Friday, February 22, 2008

Into the Abyss: Afghanistan, Jack Layton, and the Fall of the New Democratic Party

The Strategic Counsel poll released this week puts national support for the NDP at what may be its lowest ebb since 2004. It's tied with the Green Party at 12 per cent. The poll also provides some solid statistical insight into how the NDP's position on Afghanistan figures into it.

Canadians rated only health care (17 per cent) higher in importance than Afghanistan (14 per cent) as a national election issue. Afghanistan was identified as being more important than even the economy (13 per cent) or the environment (12 per cent).

Canadians are split on what to do: While a clear majority (61 per cent) opposes simply extending Canada's "combat mission" beyond 2009, we become evenly divided (51 per cent in favour) if other NATO countries pitch in - which is what John Manley's recent independent panel proposes, and what the Conservatives and Liberals say they also want.

But if you think this means that roughly half of Canadian voters favour the NDP's "troops out" politics, you're not even close. Nowhere near it. A mere six per cent of poll respondents said the NDP is the party best able to manage the Afghanistan file. Only five per cent said the NDP has "the best plan for Canada's military and defence."

This may mean that barely half of the NDP's own dwindling brigade of supporters takes party leader Jack Layton seriously when he talks about Afghanistan. As for the Canadians who do, they barely register as statistical background noise above the poll's 3.1-per-cent margin of error. It could be as many as one in a dozen Canadians, or as few as one in fifty.

While Layton persists in the puerile claim that the Afghan mission is "not right for Canada," the Strategic Counsel poll shows that it's Layton's troops-out position that's not right for Canada. It's certainly not right for Afghanistan. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calls it "a misjudgment of historical proportions," something that's "almost more dismaying" than the opportunism of the Taliban itself.

What these poll numbers show is that it's not even right for the NDP. This should have been obvious from the beginning, because there is nothing left-wing or social-democratic or "progressive" about it. It's incoherent, parochial, and wrong. It's only understandable as a mix of pop and politics, the pseudo-left posture of the fashionably radical.

Like the man says, If no one out there understands, it's time to start your own revolution. Cut out the middleman:


Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

Come for the music, stay for the commentary. Good analysis of the polls Gatekeeper.

4:24 PM  
Blogger David Leach said...

I’m a lapsed (reformed?) NDP voter who agrees that Layton is on the wrong side of history with his “troops out” stance, but I don’t think this poll gives any solid evidence to link the NDP position on Afghanistan with the party’s loss of support among voters.

There are lies, damned lies… and then there are Strategic Counsel opinion polls with 3.1% margins of error. You don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface of this one to realize how fuzzy the findings are, at least in terms of the NDP’s foreign-policy position hurting them in the polls.

1) In this poll, the Afghanistan mission is the second most important issue because feelings are especially strong about it in Quebec, where 18% respondents thought it was most important vs. 14% for the next two topics (although that’s still within the whopping 6.3% margin of error for the Quebec part of the survey). In the rest of Canada, Afghanistan ties for third and comes in fourth for Ontario alone (behind health care, the economy and the environment). Quebec voters don’t feel so strongly about the mission because they support it—the opposite in fact: 79% oppose extending Canada’s combat mission beyond 2009, falling to 65% if NATO gets involved. (Compare that to 55% and 38% respectively for the rest of Canada.) Therefore, the second-place ranking for Afghanistan amongst major issues arises in large part from the province where voters least want to extend the mission. Which makes it unlikely that the high ranking of Afghanistan is related to a flight of voters from the NDP. And there’s no meaningful point of comparison because, unlike the other ranked topics, Afghanistan as an issue wasn’t part of the 2005 poll, so it’s hard to know what the relative change has been over the past three years.

2) Where there is a point of comparison, however, is in the question of which party has the best plan for Canada’s military and defence. Here, the NDP has remained steady, rather than dipped, at 5% nationwide (going up one point in Ontario in fact). Which makes sense: I voted for Jack once…before he went federal, back when I lived in his municipal riding in Toronto. He’s the kind of baby-kissing, gladhanding-at-the-subway, bike-riding, idealistic politico who you’d trust to reform your public transit system… but there’s no way I’d let him go steady with my foreign policy or take my economy for a spin. Ever. And it turns out I’m not the only one.

3) If I was venturing an opinion about why the decline in the NDP’s fortunes, I’d have to point to the obvious smoking gun in this poll: the clear rise in public support for the Greens. Look at the breakdown on page 13, and you can follow the undulations of NDP’s polling numbers as a reverse negative of the Greens’. For the most recent poll, comparing 2005 and 2008, the Greens have hit the Dippers in areas that the NDP once owned: who has the best new ideas (NDP -8%, Greens +7%) and which party is best able to deal with the environment and climate change (Greens #1 at 30%, Libs at 17%, Tories at 16% and NDP a distant fourth—yes, the New Birkenstock Party off the environmental podium entirely!—at 10%). According to the poll, the environment and climate change ranks second amongst election issues in the West and ties for second in Ontario.

4) Finally, any analysis may be moot given the margins of error: 3.1% for Canada, 6.3% for Quebec. Which might explain some of the odder anomalies in the “findings”: According to the poll, Quebecers think the Conservatives have the best plan for Canada’s military and defence 34% to 24% over the Liberals, but when asked who is best able to manage Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, they went Liberal 31% to the Tories’ 25%. Huh? And what happened between Jan. 10-13 and Feb. 14-17, to make respondents in Quebec swing (when asked who they would vote for that day) away from the NDP (from 8% to 5%) and toward the Greens (a huge jump from 5% to 14%)? The fickle French? Statistical gremlins? Whatever, but I’m betting it wasn’t Afghanistan.

Numbers don’t lie. Except when they do.

The NDP, I’ll agree, are wrong about Afghanistan, but (if you’ll excuse an un-NDP-ishly martial metaphor) I don’t think it’s their electoral Waterloo – not in this poll at least.

6:08 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Thanks, Dave. That was a very helpful and solid criticism, or critique, of my take on the poll.

I still think the poll shows fairly conclusively that many NDP supporters, even, don't take the party's position on Afghanistan seriously, and certainly very, very few Canadians do; way down in the 5-6 per cent range, and even if the margin of error is wildly greater than the poll's 3.1 estimate, I still think it's hugely significant.

I expect the NDP to have something to say about Afghanistan that can withstand the most rigorous scrutiny. It doesn't, and it seems to me most Canadians can see that.

But still, very good points you made; gotta look at the long term. Will keep Layton's Green competition upmost in my mind next time I write about this, which will not be just a blog post.

As for the comment I deleted:

Just someone I have been far too patient with; incapable of learning anything; send him in a rocket to the moon with a video camera and he'll came back still saying the earth is flat.

His last churlish and pathetically ill-informed remark on the subject of Afghanistan happened to be an attack on a very brave friend of mine, the very morning she arrived back in Kabul.

New policy around here. I'm deleting smartasses on sight,and deleting thoughtless, no-nothing comments on sight.

Don't like it?

Go tell Exra Levant.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

By the way. . .

Ah. That David Leach.

Linking to you under Literati.

Good man.

9:07 PM  
Blogger OregonGuy said...

Interesting poll. Interesting analysis. Interesting comments. Thank you.

Would Candian troops be missed? Yes. Would that signal the end of foreign intervention in Afghanistan? No.

Even our "most" anti-war presidential candidate has had some mutterings about invading Pakistan. Incoherent at best. The point being, the anti-war left in the United States is all heated up over Iraq. It won't be until the Iraq distraction is removed that American leftists will begin the onslaught to remove troops from Afghanistan. (Although Senator Obama's recent comments about US troops needing to salvage supplies from the enemy in Afghanistan could tickle suspicions that the move to bring the troops home from that front is just around the corner.)

War is dirty and miserable. And, lacking the mobilization of the Second World War, impersonal, untouched and over there.

After decades of refusal to "impose" human rights on most of Asia and the Middle East, the lack of that imposition has resulted in a final recognition among many, if perhaps not most, of the need to end the tyranny of religious and political tyrants that would abase their fellow human creatures to maintain their satrapy.

But is Canada necessary? It certainly wasn't while the Grits remained in power. You had the Grits running Canada. You had Chirac in France. Germany gave us Chancellor Schroder.

So, was Canada necessary? That's always been a Candian question. The Germans and the French are still trying to figure out their own roles. But, love your maple syrup. Love your dimensional lumber. Love your oil. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

But, as an American, I'm used to citizens of other nations failing to rise to the defense of the human rights of others. You, as Canadians had a front row seat to this phenomenom as a result of General Dallaire's mission to Rwanda.

Can America shoulder this burden alone? Yes. But it kinda shows the cracks in the mask of decent, liberal beliefs in democracy and human rights. The imposition--or guarantee--of those rights.

Complacency is a hard master to shake. Like a warm blanket fresh from the dryer it's enough to just sit and enjoy ones own life. And spend some time trying to figure out how to get others to pay for more.

Since WWI, the American experience has been that finally,we will need to fix what others have screwed up. When we've retreated from that mindset--we're not a militarist society--we've had incompetents like Jimmy Carter lead us to new lows in promoting individual human dignity. Cultural relativism as a mask for the cozy comfort of indifference.

But again, we're fixing the mess left in the wake of Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan. Russian, French and British intrusions into the Middle East. (Does anyone remember President Eisenhower's intervention during the Suez Crisis?)

Our time on earth as a leader in democracy's struggle to overcome tyranny has not been long. The tyranny of the few over the many has been the most common form of national organization. We offer a choice. Tyranny or human dignity. And in this current struggle, a retreat from the defense of human dignity is a victory for tyranny.

Just ask General Dallaire. Do we need Canada? Is Canada necessary?

10:28 AM  
Blogger bp said...

oregonguy: I'm not sure if your heart is in the right place or not--your post was a bit too rambling for me to keep track of--but I get the sense that you're patronizing the hell out of my country.

While General Dallaire was desperately trying to hold together an underfunded and undermanned peacekeeping force and prevent a genocide, your country was actively blocking every resolution that would have helped at the Security Council. So you can get the fuck off your high horse. If you asked General Dallaire, who's currently serving in our Senate, whether Canada was 'necessary', he'd stick a boot in your ass.

Anyway. Terry, I have question...

What's the deal with the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee? After a flurry of posts at the beginning of the month, I haven't noticed anything going up at the website. Considering that it looks as though the Conservatives and Liberals have reached a comprimise that's going to keep us there until 2011, I would think there should be plenty of relevant posting material.

Is it technical issues, or just a lack of people willing to help with the blog? I'd be happy to contribute if you're simply short of manpower.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Oregon Guy:

Not exactly sure what you're getting at, but to be clear:

1. We're Canadians up here. We tend to think Canada is "necessary."

2. I don't get your reference to the Grits. The Liberals were in power when Canadian soldiers first arrived in Afghanistan. Canada's America-friendly Conservatives are merely implementing policies on Afghanistan that the much less America-friendly Liberals established.

3. When you say: "As an American, I'm used to citizens of other nations failing to rise to the defense of the human rights of others," I'm sorry to inform you that outside the United States, Americans are not generally known for rising to the of defence of anyone's rights but their own. It happens, I am the first to admit. But more often, not.

4. Americans do not have a history of carrying the necessary burden of dead American soldiers in the cause of other people's freedom. Do you know why, up this side of the coast, everybody cheered when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour? It was because it meant that the Americans would finally have to put their backs into a war that Canada and its allies had already been fighting for two years, that's why.

5. Afghanistan is not an "American burden." Canada is holding the southern front in a complex "burden" that soldiers from nearly 40 NATO/ISAF countries are carrying, and a Canadian pullout would unquestionably mean other NATO/ISAF countries would follow suit, and if the NATO-ISAF alliance there collapsed, American politicians of both your parties would be counseling a course equivalent to running away like frightened schoolgirls. As it is, the vast majority of your soldiers there are just sitting around in mess hall anyway.

Now. To the matter at hand, and with the deepest respect, do you know the biggest problems facing Canadians and Europeans who want our soldiers to stand with and fight alongside Afghans until they can defend themselves? Those problems just so happen to be among the main problems facing Americans themselves today:

1. It's Americans who who pretend that the United States is not and has not been largely responsible for Afghan suffering over the past three decades.

2. It is Americans who refuse to acknowledge that it was America that abandoned the Afghan people to jihadists and madmen after the USSR crumbled, and the rest of the world is still picking up the pieces, and paying in the blood of its own people to do this.

3. It's Americans who come up here to Canada and swagger around Europe patting everyone on the head and thanking us for being in Afghanistan as though our soldiers were fighting and dying in that country as some kind of favour to Americans.

4. It's Americans who confront the very real sickness of blaming America for everything bad in the world with the equivalent pathology of blaming everyone else in the world for everything bad facing America.

These are the things that are no "necessary," as you put it.

Not saying you're like that.

Just saying.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Comrade BP:

I think the deal with the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee is that we're all far more busy than the CASC website would suggest. It does get little updates if not daily then weekly, and we will soon have some direct CASC reports from Afghanistan on the site. But of course CASC is not just a website, and after the Manley panel report came out (and was consistent with all our main recommendations), the attention turned to forging a Parliamentary consensus, and it's pretty close.

What this means is that we're already in a completely different phase on the Af'stan file than we were in a few weeks ago, when it wasn't even certain we would stay. So we're adjusting. Plus our main young dynamo is in Af'stan at the moment.

Thanks for you offer, mind. Drop mea note separately if you like.

11:52 AM  
Blogger bp said...

Ah, cool.

Just keeping you on your toes, you know. ;)

12:55 PM  
Blogger Ian King said...

As much as I might like to think that the NDP's nonsense has driven away would-be supporters, I can't see it. What is clear is that the NDP has not picked up any additional support since it effectively adopted the "troops out now" position in September 2006. (Yes, I know that technically, the resolution and official party position were more complex; in practice, the party and its leader have been that simplistic.) There was some hope in NDP circles that being the only party in most of Canada with that position would draw in "anti-war" voters, largely from the Liberals. Hasn't happened -- and why would one position offset whatever makes the NDP unattractive to the 80-85% of Canadians who are outside the tent?

I think that the other thing you can read from this is that a lot of NDP supporters know that the party has no chops on defence or foreign affairs. Not surprising; no party aside from the Bloc is more domestically oriented or has paid less attention to those files. The only ones who think that the NDP are most suited to handle Afghanistan and national defence are the activist base that Layton comes from, and some party diehards.

What the NDP should really worry about is how many very smart, talented people have left the party (and in most cases, defected to the Liberals) since Layton took over. Their numbers may not be huge, but it's a bad sign for the party. Well, at least they've still got Ali Mallah.

David's point about the apparent growth in Green support drawing from the NDP is well taken. From what I've heard, when the Greens draw voters from other parties, it's around 40% NDP, 40% Liberal, 20% Conservative. That would also explain why the Liberals figure so poorly in this poll. A lot of that Green support may just be parked votes, though.

4:54 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

Loved the Bard of Barking video; best thing to come out of England since the highway to Scotland. Bragg's The Progressive Patriot book is a recommended read too.

So fair trade, here's another take on The Clash, "should I stay or should I go?" If I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be double.

Oregon guy really peed me off, but he's been taken care of. Reminded me of The Sun's interview with Karl Rove the other day, in which the former Bush right hand man criticized Obama for being too eloquent (as in not being deep, I suppose). Terrific irony there, but at least the next prez, whoever it is, will be intelligible and articulate.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Aye, Kurt. C'mon and let me know, should I stay or should I go? Gude wan.

And Ian: "I think that the other thing you can read from this is that a lot of NDP supporters know that the party has no chops on defence or foreign affairs."

That's one of the key things I see in the numbers, but what's more painfully obvious is that everybody else knows the NDP has no chops on Afghanistan - everybody but that miniscule activist base, as you say.

I think the post headline may imply a lot more than I set out in the post itself. I don't think the NDP's support has declined because of Afghanistan. It's not that simple.

What counts is how Afghanistan figures into the NDP's overall standing, and why it's doomed to the abyss. When the NDP has nothing to say (that grown-ups can believe) about one of the top four election issues Canadians say they worry about, it's impossible to dislodge that from the malaise that keeps the NDP down in the mid-teens to low-teens.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Terry: Support for your point:

Rote, rote, rote your vote

Results of Nanos Research-Sun Media poll hardly music to the ears of Prime Minister Harper


The average Conservative supporter is driven by policies, hordes of Liberals vote by rote and tradition, and leadership is barely a factor in the current popularity of any of the federal parties...

This is no rogue survey. Pollster Nik Nanos is arguably the most respected in the country, having accurately predicted the outcomes of the last two federal elections within a decimal point.

Unlike other political surveys, the Nanos poll not only asked Canadians how they would vote, but added the pivotal question: Why?..

For the New Democrats, the Nanos-Sun survey has some good news and bad.

As expected, the party of the left scores high among its supporters for its policies, and for what devotees perceive as "caring about the average working person."

On the other hand, the survey tends to dash NDP hopes that its hardline against the Afghanistan war would attract masses of Liberal voters.

Among the 1,001 Canadians surveyed, the Dippers' position on Afghanistan was listed as the main reason for voting NDP by exactly one person..."



6:47 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...


I'd say that just about clinches it.

1. "Among the 1,001 Canadians surveyed, the Dippers' position on Afghanistan was listed as the main reason for voting NDP by exactly one person."

2. "The NDP's loss of support went not to the Greens, but to the big parties, particularly the Conservatives."

9:49 AM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Terry: By the way, on CTV's "Question Period" today, Layton said NATO, as military alliance, should not be having a lead role in Afstan. Rather the UN should. I'm waiting for him to demand that NATO KFOR be withdrawn from Kosovo. I suspect it will be a long wait, and maybe he just doesn't know anyway.


12:01 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

And that's just the sort of thing that destroys the NDP's credibility on the whole question.

During the parliamentary debate over the 2009 extension, the NDP's big complaint was that the Kandahar mission was too cozy with the US Operation EF, and it should be a NATO mission. Then NATO took over, and it's all "It shouldn't be NATO, it should be the UN" - competely ignoring the fact that it is the UN, and the UN wants NATO in charge.

The closer you look for some rational basis or intellectual honesty in the NDP's position, the more its polemics recede into the darkness of the ever-deeper hole it's digging for itself, and the crazier and more historical-revisionist the NDP's supporters among the punditi become.

And that's how "anti-war" politics become indistinguishable from the politics of the far-right - the nastier Kissinger "realists," Galloway Mosleyites, Islamist homosexual-lynchers, and the extreme paleocons like Eric Margolis.

So the NDP cleaves to the idiocy of merely offering a "clear alternative" to the Conservatives, Liberals and the Bloc, and the result? How many Canadians now support the NDP because of its Afghanistan position?

One in 1,001, according to that latest poll.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Just so people know, here's the latest UN Security Council resolution, Sept. 19, 2007; Mr Layton might read it (I'm sure he has not):

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1386 (2001), 1510 (2003), 1707 (2006) and 1746 (2007),

“Reaffirming also its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001), and reiterating its support for international efforts to root out terrorism in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,

“Recalling its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006) and 1738 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and its resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security,

“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,

“Recognizing that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghan Authorities and welcoming the cooperation of the Afghan Government with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF),

“Recognizing the multifaceted and interconnected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan, reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance and development, as well as the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics is mutually reinforcing and welcoming the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government and the international community to address these challenges in a coherent manner through the comprehensive framework provided by the Afghanistan Compact,

“Stressing the central role that the United Nations continues to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, noting, in the context of a comprehensive approach, the synergies in the objectives of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and of ISAF, and stressing the need for further sustained cooperation, coordination and mutual support, taking due account of their respective designated responsibilities,

“Reiterating its concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the increased violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, illegally armed groups and those involved in the narcotics trade, and the links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, national security forces and international military and civilian personnel,

“Expressing also its concern over the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and other extremist groups on the capacity of the Afghan Government to guarantee the rule of law, to provide basic services to the Afghan people, and to ensure the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,

“Reiterating its support for the continuing endeavours by the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) coalition, to improve the security situation and to continue to address the threat posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups, and stressing in this context the need for sustained international efforts, including those of ISAF and the OEF coalition [note the support for OEF],

“Condemning in the strongest terms all attacks, including Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks, suicide attacks and abductions, targeting civilians and Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemning further the use by the Taliban and other extremist groups of civilians as human shields,

“Expressing its concern about all civilian casualties, and reiterating its call for all feasible steps to be taken to ensure the protection of civilian life and for international humanitarian and human rights law to be upheld,

“Recognizing the robust efforts taken by ISAF and other international forces to minimize the risk of civilian casualties, notably the continuous review of tactics and procedures and the conduct of after-action reviews in cooperation with the Afghan Government in cases where civilian casualties have reportedly occurred,

“Stressing the need for further progress in security sector reform, including further strengthening of the Afghan National Army and Police, disbandment of illegal armed groups, justice sector reform and counter-narcotics,

“Stressing in this context the importance of further progress in the reconstruction and reform of the Afghan prison sector, in order to improve the respect for the rule of law and human rights therein,

“Reiterating its call on all Afghan parties and groups to engage constructively in peaceful political dialogue within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and in the socio-economic development of the country, and to avoid resorting to violence including through the use of illegal armed groups,

“Recognizing the importance of the contribution of neighbouring and regional partners for the stabilization of Afghanistan, and stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, governance and development in Afghanistan,

“Welcoming the completion of ISAF’s expansion throughout Afghanistan, the continued coordination between ISAF and the OEF coalition, and the cooperation established between ISAF and the European Union presence in Afghanistan, in particular its police mission (EUPOL Afghanistan),

“Expressing its appreciation for the leadership provided by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and for the contributions of many nations to ISAF and to the OEF coalition, including its maritime interdiction component,

“Determining that the situation in Afghanistan still constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

“Determined to ensure the full implementation of the mandate of ISAF, in coordination with the Afghan Government,

“Acting for these reasons under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Decides to extend the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force, as defined in resolutions 1386 (2001) and 1510 (2003), for a period of 12 months beyond 13 October 2007;

“2. Authorizes the Member States participating in ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate;

“3. Recognizes the need to further strengthen ISAF to meet all its operational requirements, and in this regard calls upon Member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to ISAF, and to make contributions to the Trust Fund established pursuant to resolution 1386 (2001);

“4. Stresses the importance of increasing the effective functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector in order to provide long-term solutions to security in Afghanistan, and encourages ISAF and other partners to sustain their efforts, as resources permit, to train, mentor and empower the Afghan national security forces, in particular the Afghan National Police;

“5. Calls upon ISAF to continue to work in close consultation with the Afghan Government and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General as well as with the OEF coalition in the implementation of the force mandate;

“6. Requests the leadership of ISAF to keep the Security Council regularly informed, through the Secretary-General, on the implementation of its mandate, including through the provision of quarterly reports;

“7. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”


2:30 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

One for the sisters:

7:24 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Some people just don't get it.

That last comment I deleted was from the same guy whose comment I deleted a couple of days back, and who failed to notice the reason I gave for deleting him that time around, which was:

"Just someone I have been far too patient with; incapable of learning anything; send him in a rocket to the moon with a video camera and he'll came back still saying the earth is flat.

"His last churlish and pathetically ill-informed remark on the subject of Afghanistan happened to be an attack on a very brave friend of mine, the very morning she arrived back in Kabul.

"New policy around here. I'm deleting smartasses on sight,and deleting thoughtless, no-nothing comments on sight.

"Don't like it?

"Go tell Exra Levant."

12:51 AM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:45 AM  
Blogger bp said...

Might I suggest replacing the above post with:

[Imbecile natters on with childish remarks--displays embarrassing ignorance and insecurity. Go away, prick.]

Where's Will when you need him...

2:20 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

He claims I once referred to his unusually stupid blog as an unusually intelligent blog. Maybe I did once. I expect I was just trying to be nice.

I'm tired of being nice.

6:47 AM  
Blogger OregonGuy said...

If you can, please forgive my intemperate remarks.

I had a template of Gordon Sinclair in the background of my thinking, and while I thought I was typing irony, I find that the sarcasm button was stuck.

And any slight to General Dallaire imagined was clearly not my intent. Although, clarity is arguably not present in the first place.

I was in a rush to get off to the golf course. With temperatures in the 50's and sunny weather, I knew and forgot the first rule: rewrite.

My fault.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

No problem, Oregon Guy.

. . .but you had to rub it in with the bit about the golf course and the sunny weather. Do you have any IDEA how cold it is up in Canada right now?

Well, not cold where I am. But still.



1:17 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

"Transmontanus": South of some mountains and north of a certain border. Where it will all end knows only the Pope and the Weatherperson.


5:32 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

Thanks, Oregon guy, for the clarification and unreserved apology. In that spirit I apologize for any dark thoughts I had about you. We can all lose the plot now and again, but admitting it is a good thing.

6:23 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

Thanks, Oregon guy, for the clarification and unreserved apology. In that spirit I apologize for any dark thoughts I had about you. We can all lose the plot now and again, but admitting it is a good thing.

6:23 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

That weird guy is back again. Long, long, incoherent screed, summed up by "I don't even know what your talking about."

8:23 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:46 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:13 PM  

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