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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, two more years (at least) our Canadian soldiers will be in Afghanistan. What do you think?

I saw Mr. Layton in the House of Commons saying how outrageous it is that we are staying that long. I've spoken to many people who say we should pull out our troops. These are usually the same folks who say the US should just up and leave Iraq. Now, I'm aware of the plethora of differences of why Iraq is different than Afghanistan (i.e. the US shouldn't be in Iraq in the first place...but what's done is done, so now what?).

What I can't understand is what these people are thinking? How can one justify starting something and not finishing it? Uproot a countries government, then leave while things are not stable (and leave the people worse off than when we arrived)? That is counter-productive and defeats the any possible gains of going in in the first place. Speak to any political and social expert, and they will tell you that the worst thing in the world would be to leave these places now. I cannot recall the name of the PhD from U of T who was recently on CityTV, but the Dr. was discussing how it would be a disaster to leave now.

I know many of you say we'll be stuck there forever, and maybe things will never stabalize. You might be right. But does that justify giving up on something we started simply because it is more difficult than our wise leaders anticipated?

I love how people are always so shocked when soldies are hurt or killed? The very people we removed from power and are trying to kill are defending themselves somehow!?! Wow, we didn't see that one coming!? Ever try to get rid of a wasps nest from your yard? They do tend to defend themselves don't they? Interesting phenomenon isn't it? We did send them to war, not to a tea party.

Thoughts? Please refrain from any bashing or silly miscondut....I just want to see peoples opinions on the matter. I appolgize if I come across as overly sarcastic in my rant above...I simply enjoy using humour to lighten a conversation (hopefully it doesn't come across as overly smug).
 

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Now that we are in Afghanistan, the only thing worse would be to leave the country in the mess that it is, this is the reason the Taliban came to power in the first place....
 

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I think we should work on stabilizing and rebuilding, with as few deaths as possible on both sides. I have no problem with us being there as long as Canadians and Afghani civilians aren't dying left and right. The sooner the country has some amount of stability and peace, the sooner we can leave.
 

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The Mighty.
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I think the UN and/or NATO should have an equal force there insted of placing the burden on specific countries.
maybe 600 troops from 12 different countries (each).
 

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It a disaster. As much as I fell sympathetic to the Afghany people and especially the women, it is a no win situation.
The Taliban is gaining in strethgth and numbers again {thanks to Pakistan} and the government is incredibly corrupt.
Kabul is now the only somewhat safe area of the whole country.
We should help maintain order in Kabul but thats it.
No country has EVER managed to win a war in Afghanistan. Even with the Soviet massive army in the late 70s they never managed to over take it. It turned into their Vietnam.

Our troops are doing little and should be withdrawn within a year and sent to areas where they can actually do some good like Haiti or Darfur.
 

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The Tropics of Canada
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TALIBAN SWITCH SIDES

A longtime Taliban commander treated by Canadian military doctors has renounced the hardline militant group and offered his support for Afghanistan's new government.

Taliban commander Mullah Ibrahim, who recieved treatment from Canadian doctors for severe jaundice, has switched sides in the Afghan conflict. (John Cotter/Canadian Press) One month ago, Afghan police arrested Mullah Ibrahim, a Taliban official in the Kandahar region, where 2,300 Canadian soldiers are serving.

At the time, he was suffering from jaundice, fell into a coma and was brought to see Canadian doctors at the main military base at the Kandahar airfield.

Now recovered but in a wheelchair, Ibrahim credits God and the Canadians for saving his life.

He said he has renounced his Taliban ties and urged others to join him. Ibrahim said he wants to see peace and stability in his country.

Afghanistan's government has accepted him into a type of amnesty program which will see him monitored, but not prosecuted. Police will offer him some protection.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Forces said the program is a form of parole and participants can't set the terms of their participation.

"The objective of this program is to give an opportunity for former insurgents to reintegrate into Afghan society and live peacefully," said Capt. Julie Roberge. "It also provides an opportunity for exiles to return."

Ibrahim said he last fought for the Taliban in 2001, but Canadian Forces officials in Afghanistan said he continued to have a great influence in southern Afghanistan.
 

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^^Good Choice, less Taliban in the world will not hurt anyone...
 

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The Tropics of Canada
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Couldnt have said it better my self Coffee old buddy , hey did you hear about the request for 15 BILLION dollars for the Canadian Army . wow , that would kick ass. If anyone should have that money it is them.
 

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Dr. Phalange said:
I saw Mr. Layton in the House of Commons saying how outrageous it is that we are staying that long. I've spoken to many people who say we should pull out our troops. These are usually the same folks who say the US should just up and leave Iraq. Now, I'm aware of the plethora of differences of why Iraq is different than Afghanistan (i.e. the US shouldn't be in Iraq in the first place...but what's done is done, so now what?).
Problem is that Afghanistan today is in a worse position than ever. We can beat our chest about ridding Afghanistan of Taliban... but the violence is now worse than it ever was, insofar as the ordinary people of Afghanistan are suffering more, not less. They want us out too. It won't happen, of course, and indeed, it is now utterly impossible to withdraw, for many complicated reasons (but certainly not because we're not finished helping the people).


Dr. Phalange said:
What I can't understand is what these people are thinking? How can one justify starting something and not finishing it? Uproot a countries government, then leave while things are not stable (and leave the people worse off than when we arrived)? That is counter-productive and defeats the any possible gains of going in in the first place. Speak to any political and social expert, and they will tell you that the worst thing in the world would be to leave these places now. I cannot recall the name of the PhD from U of T who was recently on CityTV, but the Dr. was discussing how it would be a disaster to leave now.
Well, just because a PhD of PSCI said something or other hardly means it is to be taken as gospel... It's not like nobody disagrees... The people now are definetely worse off than when we arrived, being opressed both by many old tribes vying for power, as well as being killed by 'friendly' bombs. I doubt this will change MUCH because our mission there is not humanitarian. The time of peacekeeping Canada is long gone... it's a different world, one much less open to such an approach. Of course, some stability is required, and as a result, eventually it will not be as lawless as it now is. It will certainly be every bit as poor, though.


Dr. Phalange said:
I know many of you say we'll be stuck there forever, and maybe things will never stabalize. You might be right. But does that justify giving up on something we started simply because it is more difficult than our wise leaders anticipated?
I do not think our leaders were very wise, or rather, they were wise in a completely different sense. Nobody cares about rebuilding Afghanistan... except in a sense of using it as a strategic outpost, and for that, some stability is indeed needed. But we are there in the first place to please our Southern neighbours... And the whole reason for expanding the mission has been to alleviate the damage done by refusing to participate in the Iraq occupation.


Dr. Phalange said:
I love how people are always so shocked when soldies are hurt or killed? The very people we removed from power and are trying to kill are defending themselves somehow!?! Wow, we didn't see that one coming!? Ever try to get rid of a wasps nest from your yard? They do tend to defend themselves don't they? Interesting phenomenon isn't it? We did send them to war, not to a tea party.
Of course I'm not for a moment suprised our soldiers are getting killed. Many more will be.
 

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Olde Guard
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Screw war and killing people...thats just my opinion though.
 

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The Tropics of Canada
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I agree , but should we not try to eliminate the people who want to kill people ? to make the rest of the world better?
 

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By eliminate you mean kill right? If there's any way around it, I'd rather not kill even them.
 

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Rhino said:
Couldnt have said it better my self Coffee old buddy , hey did you hear about the request for 15 BILLION dollars for the Canadian Army . wow , that would kick ass. If anyone should have that money it is them.
I don't know what would they use it for? Im thinking fix that SeaKing problem we have, hell we could make enough money selling those to war museums to pay for new ones.....

If you ask me we do need a lot more and better invested money in our army, not like those old brit submarines :bash:

So its a lot of money, but I think it's more important on what and how we spend it, I don't think we need 15 billion, as much as we need a better plan on how to spend it....Normaly I would say I am anti-war, but I mean we need serious improvements to our army....

As for the mission in Afghanistan, I don't think we should have the more agressive approach we now have, but as I said before....

Originally Posted by Myself
Now that we are in Afghanistan, the only thing worse would be to leave the country in the mess that it is, this is the reason the Taliban came to power in the first place....
 

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Jus Post Bellum- It means being just after a war. It means the victors should help rebuild, and since we are the victors, it is our job to help rebuild to the fullest, or as long as it's feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
salvius said:
Problem is that Afghanistan today is in a worse position than ever. We can beat our chest about ridding Afghanistan of Taliban... but the violence is now worse than it ever was, insofar as the ordinary people of Afghanistan are suffering more, not less.
I'm not sure on what criteria you're making your assumptions of the Afghani populations welll-being. I don't think they are worse off now than under Taliban rule. For starters, 50% of the population now have rights, and are considered people. Women didn't have any rights under the Taliban. The Taliban were a ruthless regime, brutalizing the population.

The regime was ripe with hypocricy (obviously not the worst of it's traits)- strict fundamentalist islam and thus the subsequent laws limiting just about everything, yet the Taliban were the largest suppliers of black-market opiods in the world. The money was not spent on the population, but to fund the regimes own twisted agenda.

I'm certainly not saying things are currently 'good' in Afghanistan right now, but I certianly do not buy the premise that things are 'worse' either.

salvius said:
Well, just because a PhD of PSCI said something or other hardly means it is to be taken as gospel...
I never implied that it was gospel- obviously open debate and critiquing any proposal or idea is the fundamental basis of any rationaly held belief. However, surely opinions of those educated in such matters is noteworthy...and valued more than the layperson.

I can assure you, patients will take their doctors word over 'joe schmoe' concerning their health matters...something that comes with years of post-secondary education. Thus, these people are educated, should be respected as such, and certainly given the due privelege to have an opnion with some clout, as long as it is in the realm of their expertise.
 

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Dr. Phalange said:
I'm not sure on what criteria you're making your assumptions of the Afghani populations welll-being. I don't think they are worse off now than under Taliban rule.
My criteria is simple: economy and security. Economy is still a basket case, and security has decreased; not that Afghanistan was ever completely under the reign of any central government... it is much too diffuse for that. But the current government is beset by legitimacy problems, and our troops are seen as the enemy not a friend... There's obviously a high number of civilian deaths too and this is not avoidable as long as our mission is to hunt down insurgents...


Dr. Phalange said:
For starters, 50% of the population now have rights, and are considered people. Women didn't have any rights under the Taliban. The Taliban were a ruthless regime, brutalizing the population.
This is completely and utterly theoretical. Women's opression in Afghanistan continues and is alive and well... I suggest the February 2004 US State Department report if you can hunt it down in its entirety... US gov't has been pretty honest here I must say--the change is, basically, all theory. Afghanistan is still a tribal country, always has been (except for the brief crackdown during the Taliban rule)... very different from what we're used to.


Dr. Phalange said:
The regime was ripe with hypocricy (obviously not the worst of it's traits)- strict fundamentalist islam and thus the subsequent laws limiting just about everything, yet the Taliban were the largest suppliers of black-market opiods in the world. The money was not spent on the population, but to fund the regimes own twisted agenda.
Nobody's saying that the old regime was GOOD... The question here is: has this really changed? On some level, yes. The government is now progressive. This is once again amusing, but mostly on paper only. The current government has little power... it's a very complicated situation.


Dr. Phalange said:
I'm certainly not saying things are currently 'good' in Afghanistan right now, but I certianly do not buy the premise that things are 'worse' either.
I'm not going to be saying that Afghanistan under Taliban was good for anyone, but there was at least a modicum of internal stability... this is gone now.


Dr. Phalange said:
I never implied that it was gospel- obviously open debate and critiquing any proposal or idea is the fundamental basis of any rationaly held belief. However, surely opinions of those educated in such matters is noteworthy...and valued more than the layperson.
Philippe Rushton's theories on biology and psychology, for example, would be equally absurd no matter what his educational level is. Obviously, in any realm of science, people have their own agendas... But when it comes to the soft sciences, this is even more noticable.


Dr. Phalange said:
I can assure you, patients will take their doctors word over 'joe schmoe' concerning their health matters...something that comes with years of post-secondary education. Thus, these people are educated, should be respected as such, and certainly given the due privelege to have an opnion with some clout, as long as it is in the realm of their expertise.
Medicine is not a fair comparison. Medicine is a more practical, and although not a hard science like physics, it is much different from something as theoretical like PSCI. You can't exactly run a meta-analysis to try and prove a point ;)
 

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^^Salvius you make some very good points! :cheers:
There are many complex issues with a country like Afghanistan, so to have a full opinion is not very easy, as there are so many things to take into account...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
salvius said:
My criteria is simple: economy and security. Economy is still a basket case, and security has decreased;
That's the problem- your criteria are too simple.

Economy is no worse off now than it was beforehand (especially if one considers how the money is spent, and not just how much money). The primary source of income was derived from the illegal opiate drug-trade...and this money rarely trickled down to the population in terms of services, infrastructure, etc.

The 'security' argument is pure 'fluff'. Security for whom? They may have had 'security', in the sense that one ruling faction completely brutally dominated and violently repressed any groups, gender or peoples not inline with it's values or 'laws' (using the term 'law' very loosly here). That is hardly security worth having. This is not a perfect analogy, but in Canada we don't have ideal security because we balance it (and emphasize) freedoms more.

I'm not saying it is better now, but I don't think it is worse either. It is just different...gained some freedom, lost some 'security'. At least now there is some iota of chance that the people may have some freedom. We'll see if that country is able to implement and maintain a somewhat democratic modelled society...it's an experiment no doubt.

salvius said:
not that Afghanistan was ever completely under the reign of any central government... it is much too diffuse for that. But the current government is beset by legitimacy problems, and our troops are seen as the enemy not a friend... There's obviously a high number of civilian deaths too and this is not avoidable as long as our mission is to hunt down insurgents...
The prior 'government' (or ruling faction) was as far from credible as one can get.

I don't think anyone was niave enough to think our troops would be seen as 'friends', and welcomed with open-arms.

Civilian deaths occur with any war. Many civilian deaths were occuring under the Taliban regime also.


salvius said:
This is completely and utterly theoretical. Women's opression in Afghanistan continues and is alive and well... I suggest the February 2004 US State Department report if you can hunt it down in its entirety... US gov't has been pretty honest here I must say--the change is, basically, all theory. Afghanistan is still a tribal country, always has been (except for the brief crackdown during the Taliban rule)... very different from what we're used to.
Many 'forms' of islam have oppression of women as 'inherent' (at least by some western standards). I never implied women in Afghanistan are now wearing bikinis on the beach, and using the pill, having abortions...but they have gained some rights and freedoms not previously enjoyed. I would never expect, imply, nor compare, women's rights in a country like Afghanistan to a modern western democracy. However, some women there have gained some rights and freedoms not enjoyed under Taliban rule.

Also, it is true that the country is very diverse in terms of varying pockets of tribes (each with their own system of beliefs and accompanying rules). That will likely never change. The truth is, also, that the country may end up in 'civil war', with waring factions vying for control (much like how the Taliban obtained power in the first place). Like I said, an experiment. You can question the validity of said experiment, and I'd agree, it is questionable. However, what is done is done...we are there, and the original point of this thread was to say that leaving now would only plunge the country into an inevitable civil war, and the creation of a new ruling trible (much like the Taliban).

salvius said:
Nobody's saying that the old regime was GOOD... The question here is: has this really changed? On some level, yes. The government is now progressive. This is once again amusing, but mostly on paper only. The current government has little power... .
Unfortunately, change does not happen over night. I'm not saying things will turn out to be sunshine and lollipops for Afghanistan...who knows, but leaving now (the point of the thread) would only leave a new, vulnerable government that has promise, into sure destruction. We'd be 'leaving them to the wolves', as it were.

So, basically, I'm not sure what you're arguing here. You seem to have forgotten the point of the thread...and your attempts to 'educate' me on the cultural, social and economic dynamics of Afghanistan are laughable, and quite pretentious.

salvius said:
it's a very complicated situation.
Yes it is, and it is one that you are trying to over-simplify under the cloak of 'pseudo-intellectualism'.


salvius said:
I'm not going to be saying that Afghanistan under Taliban was good for anyone, but there was at least a modicum of internal stability... this is gone now.
Again, keep in mind there are few perfect analogies, but the Liberty Act provides more 'stability'; would you argue that it is a good thing? Losing freedom for security sake...that may turn out to be the only system that will realistically function in a country such as Afghanistan...agian, we'll see....but leaving now (again, the topic of the thread) will abandon any hope of attempting anything otherwise, and all the deaths we have seen up until now will have been for nothing.

salvius said:
Philippe Rushton's theories on biology and psychology, for example, would be equally absurd no matter what his educational level is. Obviously, in any realm of science, people have their own agendas... But when it comes to the soft sciences, this is even more noticable.
True, and he was shown quite easily and handidly how utterly ridiculous his theories are by more credible science and research (and the public manifestation of this, the debate with David Suzuki). Again, this example shows the need for open debate.

However, I'm not sure why you provide the fringe example of Philippe Rushton social evolutionary theory...of course, we should never blindly accept what someone suggests (which I mentioned a plethora of times in my previous post, which I'm starting to wonder if you even read), even if they have a 'Dr.' preceding their name. This the most basic element of critical thinking skills...I'm glad to see you have the basics- you provide a very nice example of basic usage.

However, another very basic element of critical thinking is information source appraisal. Obviously a PhD has more clout than a layperson (rightly so). The years of schooling afford the doctor an opinion more deserving of attention (and open debate by others), so long as the opinion is in the the doctor's realm of expertise. Thus said, a PhD in polysi has an opinion, I will pay more attention...it is worth more....it isn't the only opinion, and the appraisal should be balanced with opinions of others, amongst other things.


salvius said:
Medicine is not a fair comparison. Medicine is a more practical, and although not a hard science like physics, it is much different from something as theoretical like PSCI.
I find it ridiculous that you would even suggest that anyone on this planet would compare an opinion about a war from a polysci PhD to physics or calculus. This is like comparing apples to the war in Afghanistan.

Medicine and all research is ladden with subjectivity. Every facet of treatment people recieve, from the ground up, are ladden with an incredible amount of subjectivity. From evert aspect of the RCT's (both inherent and indirect, extraneous factors, of which there are millions) that determine if the drug achieves a statistically significant therapeutic effect, to determining if that statistically significant effect if of clinical significance, to the treatment protocol, to the medical doctors interpetation of the symptoms, to the diagnosis, to the decision to treat the condition with a certain method, etc. etc. etc. And thus, it is a fair comparison. Simply because medicine is practical does not mean it is objective...the two are not mutually inclusive.

salvius said:
You can't exactly run a meta-analysis to try and prove a point ;)
LOL! That is news to me!

I hate to say it son, but there are very few absolute certainties in life (I'm not sure how old you are, but this is a lesson you need to learn). This does not mean much to people, because it is a given....I assumed you would have taken that into consideration with my reference to a PhD and his opinion. If you were hoping, or thinking, I was providing you with absolutes....then you were mistaken....and I'm still not sure why you had taken it as such.

Besides, stating the obvious in a debate (as you continue to do) is pseudo-intellectualism. You're diverting the topic of the thread to something it is not, nor should have been. This debate (if one could call it that) has become pure fluff...it is very frustrating when someone states the obvious (and practically irrelevant) as if it somehow provides credibility to his argument, when the statments clearly have little or nothing to do with the topic (most of your counter arguments simply have little or nothing to do directly with the topic). It becomes even more strange when the individual states it in a manner that is purporting to be profound or educational...and do not directly address any of the arguments the other has provided.

Well, since I grow tired of this silly debate, here:

Obviously we can not afford to consider the opinions of a PolySci PhD because although with eight years of post-secondary education in the field of expertise to which we refer, there are no certainties in life. Therefore, we should not listen.

Also, the sky is blue (unless you are colour-blind). Cat's meow, and dogs bark....although, statistically through probability and natural variation, there may be some dogs that meow, and cats that bark. True, yes...irrelevant and obvious...yes...so should I say that cats don't meow and dogs dont bark because some exist that do not? Who cares, because it has nothing to do with the thread!!!
 
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