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Afghanistan and Canada: can we hold the line to 2011?

August 31, 2009

In the wake of the August 20th Afghanistan presidential elections, the “issue-threads” on that country have multiplied and it’s good to see a leading  Canadian news organization drill down into details.

But three areas remain under reported:

-the thinking behind the U.S. troop surge and continuing high level military reviews about “the situation.”

-the status of the U.S. anti-war effort.

-stories and information about Canada’s anti-war movement.

U.S. troop surge. Behind the headlines of what NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal is up to – reports suggest today that he may ask for 20,000 more international troops:  The Dreyfuss Report provides a two part evaluation of select American “think-tank-thinking” that often sets the frame for how the North American and European media report the war. Everything NATO and Canada does in Afghanistan operates within the world-view of men like McChrystal and US central command head, Gen David Petraeus. Too often major Canadian media present only the watered down versions of the thinking behind the military strategy.

U.S. anti-war organizations. A recent post at the New York Times gives Canadian readers an at-a-glance review: this fall, protests, teach-ins, and memorials are planned although such efforts are subdued compared to the anti-Iraq war movement. A key reason, of course, liberals ginger about taking on President Obama. A must see for Canadians – and apologies to those readers who are more up to speed on this: Robert Greenwald’s six episode Internet film, “Rethink Afghanistan” – Greenwald interviews academics, Afghans and former CIA operatives to raise questions about issues that Canadians must know about: civilian casualties, women’s rights, the cost of the war, and whether it has made the US safer.

Canada’s anti-war movement. FromVancouver, this site provides a look into “what’s going on” but I welcome links and feedback from across Canada. Is there a grass roots movement, not dominated by the “hard left” in our country? Compared to President Obama, our Prime Minister isn’t nearly as popular. And yet, 2011 – our “A/stan expiry” date – seems to give “mainstream” Canadians a sense of complacency. What am I missing?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. canworldjon permalink*
    September 1, 2009 2:02 am

    That’s an interesting line for Will to be taking. At one time, Will pretty much towed the line of the Conservative Establishment. But these days, he’s often been one of Obama’s best defenders within conservative media. I wonder what pot he is stirring here…

  2. reneethewriter permalink
    August 31, 2009 6:46 pm

    Update: HuffPost reports that George Will the US conservative commentator will publish a call for complete US troop withdrawal from A/Stan. Apparently, he will call for things like “drone strikes” ( oh dear) etc. To some of us Olde NewsHounde Types, a bit of an icon, in a Newsweekish sort of way – not sure he is that relevant anymore but interesting. Pundits speculate his stance will split the US conservatives. It will also create more headaches for Obama. Developing.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26628.html

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