Thursday, February 07, 2008

Manley-minus: Cherry-picking the Manley Report

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I been seein’ a new hyphenated word a coupla times in the past coupla days: Manley-minus.

Manley-minus refers to Harper’s motion on Afghanistan and his response to the Manley Report. Dear Leader is cherry-picking Manley. He wants to adopt all the war stuff and leave out all the humanitarian aid stuff. He's also leaving out any action to deal with another of Manley's primary concerns: the lack of communication by the Harper government to the Canadian public.

But one opposition source characterized the wording of the motion as "Manley-minus" - meaning that it will call for an extension of the combat role, without mentioning some of the recommendations made by the Manley panel on humanitarian aid, diplomacy, and more open communications by the federal government.
(Source - Maclean's)

Many Canadians think we're there on a massive humanitarian mission and, militarily, we're only trying to protect aid and development programs and projects. The amount of money and manpower alloted to military effort versus the amount spent on humanitarian aid belies that assumption.

Bill Doskoch has the numbers at Here's what BillyBoy sez about Manley's opus:

  • The report calculates that Canada spent $6.1 billion on its military effort in the central Asian country between fiscal 2000-01 and 2006-07.

  • The total financial aid between 2001-02 and 2006-07 was $741 million.

  • The report said Canada's average annual spending is $100 million, although the total jumped to $250 million in 2006-07.

  • There are about 2,500 military personnel deployed in Afghanistan.

  • In comparison, there are 47 civilian government employees assigned to the country: at the embassy in Kabul, at Kandahar Airfield and in the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) office in Kandahar City.

  • Of the 335 PRT team members, 315 are military personnel.

Couple all that with the fact that about 90% of intended aid money gets siphoned off to graft, bribes and corruption and we’re delivering exponentially more in military effort than in aid effort.

I hope an entreaty by the Canadian Council of Churches has some effect. I’m not optimistic, though. Harper has set a course and he’s bound and determined to make war, not peace. When does he start referring to himself as a "war prime minister"?



bigcitylib said...

I wonder if the "compromise" is supposed to be that the Libs work some of these aspects of the Manley report into the final motion via amendment.

JimBobby said...

Good point, BCL. I was expecting some of those concessions to come out as a result of yesterday's Harper-Dion pow-wow.

If such amendments are too long in materializing, the Libs will be forced to topple the Con's over the budget. Grits are divided on Afstan. Less so on budget matters.

My prediction (for now, anyways) is for a May election.