William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

DECISIONS NOT TOO SWIFT AND NOT TOO WISE ARE BEING MADE BY THE MANDARIN OTTAWA GUYS

Shut down our Department of Fisheries, and our Canadian Coast Guard.
Sell off our plant disease station making life on the West Coast real hard.
Save $79.3 Million but send a $110 Million to Afghanistan’s President Karzai.
Cutting the jobs of Canadian Workers deleting out their piece of the pie.

Murder, terrorism, corruption, extortion, narcotics, smuggling, intimidation:
That is the situation within the past and present Corrupt Afghanistan Nation.
Sending taxpayers monies down a rat hole after all our troops come home.
Old soldiers like me get inspiration and information to write more poor poems.

Colonel Patrick Stogram made comments re the Federal Government Policies.
His blunt criticisms of the ministers and mandarins were not meant to please.
A straight shooter Col P@ has left a known path of honesty and plain truth.
He gives us lots of hard facts to be used in some future Federal voting booth.

Time Colonist: SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012

Why Cut Jobs At Home, Just To Send Money To Afghanistan?

Jim Hume
Jim Hume
I was dismayed to read recently that “ … the entire Department of Fisheries and Oceans contaminants program is being shut down effective April, 2013 … The entire pollution file [covering] the marine environment in Canada’s three oceans will be overseen by five junior biologists, including one stationed in B. C. … DFO spokeswoman Melanie Carkner said between Fisheries and the Canadian Coast Guard, about $79.3 million has been saved for the Canadian taxpayer… “

The job-loss announcement, one of many made in the 2012 federal budget, came hard on the heels of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s affirmation of Canada’s determination to withdraw all Canadian military forces from Afghanistan, but with the promise to continue to send financial aid to Afghans at the rate of $110 million annually for several years.

I am not comforted by the thought that the $79.3 million saved by slashing Fisheries and Oceans environmental control programs, plus another $21 million “saved” by chopping funding to everything from art to archives, will now be parcelled and packed for delivery to Afghanistan. And I find no consolation in Prime Minister Harper’s promise that he intends to keep a controlling eye on the way the Afghans spend the millions saved by his “pink slip” program.

It isn’t that the Canadian contribution to what is generally acknowledged as one of the world’s most corrupt governments is excessive. It’s the same amount Britain is kicking in, $10 million more than Australia’s $100 million, but $85 million less than Germany, which has $195 million a year slated for Kabul. And it’s peanuts when compared with the U.S. pledge of $2.3 billion a year, which is a little more than half the estimated $4.1 billion a year required to “handle counterinsurgency” in Afghanistan.

Back in February, the Globe and Mail interviewed six prominent Canadians with active participation and on site experience in Afghan affairs. They were asked if the end result, as Canada leaves the field of its longest war, was worth the cost.

Only one of the six, Chris Alexander, former ambassador in Kabul, had anything positive to say. He felt the freeing of the education system from Taliban control made the effort worthwhile. The other five, although full of praise for the men and women who served in armed or relief forces there, thought little of permanent value had been achieved. And retired Col. Pat Stogran, who fought with his troops in the mountain passes of Afghanistan in 2002 and later became Canada’s first veterans ombudsman, was blunt in his criticism of the federal government’s Afghan policies – and of the Ottawa bureaucrats who administer them.

Asked what had been achieved in Afghanistan, Stogran’s reply was as caustic as his earlier ombudsman reports – which cost him his job after one term in office. He said: “Claims by ministers and mandarins of great accomplishments are impossible to verify. At best, there is a thin veneer of progress concealing an Afghan society still tormented by smuggling, extortion, murder, intimidation and the narcotics trade. Kandahar will undoubtedly fall back into the hands of the Taliban. And because we demonized the Taliban as “murderers and scumbags,” Canada likely alienated itself from moderate factions and lost any credibility to possibly influence a peaceful transition to a more moderate form of government.”

Why do I find it difficult to believe Stephen Harper can control distribution of the $110 million we’re sending them courtesy of lost jobs in Canada? Why can’t I shake this notion that charity should begin at home? Why can’t I understand how we can afford to send $110 million a year to any country, let alone one rife with corruption while our own national debt grows larger with every budget?

But I shouldn’t fret too much about not understanding macroeconomics. Heck, I can’t even understand the microeconomics of international trade at the cross-border shopping level. On the one hand, I’m asked to shop at home, to support locally owned businesses and keep downtown vibrant; on the other I’m encouraged to nip over to Seattle or Port Angeles where, since June 1, I have been able to buy almost anything at a lower price than the same goods locally and after a 24-hour stay can now bring $200 worth home duty-free. After a 48-hour stay I can up my duty-free to $800. That’s per person; so a couple taking a weekend break can up the duty-free total to $1,600 that they won’t be spending downtown, uptown or anywhere else locally.

It was the ancient philosopher Seneca (8 BC to 65 AD) who first wrote “what fools these mortals be” before the world had completed its first century Anno Domini. And here we are, 2000 years later, still proving the truth of his words.