He was doing so well until he opened his mouth
Jack Layton and the NDP have absolutely no clue how a nation's military functions - both internally, and as a tool of foreign policy. If they did, Jack wouldn't be spouting such utter nonsense to national reporters:
"We're very concerned that we could be heading down a path into a longer term war in Afghanistan as opposed to the role that was initially established, which was a peacekeeping role," he said.
"Our view is that the peacekeeping role is one that Canadians support. Offensive roles are not roles that Canadians support, and certainly our party does not support."
Now this isn't the first time I've commented on Moustache Man's ignorance as to Canada's recent military history in Afghanistan. But let's put aside his convenient memory lapse when it comes to Op's Anaconda and Harpoon. Let's disregard his willful ignorance of JTF2 and its ongoing use in offensive missions.
Let's ingest the appropriate hallucinogens and take a short vacation in Jackland. Let's pretend he's right, that there was a peace to keep in 2002 when we first sent troops over, and that our mission in Afghanistan was purely peacekeeping.
How do you keep the peace? In a country struggling to establish a democratic system of government, do you let armed anti-democratic factions retain control of neighbourhoods, provinces, whole sections of the countryside? Do you stay holed up in your base and hope they don't lob mortar shells down on to your barracks? Do you allow them to terrorize the general populace, stone women in the streets, shoot unbearded men?
Most folks with a smidgen of sense can see what a dismal plan that would be. Unfortunately, Jack's not one of them. Offensive operations are essential in a situation like this. It's not Cyprus, where we're monitoring a ceasefire. We need to create a peace before we can keep it, and that means flipping over rocks and stomping hard on whatever comes scurrying out.
Until the NDP can get a grip - a credible and serious grip - on issues of national security and the use of military force as an integral tool of foreign policy, they will continue to be rightly dismissed by sensible Canadians to permanent opposition.
Jack needs some better advice on military matters. Because a man who was properly prepared to step in as Canada's next Prime Minister wouldn't say what he just did.