Canada announced on Thursday that it had halted evacuations of its citizens and vulnerable Afghans from Afghanistan, admitting it did not know how many were left behind.
Just days before the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban, Canada said it had identified 6,000 Afghans for evacuation. In the end, only 3,700 Canadian citizens and Afghans were rescued.
Advocates and officials have said that Canada’s rescue effort was half-hearted, falling far short of what other allies were doing. In fact, even the public agreed – some 54 per cent of Canadians think Ottawa should have acted more quickly to help Afghans, according to a Postmedia/Leger poll published on Wednesday.
Trudeau has been pressed on Afghanistan every day of the campaign so far. Last Friday, a reporter read out a message from a person with relatives trapped in Afghanistan who told the Prime Minister that “their blood will be on your hands” if any were killed by the Taliban.
But did Trudeau address the statement head-on? No chance. In typical fashion, he responded with meaningless talking-points prepared by party advisors:
“I can’t imagine, the despair, the anguish that so many individuals are facing … this is a horrific situation,” he said.
“Canada’s poor initial response in Kabul points to an extreme of centralized political micro-management,” said Andrew Leslie, a retired Canadian General and former head of the army. Leslie was also a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2015 to 2019.
Trudeau’s management of the Afghan crisis has been nothing short of a disaster.
He has had years to make sure that people who were at risk because they served Canada in a volatile country could be evacuated safely in times of crisis. Yet, thousands of Canadians remain in Afghanistan due to poor planning from the Liberal Party.
Then again, can we expect anything different from a Party who’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality called the Taliban “our brothers” earlier this week? Hardly.
(Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie)