Mawladin

                                                                  H.E. Jawed Luden

                                             Terry Glavin            Andrew Potter

                                             Najia Haneefi           Sally Armstrong

I attended the Toronto event of the Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee. It was co sponsored by the Canadian Afghan community. Almost all in attendance were of Afghani descent. It was a great grout of speakers including Terry Glavin, Ambassador Jawed Ludin, Ambassador Chris Alexander ( our candidate for Ajax Pickering), Bob Rae, Journalist Andrew Potter and Afghan Rights advocate Najia Haneefi.  Authour Sally Armstrong was in the audience.
It was interesting to hear the perspective of Afghani Canadians. The people I spoke to in the room had a variety in the room, but they all wanted Canada to stay involved in Afghanistan.
I atteneded the previous Ottawa event last month. CASC wants Canadians and parliamentarians to have a serious conversation about Canada's future role in Afghanistan. The event started with a moment of silence to remember the 142 of HM Canadian soldiers who have died in the Afghan mission.
 The Afghan speakers( H.E. Jawed Luden, Najia Haneefi and Babur Maladin) all made it very clear that they wanted Canada to stay and there was stil a security, development and encouraging good governance role for Canada. All the Afghan speakers were very grateful for the sacrifice Canad has made on this mission. The Afghan Ambassador was very clear he did not believe that Canadian soldiers  have been anything but honourable in Afghanistan. All 3 Afghan speakers poke of the major accomplishments that the Canadian Afghan mission have made.
 Ambassador Alexander spoke about a paper he wrote titled “Ending The Agony: Seven Moves To Stabilize Afghanistan,” Ambassador Alexander started his presentation in one of the Afghani languages. He gave a very impressive talk about the seven things he thinks need to be done to further improve the situation in Afghanistan. You should read his well written paper. Ambassador Alexander is a great addition to the Tory team. bob Rae actually sounded very reasonable. He vowed that Canada would be involved in some way after 2011. Rae arrived late and left early. We were asked to to submit questions and i had submitted on asking rae why he and his party were not interested in the Afghan mission and spent all of their time slandering our soldiers, but he never was asked that question. Terry Glavin also asked Rae and Ambassador Alexander on what they thought the future of the Canadian mission should be. Rae was of course totally vague and uttered some platitudes about being honoured to be invite and urging more interventions from CASC and the Canadian Afghan community on this issue. It seems pretty clear the combat mission is going to end, but there is a lot of other things that we can and should do in Afghanistan, if only to honour the 142 of our sons and daughters who have died in this mission for freedom. I was unable to stay to the very end, but I am glad CASC is continuing to do these events. We do need to discuss the future of this mission and stop the mudslinging over the detainee non scandal.


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