ooLiberal leader Stéphane Dion, on CBC Radio’s call-in show Cross-Country Checkup, gave a new take on why Canada’s military should withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011.
“We have other roles to carry in the world, including by the way the Olympics that are coming in Vancouver where we’ll need our military forces big time to welcome the world for matter of security.”
“So this is what is the policy of the Liberal Party of Canada, only the Liberal party of Canada will give you the iron-clad guarantee that this (Afghan) mission will end in 2011.”
What Dion didn't mention is the Vancouver Olympics are in 2010, long before the withdrawal Dion backed in parliament.
Dion contrasted Liberal leaders to Conservative leader Stephen Harper, whom Dion said, on foreign policy, follows the Americans “on everything.”
He reminded a caller that former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien kept Canada out of Iraq, but he said “Mr. Harper wanted us to go in the war in Iraq. He’s not a prudent man, he’s always willing to follow the view of the Americans. He thinks the Americans are our model.”
“To me, the Americans are not our model. They are our ally, but not a model.”
Dion stressed Canada was involved in a NATO mission there, “not an American mission.”
“Until 2011, we need to do our best to provide more security in Afghanistan, more training for their troops, their police, more hospitals, more schools and it’s a miracle what we’re doing there.”
Dion said he was proud that “we’re one of the rare countries in the world that never sent our army abroad for other reasons than for peace and democracy and justice.”
He said if he thought most people in Afghanistan “see us as an invading force,” he would demand an immediate withdrawal.
- Tonda MacCharles