Saturday, February 9, 2008

MacKay: "Liberals & NDP Are Fundamentally, Ideologically Opposed To Reality"

It sounds like France is answering the call and plans to send well over half of the 1,000 troops and equipment called for by the Manley Report. MacKay has spent the last week shoring up support from NATO countries and claims to be making good progress.

The Globe has it:

Canada is continuing to press forward in its attempt to shore up NATO reinforcements for the combat effort in southern Afghanistan, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Saturday.

A tired-looking Mr. MacKay was in Halifax for the provincial Conservatives' annual general meeting immediately after returning from Lithuania where he sought support at a meeting of NATO ministers.

Before a luncheon address, the Defence Minister said there had been diplomatic progress, but he didn't elaborate on whether that would result in the 1,000 troops for which Ottawa is looking.


France is hinting it might respond to the Canadian request for help in Afghanistan.

But French officials have already suggested they won't be able to provide the entire force of 1,000, and a decision either way likely wouldn't be made before April, as Canada would prefer.

Meanwhile, Mr. MacKay used his speech to launch a fresh attack against the opposition parties in the wake of Friday's confidence motion to extend Canada's combat role until February 2011 – two years past the current deadline.

Mr. MacKay targeted Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion, saying his policy of ending the combat role while maintaining troops to train Afghan forces and provide security won't work.

“Let's be frank: Development and security go hand in hand,” he told the audience.

“To suggest, as some have, that we can do one without the other is nothing short of pure folly, and in fact it's dangerous.”

Mr. MacKay charged that Mr. Dion and NDP Leader Jack Layton – whose New Democrats want to pull Canada's troops out of Afghanistan immediately – are ignoring the reality that Canada's mission is producing “incredible results.”

“In fact, I'm sometimes left to believe that some members of the Liberal and NDP caucus are fundamentally, ideologically opposed to reality when they have this discussion,” Mr. MacKay said.

He added that the ultimate choice comes down to a matter of protecting and projecting the country's values of freedom and democracy.

“We have to stand strong with the allies at this time,” Mr. MacKay said. “We have to be prepared to do something about it and that sometimes means fighting.”

Emphasis mine.

MacKay has been in fine form of late. The media's going to love that line about the Libs and Dippers being opposed to reality. High quality vitriol.

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