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Author Topic: The CBC's creepy obsession with the military
M. Spector
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posted 13 December 2006 10:11 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I thought I was the only one, but then John Doyle said what I had been thinking, in his column in the Globe today:
quote:
There is no period in the calendar year that breeds more nonsense and specious, nitwit sentimentality in the popular culture than this, the holiday season.

The media in general and television in particular can often exceed sentimentality and get outright sanctimonious on various issues. Right now, the CBC appears to be using the holiday season to go overboard on the matter of our military.

The other night, I turned on The National on CBC, expecting the day's news coverage, as any person might. Up popped Pastor Mansbridge in a black turtleneck sweater and suede jacket, yakking at me from a military base near Edmonton. He informed viewers that this special edition of The National was about "the home front" or some equally inane phrase. It was about our military and the mission in Afghanistan, in other words. But it was couched in we're-all-in-this-together coverage of the military and their families in that Edmonton location.

There was an air of giddiness and excitement. It was easy to tell how important it was -- the actual news of the day was hurried along so that we could get back to talking about how great the military is.

Excuse me? I haven't counted the minutes and hours that CBC-TV News has devoted to chronicling the mission in Afghanistan and the military's role, but I know what it feels like. It feels creepy. There's something odious about our public broadcaster appearing so obsequious in its obvious celebration of what the military is doing in Afghanistan.
....

The CBC's obsession with the military bespeaks a diminution of journalistic standards that is reprehensible at any time, but the clear and obvious linking of the military with the holiday season is simply appalling. It sentimentalizes the armed forces and their action in Afghanistan. War is not something to be sentimentalized at any time. To sentimentalize is to fetishize under the guise of good feeling. To fetishize the military is to appeal to the authorities for respect. And in this case, "authority" is the minority Conservative government.... Instead of advertising, the National special might as well have carried the message "Brought to you by General Rick Hillier."


Thanks for saying that, John.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 13 December 2006 11:12 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Doyle's column is spot on.

A further example was a quote from a Canadian soldier repeating the discredited, inane Bushism about we need to be fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan so we don't have to fight them later on domestic soil.

If the CBC wants to do a story on military families and the hardships they face during the holiday season, do that. But do it without mixing in the neo-Con claptrap.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
BleedingHeart
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posted 13 December 2006 01:50 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
[QB] we need to be fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan so we don't have to fight them later on domestic soil.
QB]

Shave the beard of any Taliban, put him in a polyester suit, and he would fit right in on any Conservative federal or provincial caucas.


From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 13 December 2006 02:04 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Its pure and simply war proaganda, coming from those who hold the purse strings currently. I have noticed the same thing for a good long while now, and on the Discovery Channel. But making war sentimental by attaching to the season is more than a bit much.

Thanks mspector for providing this thread so one can see one is not alone with noticing it and being furious about it!


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lego Guy
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posted 13 December 2006 02:34 PM      Profile for Lego Guy        Edit/Delete Post
The CBC is in the damned-if-I-do,damned-if-I-don't position.

If the network does not do the odd feature on the military in Afghanistan then the right-wingers would be all over their favorite whipping boy, the dumb librul CBC.

Personally, I think Global/CanWest is more obsessed with the Canadian military. By now Kevin Newman must have his own newsdesk in Afghanistan, looking at the many times he has broadcasted from there.

Or the day after Alberta chose a new premier, Global National did not run that story until showing two reports out of Afghanistan and a story about Iraq.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
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posted 13 December 2006 02:38 PM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think The National is doing a whole weeks worth of "Home Front" road stories. Monday was CFB Edmonton, nd last night was CFB Trenton, I believe. I didn't watch either of them, although I did watch the actual news that preceeded the "Home Front" segments. I doubt I will watch The National at all for the rest of the week.
From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 13 December 2006 03:32 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
I take the existence of this thread as further confirmation that the left in Canada is absolutely tone-deaf and asleep when it comes to the military. The sacrifices made for freedom by generations of Canadian military men and women is very close to the very core of Canada and Canadianism. Canada's military has earned all the respect we can bring ourselves to give it, and more. But in the minds of leftists, honouring our military is tantamount to supporting war and imperialism. The television networks are carrying programs, and the newspapers articles about the military because they know that Canadians are keenly interested in what Canada is doing militarily at this time. The blindness on the left on this one is really quite astounding - what small circles some folks must hang around in. No concept whatsoever of the near-sacred place of Canada's military in the Canadian heart.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 03:50 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Brett, your sanctimony is really out of place. I am willing to wager you do not have the close personal connections to the military that many have - including me.

Those connections, however, do not stop me from being critical of a) the mission in Afghanistan, and b) the way it is being portrayed in the MSM, and in particular on CBC which has been cheerleading for this war. I said on my blog that it looked like the CBC had been sulkily watching their friends to the south having such fun covering the Iraq war.

It is you who are tone deaf. Deaf to the same drumbeat of war, recycled over and over again, so that the CBC's coverage sounds like Pravda sounds like CNN sounds like BBC - while day after day Afghan civilians are caught in a cruel war not of their making, that has been thrust on them by the West.

And you echo George Bush, while you wonder why the left has passed you by.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 13 December 2006 03:55 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't have a problem with The National doing their broadcasting this week from CFB bases. The fact is that this country does have a lot of people in the military, and the military consumes considerable resources, and the military is involved in a stupid unwinnable war overseas and led by incompetents like Hillier. So, yeah, I want to see what our taxes are supporting, and why. I wiant to hear from the other side, what they're going through, what they're feeling and thinking. This is currently the only Canadian online forum I participate in, and the debate here is pretty one-sided (not that I have a problem with that). Watching this stuff on The National gives me a perspective I haven't had for a long time.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 13 December 2006 04:13 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
Since you raise it, Coyote, I salute your military background, and will share mine. Both my parents were in the RCAF during the war - my mother a propagandist (a perfectly legitimate occupation in wartime) with an Ottawa radio show called "L for Lancie" referring to the Lancaster bomber which my father flew, but mercifully, not overseas, on actual bombing missions over Germany. My mother's eldest brother, probably the person she loved most in her entire life, died of wounds and freezing in his life raft off the coast of France when his Hawker Hurricane was shot down by a flight of ME 109's. His brother saw action at Dieppe, and was mentally scarred for the rest of his life.

I am proud to have served in a reserve unit, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, which is the most battle-decorated reserve regiment in Canada. I am interested in military affairs, but not obsessed by them. I try to go to the Cenotaph each Remembrance Day. When I do, and at other times, I catch a glimpse of the deep regard so many average Canadians have for our armed forces. Our soldiers are not American soldiers, and Afghanistan is not Iraq. Some on the left do not seem to make these distinctions. If you do distinguish these things, then you should be as offended as I am by those who don't.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 13 December 2006 04:19 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Coyote:
Brett, your sanctimony is really out of place. I am willing to wager you do not have the close personal connections to the military that many have - including me.

Those connections, however, do not stop me from being critical of a) the mission in Afghanistan, and b) the way it is being portrayed in the MSM, and in particular on CBC which has been cheerleading for this war. I said on my blog that it looked like the CBC had been sulkily watching their friends to the south having such fun covering the Iraq war.

It is you who are tone deaf. Deaf to the same drumbeat of war, recycled over and over again, so that the CBC's coverage sounds like Pravda sounds like CNN sounds like BBC - while day after day Afghan civilians are caught in a cruel war not of their making, that has been thrust on them by the West.

And you echo George Bush, while you wonder why the left has passed you by.


Hoooooo ha, what you say is correct, and I would add: they are not pointing out that we should be and are honouring our troops and the sacrifices made Brett, they are using them as propaganda to get people in Canada on to the war path band wagon. No more than that, nothing less.

The majority of Canadians are not "keenly" interested in Afghanistan, unless it is to bring the troops home. We are being force fed war propaganda and I don't appreciate it. Because after all Harper has to bolster his forcing our troops to engage in offensive actions instead of reconstruction, and his shipping combat tanks over in his own mini shock and awe BS, in order to blow the Afghanis mud huts apart. Now we have tanks firing upon innocents for the first time since 1956 and for even less reasons and who would have thought that possible?!


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 04:19 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Doyle's column is a cheap shot. He exposes himself as a petty small minded individual.
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 04:27 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My regard for our armed forces does not extend to those who lead them into bad wars for bad reasons. You have admitted before that you could yet eat crow as to this mission - I hope you never have to. I hope we pull out before it reaches that point. Because this mission is making things worse for the people of Afghanistan, and I cannot support that.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 13 December 2006 04:31 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Could someone neutral to this argument please tell me what the TV coverage is like? I don't watch TV. I listen to CBC radio a lot, and I'm not getting any war propaganda. If anything the radio programs are smart attacks at militarism. As It Happens alone has one or two serious opponents\critiques of the US military\Bush\Iraq a week. They quote Bush constantly. Can't you make up your own mind? is what I think they're asking their listeners.
From: SW Ontario | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 04:41 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
My regard for our armed forces does not extend to those who lead them into bad wars for bad reasons.
Why we fight: Disembowelled, then torn apart: The price of daring to teach girls

From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 04:50 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"The brutalities of fundamentalists are going on under the nose of foreign troops." Joya cited examples of threats and intimidation of journalists, murder, and rape. A husband who abuses his wife, said Joya, "can be sure that he has the support of the misogynist Northern Alliance," which are the allies of Canada and the US in the current war. Joya argues that the Northern Alliance is "as brutal and antidemocratic as the Taliban was."

Forget la revolucion. Viva Joya.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 04:57 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One despicable Warlord at a time Coyote, one at a time.
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 05:01 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
. . . I have nothing to say to that. I don't know how to think like that. And if you do think like that, at least spare us the "why we fight" homilies which to you are simply a means to an end, and not principles in and of themselves.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 05:06 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
. . . I have nothing to say to that. I don't know how to think like that. And if you do think like that, at least spare us the "why we fight" homilies which to you are simply a means to an end, and not principles in and of themselves.
What principles are you espousing here? I see a complete lack of principle in your reply, it is merely a self-righteous attempt to cling to some imagined moral high ground.

[ 13 December 2006: Message edited by: Khimia ]


From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 13 December 2006 05:09 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Afghani's have been down this road before. Their's was the first civil war started by a women's rights movement. As it was with China during WWII, imperialist nations squabbling over a piece of that country, all wars in Afghanistan are proxy wars. The actual people of Afghanistan don't have two nickels to rub together. They don't have an actual say in the matter.

pbs.org

quote:
The rise of the Soviet-backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan in 1978 brought large-scale literacy programs for men and women, again alongside the abolition of bride price and other reforms beneficial to women. During this period leading up the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, reforms in areas such as education stirred resentment among religious and tribal leaders in the rural areas. Although full implementation of these reforms were limited by political exigencies, women were able to experience expanded access to education and also the opportunity to actively participate as university faculty staff.

During the Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989, Afghans lived through a devastating war fueled by external forces and funding from multiple countries, among them the United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and China. Islamic militants, or Mujahideen, thrived in rural areas and constructed their own revolutionary army with the goal of overturning all socialist policies such as those governing women's rights in general, and access education in particular.



From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 05:09 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Khimia, you walked into this thread with your chest puffed out proclaiming why we fight. When I cited an actual, you know, Afghan woman on what the practical effect of our military intervention has been, you shrugged your shoulders. C'est la vie.

I can't do that. I can't condone a military intervention on behalf of my country which has the effect of worsening the lot of the Afghan people, but tell 'em "we'll get you next time".


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 05:12 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I can't do that. I can't condone a military intervention on behalf of my country which has the effect of worsening the lot of the Afghan people, but tell 'em "we'll get you next time".
I said no such thing, please do not put words in my mouth. We are serving a noble cause in Afghanistan.

From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 05:14 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That of the United States? Or the Northern Alliance? Which of those do you consider to be "noble" in the Afghanistan context? If neither, why are allied with them? Why are we fighting for them?

Why are we sending our young men and women to die for them?


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 05:25 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Coyote - We are there to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban scourge, that is priority one. While Joya's statement is heartrending the most pressing threat to the Afghan people remains the Taliban. We are sending our Troops to fight them for the same reasons we fought WW II, to do our best to stamp out a vile enemy that operates outside the realm of humanity.
From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 13 December 2006 05:32 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's just jingoism, Khimia. If you decided to switch sides and declare war on Eurasia, you would use the same logic, or lack thereof. Meanwhile, you are putting Afghan at Canadian lives at risk to satisfy your own rhetorical pursuits. I don't find that particularly noble.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Khimia
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posted 13 December 2006 05:38 PM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That's just jingoism, Khimia. If you decided to switch sides and declare war on Eurasia, you would use the same logic, or lack thereof. Meanwhile, you are putting Afghan at Canadian lives at risk to satisfy your own rhetorical pursuits. I don't find that particularly noble.
What Pap! Your assertions would be comical if the plight of the Afghani people were not so serious.

[ 13 December 2006: Message edited by: Khimia ]


From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Buddy Kat
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posted 13 December 2006 06:06 PM      Profile for Buddy Kat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
Could someone neutral to this argument please tell me what the TV coverage is like? I don't watch TV. I listen to CBC radio a lot, and I'm not getting any war propaganda. If anything the radio programs are smart attacks at militarism. As It Happens alone has one or two serious opponents\critiques of the US military\Bush\Iraq a week. They quote Bush constantly. Can't you make up your own mind? is what I think they're asking their listeners.

Up until recently global has been the dominant propaganda machine proping up the apghan war from the "whatever the US says is good stance".

Now it looks like the cbc is taking over. I even noticed cbc doing a spin that was kinda misleading.

A few days ago karzawi had a meeting where he said that Canadian and nato troops were killing afghan children ,as well as taliban. He also said that little girls were afraid to go to school because nato had killed there parents with american bombs, and that the taliban kill there teachers.

The cbc report : karzawi says nato killing both taliban and children.

Notice how they leave out the details and whose bombs they are useing to do this dirty deed. More importantly the uselessness of schools that these little girls they prop up is the reason for fighting and more importantly ..How they are creating orphans bigtime! This would not look to good around christmas especially with the cbc playing "sandy claus" to the troops famillies.

Orphan makers where non have previously existed! Think about it. Especially at Christmas.

This is the kind of crap they hide on the tv...your supposed to read behind the lines.

I bet yor sorry you asked


From: Saskatchewan | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 13 December 2006 06:22 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
That was a useful bit of history, Fidel, especially the part about how the Taliban are very particularly the enemy of socialists. But let's not take the parallel between the Soviet occupation and today's circumstances too far. Afghans may be largely illiterate, but they are certainly not stupid. They understand that the current international force in their country will leave when some kind of local government can maintain security and peace. They know they are not dealing with the Soviets this time. That's why the majority of Afghans want us to maintain military forces there until the Taliban is defeated. Malalai Joya called on Canada to withdraw support for specific warlords, not abandon the country entirely. I don't know of any home-grown Afghan organization or person that is calling for the withdrawal of NATO forces. Not even the Bloc Quebecois are going that far, unlike the ignomious NDP.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 13 December 2006 07:12 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Not even the Bloc Quebecois are going that far, unlike the ignomious NDP.

What a pile of crap. The NDP is calling for Canadian troops to be withdrawn from counter-insurgency operations which are creating instability and making Afghanistan less - not more - secure.
http://www.ndp.ca/page/4119


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 13 December 2006 10:18 PM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
Our media is now becoming complicit, just like in U.S., did with Iraq for years. Just WHO ARE THESE SO CALLED 'TALIBAN'?

Worth saying now, again, as this war is not about ‘saving women, children, or Afghanistan' bull propaganda as few have tried to proclaim. It is a ‘seek & kill mission’, that’s it. Reports in the field demonstrate that the only ‘reconstruction’ is to build roads for the soldiers to travel on themselves. No aid, no help at all for the Afghans displaced by bombings. This is NOT about Taliban, that is a crock.

Canadian media is doing what U.S. did with Iraq, ‘labelled everyone a terrorist’, in Iraq they called them all Al Qaeda. In Afghan now they call everybody who resists their brutal war ‘insurgents’, ‘Taliban’, which IS a complete LIE. Allied government DIS-information campaign, now propagated by most in our media, just like U.S. did with Iraq. Mansbridge is particularly turning into the war ‘advocate’ of all time. He’s really making me sick.

The people now fighting our troops are not primarily anything to do with the Taliban, but frustrated Afghans themselves. Bitter resentment, broken promises, starvation, and rigid abusive occupation. Afghans waiting for promises to be fulfilled FOR 5 LONG YEARS by the ‘war on terror’ crew in Southern Afghanistan, lives in chaos, tatters, most Afghans saying now worse than under Taliban rule, no law & order, no means to make any kind of legit living at all, just oppression by military rule? Shove that, pure inhumane evil treatment is all this is.

This is inciting overt retaliation by Afghans themselves. Organized crime is moving in, where was none before ‘war on terror’, now fighting to protect their drug territory clearly after 5 years of no government outreach, no stability, no change in strategy, just military rule? This sick policy has left Afghans with no other source of survival, no protections, forcing the 'non-Taliban' population to BECOME the battle against the ‘brutal occupiers’.
This 'new insurgence' IS result of festering disillusionment of the Afghan people angered by failure to keep them safe, killing of many local population, ZERO AID, RECONSTRUCTION in Kandahar, coupled with questionable conduct of the U.S. troops (now Harper too, using exact same brutal one sided approach) in south for 5 long years, and U.S. (now Canada too) failing to 'actually keep one damn ‘aid & reconstruction promise' to the Afghan people. There is no governance structure, no protection, no organized anything, just fend for yourself ‘survival’.

Afgans are desperate, growing more hostile to the occupiers, all out 'criminal upheaval. Anti-occupation resistance, as the only means of survival, try to force the occupiers out. Children were going to school for the first 5 years, women were safe, now all is gone due to incompetence, just like U.S. (now Harper as well) did in Iraq. Aid money promised by U.S. never arrived, zero change in strategy, how long do you think people will take this? U.S. abandoned Afghanistan, and Harper is doing their dirty work now. How sanctimonious of our complicit media & some here who blame the ‘Taliban’, then justify every lie about what is really go on.

Keeping Afghans in upheaval, no rule of law but the military oppression, starving huge swaths of the people, no other choice to survive but through poppy crop ‘at risk of death’, farmers are doing the only thing they can to feed their starving families. Farmers interviewed admitted they did wish other way to live, and get peanuts for their crops, but have no other development or economic options whatever. Yah, easy to talk if your family is starving, being killed, just blame them. Bull. Push people to the extreme, no stability, no advancement, no way to make a living, then expect them not to eventually retaliate? Get real.

Calling them 'Taliban' IS PROPAGANDA which our media is fully complicit now, bolstering Harper’s cold, brutal approach, concealing the political disaster of G.W.'s South Afghanistan 'war on terror', which Harper has embraced with great zeal, bigger bombs, tanks, all combat ‘but against the Afghans themselves, not the Taliban’. Harper offered ZERO change in direction from what U.S. troops were doing in the South, sending more & more of our troops all the time, expanding the brutality, and doing NOTHING to ease the suffering or the tensions or build a governance structure in Kandahar for the native population themselves, not Taliban, mainly Pashtun’s.

This is repressive control of Afghans strictly through military might. Abusive strategy, never worked anywhere in the world, not in Iraq, and will NEVER improve Aghan. either. There is no aid, development, CIDA went to the south at the beginning in February under this new mission, but soon left by May 2006, cannot operate any aid in chaotic war zone like this. CIDA left as soon as Harper’s mission set out to fight the people, provided no diplomacy, no dialogue, no aid, just like G.W. forces, only martial law really, and people won’t take anymore of this.

5 years of this, Canadians wouldn’t even have waited this long to flip out under these conditions, no population will accept ‘pure military dominance from foreign troops, occupation indefinitely while their families are killed, displaced by allied bombings, and starving in droves. That’s beyond abuse, longer than 2nd world war, and no end in sight? The big mission where Harper bragged our troops WON, was not against Taliban as propagandized, it was against the native population themselves.

Craig Oliver said today "Canadians are liking Harper, provides strong leadership". Get out of here. This is a cold, secretive,hard-line dictatorial leader, listens to no one, puny minority, yet doesn't care 2/3 Canadians don't like the mission direction, just does whatever the hell he pleases. This is not leadership, it's just harsh domination, aggression being mistaken for true leadership. Media is not forcing Harper to be accountable to the majority elected in the house, they've given him a free pass to dictate.

Get lost with the lying propaganda from our media. It’s not our troops fault, it’s the leadership, they set the agenda. If not doing a damn thing to help the Afghan people, then get the hell out!


http://tinyurl.com/yb82fj

Who are the Taliban?

November 27, 2006
The headlines in recent weeks have been chilling: "Taliban adopting Iraq-style jihad." "Taliban becoming more brutal than the Taliban who ruled before them." "Taliban committing atrocities in Afghanistan."
It's enough to make one wonder what the heck happened in the time since U.S.-led forces apparently routed the vile Taliban from Afghanistan a scant five years ago. What allowed the Taliban to return on such a grand and menacing scale?
Back in December 2001, when the bombs finally stopped falling, Afghans were showered with promises of unending fealty, reconstruction money, security and, of course, a flowering of democracy. Alas, none of these promises have been kept.
If we're to believe NATO, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, or British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the reason these promises have yet to be fulfilled can be summed up in one word — Taliban.
Certainly not the civilians killed in a recent NATO bombing raid in Kandahar, a raid in which Canadian soldiers participated. Depending on the report one reads, anywhere from 15 to 70 civilians died in that operation.
Certainly not the majority of the more than 500 other Taliban fighters NATO claims to have killed in the past two months. In a recent Sunday Times article, a senior foreign official in the British government claimed that many of those killed in Kandahar were not Taliban...
And certainly not 60-year-old Abdul Qarim, who lost his wife, his two sons and his two daughters in a NATO attack on his village. Qarim was a farmer and his family were Tajiks, not Taliban.
Even Afghan intelligence has admitted that the Taliban are "a leaderless hybrid shadow of [their] original form ... The reality, it seems, is that NATO is not fighting a single coherent insurgent army, but a hodgepodge of bubbling resentment that is part counter-insurgency, part tribal warfare, and part protest against the corrupt misrule from Kabul.

If anything, what the designation Taliban now refers to is an attitude, a social movement, and a historical current. Taliban in its broadest sense seems to mean those who do Talibanish things.
Now we are led to believe that these same Taliban are back, and that their threat is growing. Quite frankly, that's giving far too much credit to this new version of the Taliban, and it is far too convenient perhaps to those who want to sweep all the problems of Afghanistan under the same Taliban rug.

We've seen what this kind of limited thinking has produced in Iraq. There, allied forces, governments and the media insisted for far too long that the conflict was an us-them situation, with al-Qaeda forces pitted against the democratic forces of the U.S. and the so-called coalition of the willing. We now know that strife in Iraq has as much to do with internal differences than direct opposition to Western desires to plant the seed of democracy and nip global terrorism in the bud.
— why does the media persist in accepting current government and military pronouncements that the battle in Afghanistan is a battle against the Taliban and by extension a battle against global terrorism?
Surely the media and their courageous journalists know better? By continuing to define the conflict in Afghanistan along the simple black-white lines of us vs. them, the pro-democracy West vs. the fundamentalist Taliban, are the media not running the risk of perpetuating the fog of war behind which strategic, political and other mistakes too often find cover?

[ 14 December 2006: Message edited by: happy go leftie (Red Tory) ]


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
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posted 13 December 2006 11:42 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
I have often found CBC coverage to be problematic, especially during the last two federal elections when they played a number of tricks designed to help the Liberals. They are too numerous to recount here. My point is simply that I am not unprepared to be critical of what CBC does, or to be deeply suspicious of their motives.

On this one though, I wonder if there isn't a kind of hypersensitivity going on. The press is supposed to cover the news that exists, whatever it may be, and if a country's armed forces are engaged overseas and are taking casualties greater than anything seen in half a century, is that not news? If covering the news as it is reveals that some soldiers express opinions that are in sync with Conservative Govt policy, are we supposed to start pissing ourselves on the spot? If we are so sheltered and so pathetic that a few soldiers expressing themselves on camera causes major stress, maybe we should find something else to do besides politics.

[ 13 December 2006: Message edited by: DavidMR ]


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happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 14 December 2006 12:26 AM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
DavidMR quote: I have often found CBC coverage to be problematic, especially during the last two federal elections when they played a number of tricks designed to help the Liberals.


>>>>> must have watched a different CBC than you did David. The whole election was geared to help Harper last time. Mansbridge nearly kissed his ass (just like he always did with Mulroney). Regular media commentators were extremely favourable to Harper as well - Jim Travers, Daniel Lessard, Keith Boag, Brian Stewart. Also, their 'regular panel' including Andrew Coyne, Chantal Hebert, often Ian MacDonald etc. Do you think any of them are Liberals, or even were pro-Liberals? Coyne and MacDonald are Conservatives. Hebert is no liberal. Get real.

When are you ever going to say one thing about what Harper is doing now? He is the government, not Dion, and when do you deal with the here and now? Rehashing the election coverage was 'not' the issue. It was the media obsession with pro-propaganda for the war, and the mis-information in that coverage is rampant. Our media is promoting 'it's the Taliban', when in fact it is not at all what is happening, and no critique of the current failing, miserable mission? That's what the media is doing now. The media obsession with all things military and war. Address that.

[ 14 December 2006: Message edited by: happy go leftie (Red Tory) ]


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 14 December 2006 12:37 AM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
DavidMR quote: On this one though, I wonder if there isn't a kind of hypersensitivity going on. The press is supposed to cover the news that exists, whatever it may be, and if a country's armed forces are engaged overseas and are taking casualties greater than anything seen in half a century, is that not news? If covering the news as it is reveals that some soldiers express opinions that are in sync with Conservative Govt policy, are we supposed to start pissing ourselves on the spot? If we are so sheltered and so pathetic that a few soldiers expressing themselves on camera causes major stress, maybe we should find something else to do besides politics.


>>>>> David, totally disagree with this. No one is talking about news. Clear you support the current mission. Most here do NOT, it would appear. Telling people who disagree with you, that they should find something else to do besides concerning themselves with politics is a bit much. The coverage, David, goes far beyond news. There's specials, and war stories, even specials on other wars, and it's all about war, as if it Canada is suddenly 'all about war', we're a 'warring nation' is the impression get from all of this coverage. It's spinning the stories to blame it all on the 'Taliban' which is not at all what is happening in Afghan. Literally it's about pro-government propaganda, and the promotion of General Hillier's views, not the views of the 2/3 of Canadians who DO NOT support the war that you obviously do. Just differ completely from how you see it.


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 14 December 2006 07:41 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by happy go leftie (Red Tory):.. No one is talking about news. Clear you support the current mission. Most here do NOT, it would appear. Telling people who disagree with you, that they should find something else to do besides concerning themselves with politics is a bit much. The coverage, David, goes far beyond news. There's specials, and war stories, even specials on other wars, and it's all about war, as if it Canada is suddenly 'all about war', we're a 'warring nation' is the impression get from all of this coverage. It's spinning the stories to blame it all on the 'Taliban' which is not at all what is happening in Afghan. Literally it's about pro-government propaganda, and the promotion of General Hillier's views, not the views of the 2/3 of Canadians who DO NOT support the war that you obviously do...

2 good posts on this in a row happiegolefty, thanks for saying what you have, as I feel you have embodied what "2/3" of Canadians feel regarding our troops in Afghanistan and Harper's war mongering.

I never thought I would want to have the plug pulled on the CBC, but if they keep this up, they will be nothing more than a state run propganda machines for the fascist Harper government! So, clearly, I would not want tax funding to go to them!


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 14 December 2006 09:07 AM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
You've done some pretty good work yourself on this forum that have much appreciated. Thanks remind.

edited to show respect in getting your name w/o a capital.

[ 14 December 2006: Message edited by: happy go leftie (Red Tory) ]


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Brett Mann
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posted 14 December 2006 09:25 AM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
You make some good points here, Happygolefty:

"Qarim was a farmer and his family were Tajiks, not Taliban.
Even Afghan intelligence has admitted that the Taliban are "a leaderless hybrid shadow of [their] original form ... The reality, it seems, is that NATO is not fighting a single coherent insurgent army, but a hodgepodge of bubbling resentment that is part counter-insurgency, part tribal warfare, and part protest against the corrupt misrule from Kabul."

This is true, and points to the complexity of the mission. A mixture of approaches which mollifies the "bubbling resentment", improvement in relations with the government in Kabul and the locals, subsidized opium crops and stiff military measures against insurgent military formations will all be needed. At some point, so may military action against the Pakistan pipeline which is re-supplying insurgents.

"If anything, what the designation Taliban now refers to is an attitude, a social movement, and a historical current. Taliban in its broadest sense seems to mean those who do Talibanish things.
Now we are led to believe that these same Taliban are back, and that their threat is growing. Quite frankly, that's giving far too much credit to this new version of the Taliban, and it is far too convenient perhaps to those who want to sweep all the problems of Afghanistan under the same Taliban rug."

Agreed.


"— why does the media persist in accepting current government and military pronouncements that the battle in Afghanistan is a battle against the Taliban and by extension a battle against global terrorism?"

Because the insurgents in Afghanistan fight under the banner of the Taliban. And because this battle is in fact "by extension" a battle against global terrorism. Does anyone have the slightest doubt that a resurgent Taliban as it is currently composed would not supply al Qaeda and its affiliates with training bases once again?


"Surely the media and their courageous journalists know better? By continuing to define the conflict in Afghanistan along the simple black-white lines of us vs. them, the pro-democracy West vs. the fundamentalist Taliban, are the media not running the risk of perpetuating the fog of war behind which strategic, political and other mistakes too often find cover?"

Yes this is a real risk. On the other hand, the quality of journalistic coverage I am seeing does not downplay the complexity of the situation. A far greater mistake is being made by those on the left who miss this complexity as well, and see Afghanistan as nothing but an extension of the American imperial project.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Buddy Kat
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posted 14 December 2006 10:07 AM      Profile for Buddy Kat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree most of the "taliban" were killed in the beginning years ago. What they have now are Afghan men and their friends trying there damnest to get the "invaders" out of their country.

Unfortunately they understand the invaders want their resources and will do anything to obtain them. Afghan is rich in uranium, opium and strategic oil and gas pipeline locations exxon has been trying to get for decades, without any sucess.

If anybody thinks this war is about human rights they have been conned. If human rights violations were a reason to go to war, the entire world would be fighting each other. Not just selectively picking the target that suits their needs.


What they don't understand is the amount of DU dropped in Afghanistan will perform it's ethnic cleansing on both innocent afghans and nato militants for decades to come. Unfortunately the fooled and innocent will pay this price while joe politician and corp sits back and "counts de money".

I'm glad not everyone is fooled by the media and government.

Canada from "peacemaker" to "Christmas orphan maker" just by the snap of bush's finger...disgracefull.


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remind
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posted 14 December 2006 11:50 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Buddy Kat:
Canada from "peacemaker" to "Christmas orphan maker" just by the snap of bush's finger...disgracefull.

If anybody thinks this war is about human rights they have been conned. If human rights violations were a reason to go to war, the entire world would be fighting each other. Not just selectively picking the target that suits their needs.

What they don't understand is the amount of DU dropped in Afghanistan will perform it's ethnic cleansing on both innocent afghans and nato militants for decades to come. Unfortunately the fooled and innocent will pay this price while joe politician and corp sits back and "counts de money".

I'm glad not everyone is fooled by the media and government.


Buddy Kat, I changed the order of your post in my quote in order for the strongest point IMO to be expressed first. It is disgracefull and this needs to be driven home to Canadians, far and wide, about Harper's war mongering and conducting actions in our name that he has no mandate to do!

And it seems it is always the innocents who suffer!


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 14 December 2006 03:26 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
Peter Mansbridge in today's Globe and Mail provides an interesting response to Doyle's original piece which started this thread. Says Mansbridge:

"Our reporters have been covering every aspect of this operation — including the continuing debate as to “why” Canada is there. We have covered it from the front lines in Afghanistan to Canada's Parliament in Ottawa, as well as many international conferences in between." And he proceeds to list some of the CBC programs and reports which have been critical of the Afghanistan mission. Mansbridge also quotes a CBC recent poll:

"In a poll this autumn, we showed that the Canadian public was split 52-48 per cent in favour. We also reported that 58 per cent did not believe the mission would succeed.

The very same poll, however, showed the overwhelming majority of Canadians, whatever their views of about the Afghan mission, thought very highly of the military (73 per cent). So we don't feel an obligation to act as if soldiers and their families should somehow remain an overlooked minority of no account, mere shadows in the corner of the holiday season."

Seventy-three per cent. That's how many Canadians think "very highly" of our military. Thanks Pete. But these figures do not tell the whole story. Canadians' feelings towards the military are not subject to the normal rise and fall, flavour of the month pattern that other issues are. The feeling of support of most of these 73% is emotional and profound. Many have had and/or lost family members in the military. If the left cannot find some way to identify with and share this admiration and respect for our military, they may as well forget any plans of ever forming a government in this nation.

The real question raised by Doyle's article and some of the responses here is how come so many on the left have "abandoned the field" on military issues and identified all military actions with the current Conservative government? Why are they so perturbed by paying respect to our military in programs such as the CBC series? What kind of fantasy land has the Canadian left drifted into? The NDP's position on Afghanistan? Truly disgraceful - intellectually dishonest, uninformed , pandering and morally repugnant. If a federal election were held now with Afghanistan as the key issue, I really believe Harper would win a majority government. The left better wake up fast to what's going on in the world.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 14 December 2006 03:40 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, right.

I'll be waiting for Pastor Mansbridge to show up at my house with the camera crew for a heartwarming interview with me and my family as part of the CBC's continuing "balanced" coverage of Canadian public opinion for and against the war.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 14 December 2006 07:23 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If the left cannot find some way to identify with and share this admiration and respect for our military, they may as well forget any plans of ever forming a government in this nation.

NDP Veterans First Motion:

quote:
NDP’s Veterans First Motion passes in the House of Commons
Veterans and their families know who is on their side after the NDP’s Veterans First Motion was adopted in the House of Commons today. The NDP is the only party that took action to ensure that veterans, their families, and Canadian Forces personnel are taken care of not just during their service days, but throughout their lives.

The Liberals ignored calls from the Military Ombudsman to address unfair deductions and restrictions on the pensions of Veterans and their spouses. The Conservatives promised to fix these problems but by voting against the NDP motion they broke that promise.

Supporting our troops has to be more than just a slogan. Veterans and their spouses deserve dignity, respect, and a decent standard of living in their old age.

That’s why the NDP used their opposition day motion to introduce long overdue assistance to members and veterans of the Canadian Forces and their families.



Time and again, Brett, you confuse opposition to a useless and failed mission to lack of support for the men and women of the armed forces. You should really begin to question yourself when your talking points sound like they could come from Harper or Bush.

quote:
If a federal election were held now with Afghanistan as the key issue, I really believe Harper would win a majority government.
I'll take that bet, and I've love to fight that election.

From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 14 December 2006 07:36 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And because this battle is in fact "by extension" a battle against global terrorism. Does anyone have the slightest doubt that a resurgent Taliban as it is currently composed would not supply al Qaeda and its affiliates with training bases once again?

There is no such thing as the ridiculous battle against global terrorism. That you believe such patent nonsense is rather disturbing.

And I have more than a slight doubt about your latter assertion. In fact, I have huge doubts. This whole thing is nothing more than a war between rival State-Sponsored Drug gangs/intelligence services.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 14 December 2006 08:56 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
What kind of fantasy land has the Canadian left drifted into? The NDP's position on Afghanistan? Truly disgraceful - intellectually dishonest, uninformed , pandering and morally repugnant. If a federal election were held now with Afghanistan as the key issue, I really believe Harper would win a majority government. The left better wake up fast to what's going on in the world.

The NDP is being very pragmatic about not wanting to sacrifice Canadian lives to an unwinnable occupation, Brett. Brett, the people over there can't even trust the Afghani police trained by western forces. They're corrupt and shaking people down like hoodlums, according to news reports. The Taliban are better paid, and the west refuses to abate the problem at the source wrt Taliban leaders aided and abetted by Pakistani ISI. Pakistan is a Taliban factory, and they are crossing the border freely after being waved on by Musharraf's army checkpoints. The whole thing is a lesson in stupidity. President Dubya is mulling over a new plan for Iraq as we speak. POlitical conservatives down there are going to to do an about face on Iraq, Brett, you watch. We don't need anymore of this


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 14 December 2006 09:04 PM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
Response to Brett:

•"stiff military measures against insurgent military formations will all be needed…” - Brett, stiff military measures would accomplish nothing, that is what is failing NOW. Cultural and human respect, aid ,development, legitimization of the poppy crop for pharmaceutical use, diversification of income strategies, proper policing structures to deal with growing criminal element since vacuum left by occupation. Elimination, removal of the greed of Western occupiers, establishment of a true, respectful Afghan constitution and legal framework ‘for the whole country’. ‘Afghan’ society that reflects the will of their own people’s best aspirations. Aid from all reasonable world comm., reorganize successful economic system, not exploitation but genuine goals for this country. Reformation of the government in Kabul to a true representation of the people, and a social charter that inspires Afghans to greater cultural goals like education and self-sufficiency, mutual respect, team of good governance specialists, goal to sustainability, development, sharing of the wealth from their own resources.

Would actually accomplish the peace this country has been denied for decades. The greed of military ‘uber’powers has destroyed this country for far too long, and now should be shamed into removing their influence by the whole world.

•“Because the insurgents in Afghanistan fight under the banner of the Taliban”- Brett, there is NO banner of the Taliban. Just more Allied govt jargon. Insurgents ‘are the people themselves’.

•“Does anyone have the slightest doubt that a resurgent Taliban as it is currently composed would not supply al Qaeda and its affiliates with training bases” – Sorry Brett, there is NO resurgent Taliban, have no connection with Iraq, Aghans themselves want occupiers OUT.

•“because this battle is in fact "by extension" a battle against global terrorism”. – Again, sorry Brett, simplistic Allied mis-information. Get Allied U.S. greed interests out of the region, remove exploitation & attempts to ‘Christianize’ Moslems by military force, take Franklin Graham’s Christian Right crusaders out of Afghan. as the ‘missionary aid’ deranged policy (sent by G.W.), have a chance to quell the anger. This is an us versus them cultural reformation campaign. Ignorant to the core.

•“improvement in relations with the government in Kabul and the locals” Brett, requires revamp of G.W.’s set up ‘U.S.’ favoured govt structures, constitution for ‘all’ Afghans, complete reformation of govt structures to remove both corruption & ‘the G.W. puppet Karzai’, whom Afghans in most of country do not trust. What is this ‘locals’? Kabul holds govt, rest of the country is detached, ignored, dominated by allied troops. Entire provinces like Kandahar, Hellmand are not locals. That’s like calling B.C., Alberta, PEI, ‘the locals’. Have to understand the human dynamics in the country, which vary from province to province, respect the people damn it.

•The so called insurgents are ‘the natural inhabitants’, the people of Afghanistan, the vast majority in Kandahar are called Pashtuns, not Taliban. More propaganda from our media ‘caterers to Allied govt trivialization & dehumanization efforts’. You seem to have adopted extreme right wing sources far too readily without using your own gifted reasoning.

•"by extension" a battle against global terrorism. - Brett, where is this ‘by extension’ theory at? What is that? Now we’re going with more ‘assumptions’? No, this is not a battle against global terrorism. The Taliban NO LONGER control the south. Truthfully Brett this is overblown 'extension'. If Osama bin Laden was such a grave threat, why did the right in the U.S. abandon his capture? Al Quaeda has become a concept, a word actually created by G.W. himself to ‘label’ the growing anti-American sentiment arising from their U.S. actions in that region. It is not an actual group, so much as it is a sentiment.

Right wing is feeding more radicalism and resentment by the nature of the very response to it. If you believe that certain people are entitled to more, to dominate merely because they deem themselves superior ‘pontificators’ to others different from themselves, you have fallen victim to one of the worst sins ever committed by humanity. All of us are created equal. The differences are amazing things to behold, and should be cherished, not ‘overhauled’ by ideologues. There is no reward for those who disdain the value of the least of us. For the least of us are the ones who need our assistance and consideration the most.

•Al Quaeda is a name generating it’s attributes from the anti-American occupation of Moslem lands, fundamentally, overtly insulting the sensibilities of those who do not wish to be ruled by American interests. Frankly, can understand that ‘anti-colonization’ sentiment. The border with Pakistan needs to be closed, so that sympathetic tribesman don’t interfere, and the entire approach in the middle east, this entire region needs courageous, bold redirection away from dominance, to cultural respect and dignity of the person. ‘Orders’ to Musharaf from G.W. have proven ineffective / inciteful. A more respectful approach would help, to ease tensions in that country, entire region as well.

[ 14 December 2006: Message edited by: happy go leftie (Red Tory) ]


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
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posted 14 December 2006 09:10 PM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From the Peter Mansbridge responsein todays Globe and Mail, quoted by Brett Mann
quote:
The very same poll, however, showed the overwhelming majority of Canadians, whatever their views of about the Afghan mission, thought very highly of the military (73 per cent). So we don't feel an obligation to act as if soldiers and their families should somehow remain an overlooked minority of no account, mere shadows in the corner of the holiday season."

So Peter Mansbridge and the CBC are using to holidays as an excuse to provide biased, one-sided coverage of the war in Afghanistan during the month of December. I think It's a cop-out when television newscasts refuse to ask hard questions on account of the holidays.

Oh, and I don't think the road stories are the whole of it. I decided to watch The National tonight since it wasn't another "home front" special edition. At the end of the broadcast, they had their "Your Turn" segment, where they report viewers comments. The topic was on the Afghanistan mission, and yet they didn't show any comments in favour of withdrawing our troops. I'd be suprised if none were submitted.

[ 14 December 2006: Message edited by: Left Turn ]


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 14 December 2006 09:26 PM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
Mansbridge has become Harper's 'appologist' on everything. Did the same thing with Mulroney, almost kissed his ass. He was put in the job by Mulroney to replace the most accredited, believable anchor, Nolton Nash. It was a move to get control of Newsworld's political direction, Mansbridge is kiss ass Conservative from way back, IMO.

Other polls, not Mansbridge's, indicate support flailing for this mission, much higher numbers than this one. Suspect more to it than the 'Mansbridge poll' suggests.

Agree, not one bit of 'anti-war' commentary in your turn on Mansbridge? Highly selective quoting. What else is new?


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 14 December 2006 09:42 PM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
Further response to Brett’s post on Talibanisms:

Entire new strategy is required that will end this ‘Christian attacking Moslem’ perception, ‘brutality in occupation’ reality of the people native to Afghan. (not Taliban, who were primarily removed in 2001 by U.S. forces according to ‘independent’ journalists / interviews with actual Afghans), which is generating incitement throughout the entire region. Other methods used, pure military oppression, aggression, failure to provide any semblance of subsistence for even basic survival, 5 years of brutal occupation, broken promises to the people, killing regular Afghans then ‘labelling’ them Taliban, indicates that Allied powers are completely out of touch not only with what this mission should have been, but have become so insensitive, disrespectful of the native people of this Afghan country, that these allied forces in their present construction – Bush, Blair, Harper - the extreme Christian Right Trio - have NO business being there at all. That is precisely why NO other NATO country will assist them in this misguided, hateful approach, as other Nato countries refuse to operate under this ‘militaristic’, counter-productive manner.

•Taliban? You aren’t paying attention Brett. These are primarily NOT TALIBAN, are not working with or for TALIBAN. The Afghan people (real hodge podge) are fighting the occupiers, who after 5 terrible, devastating years have become 'the brutalizers' of the people. Afghans see the occupiers as worse rule than the Taliban were (which many hated, DO NOT want returned). The Taliban are no longer serious threat, most long eliminated by U.S. troops. Why would regular Afghans, whom you dismissively dehumanize, as our propagandist ‘Allied media cheerleaders’ label all resisters, ‘the insurgents’, want to leave their own country and join the ‘resistance movement’ falsely labeled al Qaeda in Iraq?

And who are these ‘boogey men’ affiliates? Wow, you’ve been well programmed. The Afghans just want their lives back, want to survive, want the lying, abusive, brutal occupiers out, and damn it, cannot blame them for how their culture, their entire existence has been dismantled, disrespected in every way humanly possible. Get the hell out, if you cannot provide real humane treatment to the native people, the Pashtun’s and other natural inhabitants in Afghan. Get out, get out.

•“coverage I am seeing does not downplay the complexity of the situation”. Fine Brett, if you have ‘blue right wing blinders’ on. The coverage distorts the reality of the situation, cannot get more complicit with wrong-headed U.S. agenda. The G.W. / Harper / Blair Christian Right mentality (such arrogance from the West) does NOT get the complexities, they’ve stopped reasoning, become robotic ideologues to one faulty, anti-people, Dominionist ‘mental dimness’ conceptualization of everything. They, and their ‘misguided’ followers, led by the ‘truly blind’ have been the ones who abandoned all reasoning. Not the rest of humanity.

•” A far greater mistake is being made by those on the left who miss this complexity as well, and see Afghanistan as nothing but an extension of the American imperial project.” - Brett, it's the left who miss the complexities???? American IMPERIAL project… thank you Brett. You labeled it better than I ever could have done.
All in all Brett, you sound like you have been indoctrinated by right wing propaganda, cross-border Republican Conservative interactive connectivity for far too long.

It behooves an intelligent, independent reasoning person to think for ‘himself/herself’, not be compliant to propaganda group think of Conservative mind-meld. A ‘firmly entrenched single view of all issues’, a one world view Conservative programming, a ‘group think’ which is not at all what is found in majority of people on this forum. We don’t have a code book to follow. Many people here think far more about the actual complexities. Babblers are (but for a few less thoughtful people), generally very independent thinkers of the highest order, do considerable investigation and research of their own on the issues, do not regurgitate the lines from the supreme U.S. commander propaganda war machine.

Yes, our leaders deserve criticism when they do not act with responsibility, integrity. The ideo right wing believes everything is completely BLACK & WHITE, which encapsulates their failure to reason. Many of us have lived long enough, seen the deliberate mis-information campaigns, seen the actual results, and know who is who on what issues. You could attempt to not regurgitate the Rumsfeld, G.W. spin on us so much. That is psychological abuse purely because they are useless lying manipulators of such a degree has never been seen in NA, even at it’s worst.

Yes, we cannot agree that everyone who doesn’t join ‘you’re with us or against us’ ideology, ‘evil doer’s’ mentality is ‘the unibrain left’ as you imply, or that we do not have completely independent thinkers on all subjects. There you are wrong. The ideology of the U.S. Christian Right power brokers - proponents of the most omniscient blarney of the highest order. But it was nice to hear Rumsfelds lines used again, missed that comical chatter box now that he’s no longer Mr. Pentagon. Whew. Not really. But nice chatting about ‘his’ views with you just the same.

Have a little more respect for your ‘own’ capable intellect, and do not conjoin yourself with everything the ideological crew have been telling you, and do some honest, serious investigation of your own. Taking your blinders off might lead you to more understanding of other people’s suffering, and that supreme dominance over others is not at all a true and noble value, as the right indoctrinates. It is the manipulation of all that has been written down for more than 2 millenniums, a misguided manipulation of all who joins it’s ranks. You should ask only to be enlightened with the truth, and let ‘no man’ tell you what his truth is, as it is veritably right inside you, if you seek to know that ‘real truth’. You should never allow anyone to take your free will. Exercise it judiciously, and protect it, because that Brett is truest compass, the greatest gift you have. Deviation from right wing mind-meld might actually enable your own personal growth and intellectual enhancement. It wouldn’t hurt. Promise.


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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Babbler # 8273

posted 15 December 2006 09:45 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
This week Canadian forces in Kandahar killed another Afghan on a motorbike. It's been reported that he wasn't young and clueless; he was 90 (or possibly 106) and a local celeb. He was on his way to see his former pupil, President Karzai! Afghan troops waved him through, but the anxious Canadians say they tried to warn him and wound up shooting him dead. If you're going to withstand that kind of catastrophic gaffe, you'd better be loaded with ego and ammo, like the U.S. Otherwise, you back off, like the Europeans, knowing it's a situation that's bound to go wrong.

We will remain tarred with the American imperial brush in Afghanistan. We went in behind their need to attack someone after 9/11 and their frantic "hunt for bin Laden," in the course of which they bomb wedding parties (and our troops) and don't fret much over it. They are the U.S.


Rick Salutin

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13478

posted 15 December 2006 12:59 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
What kind of fantasy land has the Canadian left drifted into? The NDP's position on Afghanistan? Truly disgraceful - intellectually dishonest, uninformed , pandering and morally repugnant. If a federal election were held now with Afghanistan as the key issue, I really believe Harper would win a majority government. The left better wake up fast to what's going on in the world.

What kind of fantasy are you drifting into? The support levels the CBC found in their poll may exist, but that still leaves ample room for dissent given a 50:50 split in public opinion.

What your string of pejorative adjectives is designed to accomplish I have no idea. Perhaps it's part of an armchair tough guy act?

If the NDP's position on this issue is so incredibly disreputable, what do you make of the Dion-Liberal position which amounts, predictably, to withdrawal if necessary but not necessarily withdrawal. Where is your caustic scorn for this position?


From: Greater Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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Babbler # 6441

posted 15 December 2006 04:25 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
Happygolefty - thanks for a thoughtful and passionate post. I know all that stuff and I still think you are wrong. I think international terrorism presents a real threat, based on attacks around the world, not on American propaganda. It is the left who are indoctrinated in this matter, in my view, unable to perceive a real threat where one exists, and viewing the world through a two-dimensional anti-US imperialism model. I'll try to get back to this in more detail with more ammunition.

And David MR, the NDP's position is despicable because if it were implemented as presented it would lead to the immediate slaughter of people, women and children, in Afghanistan we have promised to protect. The Liberals and Bloc are at least realistic about this, and therefore not calling for a complete immediate cessation to Canadian military action, as the NDP seems to be doing.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13478

posted 15 December 2006 04:40 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
And David MR, the NDP's position is despicable because if it were implemented as presented it would lead to the immediate slaughter of people, women and children, in Afghanistan we have promised to protect. The Liberals and Bloc are at least realistic about this, and therefore not calling for a complete immediate cessation to Canadian military action, as the NDP seems to be doing.

The NDP did not object to this mission originally, but has always been leery of it. It has turned worse and worse because other countries like Pakistan are not cooperating. Our troops are being sacrificed for a project that has no hope of success without political settlements first. There is nothing desicapable about the NDP's position at all. As for remarks about Afgan civilians, these people are dying now as result of the fighting that cannot be effectively countered without either a political settlement or an order of magnitude increases in forces and in the level of destruction permitted. With respect, Mr Mann, it's your position that can be labelled dangerous and therefore despicable.


From: Greater Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6441

posted 15 December 2006 06:43 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DavidMR:

The NDP did not object to this mission originally, but has always been leery of it. It has turned worse and worse because other countries like Pakistan are not cooperating. Our troops are being sacrificed for a project that has no hope of success without political settlements first. There is nothing desicapable about the NDP's position at all. As for remarks about Afgan civilians, these people are dying now as result of the fighting that cannot be effectively countered without either a political settlement or an order of magnitude increases in forces and in the level of destruction permitted. With respect, Mr Mann, it's your position that can be labelled dangerous and therefore despicable.



The political settlements are already occuring, but will take years of concerted effort. The only obstacle to achieving eventual self-regulating peace and order in Afghanistan is the danger that the international community will abandon the project half-way through. I say this because the majority of people in Afghanistan clearly do not see the NATO forces as occupiers but rather as helping establish a country free of the threat of Taliban rule. I recently made a veiled challenge on Babble - I said that I know of no home-grown Afghan organization (aside from the Taliban, of course) or individual calling for a removal of foreign troops. Yes, the tactics in the south have been heavily criticised, but no one, not even the fiercest opponents of the Karzai government is calling for withdrawal of NATO troops. Our troops are contributing their lives to an eventual political solution which cannot possibly happen without security, provided militarily.

To say that Afghans are dying now anyway because of the fighting is disengenuous in so many ways. First of all, civilians are killed accidently by NATO forces, who generally do not engage unless they are attacked first, while the link provided earlier in this thread I think told the story of an Afghan teacher who was disemboweled and torn apart alive by the Taliban for the crime of teaching girls. We know from daily news reports that the insurgents have no compunction about killing any number of Afghan civilians on purpose. Do you really draw a moral equivalence between these two opponents?

And of course, in the event of a NATO troop withdrawal in the south, the civilian death toll would certainly be in the thousands, very minimally estimated, and continue indefinitely, compared to the unfortunate death of dozens of civilians in combat zones.

To pretend that any kind of diplomatic/political/development solution can be reached without robust military force in Afghanistan is naive or hyocritical, or scandalously mis-informed. I don't trust the NDP on anything any more, because of this. Like the old folk song says, "If you didn't know about that, my friend, then what else don't you know?"


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13478

posted 15 December 2006 07:01 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
The political settlements are already occuring, ...
...

... the link provided earlier in this thread I think told the story of an Afghan teacher who was disemboweled and torn apart alive by the Taliban for the crime of teaching girls. We know from daily news reports that the insurgents have no compunction about killing any number of Afghan civilians on purpose. Do you really draw a moral equivalence between these two opponents?

...

To pretend that any kind of diplomatic/political/development solution can be reached without robust military force in Afghanistan is naive or hyocritical, or scandalously mis-informed. I don't trust the NDP on anything any more, because of this. Like the old folk song says, "If you didn't know about that, my friend, then what else don't you know?"



What political settlements are you referring to? Has the Govt of Pakistan been involved?

I just now went and read the story of the teacher, disembowelled, and then drawn and quartered as in Medieval times, but now using motorbikes rather than horses. It's said the Taliban did this. Was it really them, or the Northern Alliance warlords.

Others have mentioned Malalai Joya, and at the NDP Convention in Quebec City she was clear that withdrawing our troops was something she favoured.

Malalai Joya

I am not clear on why you're trying to frame your case around arguments over "moral equivalency". This is a serious foreign and military policy situation, and the looking for moral superiority isn't the issue. What's naive or hypocritical are those who think that their plans will work out because they believe in them. People who don't accept feedback from reality are very dangerous.


From: Greater Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 15 December 2006 07:14 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
I have read some of Malali Joya, and visited her website before, and I don't remember her ever calling for a withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. Calling for a change in tactics, for withdrawal of American forces, yes, but all NATO forces? You'll have to tell me where she says that.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13478

posted 15 December 2006 07:35 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
I have read some of Malali Joya, and visited her website before, and I don't remember her ever calling for a withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan.


Joya addresses Convention of New Democratic Party of Canada in Quebec

From this link:

Joya expressed her sorrow for the deaths of Canadian soldiers, and voiced her support for Jack Layton and the NDP as they call for the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

"I think that if Canada really wants to help Afghan people and bring positive changes, they must act independently, rather than becoming a tool for implementing the policies of the US government."


From: Greater Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 15 December 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
Joya is deliberately vague in her platform. She speaks in generalities, castigates the US for supporting the current government, but nowhere addresses the question of whether she would prefer Taliban rule. She calls for Canada to act "independently". She calls for other UN countries to act "independently" - so far so good, this is what I hope will happen, a gradual displacement of American decision making from the center of things - but nowhere does Joya ever say she wants the UN forces to leave. In fact, a RAWA document I saw called for harsher military action against the Taliban, and against other warlords.

So the NDP saw what it wanted to see in her speech,(which I watched part of on tv) and claimed her endorsement of their policies, which she never disputed. In fact she was whisked on a plane and out of the country before anyone could question her much further, as I recall. But anyone in the NDP knowledgable about Afghanistan knows what the answer would be if Joya were asked if she supported an immediate withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. The answer I'm sure would be "no", as it only could be, with the return of the Taliban as the likely out come. So the NDP lied. They misrepresented Joya for their own domestic political purposes. Perhaps if Jack Layton could find time in his busy schedule to actually visit Afghanistan, he might be singing a different tune. I'm damned sure he would.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 15 December 2006 08:23 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
So the NDP lied. They misrepresented Joya for their own domestic political purposes.
You insult Joya with this nonsense by suggesting she is too stupid to know when she is being used. She was at the convention, she was well aware of the NDP's position, and she would be the first to know if her views were being misrepresented.

She's certainly not relying on the likes of you to represent her.

And she was not "whisked on a plane and out of the country before anyone could question her much further," as you wrongly recall. As late as September 13, three days after the convention, she was speaking in Ottawa.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
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Babbler # 13478

posted 15 December 2006 08:27 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
Joya is deliberately vague in her platform. ...


... So the NDP lied. They misrepresented Joya for their own domestic political purposes. Perhaps if Jack Layton could find time in his busy schedule to actually visit Afghanistan, he might be singing a different tune. I'm damned sure he would.


You're pretty vague yourself. As are the Liberals and Dion with his withdrawal if necessary, not necessarily withdrawal policy. I was greatly amused by Happy Go Leftie's description of a New World Order under Dion, in which the White House would accept Dion's conditions, and the mission could then continue on a sound footing. Wow!

The NDP has misled noone. The party has stated that Canadian troops should be withdrawn from Afganistan because the mission there is incompatible with both our force levels and our political traditions.


From: Greater Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 15 December 2006 09:32 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Brett, at last have enough honour to realize Joya was knowingly standing on a stage with people who want us out of this useless, failed military intervention. More than that, have the fortitude to acknowledge that you were wrong in suggesting that she skipped the country after the convention. Moreover, acknowledge to yourself that she links on her website to articles surrounding her prescence at the NDP convention. She is proud to have been there.

And we are proud to have had her there.

I understand why you do this, Brett. You are defending the indefensible, and that has to be hard on you. It creates a tendency to flail. I hope you get past it, and realize that the principle position the NDP has taken is also the only pragmatic position for Afghanistan, and for Canada.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
happy go leftie (Red Tory)
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posted 16 December 2006 03:24 AM      Profile for happy go leftie (Red Tory)        Edit/Delete Post
David, find the CBC poll odd, contradicted by many recent polls, even week before, pegging anti-current mission at 2/3 against. Mansbridge & crew are pro-Harper all the way, so do not trust their poll. Don’t give this poll much credence. Lets wait and see some other polling data, since this is the only one claiming 50-50.

David, stop completely mischaracterizing both Layton’s position on Afghanistan, and that of Dion. If both deplore the current G.W., Harper, Blair ideological approach to this war, they have that in common. Issue is we have to change from current 'militaristic' policy, and most of the parties agree, current Harper ‘seek & kill’ mission’ is a disgrace. Again, Layton did not say he would pull the troops out of Afghanistan, latest comments (has changed his position a few times), even as late as September 2006, he supports the mission, but would re-deploy our troops to areas (likely Kabul, where Canada was for the 1st four years), where we could do aid and reconstruction. Layton says 'PULL TROOPS OUT' OF KANDAHAR, NOT OUT OF AFGHANISTAN. This is a form of retreat to safety for troops, but does nothing to stop the growing destabization in the most troubled areas like Kandahar and Hellmand Provinces. If these provinces fail, there will soon be no Kabul left to return to.

The whole country’s problems have to simultaneously addressed, not just retreat. Kabul, an island unto itself, will not stand long, if the regions get any more destabilized. So David, you must get the NDP position right first before you start manipulating what Dion’s policy is. Stop the nonsense.

Dion’s position, is completely in agreement with Layton that current ‘seek & kill’ mission is destructive, wrong-headed. Dion's plan is not to withdraw summarily either (or to retreat to Kabul like Layton). Dion says if the world community can be mobilized to assist in rebuilding ‘the whole country’, not just ‘seek & kill’ in Kandahar, and not just retreating to safe spot like Kabul as Layton has said, but to make world concerted effort to pull this country into a successful member of nations. Dion wants Canada to lead the whole world to change policy. G.W. wont' be around much longer, Blair is about to go, and Dem's control both houses of Congress and can push their agenda. G.W. popularity falling, may have no mandate to keep his agenda going at only 30% in the polls. Get Harper out too, and likely we can get more U.S. cooperation, and from other world countries willing to provide assistance, but none (not even other Nato countries) will join this Allied regressive militarism in the South. Some 35 Countries in Kabul now providing aid & reconstruction (as Canada did till February this year), will likely appreciate leadership from Canada to push for a complete change in direction for the whole country. Just moving our troops to Kandahar, as Layton says, will not stabilize the country.

Dion did not say what you said, you have twisted his approach completely. If you don’t have the respect to represent Dion’s views correctly, then don’t try this tactic of ‘misinforming’ others. Layton's idea is at least better than current mission, but is truly limited in viability to accomplish much of anything endurable for Afghan success.

Layton’s is not a plan, but more of a re-deployment: ‘I disagree, so I’m moving my troops over here’. Afghanistan needs far more ‘comprehensive’ plan, a world effort to replace Allied ‘seek & kill’ crap, or as Dion said, we have no business being there at all if we are not serious in helping this country, leading a massive world effort to turn this entire country around, as did after WWII in Germany, Japan, and others. If no world concensus, the Dion would summarily pull our troops out, deploying them to other crisis areas where Canada can do some real good. Tinkering at the edges is just 5 years of death and destruction, no progress, destroyed families and no end in sight FAILURE IN THE PROVINCES with Harper / G.W. brutal approach, and soon the entire country will fail if don't change direction.

[ 16 December 2006: Message edited by: happy go leftie (Red Tory) ]


From: suburban outskirts | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6441

posted 16 December 2006 06:02 AM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
I saw Joya speak (on tv) at the NDP convention and I was struck by two things. First, the amazing, prolonged, standing ovation (fully deserved). I thought to myself that no one could contradict a crowd of people who were so filled with praise for them. And I listened very closely for her to say anything that would indicate a desire for the removal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. She did not make such a statement, and I am still waiting for anyone here to point to such a statement. I am reasonably sure that no such statement exists, because Joya understands such a move would lead to a blood bath, with women like her the first victims. I maintain that the NDP has deliberately mis-represented her position.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 16 December 2006 12:52 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Joya has never praised NATO troops for being in her country. She may have very good personal and political reasons for not calling directly for their withdrawal.

In Afghanistan you can support the warlords who now run the government, or you can support the opposition. NATO is there to support the warlords that they helped to install. Don't try to suggest that Joya wants that to continue.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
DavidMR
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13478

posted 16 December 2006 07:05 PM      Profile for DavidMR        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
I am reasonably sure that no such statement exists, because Joya understands such a move would lead to a blood bath, with women like her the first victims. I maintain that the NDP has deliberately mis-represented her position.

Well, where has she said that?


From: Greater Vancouver | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 18 December 2006 10:12 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
Peter Mansbridge in today's Globe and Mail provides an interesting response to Doyle's original piece which started this thread.
John Doyle replies to Mansbridge in today's Globe, and pulls no punches:
quote:

It is perfectly fair to suggest that some of CBC Television's coverage of the military has verged on the maudlin and sentimental. If CBC-TV News carried out some vigorous, internal analysis of its own coverage, I'd be surprised if that point did not arise.

And it is also perfectly fair to raise the possibility that CBC might be following the lead of the minority Conservative government in its near idolatry of the military. CBC is in a beleaguered position in the present political environment. It needs to make a strong case for increased funding and it needs to prove that it serves a vital need.

The current government has made it crystal clear that it intends to raise the status of the military through increased funding that runs into the billions of dollars. And with the public divided on the merits of the mission in Afghanistan, the government's position is a potential political quagmire. (For heaven's sake, the Prime Minister is using the Afghan mission in a game of cat-and-mouse with the opposition parties about a possible election.) There is nothing outrageous in suggesting that CBC-TV News may have leaned too far in following the government's lead.

It is not "nonsense," as Mansbridge stated, and to dismiss it as such is the worst sort of witless arrogance. It is the duty of a responsible critic to raise the possibility of mistakes, if the critic feels the CBC has erred. And, believe me, I'm not the only one who feels that, on occasion, the CBC has erred in presenting what looks like cheerleading coverage of the military. A great many people were made uneasy by The National's hour-long special from a military base and use of the phrase "home front." Of the many hundreds of responses to last Wednesday's column, the majority of correspondents felt their unease about CBC had been articulated....

Further, it is a fact that the idolization of the military is a key tactic used by autocratic governments anxious to gird the population into a unified stance in support of a multitude of issues and a single ideology. Militarism is not a concept I invented to attack the CBC. It is a fact of history and we can all learn something from being aware of it, including "the chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National."

In the voluminous response to last Wednesday's column, I heard from several readers who grew up in countries under the rule of a military dictatorship. And to them, the public broadcaster's treatment of the military is an important signal. I called The National's sentimental treatment of the military "creepy." To others, who have direct experience of military dictatorships, it is downright ghoulish.

In the end, what Peter Mansbridge's rebuttal also raises is an important point about the state of media criticism in Canada. There isn't any.


The whole column should be mandatory reading for all journalism students.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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