What did we accomplish in Afghanistan?


The Toronto Star’s Paul Watson spent a month in Afghanistan and reported back in a series of articles—see here, here and here—on Canadian development efforts. Julian Fantino is unimpressed.

It’s really unfair—and that’s why I take exception to the Toronto Star article—how you can be so critical of a nation, in our own country, that is so lauded, and appreciated, and recognized elsewhere in the world…be it NGOs, Canadian government, Canadian funds, are touching the most needy people, in the most destitute situations all over the world. And yet right at home here we’re being [pilloried]. And that’s so, so childish. It’s immature. It’s total lack of appreciation for the goodness of Canadians and what we’re doing around the world.


What did we accomplish in Afghanistan?

  1. Shorter Fantino: Investigating our claims is unpatriotic!

  2. The Star was supposed to stay home and report that our aid dollars have rebuilt civil society and created a flourishing democracy in Afghanistan. Didn’t they read the press releases?

  3. ‘total lack of appreciation for the goodness of Canadians’

    There must be no criticism of Canada ever….by the UN, or by other countries, or even by Canadians. We have achieved perfection.

  4. You might want to follow up on this Star poster Aaron. There is a contact name and email address on the link below. Nipa Banerjee has an axe to grind. Funny, the local Afgans sound a lot like some of our FNs.

    Serious errors in fact

    First, full disclosure–I am the public affairs officer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South. This article is misleading and has a number of significant errors in fact. Cont. in next post.

    1. The Canadian effort to rehabilitate the irrigation canal network in Kandahar province was successful, and significantly reduced the loss of water due to seepage and other causes. It was the first part of a effort that included raising the height of dam to increase storage. The journalist should actually contact CIDA for correct information on their effort.

    2. The U.S. has assumed responsibility for the second phase of this effort, after the Canadian pull-out, and is working on awarding contracts to raise the height of Dahla Dam and repair various components of the dam. You can find a factual account of the U.S. planned effort here:


  5. How much time did Watson spend in Afghanistan in framing his conclusions? How much time has the sanctimonious Fantino spent there in rejecting those conclusions?

    ‘Nuff said…

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