An Angus Reid poll released on New Year's Day finds that a majority of those polled do not want to see the Afghan mission extended beyond Feb 2009. (Link to press release. Link to full poll results - pdf.)
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? - Canada should extend the mission in Afghanistan beyond February 2009
Barnett Rubin, the leading scholar on Afghanistan, was in Manhattan on Sept 11/01. He wrote about it on his blog recently:
... I went up to the roof of a friend's apartment building, together with a friend of hers whom I did not know. It was about noon. The Towers had collapsed, and we saw the huge clouds of smoke. At that time we didn't know about the heroic achievement of the New York Police and Fire Department in evacuating people from the buildings. I thought I was watching the death of 10,000, maybe 20,000 people. And I was pretty sure who was responsible. I had been writing about the "Arab Islamists in Afghanistan" since 1989. Now I knew why Ahmad Shah Massoud had been assassinated two days earlier, on September 9, 2001, in Afghanistan's first suicide bombing.
My old friend (she had been a fellow student of my wife at the University of Chicago 30 years before), knowing of my "expertise," asked me the question I dread, What happens now? My standard answer is that I am not an expert on the future; I have never even been there. But on September 11, 2001, I lost my pessoptimistic irony. I didn't know what would happen. But I knew what I feared: that the U.S. would lash out in anger, blaming Afghans for an act planned in their country by a group they did not control. "I hope we don't just carpet-bomb Qandahar," I said. I don't recall what my friend's friend said exactly, but it was something like, "Kill them all." And this was within shouting distance of where Bob Dylan and Joan Baez started their careers when I was in junior high school. ... (link)