I've been mocking the hell out of that bullshit so far as the NDP's economics have yet to prove themselves as completely disastrous as those of the mainstream Conservative and Liberal parties. The NDP's real problem is that they're attempting to swim against the current of the dominant ideology, which is, at present, a Frankenstein's monster of theories ("neo-liberalism," "free-markets," "monetarism") used to rationalize and entrench capitalist hegemony.
No matter how much damage people like Paul Martin or Jim Flaherty did, are doing, will do, they will always get a free ride from the corporate media because they are conforming to the dominant paradigm. Their ideas and policies, no matter how self-evidently failed, will always be the default position.
But, I thought that I'd add to that the reality that our hegemonic political culture is deeply deluded and deranged by pointing once again, to the atrocity that is our Afghanistan policy. Once again, we see the Conservatives and the Liberals acting in virtual lock-step to ensure that Canada play its role as a pee-wee league partner of US imperialism.
As we did in Haiti, in Afghanistan, we justify our presence with the bullshit "responsibility to protect" doctrine, which was apparently cooked-up by an Australian politician, Gareth Evans, who helped Indonesia's Suharto carve-up the oil resources of tiny East Timor which Indonesia had invaded. Seems that the former and current imperialist powers of Europe and North America, being "democracies" ("Cough! George W. Bush!" "Cough! 'Stephen "Prorogue' Harper!") are once again "the good guys" and various swarthy "Third-Worlders" are "the bad guys." (These "bad" Third-worlders tend to be leaders who don't assidously kiss the asses of the imperialists and who exhibit outbursts of independence. Corrupt, cruel dictators who toe the imperialists' line never seem to have to worry about our righteous fury. Funny that.) It's the job (once again) of the white knights of Europe and the USA to travel around the world, righting wrongs and defending the weak.
In Afghanistan, it went down like this: Neo-con US politicians, through Pakistan's ISI bankroll Islamic fundamentalists to battle the Soviets in Afghanistan. US ally Saudi Arabia fundamentalist schools in Pakistan which train fundamentalist fighters (the Taliban) to serve both their goals and Pakistan's ISI. The US-financed warlords defeat the Soviet-backed Afghan government and tear the country apart in a crazed battle for supremacy. (The US walks away.) The Pashtun Taliban eventually pours in and pushes out the warlords to their own non-Pashtun enclave where they unite to form the "Northern Alliance."
One fundamentalist strongman in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, is allowed to settle in Afghanistan, on the run from the CIA. He is allowed to do so out of gratitude for his important contributions against the Soviets. While harbouring bin Laden, the Taliban is courted by US oil interests hoping to build a pipeline through their country and are also lauded for their assistance in clamping down on Afghanistan's heroin exports. On September 11th, 2001, the United States suffers a terrorist attack and Osama bin Laden claims responsibility for it. The bush II regime demands bin Laden be handed over. The Taliban offers to turn him over to a third country if the US can provide evidence of his guilt. The US refuses and attacks. Nobody has bothered to count how many people starved to death that first winter of war. Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. Nobody has bothered to count.
Since then, the country has been torn by warfare, corruption, and hopelessness. Jean Chretien and Paul Martin had the first brain-fart to go along with this. It was under their watch that the prisoners taken by our soldiers were handed over to the US at Bagram, which fell under a cloud because the US was found to be torturing people to death there. So, the only sensible, serious thing to do was to have the sensible, serious, experienced Rick Hillier sign a shitty deal with the torturers of the Afghan government, to hand our prisoners over to them. stephen harper then came to power and wanted to show he was "tough" by presiding over a policy of obstruction and indifference about our prisoners.
Arggh! Look, I've said all this before. Canada's involvement in Afghanistan is this: We've been there since late-2001. It is now 2011. Our soldiers have fought, killed, and died, to help prop-up a government of narco-traffickers, rapists, and thieves. We have, without a doubt, handed innocent farmers over to be tortured, which is a war crime. And BOTH the Liberals and the Conservatives have signed on for more of this:
These are the policies that the "serious" and "experienced" hacks of the Liberals and the harpercons have brought us. And they think their warnings about the NDP should be taken seriously?
KABUL, Afghanistan - A veteran Afghan military pilot said to be distressed over his personal finances opened fire at Kabul airport after an argument Wednesday, killing eight U.S. troops and an American civilian contractor.
Those killed were trainers and advisers for the nascent Afghan air force. (Emphases are pogge's.)