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NDP abandonment of anti-war stance an outrage

(From John Shafer) To enter this coalition the New Democratic Party has abandoned it’s principled opposition to Canada’s participation in the US led Terror War in Afghanistan. As the Canadian casualties topped 100, and as US Defence Secretary Gates urged Canada to keep fighting for pipelines and plunder, the NDP went instantaneously from being ANTI WAR to being PRO WAR: http://www.canadaeast.com/news/article/500862

And nary a word was heard in protest… Is Canada’s anti-war movement that much of a creature of the NDP? I think it is and that must be remedied. When will what remains of the Canadian left voice their outrage and protest? Or do they care?

Just in case they’ve forgotten ‘Taliban Jack”s email, I have it here: layton.j@parl.gc.ca

The NDP should be ashamed of itself. And we should get to work on making it so. The silence and absence is very disappointing and very significant. Or do we all support this dirty little deal to replace the existing US waterboys in Ottawa with these pseudo-socialists?

“a party of the working class, led by the middle class, in the interests of the ruling class” is an accurate description of the NDP and this kind of betrayal is historically what they do best.

Take a minute to express your outrage and protest. Tell others to do the same.

in resistance, js Thanks for the comments John. Here’s the full article by Murray Brewster from the Canadian Press:

OTTAWA - New Democrats will stop opposing Canada’s war in Afghanistan while the party is in league with the Liberals, the NDP’s deputy leader declared Wednesday.

It’s a significant concession for a party that has been the standard-bearer for the peace movement in Canada.

“The NDP is putting aside its differences that have existed historically with the Liberals on such issues as Afghanistan,” said Thomas Mulcair, the party’s only MP in Quebec.

“Because we understand, in the interest of the Canadian population, the overarching principle is that we act on the economy and in the interest of Canadian families.”

In order to seal its coalition with the Liberals on Monday, NDP Leader Jack Layton gave up the party’s demand for a reversal of planned corporate tax cuts, but made no mention of the war.

Asked this week whether their position on Afghanistan had changed, several New Democrat MPs laughed nervously and ducked the question.

Political observers have said the fourth-place party, long-known as the conscience of Parliament, has to make key compromises to keep the coalition together.

Mulcair declined to respond when asked whether the party’s election campaign promise to impose a moratorium on further oil sands development in Alberta was also being shelved.

Liberal finance critic Scott Brison said the gravity of the economic crisis and the unravelling political situation has had a sobering effect on both coalition partners, as well as the Bloc Quebecois.

“All three parties recognize the seriousness and as such we are putting aside our differences to focus on common ground,” he said Wednesday.

As his leadership was up for a vote at the NDP’s 2006 convention in Quebec City, Layton pushed through a motion calling for the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

He soon became a target for the Conservatives in the House of Commons, who nicknamed him “Taliban Jack,” ridiculing his call for peace negotiations with militants.

Over the years, Layton has said Canada’s role should be focused on traditional peacekeeping and reconstruction rather than front-line combat.

The NDP’s demand for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan was greeted with some sympathy by factions of the Liberal party, including at the time its newly minted leader Stephane Dion.

Ending Canada’s combat mission by February 2009, as originally intended, became Dion’s middle-ground position - one that he eventually abandoned when the Liberals supported Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s extension of the mission until 2011.

Steve Staples, of the Rideau Institute, said the policy shift wasn’t unexpected.

“I suspect with the NDP helping make the decisions there will be more of an emphasis on diplomacy and efforts to end the war,” said Staples, executive director of the left-leaning think-tank.

The Conference of Defence Associations, a pro-military organization that’s often been at loggerheads with the NDP, welcomed the reversal but wondered whether it was political opportunism rather than a genuine conversion.

“It’s difficult to understand that the NDP would all of sudden completely change its policy on our presence in Afghanistan,” said the association’s executive director Alain Pellerin.

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