Here is the response from Jack Layton, leader of the New democratic Party of Canada:
Thank you for your recent email regarding Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
I have heard from many others also deeply concerned about Canada’s combat involvement in Afghanistan. More and more Canadians are coming to the same conclusion as the NDP. That this Bush-style counter-insurgency offensive is simply not working.
Five years after the invasion of Afghanistan, it is reasonable to examine the present situation. NDP Defence Critic Dawn Black has released our Party’s comprehensive report on the Conservative-Liberal mission in Afghanistan. It provides background on the conflict, analyzes the issues faced by Canadian troops and Afghan citizens, and offers concrete solutions to help stabilize the country.
In commenting on our report, journalist Barbara Yaffe said, “New Democrats, crowded on the political left by Liberals and Greens, are distinguishing themselves with a bold, common-sense position on Canada’s Afghanistan mission. …The NDP’s blunt conclusion is one that is mighty hard to refute.” (Vancouver Sun, July 10, 2007)
For more information, please visit: http://www.ndp.ca/page/5462
Some will say that if we do not support the mission, then we do not support our troops or we are abandoning the people of Afghanistan. This is not the case. We support our troops and their families and it is out of the deep respect for them and the people of Afghanistan that we are calling for a de-escalation of this conflict. http://www.ndp.ca/page/5496
Issues as serious as war require leadership. Unfortunately the Conservatives have adopted George Bush’s strategy of “might is right” and the Liberals try to come down on all sides of the issue. I have challenged the Liberals and Bloc to answer the question: “if the mission is wrong in 2009 – why isn’t it wrong also in 2007?”
While the other parties fail to provide leadership, the NDP has been clear from the beginning that Canada needs to begin a safe and immediate withdrawal from the combat-fighting in Afghanistan. I and my Party are not prepared to compromise on an issue as serious as war. In a speech given earlier this year I explain fully our position: http://www.ndp.ca/page/5023.
Looking forward, whether it’s on climate change, child care, prescription drugs, corporate crime, the high cost of ATM fees, takeovers by foreign companies, or the war in Afghanistan the federal NDP is working on the issues that everyday Canadians care about. You can find out more about our work at http://www.ndp.ca or by subscribing to our e-mail bulletin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, I appreciate hearing from you. All the best.
Jack Layton, MP (Toronto-Danforth)
Leader, Canada’s New Democrats