This tragic venture in Afghanistan has abandoned 40 years of peacekeeping and two Nobel Peace Prizes. I believe the deaths of over 130 Canadian soldiers, many more wounded, and a number of Afghan civilians killed or wounded by Canadians, lies squarely in the hands of the Liberals, the Conservatives and the former General Hillier.
In time, I am sure that the Canadian people will insist on clarity and accountability for what has been done here. We need to accept the truth of this, acknowledge responsibility, and begin a process of restitution and change. Canadians like to take pride in their values, but this is a cause for shame. Canada needs to rediscover its moral values and have the courage to live them.
How do we get out of the mess? To me this is a question of government will and Canadian values. Governments and politicians make promises that are usually in the face of an unknown future, and circumstances change, and so do promises. I expect that the twisting and turning will start soon, and we will be caught in a humanitarian dilemma. The government will start to define withdrawal as withdrawal from the combat role, to a protection role, or whatever.
In addition, this government has a puzzling habit of abandoning Canadians in prisons or places abroad, and be it Guantanamo, or the person in a US prison under a death sentence. Let us not extend this unfortunate predisposition to the Afghan people. I think we need to put the Afghan people first. It is very tragic to be involved here, but this is a question of doing the right thing, and the ethic of care for others. It is who we are, or at least who we want to be