Unfortunately this isn't the first time...unlikely to be the last. It seems so long ago, and I probably wasn't the first, but on October 26, 2007, quoting the former United-Nations' High Commissioner to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lord Ashdown, I lamented: "Afghanistan is lost!".
So long ago... Before Maxime Bernier, Before David Emerson. Foreign Affairs Minister Peter McKay was preparing to attend the NATO Summit in the Dutch town of Noordwijk.
Canadian Foreign Ministers virtually "ad nauseaum" have come and gone. Former Deputy PM, John Manley's panel of distinguished Canadians has reported. Our Afghan Mission has been extended to 2011. Successive foreign military officers have said NATO's Afghanistan mission is underfunded, under equipped and undermanned.
It seems really that we Canadians are the only ones being told by the Government that this Afghan adventure is a success of untold proportions. Well...give me a break!
It doesn't quite take a university degree in history to know that the British could not bring peace to Afghanistan in the 1950's and 60's...and that the mighty Soviet Union was brought to its knees in a similar vain attempt in the 1970's and 80's. What the Hell are we doing there?
After last Friday's massive security failure by Canadians and the Afghans which allowed more than one thousand Taliban detainees to flee Kandahar's prison, our General "charisma", the Chief of Defence, Rick Hillier, seemed un-perplexed by developments. A hiccup on the road to success. Now it seems that everyone, Hillier included, may be singing from a different hymnal.
There is apparently ample evidence that the hundreds of escaped Taliban fighters who have since taken over several villages in southern Afghanistan may be targeting a massive attack on the provincial capital...Kandahar. Just who is in charge there? Why...it is us! By the by, those villages now under Taliban control are the same ones delivered of the Taliban less than a year ago in a massive war effort. At the time, our Canadian military leaders described it a "decisive victory". Yes indeed: War is stupid!
Perhaps none more stupid than we who are caught-up in the midst of this massive failure.