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Author Topic: A small gift, if that's appropriate...
maestro
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posted 16 March 2006 04:57 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is disagreement as to what exactly happened when the Canadian troops shot and killed a 45 year-old Afghani tuk-tuk driver.

As part of that story:

a small gift, if that's appropriate

quote:
While taking care not to accuse the family of being insurgents, Liebert said he's concerned the incident will be used as justification for further attacks on coalition forces.

"We're very aware of the fact that the Taliban and other people that are hostile to our interest and the interests of the national government are going to exploit this situation," he said.

"There are people right now who are aggravating and saying that we're here to do harm to the Afghan people."

Liebert said he hasn't spoken yet directly with the family because local custom involves three days of mourning.

"Through local authorities we intend to contact the family within the next 24 hours or so and express our condolences and possibly arrange a small gift, if that's appropriate in the cultural circumstances," he said.


Maybe a box of Tim Bits, or a hockey sweater, or something. You know, just to show there's no hard feelings.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 16 March 2006 05:11 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"You have to put this into context," said Liebert. "We're in a dangerous situation and soldiers will take actions to protect themselves."

While taking care not to accuse the family of being insurgents, Liebert said he's concerned the incident will be used as justification for further attacks on coalition forces.

"We're very aware of the fact that the Taliban and other people that are hostile to our interest and the interests of the national government are going to exploit this situation," he said.

"There are people right now who are aggravating and saying that we're here to do harm to the Afghan people."


Oh, well, yes, God forbid anyone should make the mistake of thinking that this situation is most dangerous of all TO THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIVE IN THAT COUNTRY.

The idiot. The idiot. That idiot is representing Canadians in Afghanistan. The clod-hopping idiot and his trigger-happy buddy.

This is how it begins. Our forces are being turned into the same kind of mindless, destructive presence in Afghanistan as are American troops there and in Iraq.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 16 March 2006 05:13 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

This is how it begins. Our forces are being turned into the same kind of mindless, destructive presence in Afghanistan as are American troops there and in Iraq.


God, please let it not be so. This is extremely distressing. A small gift. Christ, what's a life worth?


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 16 March 2006 05:16 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, but AE, that's not what matters.

Get your priorities straight, eh?

We mustn't make too much of this, because we really don't want our troops upset, eh? When they are over there IN SOMEONE ELSE'S COUNTRY, eh?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 16 March 2006 05:20 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
1993: Sixteen-year-old Shidane Arone is beaten and murdered by Canadian soldiers sent to his country “to ease the suffering of the Somali people.” At least 16 soldiers heard Arone's screams and shouts as his body was battered and his feet were burned. Six were charged, one was convicted and sent to jail, another was declared unfit to stand trial after sustaining brain damage from attempting suicide, and the rest were acquitted.

At the time of Arone's murder, the government agreed to compensation - the young man's clan reportedly asked for 100 camels as blood money - US $15,000.

The clan signs a waiver releasing Canadian authorities from any further liability.

However, father, Abukar Arone Rage, and mother, Dahabo Omar Samow, do not receive compensation, nor do they get an apology. The family’s lawyer, Rohan Bansie, retained on their behalf by a Somali community activist, said that neither parent was a party to the waiver.

1997: The incomplete Somalia Inquiry costs more than $11-million.

1999: An Ontario court dismisses a $5-million lawsuit filed by Arone's parents.

Based on Faisal Kutty's September 1999 column

[ 16 March 2006: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 16 March 2006 05:42 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree with the "small gift" suggestion. Give the family a small piece of paper with the name and exact location of the murderers.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 16 March 2006 05:47 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nothing like an eye for an eye.
From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 16 March 2006 05:51 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the CBC story:

quote:
The couple's second-eldest son, who was also with them in the three-wheeled tuk-tuk vehicle, apparently pleaded with soldiers to rush his father to hospital, but the convoy's translator told him to stay back, otherwise troops would shoot him as well, he said.

"It was not our fault. It was not our fault," said Nisar Khan, 17, through a translator.

"We didn't see anything. They shot at us suddenly. I told them we were not terrorists."

A Canadian Forces medic did tend to the wounded father of six children, but perceived the injuries as not life-threatening.

The family said it was forced to call another taxi, which took Ali Hassan to hospital where he died three hours after being admitted.


Not life-threatening. Not to any life that mattered. Just this one:


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 16 March 2006 05:52 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:
Nothing like an eye for an eye.

Recipe suggestion: Serve cold.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 16 March 2006 06:02 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sure. Because if you're going to use the death penalty, you might want to let the person you want to kill live a long, fulfilling, free life before you track them down 30 years later and murder them in retaliation. Give that soldier/those soldiers time to have 6 kids of his/their own. Oh, if possible, try to kill them in front of their children as well.

Or (here's an idea!) we could deal with WHY this happened in the first place (colonial war, dehumanized Afghans to the soldiers), put in place measures to ensure is doesn't happen again, and mete out justice through the justice system. No, I don't really trust the justice system, but I don't trust vigilante justice either.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 16 March 2006 06:13 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:
Sure. Because if you're going to use the death penalty, you might want to let the person you want to kill live a long, fulfilling, free life before you track them down 30 years later and murder them in retaliation. Give that soldier/those soldiers time to have 6 kids of his/their own. Oh, if possible, try to kill them in front of their children as well.

Or (here's an idea!) we could deal with WHY this happened in the first place (colonial war, dehumanized Afghans to the soldiers), put in place measures to ensure is doesn't happen again, and mete out justice through the justice system. No, I don't really trust the justice system, but I don't trust vigilante justice either.


Why did you assume I was talking about murder in retaliation? I just thought the family had the right to know who murdered their husband/father. And to lay charges against him, and have him tried in Afghanistan for murder or perhaps some lesser offence. Which justice system are you talking about -- Canadian or Afghani? Should he/she be charged and tried? What is your view?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 16 March 2006 10:35 PM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It was an unfortunate incident and an investigation is being be held. Until the facts are known as well as they can be, I would suggest that rendering judgement is premature.

Perhaps the soldier fired wrongfully, perhaps not. If the soldier was following his rules of engagement, he can hardly be faulted. If he broke the rules of engagement, he'll be punished.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 16 March 2006 10:57 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:
It was an unfortunate incident and an investigation is being be held. Until the facts are known as well as they can be, I would suggest that rendering judgement is premature.

Perhaps the soldier fired wrongfully, perhaps not. If the soldier was following his rules of engagement, he can hardly be faulted. If he broke the rules of engagement, he'll be punished.


How do you know it was an "unfortunate incident"? How can you say that in the same paragraph as "rendering judgement is premature"? And how can you base a determination on "his rules of engagement", whatever that is -- what about the law of Afghanistan? What about international law? Could he not be found culpable under one or both of those even if he respected his rules of engagement?

I find it rather incredible that you jumped to a huge series of conclusions after having pronounced judgement to be "premature". It sounds to me as if your decision is already made.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 16 March 2006 11:06 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Grape, will all due respects I just can't get past those words.

"A small gift, if that's appropriate."


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 16 March 2006 11:14 PM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

How do you know it was an "unfortunate incident"? How can you say that in the same paragraph as "rendering judgement is premature"?


Because any incident in which innocent life is taken is unfortunate, to say the least.

quote:
And how can you base a determination on "his rules of engagement", whatever that is -- what about the law of Afghanistan? What about international law? Could he not be found culpable under one or both of those even if he respected his rules of engagement?

Likely not, as his mission is UN-sanctioned and rules of engagement (the rules which instruct the soldier when he can and cannot fire, use force, etc.) are formulated in keeping with international law and military regulations. As for Afghani law, we'll have to wait and see.

quote:
I find it rather incredible that you jumped to a huge series of conclusions after having pronounced judgement to be "premature". It sounds to me as if your decision is already made.

I made no conclusions other than that the incident was unfortunate and that, *IF* he broke his ROEs, he'd be punished (the CF doesn't take ROE violation lightly, especially when a death is involved). I made no conclusions as to what happened, since none can be made of yet. I simply stated the two possibilities: he followed ROEs or he didn't.

EDIT:

quote:
Originally posted by Américain Égalitaire:
Grape, will all due respects I just can't get past those words.

"A small gift, if that's appropriate."


Absolutely - it's a ridiculous statement, considering the circumstances. I don't know if it was made because of some Afghani cultural norm or what, but in its current context, it's ridiculous.

[ 16 March 2006: Message edited by: Grape ]


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 16 March 2006 11:41 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:
I made no conclusions other than that the incident was unfortunate and that, *IF* he broke his ROEs, he'd be punished (the CF doesn't take ROE violation lightly, especially when a death is involved). I made no conclusions as to what happened, since none can be made of yet. I simply stated the two possibilities: he followed ROEs or he didn't.

Not meaning to criticize, but have you forgotten this statement: "If the soldier was following his rules of engagement, he can hardly be faulted."

Surely his actions are subject to Afghani law and international law, and saying "I followed CF-formulated ROE" is not a complete defence, is it now?

So will you modify or retract that above-cited conclusion?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 17 March 2006 12:14 AM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The way ROEs have been explained to me in the past is that they are based off of both Canadian and International Laws.

ROEs are approved by both military and civilian lawyers working for the government.

I do not like this “shoot at vehicles to close to the convoy” policy. Too many mistakes can happen in a short amount of time with bad results.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 17 March 2006 12:24 AM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
[QB]

Not meaning to criticize, but have you forgotten this statement: "If the soldier was following his rules of engagement, he can hardly be faulted."


Hey, criticize away - that's the whole fun of debate!

quote:
Surely his actions are subject to Afghani law and international law, and saying "I followed CF-formulated ROE" is not a complete defence, is it now?

His following of CF ROEs is a legitimate defense, yes. Since those ROEs are formulated in keeping with international law, he cannot be faulted for following them, by international law or by the military.

CF members are subject to military law while on deployment. Soldiers on deployment that commit offences are tried according to the standards of the military - Somalia is an example.

As such, my statement is accurate: if he followed his ROEs, then he can't be faulted since the CF dictated those ROEs. The military is hardly going to prosecute a soldier for following the rules of engagement that they themselves issued.

This cuts both ways - acts considered criminal by the military (just about everything considered criminal by Canadian law and a plethora of other things) may not be considered criminal by the country in which the offence is committed. The soldier is still charged, though.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 12:36 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:
As such, my statement is accurate: if he followed his ROEs, then he can't be faulted since the CF dictated those ROEs. The military is hardly going to prosecute a soldier for following the rules of engagement that they themselves issued.

I'm going to try one more time. Who is talking about being charged by the military? I'm not. I'm talking about Afghani law and international law. He/she/unnamed Canadian soldier may be charged by the Afghani authorities under their law. He may also be charged with war crimes by just about anyone and tried in various different courts.

And I have to tell you that "I was just following my orders and rules of engagement" is not considered a very good defence when you're facing any tribunal other than your own military one.

[Edited:] By the way, in our exchange so far, you seem to fail to recognize the existence of Afghani authority, notwithstanding my references to Afghani law. I think that is very telling. You seem to be looking at the situation through the eyes of the foreign military force, not that of the resident civil authority.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 17 March 2006 12:42 AM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:


I'm going to try one more time. Who is talking about being charged by the military? I'm not. I'm talking about Afghani law and international law. He/she/unnamed Canadian soldier may be charged by the Afghani authorities under their law. He may also be charged with war crimes by just about anyone and tried in various different courts.


I've said numerous times that the ROEs are in keeping with international law - thus he won't be tried by international courts if he followed the ROEs. My point is that he's not subject to Afghan law. Canadian military law makes allowances for service tribunals to try members for offences under foreign law, but it's not necessary in this case since if he DID break his ROEs, he has already committed an offence under military (and possibly international) law and will be tried accordingly.

If he did something wrong, it will be the CF trying him, not the Afghanis or an international court. If he followed his ROEs and did nothing wrong by military or international standards, there is no way on god's green earth that the military will allow him to be tried by the Afghanis.

quote:
And I have to tell you that "I was just following my orders and rules of engagement" is not considered a very good defence when you're facing any tribunal other than your own military one.

That's if he's following an illegal order. The ROEs are not illegal, by military, Canadian, or international standards.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: Grape ]

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: Grape ]

quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

[Edited:] By the way, in our exchange so far, you seem to fail to recognize the existence of Afghani authority, notwithstanding my references to Afghani law. I think that is very telling. You seem to be looking at the situation through the eyes of the foreign military force, not that of the resident civil authority.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


Perhaps I am. The fact that the Afghani government wants us there factors quite heavily though. As such, they're not going to go trying our troops for shooting incidents such as these unless we volunteer them for prosecution, which we won't.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: Grape ]


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 12:45 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:
If he did something wrong, it will be the CF trying him, not the Afghanis or an international court. If he followed his ROEs and did nothing wrong by military or international standards, there is no way on god's green earth that the military will allow him to be tried by the Afghanis.

Thanks. That's what I thought you were trying to say. Glad you finally squeezed it out, Grape.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 17 March 2006 12:48 AM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Thanks. That's what I thought you were trying to say. Glad you finally squeezed it out, Grape.


I would have thought that was a foregone conclusion. I stand corrected.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 17 March 2006 01:00 AM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wouldn't have thought it was a foregone conclusion either. The theory here is that Canada is trying to help Afghanistan return to (or build) the rule of law; rejecting out of hand the application of Afghani law does not seem like a particularly good way to do so.
From: Lima, Perú | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 01:02 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rici:
I wouldn't have thought it was a foregone conclusion either. The theory here is that Canada is trying to help Afghanistan return to (or build) the rule of law; rejecting out of hand the application of Afghani law does not seem like a particularly good way to do so.

Not just rejecting Afghani law, but enthusiastically proclaiming that armed Canadians "will not allow" the Afghani authorities to charge and try someone who fires a weapon and kills an Afghani civilian in Afghanistan... Very few hearts and minds will be won by such an attitude.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 17 March 2006 01:20 AM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rici:
I wouldn't have thought it was a foregone conclusion either. The theory here is that Canada is trying to help Afghanistan return to (or build) the rule of law; rejecting out of hand the application of Afghani law does not seem like a particularly good way to do so.

Afghani law is based in Islamic law. By that standard, weapon-wielding female Canadian soldiers should be charged. I guess we should pony-up all our women soldiers for punishment by virtue of their being female and possessing weapons.

That being said, Afghani law also varies depending on which village you're in - some villages let their women go uncovered, others don't. Which village's system of law would you like our soldiers to follow?

quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Not just rejecting Afghani law, but enthusiastically proclaiming that armed Canadians "will not allow" the Afghani authorities to charge and try someone who fires a weapon and kills an Afghani civilian in Afghanistan... Very few hearts and minds will be won by such an attitude.


Of course we wouldn't. We don't do it on peacekeeping missions either.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 01:24 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:
Afghani law is based in Islamic law. By that standard, weapon-wielding female Canadian soldiers should be charged. I guess we should pony-up all our women soldiers for punishment by virtue of their being female and possessing weapons.

That being said, Afghani law also varies depending on which village you're in - some villages let their women go uncovered, others don't. Which village's system of law would you like our soldiers to follow?


I thought I would just quote your remarks without any comment. They require none. Thanks for finally speaking your mind.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 17 March 2006 01:55 AM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

I thought I would just quote your remarks without any comment. They require none. Thanks for finally speaking your mind.


Hey, I made no value judgements on Islamic law, if that's what you're getting at. I'm a moral relativist - to each his own. The point is that our soldiers cannot do their jobs if they're subject to that law, which they can't.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 17 March 2006 05:25 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From Grape:

quote:
The point is that our soldiers cannot do their jobs if they're subject to that law, which they can't.

Wow!. Lets see, we're trying to establish the rule of law by operating in such a way that we can't follow the rule of law.

You must be joking.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ward
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posted 17 March 2006 07:46 AM      Profile for Ward     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Might is right.
From: Scarborough | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 March 2006 09:18 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This morning's editorial from the Grope and Flail, which I think is a touchstone of a sort.

[NB: That link will take you to a Google News page; go from there to the full text of the editorial. If you think that you can link others directly to that full text, you will be mistaken. Anyone clicking on your link will just get the opening lines of the editorial and the subscription wall. If you want the full text, go through Google News.]

Back to the touchstone. I sat for a long time this a.m. after I first read this editorial, simply speechless at what has become of my own culture, or at least of many of my fellow citizens, obviously many of the elite.

Take, for example, this paragraph:

quote:
Nevertheless, the ground, even in the city proper, is hostile. Insurgents move freely among the locals and can pick and choose when to strike. The hundreds of taxis, tuk-tuks, fruit carts, bicycles and motorcycles on Kandahar's streets are all potential suicide bombs. The busy traffic and narrow, potholed roads create frequent choke points where convoys must slow or stop. Armoured or not, the convoys are vulnerable.

And maybe, just for good measure, we shall repeat one of those sentences:

quote:
The hundreds of taxis, tuk-tuks, fruit carts, bicycles and motorcycles on Kandahar's streets are all potential suicide bombs.

Read that again:

quote:
The hundreds of taxis, tuk-tuks, fruit carts, bicycles and motorcycles on Kandahar's streets are all potential suicide bombs.

What horrible, horrible thing has the person who wrote that sentence, much less the whole paragraph, much less the whole editorial, done to his own mind, his own moral being, his basic sense of human decency?

That is a description of life in Kandahar as the people of Kandahar live it.

But how does the editorial writer see that life? You can almost see his lip curling with scorn at the whole noisy, primitive, teeming scene, can't you. A scene teeming with ... life. But not life that the editorial writer cares about. Oh, no: that doesn't look like home, does it? For Canadians there, it looks like an alien, threatening muddle, full of potential demons, and of course all that matters is that the Canadians present, intruders in this alien place, should be keeping themselves safe first of all, destroying peremptorily anything different from themselves ... which, by logical extension, would be the entire country.

How do we express our shame? Mine is beyond words. I am ashamed to share citizenship with the person who wrote that editorial. I do not believe that Canadians are that stupid or that evil, but because our elites seem now to be attempting to propagandize us into accepting that we are, we are going to have to do a lot to prove that we are not.

Shame. Deep shame. And we will all wear it if we don't resist.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 09:22 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The children are all potential suicide bombers. Each and every last one of them. Even an infant can be rigged up by a desperate Taliban. Dogs, cats, and domestic farm animals should not be ruled out either.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 09:23 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maestro:
From Grape:

Wow!. Lets see, we're trying to establish the rule of law by operating in such a way that we can't follow the rule of law.

You must be joking.


The fine art of cross-examination.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 09:29 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

How do we express our shame? Mine is beyond words. I am ashamed to share citizenship with the person who wrote that editorial. I do not believe that Canadians are that stupid or that evil, but because our elites seem now to be attempting to propagandize us into accepting that we are, we are going to have to do a lot to prove that we are not.

Shame. Deep shame. And we will all wear it if we don't resist.


I agree, of course. I have felt this shame personally since Oct. 7, 2001, when Jean Chrétien went on TV to support the U.S. invasion without putting any conditions or limits on it. As I have also said, there is not one single Member of Parliament who has condemned this war and called for our troops to come home. The Globe editorial pales by comparison with that shameful fact. Any suggestion as to what to do about this would be welcome, but my past experience tells me that the streets of Canada are the best place to start.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 17 March 2006 09:34 AM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Again, we see a lot of conflating of US and Canadian military approaches in this thread, a conflation which won't stand up to reasoned examination. When Canadian troops tortured a Somali teenager, their entire regiment was disbanded in disgrace. I'd like some of the anti-CF folks here to name one other nation which has punished misbehaviour by their military so severely. Of course Canadian soldiers are bound by the ROEs when posted in foreign nations. This is part of the arrangement under which nations accept stationing of peace-keeping or peace-making troops on their soil. Unfortunately for the arguments of those opposing our Afghanistan involvement, we are there at the invitation of the elected government and with the support of the majority of the population, from all indications. A tragic incident like this recent shooting, or even several such incidents, will not change Afghani attitudes towards Canadian forces presence, although a concerted pattern of abuse certainly would. The fact that some here seem unable to distinguish between the values, operating procedures and history of the US and Canadian militaries indicates their own ideological blindness.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 March 2006 09:36 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The hundreds of taxis, tuk-tuks, fruit carts, bicycles and motorcycles on Kandahar's streets are all potential suicide bombs.

A Canadian wrote that.

We are finished. We are doomed.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 17 March 2006 09:59 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd like to say something here: I don't think the soldier who killed this man is ultimately the responsible party. The people who've put him in this impossible situation bear a lot of the responsibility. If our soldiers view every unknown Afghani civilian as a threat, a mission of peace is not possible. If this soldier's CO is giving him illegal orders (shoot civilians if they get "too close"), the CO is culpable in any deaths resulting from that order. Likewise for the CO's superior officers, who are ultimately setting the policy for this deployment.

That said, it is every individual soldier's responsibility to refuse orders that contravene the Geneva conventions. Shooting unconfirmed threats while travelling on shared civilian streets sounds like just such an order.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 10:17 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
When Canadian troops tortured a Somali teenager, their entire regiment was disbanded in disgrace. I'd like some of the anti-CF folks here to name one other nation which has punished misbehaviour by their military so severely.

You blithely re-write history. The Airborne was not disbanded because of the torture of Shidane Arone, but much later, because of shocking revelations on CBC television about racist and de-humanizing hazing rituals. And the military resisted the disbandment right to the end.

Chronology:

March 16, 1993: Shidane Arone tortured and murdered. The event quickly became public and the investigation was concluded equally fast.

March 16, 1994: Pte Brown was sentenced to 5 years for manslaughter and torture.

January 18, 1995: Hazing video surfaces.

January 24, 1995 (6 days later): Defence Minister disbands the Airborne Regiment.

Here is the DND's own account of the final act:

quote:
The Somalia Working Group appears to have concluded its work with the issuing of MGen Boyle's report [ed: July 1994]. He stated that the most important work of the group was its analysis of the Phase I report of the de Faye board of inquiry and the comparison of its content to the evidence disclosed by the various Military Police investigations. He reiterated that this work had been done to identify for the Department all the potential issues it could be facing as a result of the "Somalia Affair".

New information about the mission and the activities of the Canadian Airborne Regiment continued to surface. In January 1995, CBC television aired a videotape showing members of the Airborne engaged in an initiation activity that involved human vomit, urine, and excrement. In response to the continuing disclosures, the Minister of National Defence, the Hon. David Collenette, announced the disbandment of the Canadian Airborne Regiment on January 24, 1995, against the advice of the Chief of the Defence Staff. The CAR was disbanded on March 5, 1995, only a few weeks before this Inquiry was established.


Ultimately, of course, the newly-established inquiry was aborted, and those responsible for Canada's actions in Somalia was never finally established. The little guys were punished or disbanded. Source of pride and confidence? I don't think so.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 10:23 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
Unfortunately for the arguments of those opposing our Afghanistan involvement, we are there at the invitation of the elected government and with the support of the majority of the population, from all indications.

What about Viet Nam? The U.S. wasn't there at the invitation of its puppet governments?

How about Iraq? The "elected" government doesn't want the U.S. and Britain and the other brigands there? How about the "majority of the population" -- what do they want?

Yours are the typical arguments of every single invader in modern times. No one marches in saying, "I know the people don't want me, but I'm going in anyway."


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 11:36 AM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"You say sorry? What does sorry mean to me? Will sorry feed my children?"

Afghan family cries for fallen father


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 11:45 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the same Toronto Star article:

quote:
Yesterday afternoon, when the Star's van fell in behind another Canadian patrol travelling through downtown Kandahar, a soldier riding in the back of the vehicle could be seen draining a bottle of water and then pinging the plastic container off the head of a young Afghan male walking along the street.

"You see," an Afghan in the car pointed out. "You see how they treat us?"



From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 11:46 AM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Edited out because unionist and I posted the same thing, word for word.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 March 2006 11:47 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And this one:

quote:
The rickshaw, moving slowly — it's maximum speed is 20 km/h

... blew past a checkpoint?

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 11:48 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry for the long excerpt, but I think it's important to have the family's testimony of what happened inscribed in babble's record:

quote:
There were seven people in the rickshaw, she said, six family members (including a daughter-in-law and her baby) and the driver, while oldest son Farid Ahmed followed behind on his bicycle.

The rickshaw, moving slowly — it's maximum speed is 20 km/h — was just coming around the sharp curve of a spoked road that leads into one of Kandahar's major roundabouts, said Gul. From that angle, as the Star confirmed after visiting the scene, the driver would not have seen the parked patrol until it was about 15 metres away.

The Afghan checkpoint, however, is apparently moved in the evenings from the centre of the roundabout to the entry-point of the two roads leading into it, and allegedly all vehicles are checked after 9 p.m.

"I lived for many years in Iran. I know all about police checkpoints," said Gul, 40. "We were not stopped by the Afghans. And there was no warning shot from the Canadians, no shouting, no shots fired in the air, no light shining on us. There was only this sudden gunfire — three shots — and my husband falling out of the rickshaw into the street."

Lieut. Derek Basinger, chief of staff for Task Force Afghanistan, told reporters on Wednesday that a medic on the vehicle had immediately examined the victim, that the wound did not look life-threatening, and that Afghan police quickly arrived, removing Nasrat Ali to hospital.

Gul says the medic didn't come out of the patrol vehicle for 15 minutes, while her husband — still conscious — lay bleeding in the road; that the Canadians troops ignored family pleas that Nasrat Ali be taken right away to hospital. "I was begging, please, take him to the American hospital. They wouldn't do it."

Afghan police, when they finally arrived, put her husband in a second rickshaw for the trip to the hospital, leaving her behind, Gul added.



From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 March 2006 11:51 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just out of curiosity, of all the suicide car bombings in Afghanistan, how many of the vehicles held multiple passengers including women and children?
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 12:02 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Just out of curiosity, of all the suicide car bombings in Afghanistan, how many of the vehicles held multiple passengers including women and children?

Haven't you heard the "human shield" theory? All enemies of White Christian Civilization use women, children, old folks, innocents, as "human shields" in order to deliberately embarrass us when we end up slaughtering them out of the best of motives. You see, we're Brave, but they are inherently Short and Cowardly, so when we see women and children, we think: "Aha! Can't fool me! These are human shields! FIRE!"


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 12:10 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Another US spokesperson in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, suggested Saddam had deliberately created a human shield - a tactic he has used before - to inflame international opinion against allied air strikes.

The Baghdad shelter manager said: We didn't have a single military man in the shelter. It is allocated to civilians."

1991: US bombers strike civilians in Baghdad



From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 12:14 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you, writer. It brings back all the horrendous memories of the time. Some day these U.S. murderers will cower in the dock of the International Criminal Court as the victims read their impact statements.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
A Tribute to Iraqi Ingenuity...

January 17, 2006 marks the 15th commemoration of the Gulf War in 1991 after Iraq occupied Kuwait (briefly) in 1990. (Or according to American terminology, after Iraq ‘liberated’ Kuwait in 1990.)

For 42 days, Baghdad and other cities and towns were bombarded with nearly 140,000 tons of explosives, by international estimates. The bombing was relentless- schools, housing complexes, factories, bridges, electric power stations, ministries, sewage facilities, oil refineries, operators, and even bomb shelters (including the only baby formula factory in Iraq and the infamous Amirya Shelter bombing where almost 400 civilians were killed).

According to reports and statistics made by the “Iraqi Reconstruction Bureau” and the ministries involved in reconstruction, prior to the 2003 war/occupation, the following damage was done through 42 days of continuous bombing, and various acts of vandalism ...



From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
xrcrguy
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posted 17 March 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for xrcrguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
I do not like this “shoot at vehicles to close to the convoy” policy. Too many mistakes can happen in a short amount of time with bad results.

Agreed, as well, one cannot blindly follow the ROE's and expect all to work out just fine. If that were the case, we'd have a lot more dead civilians on our hands. No, the ROE's I feel, are guidelines which have to be adjusted depending on the situation.

One thing I was always taught about ROE's was "What would the reasonable person do?". In a city situation it's reasonable to assume that vehicles will get to close, that vehicles won't get out of the way. It happens everyday in our own city streets with our emergency service vehicles, why just yesterday I witnessed a Taxi cab almost get T-boned by a firetruck. Driving errors are not punishable by death in any country.
We have to accept the risk of being attacked and keep on with the job if we start seeing ghosts in every shadow we'll quickly lose any credibilty we had.


From: Believe in ideas, not ideology | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 17 March 2006 03:08 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rules of engagement

Here is an article from the Ottawa Citizen. It is an interesting read.

Canadians have had to confront the hard reality that going into Afghanistan means our soldiers will be wounded and killed. We must also accept the fact that, as in any theatre of war, those soldiers can make lethal mistakes.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 17 March 2006 03:10 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canadian troops open fire on armed attackers

Here is another article from the Ottawa Citizen.

Yesterday, his family said their vehicle was not stopped by the police just prior to the shooting, and that the Canadians issued no verbal or other warnings before firing at the taxi. Family members also said they asked the Canadian troops after the shooting to help take the injured man to hospital, but their request was ignored.

The family is asking for $30,000 U.S. in compensation from Canada for his death.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 03:18 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
Rules of engagement

Here is an article from the Ottawa Citizen. It is an interesting read.


Baloney. It's not an article; it's an editorial. Why would you call it an "article from the Ottawa Citizen", knowing that that implies it's a news item?

Here's the sanctimonious self-righteous quality of this editorial:

quote:
We must never become cavalier and shrug off the deaths of Afghan civilians as mere collateral damage. The death of an Afghan civilian is no less regrettable than the death of a Canadian civilian. No one's blood is cheaper than anyone else's. It would also be wrong to politicize such deaths by using them to discredit anti-terrorism efforts generally or to make unfair accusations against Canadian soldiers in particular.

From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 17 March 2006 03:22 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The hundreds of taxis, tuk-tuks, fruit carts, bicycles and motorcycles on Kandahar's streets are all potential suicide bombs.

Which clearly shows our 'war' isn't against the Taliban, it is against the Afghani people themselves.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
S1m0n
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posted 17 March 2006 03:25 PM      Profile for S1m0n        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
We must also accept the fact that, as in any theatre of war, those soldiers can make lethal mistakes.

In other words, it is entirely predictable that we will kill innocent Afghanis in their own company, and we don't care, or don't care enough.

Surely that disregard meets the defiinition of "criminal negligence".

~~

In the meantime, we still cannot explain in concrete terms what we're doing in Afghanistan, how that will better the lives of Afghanis in the long term, what the odds of this occurring are assessed at, nor the risks.

All answers to question consist of vague apple-pie slogans like "providing security" or "creating democracy". OK, if that's what we're doing how specifically do we plan to do those things, and will our plans be effective?

~~

The answer, of course, is that these questions were never a part of our reason for going--they may never even have been assessed, and in any case, we're not in charge. We're there in response to US pressure, and we're doing their bidding. That's the only part that got looked at. WHat is your confidence in the Bush administration's ability to know what the fuck it's doing? Mine is not high.

~~

So, the Globe and Mail can't pretend that the civilian deaths it so cavalierly deems acceptable are actually in aid of any cause more benign than currying favour with the americans.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 17 March 2006 03:25 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

What about Viet Nam? The U.S. wasn't there at the invitation of its puppet governments?

How about Iraq? The "elected" government doesn't want the U.S. and Britain and the other brigands there? How about the "majority of the population" -- what do they want?

Yours are the typical arguments of every single invader in modern times. No one marches in saying, "I know the people don't want me, but I'm going in anyway."


I'm sorry, Unionist, but you are again conflating Afghanistan with Iraq, and now, Viet Nam. You know as well as I that, from what we can tell from first hand reports of journalists and others, from Afghani organizations like RAWA, from many Afghani civilians in the street, and from Afghani Canadians who are surely well-aware of what is happening in their homeland, that foreign stabilization forces (with the exception of the US) are welcomed and supported by the majority of Afghanis. We both further know, or should know, that withdrawal of UN forces under Canadian command would lead in all likelihood to an unimagineable blood bath in Afghanistan, particularly of the most moderate and modern folks in that society.

You and most others that argue against our mission in Afghanistan are some of the most intelligent, well-informed and sincere posters on this board, and your analysis is appreciated. But I really think we have to be smart enough to distinguish between the actions of the US - barbaric and illegal and self-serving - and the moderating, peace-oriented, internalionally legal purposes of allies such as Canada. If your objection is that Canada should not be allied with the US at all, that is a proposition I would support. But we are so allied at present. That is a different discussion and one that is more urgent even than debate about our Afghanistan committments. And has it occured to you that if the UN force withdrew from Afghanistan, they would quickly be replaced by US forces with all their firepower and demonstrated concern for the welfare of Muslims?


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 March 2006 03:33 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
You know as well as I that, from what we can tell from first hand reports of journalists and others, from Afghani organizations like RAWA, from many Afghani civilians in the street, and from Afghani Canadians who are surely well-aware of what is happening in their homeland, that foreign stabilization forces (with the exception of the US) are welcomed and supported by the majority of Afghanis.

I don't know that at all. Neither does RAWA, apparently:

quote:
Another Eighth of March has arrived but still the Afghan women are hostage to the fundamentalists’ claws. The continuation of traitor-loving policies of Mr. Karzai and his sympathetic friends by the indication of US government is still like spears entering deeper and deeper into the injured face of our unfortunate people. Whenever the criminal “Emirs” and their commanders commit another heinous crime, instead of being sued, they are rewarded and receive higher posts.

Murder, robbery, kidnapping and the rape of women and children has become the routine. There is a high rate of women committing suicide and an ever expanding cultivation and trafficking of narcotics, all while billions of dollars of foreign aid and public resources are squandered away. Unemployment and homelessness is on the rise. Opening of Kabul Serina Hotel and other hotels of this type in a country with the lowest rate of income per capita in the world doesn’t mean development but it is indeed providing sensual environment for criminals and mocking about the miserable life condition of majority of our nation. The compromising government is unable even to solve smallest of these issues. The country is in chaos.

The last four years of experience in our Afghan nation has confirmed the point that for the government of Karzai, the will of our oppressed nation is not the priority but it is the interests of criminals. Mr. Karzai doesn’t want to and can’t destroy the band of criminals from Afghanistan because the interests of both parties are intertwined.


Statement issued to recognize the International Day of Women


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 03:47 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:

You know as well as I that, from what we can tell from first hand reports of journalists and others, from Afghani organizations like RAWA, from many Afghani civilians in the street, and from Afghani Canadians who are surely well-aware of what is happening in their homeland, that foreign stabilization forces (with the exception of the US) are welcomed and supported by the majority of Afghanis. We both further know, or should know, that withdrawal of UN forces under Canadian command would lead in all likelihood to an unimagineable blood bath in Afghanistan, particularly of the most moderate and modern folks in that society.

[...] And has it occured to you that if the UN force withdrew from Afghanistan, they would quickly be replaced by US forces with all their firepower and demonstrated concern for the welfare of Muslims?


I have seen no statement of support for the Canadian incursion from any Afghani organization that credibly claims to represent people in Afghanistan. That includes RAWA, which vociferously denounces the very puppet regime that Canada is helping to prop up as the main objective of its mission.

As for Canadians being replaced by American troops "with all their firepower", the reason we're there is to relieve the thinly stretched Americans in the first place and play as their proxy. The U.S. wars are so unpopular at home, and they're so obviously losing, that they're now preparing for a withdrawal from Iraq. After 4.5 years of bombing Afghanistan, then occupying, then installing their puppets, the U.S. has failed miserably to weaken any terrorist networks, to disarm warlords, to stabilize anything, to win over the affections of the people...

If you really believe that they'd march back in to that mess on the heels of a Canadian withdrawal, I'd like to see some analysis and evidence to that effect. I don't believe it. Nor do I believe that U.S. and/or Canadian withdrawal from either Iraq or Afghanistan will give rise to a "bloodbath". The bloodbath is now.

[Edited to add:] What "UN force"? This is not a UN force. It's a NATO force.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
S1m0n
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posted 17 March 2006 03:48 PM      Profile for S1m0n        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Under the Fourth Geneva Convention (on the rights of subject populations under occupation) the government of a country under occupation CAN'T consent to the derogation of the rights of its citizens. Therefore, the opinion of the Karzai so-called government is legally irrelevant.

This is, of course, the puppet government rule: the first act of any would-be conqueror is to set up a puppet regime to rubber-stamp it's decisions. These regimes have no weight under the law.

~~

So any argument that our troops are there, shooting civilians, because they've been asked by Karzai is BS.

[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: S1m0n ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 04:00 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
[snip]"The democracy the U.S. brought to Afghanistan isn't working," Joya asserts. The warlords, now in power both at the local level and in the national government, "have learned to talk about democracy and women's rights but they don't really support them." The players in Afghanistan may have changed physically, she says, "but mentally they are still the Taliban" in their disrespect for human rights.

[snip] She lamented that $12 billion in foreign assistance and another $10 billion in the pipeline would not filter down to impoverished Afghans in need of clothing, schooling, books and medical care. Citing a UNICEF report, she said 700 children and 15 to 20 women were dying daily in Afghanistan because of poor public health services.

[snip] Dear friends," she continued, "Such a country cannot be free and liberated. My country is not free. The presence of U.S. troops is not to establish democracy: it is only for its own strategic interest. America was never concerned about the establishment of democracy."

From several news items available at theMalalai Joya website



From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 17 March 2006 04:28 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
FM and Unionist, I stand corrected on several details : the Airborne Regiment was dispanded for reasons which include but extend beyond Shidane Arone's murder; the Canadian-led force in Afghanistan is a NATO one, sanctioned by the UN; RAWA does not support the central government (but I never said it did. I stand by my statement the RAWA is not calling for the removal of foreign forces, but rather for them to function more effectively - I'll dig out the reference from another thread here if I have to).

If ever there were a topic that cries for the application of clear logic, it is this one. We get Maestro saying that the fact that any vehicle on the Afghan streets is a potential suicide bomb "clearly shows our 'war' isn't against the Taliban, it is against the Afghani people themselves." This shows no such thing. Despite the deserved corrections of fact offered, I see no serious contradiction yet to my main point - the Afghani people want us in Afghanistan. Similarly I have not yet seen a convincing argument that al Qaeda does not represent a serious security threat to Canadians. One significant terrorist attack on Canadian soil, (and I agree with those who think such an attack is inevitable at some point) would tragically, be enough to put this debate on a much more realistic footing.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 04:37 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Dear friends," she continued, "Such a country cannot be free and liberated. My country is not free. The presence of U.S. troops is not to establish democracy: it is only for its own strategic interest. America was never concerned about the establishment of democracy."

From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 04:39 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
Despite the deserved corrections of fact offered, I see no serious contradiction yet to my main point - the Afghani people want us in Afghanistan. Similarly I have not yet seen a convincing argument that al Qaeda does not represent a serious security threat to Canadians. One significant terrorist attack on Canadian soil, (and I agree with those who think such an attack is inevitable at some point) would tragically, be enough to put this debate on a much more realistic footing.

You know what the Afghani people "want". I only know what the Afghani people do. I trust the latter more than the former.

Al Qaeda (whatever that is) represents a serious security threat to Canadians? You want us to prove the negative of that statement? Tough job.

You think a terrorist attack on Canada would "put this debate on a much more realistic footing" -- the way it did in the United States after 9-11?????

I don't understand what you are saying.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 March 2006 04:39 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I stand by my statement the RAWA is not calling for the removal of foreign forces, but rather for them to function more effectively - I'll dig out the reference from another thread here if I have to

You do not need to dig out. RAWA wants international forces to live up to the brave words they use at home when defending their mission but then forget in Afghanistan while executing their mission. I wouldn't ask for anything more, either.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 17 March 2006 04:44 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"In the name of God, democracy and peace, from my sisters - the women of Afghanistan - Taliban may have gone, but abuses are not over," she said, "This democracy brought the Afghani people out of the pan but into the fire. The United States is supporting fundamentalists more than ever. It supports the Northern Alliance - the most brutal and ignorant fundamentalists."

Despite the millions of dollars in aid the country receives, there has been no improvement - people still have no electricity, no education, no medical care, and no security, Joya said. Despite the 6,000 U.N. [sic] troops in Kabul, people are still killed in broad daylight, she said. Drug trafficking continues while poor farmers are stopped from growing poppies and sometimes have to "sell their daughters" to survive.

... Joya has survived several assassination attempts and continues to receive death threats.

She took questions after her speech, speaking in English but using a translator's assistance.

The first question came from Natalie Healy, of Exeter. Healy said her son Dan was killed while serving in Afghanistan last year, and she wore his army photograph pinned to her jacket.

"What do you want? How do you hope to achieve it? What's your alternative?" she asked Joya.

Joya did not immediately understand that the woman's son was killed in Afghanistan. She repeated that the United States should stop supporting the Northern Alliance and other similar fundamentalist organizations.

When Joya understood the woman's son was killed in Afghanistan, she said, "On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, I'd like to express my condolences."

Joan Sergio, who was seated in front of Healy, said, "Just because I speak out against the war, doesn't mean I don't support the people who are fighting - for whatever they think they're fighting for."

"For our protection!" screamed Healy, and someone told her to calm down.

After the questions, Healy went up to talk to Joya, and the two women gave each other a hug.

"Afghan legislator: Country's improvement has stalled since Taliban was overthrown" - from Malalai Joya's website


[ 17 March 2006: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 17 March 2006 05:24 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Al Qaeda (whatever that is) represents a serious security threat to Canadians? You want us to prove the negative of that statement? Tough job.

You think a terrorist attack on Canada would "put this debate on a much more realistic footing" -- the way it did in the United States after 9-11?????

I don't understand what you are saying.


What I am saing al Qaeda is real and remains a threat, perhaps a growing threat, to the world in general. Islamic extremism may be very much the creation of the US (and the rigidities and injustice of much of the Arab world) and being used by the US as an excuse for global domination. Both these things may well be true. If the threat of terrorism is increasing it is largely due to ham-handed murderous US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere. I agree. All these things are true. But this does not change the fact that now, al Qaeda does exist, and has demonstrated its willingness to stage terrorist attacks basically anywhere in the world, including Canada. Our government has no choice but to attempt to provide for the security of Canadians in these circumstances, and it seems to me, disrupting terrorist organization and capturing or killing their leaders is a very reasonable strategy. The terrorist threat is real, despite the fact that the US created it and exploited it for its own purposes. We have to deal with it. That is what I'm saying.


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 March 2006 05:30 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
The terrorist threat is real, despite the fact that the US created it and exploited it for its own purposes. We have to deal with it. That is what I'm saying.

Let us deal with terrorism by going home, not bothering people in Afghanistan or Iraq, and giving no help, support or sympathy to the U.S. whatsoever. Otherwise:

Afghans killed on hostage mission

quote:
Five Afghan policemen have been killed retrieving the bodies of Macedonian hostages believed to have been killed by the Taleban, officials say.

The officers died when a roadside bomb hit their convoy of vehicles, which was already carrying the dead hostages. [...]

Taleban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf on Monday said at the weekend the four foreigners had been shot dead.

"We will kill anyone who is helping the Americans," he told the BBC.

One of the freed Afghans said they had been stopped by a group of 20 men dressed as police as they left Helmand for Kabul on Saturday morning.


Home. Now.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 17 March 2006 06:08 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well I guess pulling a blanket over one's head is a strategy of a sort, especially if there was a chance this would lead terrorists to take you off their hit list. I don't think it will, but what do I know? I suggest a more moral strategy than abandoning Afghanistan to its fate - lets stay there as long as a clear majority of the people support our staying. This is a fairly staightforward empirical question. I'll contribute whatever substantial information I can find, and encourage us all to do so. Do the majority of Afghanis want us there or not?
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
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posted 17 March 2006 06:10 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
I'll contribute whatever substantial information I can find, and encourage us all to do so. Do the majority of Afghanis want us there or not?

Got any names to start us off?


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Grape
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posted 17 March 2006 07:33 PM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maestro:
From Grape:

Wow!. Lets see, we're trying to establish the rule of law by operating in such a way that we can't follow the rule of law.

You must be joking.


Funny - the police do it all the time. There are a different set of laws for the police - they're allowed to carry firearms openly, given powers of search, seizure, arrest, and detention, etc.

Are they subject to law? Of course. Could they do their jobs if they held the same status as civilians - unable to arrest, detain, etc. and unarmed? Probably not. This goes doubly so for soldiers. That being said, they ARE subject to law. As are our soldiers. The National Defence Act, Queen's Regulations and Orders (QR&Os), etc. are all examples. As I said before - service tribunals can be held to try service members guilty of infractions of foreign laws while on deployment.

As it stands, that's pretty unlikely. The Afghan government wants us there. Trying our soldiers for every minor violation, including being gay, apostasy, etc. would achieve little else but to paralyze them and/or make us withdraw our troops. The fact of the matter is that Afghanistan is still lacking a concrete and uniform set of laws, as well as the institutional structure to effectively execute them. A large problem is the primacy of Islamic law but its lack of integration into the constitution, so that you end up with two conflicting legal apparatuses.

It's not as though our soldiers can rape, rob, murder, and pillage with impunity. In fact, they're probably more restrained in that regard than the Afghani general populous considering the existence of a uniform set of laws and institutions to supervise, investigate, and punish offenders.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
S1m0n
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posted 17 March 2006 08:01 PM      Profile for S1m0n        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
Well I guess pulling a blanket over one's head is a strategy of a sort, especially if there was a chance this would lead terrorists to take you off their hit list.

Refusing to be frightened is the smartest possible strategy for dealing with terrorism.

Treat them as the police issue they are. Giving them attention of any other kind just reinforces their behaviour.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 18 March 2006 01:52 AM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree (partly) S1m0n. Terrorism must be treated first as a police matter, secondly as a matter requiring the resolution of key geo-political injustices in the mid-east especially, and thirdly as a military matter. The reason for a military response is that al Qaeda (a shorthand term I will use to refer to the whole range of Jihadist organizations) is organized along military lines, has access to and training in a wide range of military hardware, and uses military tactics and strategy in their operations. And most importantly, can inflict damage on the rest of the world commensurate with major military attacks. When al Qaeda members are found in larger numbers, a military-type assault is usually necessary. The Breslan school assault in Russia is an example, but let me hasten to say that if any terrorists have legitimate cause for their savagery, it is the long-suffering Chechens. It is also instructive that the Russian military response was ham-handed and bloody, and this often the way with military operations. A few militaries in the world are so well trained and led that they can minimize or avoid casualties to civilian innocents. These soldiers demonstrate a degree of professionalism and courage (which translates to taking risks themselves rather than resorting to indiscriminate firepower) that is often amazing. The British are particularly good at this more surgical military method. So are the Canadians.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
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posted 18 March 2006 02:08 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
A few militaries in the world are so well trained and led that they can minimize or avoid casualties to civilian innocents. These soldiers demonstrate a degree of professionalism and courage (which translates to taking risks themselves rather than resorting to indiscriminate firepower) that is often amazing. The British are particularly good at this more surgical military method. So are the Canadians.

Yes, I saw an example of the surgical British professionalism on the internet the other day:

Caught on Tape - British Soldiers Beating Iraqi Children

[ 18 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 18 March 2006 11:31 AM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So are you content with one example, Unionist, or have you actually compared British military performance with that of say the Americans or Russians over a protracted period?
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
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posted 18 March 2006 11:59 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
So are you content with one example, Unionist, or have you actually compared British military performance with that of say the Americans or Russians over a protracted period?

No, I haven't done a study, have you? Also, I think it would be difficult and misleading to separate military performance from political and diplomatic policy. And no, I'm not content with one example:

Three British soldiers charged with abusing Iraqi civilians

An Ethical Blank Cheque (Ango-American war crimes)

Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) Massacre

quote:
The Amritsar massacre, also known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, was named after the Jallianwala Bagh, in Amritsar), where, on April 13, 1919, British Indian Army (Pathan, Baluch and Gurkha) soldiers opened fire on an unarmed gathering, killing at least 379 men, women and children according to official records. However, according to private sources, the numbers of dead was over 1000 and wounded more than 1200 [1]. According to Civil Surgeon Dr Smith, the figures were over 1800 [2]. The casualty figures were never fully ascertained for political reasons.

UK helped train Uzbekistan massacre army

quote:
The government of the central Asian republic has admitted that its troops killed 173 civilian demonstrators on 12 and 13 May in the city of Andizhan - and the true toll is believed to have been much higher. Human rights groups have condemned the massacre.

Last year, about 150 British Army veterans of the Iraq war travelled to Uzbekistan to train with the army responsible for the killings. According to one independent witness, the British soldiers "shared tactics" with the Uzbeks.


The Boston Massacre (1770)

Bloody Sunday (1972)

quote:
On Sunday January 30, 1972, in an incident since known as Bloody Sunday, 14 people were killed and 13 others wounded by British paratroopers after a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in the Bogside area of the city of Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Many witnesses, including bystanders and journalists, claim that those shot were all unarmed.

Two inquiries have been held by the British Government. The Widgery Tribunal in the immediate aftermath of the day largely cleared the soldiers and British authorities of blame, but was criticised as a "whitewash" by many. The Saville Inquiry, established in 1998 to look at the events again (chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate), has yet to report.


Springhill massacre

quote:
Margaret Gargan 13 years, Westrock Drive, Ballymurphy, west Belfast, shot dead on 9 July 1972, by members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment. Soldiers firing from the same positions also shot dead John Dougal (16), Father Noel Fitzpatrick (a Catholic priest), Patrick Butler (38) and David McCafferty (14). Several others were also seriously injured. Subsequently the tragedy became know as "Springhill massacre". Margaret Gargan had a twin sister and both girls were the oldest children in a family of eight.

India War of Independence 1857 (Sepoy Rebellion)

quote:
Due to the bloody start of the rebellion, and the violence perpetrated upon the Europeans by the Indian forces especially after the apparent treachery of Nana Sahib and butchery in Cawnpore, the British believed that they were justified in using similar tactics. As a result, the end of the war was followed by the execution of a vast majority of combatants from the Indian side as well as large numbers of civilians perceived to be sympathetic to the rebel cause. The British press and British government did not advocate clemency of any kind, though Governor General Canning tried to be sympathetic to native sensibilities, earning the scornful sobriquet "Clemency Canning". Soldiers took very few prisoners and often executed them later. Whole villages were wiped out for apparent pro-rebel sympathies. The Indians called this retaliation "the Devil's Wind."

Oh -- and the British military withdrawal from Palestine, India, etc., left peace showering down upon all.

[ 18 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 18 March 2006 07:44 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Grape, in response to this post of mine:

quote:
Originally posted by maestro:

Wow!. Lets see, we're trying to establish the rule of law by operating in such a way that we can't follow the rule of law.

You must be joking.


quote:
Originally posted by Grape:

Funny - the police do it all the time. There are a different set of laws for the police - they're allowed to carry firearms openly, given powers of search, seizure, arrest, and detention, etc.

Are they subject to law? Of course. Could they do their jobs if they held the same status as civilians - unable to arrest, detain, etc. and unarmed? Probably not. This goes doubly so for soldiers. That being said, they ARE subject to law. As are our soldiers. The National Defence Act, Queen's Regulations and Orders (QR&Os), etc. are all examples. As I said before - service tribunals can be held to try service members guilty of infractions of foreign laws while on deployment.

As it stands, that's pretty unlikely. The Afghan government wants us there. Trying our soldiers for every minor violation, including being gay, apostasy, etc. would achieve little else but to paralyze them and/or make us withdraw our troops. The fact of the matter is that Afghanistan is still lacking a concrete and uniform set of laws, as well as the institutional structure to effectively execute them. A large problem is the primacy of Islamic law but its lack of integration into the constitution, so that you end up with two conflicting legal apparatuses.

It's not as though our soldiers can rape, rob, murder, and pillage with impunity. In fact, they're probably more restrained in that regard than the Afghani general populous considering the existence of a uniform set of laws and institutions to supervise, investigate, and punish offenders.


This is the rankest bit of sophistry so far from the war crimes apologists.

A 'different set of laws for police'. Pardon me, police don't have a different set of laws, they operate by within a legal structure that applies to all within that structure. A structure that is put in place by 'civilians'.

And we're not talking about 'every minor violation', were talking about murder.


Then in almost the same breath wherein you say the the same the 'Afghan government wants us there', you tell us 'that Afghanistan is still lacking a concrete and uniform set of laws, as well as the institutional structure to effectively execute them.

Then what of the 'government that wants us there? How is it possible for there to be a government if indeed there is no legal structure. That's what a government is, not the human that was put in place by the US as the Afghani Marshall Petain.

If there is no institutional structure, there is no government, and thus no government to 'want us there'. Of course there is a government that wants us there, just not the Aghani one. It is the United States that 'wants us there', and as it happens, is also the support structure for the 'no institutional structure, 'no laws' puppet government of Hamid Karzai.

Then there is the problem of the failure of Islamic law to be integrated into the Constitution despite it's 'primacy'. Now how do you suppose that happened?

You go on to say that our soldiers cannot rape, rob, steal, or kill with impunity. That may be so, but if they do, they know they are not subject to 'the laws of the land' because as you point out, there aren't any.

Violaters will not be brought before a jury of Afghanis to be tried for their crimes, they won't even be brought before a jury of Canadians. Insteasd they will face a 'service tribunal'. Whooppee do.

Your response is just more of the same dissembling for which the apoligists are becoming well known.

There is already accumulating a large body of evidence that the mission of the US, and by extension the ISAF, is to foment as much death and destruction as possible, to continually drive Afghanistan further into a state of poverty and wretchedness.

Canadian forces being used in this effort is criminal, and if there is truly justice in this world, those responsible will find themselves before an internatinal court.

Unfortunately, those who merely apologize for the criminal acts are not subject to international law.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 18 March 2006 08:06 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Take a look at what the US did in Panama to get Noriega ( and to test their new weapons systems pre-Iraq war 1). Up to 5000 civilian casualties were estimated in a documentary I saw on CBC. They opened up with helicopter gunships on densely crowded urban areas. This is more the type of comparison I am asking people to keep in mind. Every army of every nation has committed war crimes probably. To expect otherwise would be like asking for a big city police force with no corruption. When your job is to kill people, accidents happen, as do over-reactions and outright crimes by hitherto unrecognized psychopaths. I am simply making the case that some armies are better/worse than others, and that the British and Canadian militaries are near or at the top of the list in terms of restraint and concern for "collateral damage". Both nations traditionally share a bloodthirstyness in combat too, that is seen in the sinking of the Belgrano in the Faulklands war and the reported (and admittedly, largely anecdotal) behaviour of many Canadian troops in combat during WW11. But compared to the efficient mass-murdering record of American and Russian military forces, to name only two, the British and Canadian militaries remain models of professionalism and restraint.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 18 March 2006 08:13 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
But compared to the efficient mass-murdering record of American and Russian military forces, to name only two, the British and Canadian militaries remain models of professionalism and restraint.

Well, the victims, their families and communities will no doubt find that comparison comforting.

I think, rather, that Canada, being hitherto more of a peacekeeping nation since WWII, has had far less occasion to hone its killing skills. It is up to the Canadian people to stay the hand of the Martins and Harpers and their apologists, lest Canada begin to catch up to its masters.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 18 March 2006 11:44 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well yes, Unionist, but the potential victims spared by better Canadian tactics and training do appreciate the difference between being in the immediate vicinity of a Canadian operation versus one conducted by US forces. I invite you to look at the contrast between the way US troops in full battle gear conducted operations with maximum protective force in northern Iraq while British troops in the south mingled much more freely and unprotectedly with the civilian population. Whatever your overall position on these matters, surely you can recognize the difference in operational techniques and philosophy between US and Canadian forces? I mean this is a difference that has existed since before I was born, and I ain't no spring chicken.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 18 March 2006 11:55 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
Whatever your overall position on these matters, surely you can recognize the difference in operational techniques and philosophy between US and Canadian forces? I mean this is a difference that has existed since before I was born, and I ain't no spring chicken.

I do recognize the difference. Please don't get me wrong. Ours is not an aggressive imperial-minded country like the U.S. Our society is more tolerant, enlightened and humanitarian than theirs. Extreme religious tendencies don't find the same audience here. The economic and racial divides are not nearly as deep here. I won't go on, you know what I mean.

It is not surprising, therefore, that our military does not even come close to exhibiting the barbaric tendencies of theirs, and let us be thankful for that.

But my own interest and knowledge does not really extend to military tactics. Rather, I and my fellow citizens are in charge of Canada and all it does (even though it's hard to exercise that control sometimes). I have personally come to the conclusion that our mission in Afghanistan is repugnant and serves no positive purpose whatever, whether in terms of the interests of the people of Canada or of those of Afghanistan, besides being (in my view again) illegal. I believe it serves the imperial aims of the U.S. and other dangerous forces in that region, and that we must oppose it with all our might.

Believing, therefore, that we should recall our troops immediately and cease all aid to the U.S. and its aggressive actions, the question of how the military behaves while it is still there is a very secondary one in my mind. I do, however, worry when they kill and maim and when they are killed and maimed, and do not hesitate to depict those situations in the most graphic and anti-occupation light possible in order to help mobilize public opinion against this horror in which our governments have engaged us.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 18 March 2006 11:59 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
unionist.

Is there a country that you would like to see the military being used in?

I liked your last post.

[ 18 March 2006: Message edited by: Webgear ]


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 19 March 2006 12:09 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
unionist.

Is there a country that you would like to see the military being used in?

I liked your last post.


Yes - Canada, in the event that we are threatened with aggression. Also, countries which have legitimate governments, generally recognized by the countries of the world, which need our assistance in the event of natural disasters. And, countries which the U.N. decides require pure U.N. peacekeeping forces, under U.N. command and no one else.

And, if the U.N. determines that a particular country is the victim of aggression and needs an international force to help defend it, I'd say, let's look carefully at such a situation. I hate to predict the future, because we're haunted by the past, and I'm thinking of Korea in 1950. The Soviet Union (if memory serves) had begun a boycott of Security Council sessions because of the U.N.'s refusal to seat the new People's Republic of China. As a result, when the vote came to send a U.N. expeditionary force to "help" South Korea, the Soviets weren't there to cast their veto.

Sorry I can't be more specific. It's easier to say where our military should not be. Let's get that straight and that will be a good start.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 19 March 2006 12:24 AM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, that was a good post Unionist, (and so are your posts on other threads I'm getting around to reading) and we may not be as far apart philosophically on this issue as it has appeared so far. I've said from the beginning that my support for Afghanistan involvement was cautious. Things could easily turn out so badly that I'd be forced to concede most of this argument to you. But two things - first, it is precisely my complaint that too many intelligent folks like yourself on the left do not pay more attention to military issues. I literally think the left is asleep on this, and very poorly thought out. I have an interest in military things, and some limited knowledge of them, and my hope is that discussion such as this one will encourage progressives and leftists in Canada to pay far more attention to the realpolitik of the use of force in international relations. It seems the left has a bit of an unfortunate history here, as in voting against joining in WW ll. We are similar to the US on one thing - in times of crisis, security trumps everything else, and the left is not used to thinking this way. Secondly, I'm share all your stated views about the differences between the US and Canada and we probably agree on a lot more besides. What I'm doing here is pointing out how these systemic differences apply to the military situation. Under equipped and underfunded as it still is, we can truly be proud of our Canadian military, and should factor into our judgements the knowledge that we have a very sharp and effective tool to work with in this realm, one that America, for all its defence spending, does not possess. The only thing I agree with Harper on is increased military spending, and I support this strongly. I can't exaggerate how important I think this issue is to the left. Again, our arguing it out is a helpful start, I think.
From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 19 March 2006 12:32 AM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
Is there a country that you would like to see the military being used in?

My answer is "no". Once you reach the point where using the military is necessary, you've gone way beyond "would like". Perhaps "have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is necessary".

If Canada were a neutral country, if we worked only through UN operations, if Canadian troops were being trained in peace-keeping, then there are a few places which could really use some help, one of which is Sudan. But that's a lot of if's. I don't know how we get there from here.

Sudan needs an intervention; we've gone way beyond the point where we should be waiting for the Sudanese government to agree to it. But that sort of intervention needs to be clearly defined in a way that there is no possible inference that the intervention is on behalf of another country, of corporate interests, of anyone other than the millions of victims of the conflict. Otherwise, those victims become pawns in yet another imperialist battle.

A police force which pays particular attention to crime in the vicinity of, say, Tim Hortons outlets and ignores crime elsewhere in the city would rapidly be declared to be corrupt. International peace-keeping needs to play by the same rules.


From: Lima, Perú | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 19 March 2006 12:39 AM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brett Mann:
my hope is that discussion such as this one will encourage progressives and leftists in Canada to pay far more attention to the realpolitik of the use of force in international relations.

Everyone always says that "military intervention is the last resort". However, my question is, "then, what was the first resort?".

Twiddling your fingers and piously hoping the problem will solve itself is occasionally the right thing to do, since some problems do just blow over, but not very often. Most such problems, left to their own devices, become so brutal that it becomes very hard to see a non-military solution, at which point we might sigh in relief about the fact that we had previously invested so much in the last resort solution.

The question, which the left does address but not loudly enough, is how we orient the realpolitick to avoid the use of force in international relations. One good way of doing that would be to plough an awful lot more money into global redistribution of income ("foreign aid" is a rather more demeaning term, I think.) Even if it were only the amount we spend on "preparing for the last resort" otherwise euphemistically known as "national defense", it could make a dramatic difference in the state of the world. Not only would that be defense of our nation, it would be defense of the world -- and more importantly of millions upon millions of people who are the victims of force.


From: Lima, Perú | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged

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