Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Grow a pair, John Manley

The headline reads "Harper's Afghan comments spot-on, says Manley" What does the former Liberal foreign affairs minister and perpetually rumoured leadership candidate have to say?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's candid statement that the Taliban cannot be defeated -- and that responsibility for the war must instead be given to Afghans -- was endorsed on Monday by John Manley, who chaired an authoritative 2008 investigation into Canada's mission in Afghanistan.


Manley said years of "rhetoric around democracy" had raised false hopes in Canada that NATO could build a modern country "out of a very poor, highly dysfunctional state."
Instead, he said NATO must focus on more basic goals of economic development, and of building up Afghan institutions.

"The prime minister is right that the objective should be to 'Afghanize' security, by training and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces, army and police, so that they take it over," said Manley in an e-mail on Monday. "Canada should fulfill its military commitment without flinching through 2011, and expect to make continuing contributions to development and governance thereafter."

Let’s take a closer look at John’s comments here, particularly this one:

Manley said years of "rhetoric around democracy" had raised false hopes in Canada that NATO could build a modern country "out of a very poor, highly dysfunctional state."

While we ponder just whose cut and run, with us or with the terrorists rhetoric that was all those years, here’s another line from the story:

Manley's Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan called on Ottawa 15 months ago for honest talk about the mission. In an CNN interview televised on Sunday, Harper did exactly that.

So John Manley is lauding Harper for no longer pushing rhetoric he says has raised false hopes about the mission while giving him a pass for raising all that rhetoric in the first place. Manley is also lauding Harper for heeding his panel’s recommendation for honest talk with Canadians, some 15 MONTHS AFTER he recommended it, and doing it ON CNN, which I’m sure some Canadians probably do watch.

Honestly, John Manley, grow a freakin’ pair, will you? You seem to have no problem going on TV and “telling it as you see it” when it involves stabbing a knife in the back of the leader of the political party you purport to be a supporter of. Can you not summon a fraction of that supposed gumption to call Bullshit on the obvious revisionism and shortcomings of the Harper government?

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Anonymous said...

Great Post! I've been thinking about the same thing, and your assessment is right on.

I don't mind that he gave credit for Harper and company recognizing reality, but did he have to do it with lips fully puckered. There are plenty of ways to have played this, for example, simply explaining that the evolution of thinking is welcome. But to virtually slobber over Harper, like he has performed some act of bravery to be emulated after he spent years slamming everyone else.

Rolling my eyes over this one.

I think John Manley regards himself as a great statesman so he's just happy to get a gig and plenty of airtime as the ever-rumoured "leadership" candidate.

I'm not impressed.

Jeff said...

Is there a Senate seat from Ontario opening-up soon perhaps?