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Author Topic: Our mission in Afganistan
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 10 March 2006 08:17 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is our mission to Afganistan sactioned by the United Nations? I'm asking the question because one of the reasons many anti war activists gave for apposing Bush's invasion of Iraq was that it wasn't sactioned by the U.N.
Now Canadian troops are in Afganistan, and the same peacenicks who opposed the destruction of Iraq are protesting against the war in Afganistan. I am desperatly hoping that the occupation there isn't legal so that I can be certain that the anti Bush forces aren't being hypocritical this time around.

[ 11 March 2006: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 10 March 2006 08:19 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
mission
1598, originally of Jesuits sending members abroad, from L. missionem (nom. missio) "act of sending," from mittere "to send," oldest form probably *smittere, of unknown origin. Diplomatic sense of "body of persons sent to a foreign land on commercial or political business" is from 1626. In Amer.Eng., sometimes "an embassy" (1805). Meaning "dispatch of an aircraft on a military operation" (1929, Amer.Eng.) later extended to spacecraft flights (1962), hence, mission control (1964). As a style of furniture, said to be imitative of furniture of original Sp. missions to N.America, it is attested from 1900.

Etymology for the term "mission."


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 10 March 2006 10:35 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What?

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 10 March 2006 11:18 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Even the concept of "mission," which we use with such regularity and without question, has its roots in prosletyzing christianity.
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Wilf Day
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posted 11 March 2006 12:17 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:
Is our mission to Afganistan sanctioned by the United Nations?

NATO says it is:
quote:
ISAF operates in Afghanistan under a UN mandate and will continue to operate according to current and future UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. ISAF’s mission was initially limited to Kabul. Resolution 1510 passed by the UNSC on 13 October 2003 opened the way to a wider role for ISAF to support the Government of Afghanistan beyond Kabul.

ISAF is not a UN force, but it is deployed under a mandate of the UNSC (four UNSCRs - 1386, 1413, 1444 and 1510 - relate to ISAF).



I don't know if there is another interpretation of the UNSC resolutions.

(This thread asks a good question, but should not be in the Middle East forum.)

[ 11 March 2006: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 11 March 2006 12:44 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
ISAF is not a UN force, but it is deployed under a mandate of the UNSC.
The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1386 establishing an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on December 20, 2001. ISAF’s original mandate was to help maintain security for the Afghan Transitional Authority in and around Kabul only, for a period of 6 months.

The Resolution, however, made no mention of the elephant in the living room - the troops of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) that had invaded Afghanistan without UN approval, and that were still operating in the country without any UN authority, or, truth be told, legal justification. OEF is a coalition of the US and allies (UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Spain have all participated in OEF to some extent).

Yes, Enduring Freedom, the banner under which the US attacked Afghanistan in October, 2001, continued to "endure" long after the defeat of the Taliban and right up to the present day. It is not, and has never been, sanctioned by the United Nations. It has been severely criticized for human rights abuses against Afghans.

It was OEF, by the way, that thought up the concept of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, and initially set them up. PRT's were not a United Nations initiative.

ISAF is only nominally under UN authority. On August 11, 2003 NATO assumed strategic command, control and coordination of ISAF and the Security Council didn't bat an eye. Under NATO control ISAF has continued to operate in tandem with OEF.

Now that the US wants to wind down OEF, ISAF will be taking over its role - you know, the "hunting down the scumbags" role - although you won't find a UN Security Council Resolution directing or authorising that kind of mission.

Neat trick, eh? An illegal invading coalition of US and allies is gradually replaced by a "legal" coalition of US and allies, seamlessly continuing the process of forced regime change that began on October 7, 2001.

[ 11 March 2006: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2006 01:22 AM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I find it baffeling that the same group of men who so skilfully covered up their illegal invasion of the Gan are now having such trouble hiding the illegality of their operations in Iraq.

[ 11 March 2006: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 11 March 2006 02:11 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What "skilfull cover up"? It was openly and obviously illegal.
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2006 01:12 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
What "skilfull cover up"? It was openly and obviously illegal.

What I mean is, everyone knows that the American army invaded Iraq under false pretenses. Their were no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam didn't have any links to Bin Laden, and the beast of Bagdad was entirely boxed in by his three most powerful neighbours. Everyone seems to be upset about the Iraq campaign, but very few people seem to be bothered by the fact that exactly the same thing happened in Afganistan. Am I wrong?


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Benjamin
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posted 11 March 2006 03:25 PM      Profile for Benjamin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What I mean is, everyone knows that the American army invaded Iraq under false pretenses. Their were no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam didn't have any links to Bin Laden, and the beast of Bagdad was entirely boxed in by his three most powerful neighbours. Everyone seems to be upset about the Iraq campaign, but very few people seem to be bothered by the fact that exactly the same thing happened in Afganistan. Am I wrong?

The legality of the original Afghanistan invasion was heavily debated. The justification given for Afghanistan was slightly different than that of Iraq in that in Afghanistan the US was invoking a justification of self-defence based around Article 51 of the UN Charter. Which made some sense given that they had been attacked. Of course, strong arguments can be made that Afghanistan was not the base of this attack, though completely innocent it was not. In Iraq they were arguing more on of a pre-emptive basis, in conjunction with dubious interpretations of pre-existing SC resolutions.

I think people's decreased sense of being bothered with Afghanistan (and many people were bothered) stems from more acceptance of a self-defence argument given September 11, even if there is an insufficient link between Afghanistan and 9/11. As well, though the SC did not sanction the Afghanistan invasion, there was much less dispute within the council leading up to the invasion, in contrast to Iraq. Combine this with the ex post SC resolutions which established the ISAF and made the current 'occupation' legal, and people can feel a lot better about what was perhaps an illegal invasion.

I think that there are many people in our society that recognize that in certain circumstances a overly strict interpretation of the UN Charter overrides other competing norms. This is the basis for many to argue an intervention in Darfur, Sudan with or without SC authorization. Thus, I think in the case of Afghanistan people can make an exception, whereas in Iraq they cannot.

Of course, you have to wonder if people just have blinders on because our Canadian soldiers couldn't possibly be looked at through the same lens with which we view the US military.


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jeff house
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posted 11 March 2006 03:44 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think the invasion of Afghanistan was legal. I think it has been established that Bin Laden was there, and was using the camps he set up there to plan and prepare for a military strike against the United States. Such a strike did occur, and there is nothing which requires any state, including the United States, from accepting such a strike without retaliating.

But Bin Laden's camps were gone by November 2001, as were his Taleban protectors. I think it extremely unlikely that the present rebels in Afghanistan would recreate those camps if they attained power. More likely, they oppose a foreign occupation and the imposition of a (relatively) secular society.

Canada and the US cannot use 9-11 as a permanent justification of the occupation of Afghanistan, nor of propping up the present regime there.


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Benjamin
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posted 11 March 2006 03:52 PM      Profile for Benjamin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Once the SC passed the resolution authorizing the ISAF the question of legality was unequivocally decided.

Article 51 of the Charter entitles states the right to defend themselves, but only against imminent threats. The US waited a significant period of time between 9/11 and the start of the invasion. It seems somewhat doubtful that after 9/11 there was an imminent threat from Afghanistan, but there is room for debate there.


quote:
Canada and the US cannot use 9-11 as a permanent justification of the occupation of Afghanistan, nor of propping up the present regime there.

I'm not sure that either is continuing to use 9-11 as the justification for remaining in Afghanistan. Certainly the Canadian rhetoric speaks much more towards nation-building, but that's just my interpretation.

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M. Spector
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posted 11 March 2006 04:02 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A lot more people are "bothered" about the invasion of Afghanistan now than there were back in October, 2001, both in Canada and the USA.

For one thing, the subsequent debacle in Iraq has made a lot of people reflect on the ease with which they were conned into consenting to both wars. There was in fact no real debate about the legality of the Afghanistan war back in October 2001. Most people assumed that it was legal, without even thinking about it. The dissident legal opinions (which were entirely correct, BTW) were not given exposure at the time by the mass media, which were caught up in the pro-war hysteria, and assumed, perhaps rightly, that the public didn't give a damn about "legal niceties". But thanks in part to the internet, more and more people are becoming aware of the legal controversy.

For another, there is the letdown of seeing Afghanistan pounded into rubble and the Taliban overthrown, without any apparent beneficial results. Bin Laden was not captured, we are told to continue to expect terrorist attacks in North America, and Afghanistan is turning into a long-term, expensive project.

For another, the media have finally started, in a small way, to drop the cheerleading role for the Bush Administration, and to ask awkward questions - again, largely because of Iraq.

For another, people are learning about the strategic importance of Afghanistan as a conduit for oil and gas, how the Yanks recognized this long ago, and how they had plans already drawn up well before September 11, 2001 to go to war against Afghanistan.

Finally, I think there is a certain fear in the background that the state of permanent war against these countries, and the threat of new wars against other countries, is making the world less safe, and pissing off a whole lot of people who are determinhed to have their revenge on us.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2006 06:05 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think the invasion of Afghanistan was legal. I think it has been established that Bin Laden was there, and was using the camps he set up there to plan and prepare for a military strike against the United States. Such a strike did occur, and there is nothing which requires any state, including the United States, from accepting such a strike without retaliating.

Didn't the Afgans offer to hand over Osama Bin Laden before the invasion started?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 11 March 2006 06:12 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:

Didn't the Afgans offer to hand over Osama Bin Laden before the invasion started?


Yes of course they did, twice:

1. They said they'd hand him over if the U.S. presented them with evidence of his involvement. Bush refused.

2. They said they would hand him over without evidence, but to a third-party Muslim country. Bush invaded.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 March 2006 06:17 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I think the invasion of Afghanistan was legal. I think it has been established that Bin Laden was there, and was using the camps he set up there to plan and prepare for a military strike against the United States. Such a strike did occur, and there is nothing which requires any state, including the United States, from accepting such a strike without retaliating.

But Bin Laden's camps were gone by November 2001, as were his Taleban protectors. I think it extremely unlikely that the present rebels in Afghanistan would recreate those camps if they attained power. More likely, they oppose a foreign occupation and the imposition of a (relatively) secular society.

Canada and the US cannot use 9-11 as a permanent justification of the occupation of Afghanistan, nor of propping up the present regime there.



Actually, it was established long before 9/11 that the Americans had good cause to strike back specifically at bin Laden and his camps in Afghanistan - as, of course, they tried, in their conventionally incompetent way, to do. And failed.

I don't know whether anyone has produced an authoritative answer to CMOT's interesting question, but it has certainly been raised before.

Invading Afghanistan, as a response to bin Laden, was clumsy overkill, clumsy especially since bin Laden and a lot of his people - predictably - got away. As part of a larger plan of control in Central Asia, though, it may have made more sense.

In terms of realpolitik, Afghanistan is not the issue; Pakistan is.

In human terms, of course, Afghanistan is very much one of our issues, and everything we have done and are doing there is wrong, wrong, very wrong.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2006 07:11 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think it extremely unlikely that the present rebels in Afghanistan would recreate those camps if they attained power. More likely, they oppose a foreign occupation and the imposition of a (relatively) secular society.

How can you be so certain about that?
Even if the Americans had withdrawn from Afganistan after they destroyed the training camps and gave the Taliban what for, the main issues that give Wahabist Imams so much power(Isreal's occupation of the West Bank, continued American support for The House of Cards in Saudi Arabia) would still remain and continue to give Afgan clerics ideological ammunition and an incentive to rebuild what the USians got rid of.


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2006 07:30 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
don't know whether anyone has produced an authoritative answer to CMOT's interesting question...

Is their an authoratative answer to be had or is the American invasion of Afganistan like the Balkin conflicts? (lots of opinions but no definate answers.)


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 12 March 2006 04:06 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I think the invasion of Afghanistan was legal. I think it has been established that Bin Laden was there, and was using the camps he set up there to plan and prepare for a military strike against the United States. Such a strike did occur, and there is nothing which requires any state, including the United States, from accepting such a strike without retaliating.

quote:
The U.S.- led war on Afghanistan is a violation of international law and the express words of the Charter of the United Nations. As such it’s illegal. It’s also immoral and it won’t prevent terrorism.

The Charter of the United Nations, the most authoritative document in international law, seeks to ban war as a "scourge." Its very first words are "We the Peoples of the United Nations, Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…." War is permitted only when it is absolutely and demonstrably necessary. And the Charter does not leave that question to the individual States. Necessity is entirely a matter for the Security Council with only one exception: the strictly limited right of self-defence.


Michael Mandel


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Fidel
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posted 12 March 2006 04:19 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would think twice before sending Canadian's to Afghanistan. I think their lives could be at risk on more than one front.

U.S. lung cancer rates soar - DU ?


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 12 March 2006 04:22 AM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:

Quoting Michael Mandel:

The U.S.- led war on Afghanistan is a violation of international law and the express words of the Charter of the United Nations. As such it’s illegal. It’s also immoral and it won’t prevent terrorism.


I agree. The Charter does not permit "retaliation", it permits self-defence. US government policy is to do the same sort of linguistic hatchet job to "self-defence" as they have done to "torture": redefine the terms to allow them to do whatever they feel like.

Defining the Afghanistan invasion as "self-defense" was also the means to involve NATO. However, I think Jeff is quite right to use the word "retaliation" (although I'd say "lashing out in anger" is more accurate).

For one thing, to invoke the justification of self-defence, you need to at least have reasonable grounds to believe that the action could be effective. But as was obvious from the start, invading Afghanistan was unlikely to reduce the threat; rather, it was likely to increase it even (or particularly) if the military action was successful.

I feel justified in saying that that is not hindsight, since many of us were saying that on September 12, 2001.

[ 12 March 2006: Message edited by: rici ]


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M. Spector
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posted 12 March 2006 04:36 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The US attack on Afghanistan in October 2001 was illegal.

The supposed right of retaliation that Mr. House alludes to may exist in the schoolyard, but it does not exist in international law.

Not even the United States government tried to claim that it did. They relied instead on the right of self-defence.

But self-defence is a limited, temporary right under the UN Charter. It is a right to repel an armed attack while it is taking place or to drive out an illegal occupier - not a right to retaliate after an attack, and not a right to overthrow other governments. It exists only in an emergency, and only until the Security Council has a chance to decide on appropriate collective action, under Article 51 of the Charter. The right of self-defence is not a right to take the law into your own hands.

Article 33 of the UN Charter requires the parties to any dispute to seek peaceful means to resolve it, until the Security Council can authorize collective action, if necessary. The use of force is supposed to be a last resort, and only the Security Council can make it legal, unless it properly comes under the self-defence exception.

What kind of "armed attack" justifies the use of violence in self-defence?

Back in the days when the USA still recognized the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Nicaragua went to the ICJ, seeking to hold the USA accountable for various military and paramilitary activities directed against Nicaraguan territory, including bombing it, mining its harbours, and supporting the Contras in the civil war. The USA argued, among other things, that it was entitled to take such measures on behalf of Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador in the exercise of a right of collective self-defence. It claimed that Nicaragua had been harbouring terrorists, by allowing Salvadorean insurgents to operate from within its own territory.

In its decision The International Court rejected this contention. It held that the right of individual or collective self-defence in customary international law arose only as a result of an armed attack. It accepted the definition of armed attack as previously delineated by a General Assembly resolution:

quote:
...an armed attack must be understood as including not merely action by regular armed forces across an international border, but also "the sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to" (inter alia) an actual armed attack conducted by regular forces, "or its substantial involvement therein". This description, contained in Article 3, paragraph (g), of the Definition of Aggression annexed to General Assembly resolution 3314(XXIX), may be taken to reflect customary international law. [para 195]
The "armed attack" that would justify invoking the right of self-defence must be made on behalf of a state government. Nicaragua had not made any armed attack against its neighbours or the USA that would trigger the right of self-defence under international law.

The court, by a large majority, upheld the Nicaraguan complaint, ruling, among other things:

quote:
that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State.... [para. 292(3)]
This was the case that caused the USA to refuse to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ, as it has done ever since.

The US actions against Afghanistan were illegal, just as its actions against Nicaragua for allegedly harbouring terrorists were illegal.

[ 12 March 2006: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 12 March 2006 04:40 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's it Jeff you are off the Island.

That said, I think we can be fairly sure that even an apologist for the Democratic party like Jeff, surely did not mean "retaliation," and was only being sloppy with his language.

I am sure he meant taking limited military action toward the specific goal of undermining OBL's ability to attack the USA again, as part of an ongoing campaign of attacks.

This said however, the principles behind these "limited" interventionist measures as championed by Bill Clinton in Kosovo, and Bush in Afghanistan are highly dunious. Everytime liberal-left lines up on side with one of these do-good missions, we end up discovering that the people in charge intend a whole lot more that the liberal-leftists originally schilled for.

[ 12 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Benjamin
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posted 12 March 2006 07:34 AM      Profile for Benjamin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Is their an authoritative answer to be had or is the American invasion of Afganistan like the Balkin conflicts?

Probably no authoritative answer. Yes, similar to the Balkin conflicts.
quote:
The US actions against Afghanistan were illegal, just as its actions against Nicaragua for allegedly harbouring terrorists were illegal.

It is perhaps comforting to be able to pronounce so authoritatively that the US/UK and Canadian actions against Afhanistan were illegal. But in premising your arguments on a very rigid and classical interpretation of the Charter you forget that the Charter (like our Charter) is not cast in stone, nor is it a stagnant document. State's have in the past carried out actions which were clearly illegal, and ex post became sanctioned under international law. Canada's extension of its universal fishing jurisdiction in the Atlantic and Pacific to 200 nautical miles is an example of this in action.
quote:
This said however, the principles behind these "limited" interventionist measures as championed by Bill Clinton in Kosovo, and Bush in Afghanistan are highly dunious. Everytime liberal-left lines up on side with one of these do-good missions, we end up discovering that the people in charge intend a whole lot more that the liberal-leftists originally schilled for.

For many people there is a gap between what is codified in international law as nonintervention, and what might be necessary to halt gross violations of human rights. This was the paradox in the Balkans that made it so complicated.

Likewise, many rights advocates would argue for an intervention in Sudan, regardless of SC authorization. In hindsight, many would also have argued for unauthorized intervention to halt the Rwandan genocide. And yes, the justifications for this would be slightly different, but they would be stemming from an assessment that we cannot interpret the Charter as simply as has been done in this thread.

[ 12 March 2006: Message edited by: Benjamin ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 March 2006 08:01 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Benjamin:

In hindsight, many would also have argued for unauthorized intervention to halt the Rwandan genocide. And yes, the justifications for this would be slightly different, but they would be stemming from an assessment that we cannot interpret the Charter as simply as has been done in this thread.

Rwanda and the Congo fall under that general category of destabilization engineered by the CIA. We would have been stepping on someone's big toes by sticking our noses in.

We're only there in Afghanistan to free-up American troops for the illegal occupation of Iraq, home to the 2nd largest proven oil reserves in the world. Our two old line parties in Canada take orders from Washington by way of the shadow government. CIA planes landed over 600 times in Northern Ontario last year. We're just a corporate colony for American corporations - a repository of oil, gas, electric power, lumber and malleable politicians. Just like Africa and Central America.

We have no real government in Canada. We're a ship without a rudder. And that's the way Uncle Sam wants it to stay.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 12 March 2006 02:49 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Benjamin:

Your agnostic approach to international law is interesting. You seem to think that violation of existing laws sets a precedent that justifies others to do the same. I'm glad our domestic criminal law doesn't work that way.

Believe it or not, there is international law about what is and is not legal when someone thinks it "necessary to halt gross violations of human rights". I regard that as a good thing. You evidently feel that international laws are too rigid and restrictive when they don't suit your idea of just warfare.

Of course, Afghanistan was nothing to do with "humanitarian intervention", so that whole issue is thread drift.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 12 March 2006 11:19 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Benjamin:

For many people there is a gap between what is codified in international law as nonintervention, and what might be necessary to halt gross violations of human rights. This was the paradox in the Balkans that made it so complicated.

Likewise, many rights advocates would argue for an intervention in Sudan, regardless of SC authorization. In hindsight, many would also have argued for unauthorized intervention to halt the Rwandan genocide. And yes, the justifications for this would be slightly different, but they would be stemming from an assessment that we cannot interpret the Charter as simply as has been done in this thread.

[ 12 March 2006: Message edited by: Benjamin ]



I agree entirely that "many rights advocates would argue for an intervention in Sudan, regardless of SC authorization," and this is the point of my objectition, noting that NATO intervention in Kosovo set the precedent that member nations could attack, or intervene in affairs of other member nations on the principle that there are UN resolutions against that nation, but without an explicit use of force authorization from the UN.

I will note here that the invasion of Iraq, which can arguablly be identified as the largest human rights disaster of the begining of this century was launched on precisely the principle that UN member states (not NATO but the so called "coalition of the willing") could invoke "regieme change" on the basis of UN resolutions (660, and those relating to it up to 1441) against Iraq, even without an explicit use of force authorization from the UN

Exactly.

However it is not a paradox, if one simply assessess which countries are open to the laisse faire interpretation of the charter and which are not. Israel, with numeorus resolutions against it for its continued occupation of Arab land under reoslution 242, continues to avoid the NATO axe.

And in fact, if we were to use use loose principles on which you would wish to interperet the charter, the 1973 attack upon Israel by all its neighbours (aside from Jordan) would be completely justifiable as its purpose was the restitution of lands "won" by Israel in 1967, those lands being unreturned despite the existance of resolution 242. And it was, in fact, in the name of resolution 242 that the Arab states attacked Israel, as it had not complied with the resolution for over 6 years --- more than enough time for Israel to pull up its stakes and return the IDF to the Green Line.

It is clear that process of target selection is biased against states not already aligned with western interests. Sudan apparently being the latest non-aligned nation on the hit list.

I am in fact saying that those "rights activists" are not actually rights activist at all, but find themselves being used as schills for a much less savory agendas. They in fact are making themselves allies to the greatest crime, which is "crimes against the peace," as it was called at the Nuremberg trial.

In fact these "rights activists" are allowing themselves to be used by you to make your morally corrupt arguement, that amounts to letting the immense and not very descriminate US war fighting machine to entirely destroy the fundamental infrastructure which supports not only the lives of those whom are assigned the status of war criminals but the very innocents you and these "rights activists" say you are trying to protect.

The Kosvars did not flee Kosovo until the bombing campaign commenced. How ironic is that?

[ 12 March 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 13 March 2006 04:07 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Was Serbia a Practice Run for Iraq?

quote:
If the massive propaganda campaign against Milosevic had many facts behind it, he long ago would have been convicted at The Hague. What was the episode all about?

In my opinion, it was to establish the precedent, later to be employed in the Middle East, that the U.S. government could demonize a head of state geographically distant from any legitimate "sphere of influence" and use military force to remove him. This is precisely the fate of Saddam Hussein, and the Bush regime still hopes to repeat the strategy in Iran and Syria.

The unanswered question is, why does the "international community" go along with it? The numerous civilians killed by U.S. interventions are just as dead as the ones killed by heads of state attempting to hold on to their countries. Why are the latter deaths war crimes but not the former?



From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pride for Red Dolores
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posted 18 March 2006 10:27 PM      Profile for Pride for Red Dolores     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, I agree that there should have been no invasion in the first place. What should have taken place was the capture of Osama Bin Laden, put him on trial, and then if he was proven guilty, he should have been put in jail. The attack came out of sheer emotion of revenge for the 9/11 attacks. I also have to say that even if I agree that the charter is a document that is a product of it's time as well as open to intepretation due to changing times and circumstances,the idea of a weak country like Afghanistan posing a continued threat to the world's foremost superpower strikes me as more than absurd. I also agree that the USA's current path will only make people worldwide more angry, thus increasing attacks- see attacks in Spain and England for example.
I have a few loosely related questions though.. like if a government's job is to protect and serve its people (ie human rights, etc) to be legitimate, then wasn't the Taliban doubly illegitimate as it was neither elected to the amount of time it ruled , nor did it protect and serve it's people, and in fact harboured someone who had comitted crimes against humanity, then isn't it necessary to topple it and help set up another more democratic government that isn't violent and abusive towards it's people ? I find it hard to believe that the Afghanistanian people were happier living under the Taliban than they are under the current regime, foreigners there or not.
And if the current "hot topic" with regards to Canadians in Afghanistan is whether we should be there or not then consider this- is the Afghanistanian governement strong enough to take care of itself ? Also, are wanted there by the democraticaly elected government (okay, to a degree at least as there were some probs with the election)? Furthermore, is not Canada's mission there one of peace enforcement rather than one of war- we have not made a declaration of war after all.. UN missions to troubled countries have had a habit of being loosely interpreted as well. With regards to calling it imperialist- well Canada is not ruling Afghanistan directly, or controlling it economically-(although it certainly would not shock me if Canada was getting some kind of benefit from it apart from prestige on the world stage)and there must be some type of co-ordination and agreement between the Afghnastanian state and the foreign troops.
On a bit of a different track, what about the element of racism that has been present since the beginning of the attacks on Afghanistan and along the way to Iraq (i.e non-white people in a third world country needs to be saved by First World European country from violent non-white men- if you look at the focus on women and their burkas in the media during that time you see what I mean..as if there's no violence or oppression in Canada).

[ 18 March 2006: Message edited by: Pride for Red Dolores ]


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Pride for Red Dolores
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posted 18 March 2006 10:39 PM      Profile for Pride for Red Dolores     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Milosevic commited genocide and kept commiting it until he was removed from office- so I have no idea what propaganda you're talking about. The only reason that Sadaam wasn't put on trial was because of the Cold War- the Iranians were not in the anti-USSR sphere, were as Iraq was. During the Cold War the US supported many dictators because they weren't communists- anything else did not matter. It was important to put former heads of state like Milosevic on trial, to deter others from comitting genocide, and to provide closure and justice to the victim's families. I can't really see how Milosevic not being convicted quickly has to do with anything- there was alot of evidence, and witnesses were hard to find and the court could not go in and get them, and these criminals were protected in some cases by people who considered them heroes, not monsters.
quote:
The unanswered question is, why does the "international community" go along with it? The numerous civilians killed by U.S. interventions are just as dead as the ones killed by heads of state attempting to hold on to their countries. Why are the latter deaths war crimes but not the former?


There is a diffrence between killing, abusing, and opressing one's own people whom one is supposed to rule justly and well, and- no matter how much this turns my stomach , having a US interventionist shoot someone in error- such as the oft repeated incidents in which soldiers shoot innocent civilians who don't slow down on time at checkpoints.

[ 18 March 2006: Message edited by: Pride for Red Dolores ]


From: Montreal | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
billF
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posted 19 March 2006 10:02 AM      Profile for billF     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yawn. OK, so where do we go from here? Canada now has a foot stuck in a very dirty muck hole. Shall we continue to discuss how it got there? This forum has some very good players, compelling views and clearly some top flight data divers. Should we not look ahead? How do we extract ourselves from this without abandoning the Afghan people and creating (again) a situation where the most ruthless will rule after another crushing civil war? To simply examine legalities and events leading us here, we are only whizzin’ into the wind. A wise and brutal man once said “ If you wish to see the unclouded truth, do not concern yourself with right and wrong” I challenge the users of this forum to FIND A SOLUTION.

[ 19 March 2006: Message edited by: billF ]


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unionist
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posted 19 March 2006 10:13 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by billF:
How do we extract ourselves from this without abandoning the Afghan people and creating (again) a situation where the most ruthless will rule after another crushing civil war?

This pretends to be a question, but it is actually three conclusions - namely, that a withdrawal of foreign occupation troops will amount to:

- "abandoning the Afghan people"
- a "crushing civil war"
- finally, "the most ruthless will rule".

I disagree on all three counts, so how can I join in your "discussion" about what to do now?

You want a suggestion, here it is:

- Canada gets out, immediately and unconditionally. That includes sending no aid workers as long as the country is under foreign occupation - the ICRC is good enough for now.

- Apologize publicly to the people of Afghanistan for having supported the U.S. agenda and one set of warlords over another (I guess you would call Karzai's gang the "second most ruthless"?).

- Lobby the U.N. to denounce all foreign interference in Afghanistan -- primarily those of the U.S. and Pakistan.

- I guess there are a lot of other things we could do, but I'm not a foreign policy expert. As I've said elsewhere, right now it's much more obvious as to what we should not be doing.


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billF
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posted 19 March 2006 10:36 AM      Profile for billF     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well done Unionist! There’s a start. Does anyone else have more? Can anyone see any flaws other than War Lords, extremist elements and pipeline related money getting in the way? Below is a post I made yesterday on another forum discussing a concern I have about right now

The Dilemma: The Taliban, need I say more. The War Lords, hard hearted business men hiding behind guns instead of laws, like they do in the U.S. and Canada. My main concern: Will we be trapped there? Without fail, whenever another country puts more troops into Afghanistan, the U.S. pulls even more people out. I doubt if Steve Harper will address this. Our government sees our commitment there as revolving around Anti-Aggression treaties and such like, not an obligation to world piece. Being a hillbilly, I feel Canada agreed to back them in a fight, and they’re sneaking away. Perhaps after our turn as coalition leader is done, we should at least reduce our troop levels.
In a coalition situation, we’ve had success by playing good cop, bad cop with the U.S. as the bad cop. This creates a fragmented view of the coalition by the opposition, allowing a divide and conquer scenario. Canada then fires “moral bullets” instead of lead ones.


From: Thunder Bay ON CAN. | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Grizzled Wolf
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posted 19 March 2006 10:45 AM      Profile for Grizzled Wolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by billF:

Perhaps after our turn as coalition leader is done, we should at least reduce our troop levels.

The current commitment of Brigade lead expires in Nov 06 when we hand the reins to the Dutch (or Brits) and the the Battle Group commitment expires in Feb 07.


From: Wherever they send me - currently lovely Edmonton | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 19 March 2006 11:00 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by billF:
Being a hillbilly, I feel Canada agreed to back them in a fight, and they’re sneaking away. Perhaps after our turn as coalition leader is done, we should at least reduce our troop levels.

Canada agreed to back whom in a fight against whom? And who is sneaking away -- the U.S.? I didn't understand your references.


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Benjamin
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posted 19 March 2006 01:42 PM      Profile for Benjamin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
However it is not a paradox...And in fact, if we were to use use loose principles on which you would wish to interperet the charter, the 1973 attack upon Israel by all its neighbours (aside from Jordan) would be completely justifiable as its purpose was the restitution of lands "won" by Israel in 1967, those lands being unreturned despite the existance of resolution 242.

There is a growing paradox between the international human rights norms that fall under the ICC's jurisdiction, and the enforcement mechanisms in place to enforce these norms. The crime of genocide is illegal, but so too is enforcement of said crime, without SC authorization. I would argue for a reinterpretation of the Charter, but only in circumstances where one of the four ICC crimes is being violated, which is much stricter than your extension to wiley nilly (sp?) invasions for land, etc.


quote:
I challenge the users of this forum to FIND A SOLUTION.

Here's a brainstorm

- Canada remains in Afghanistan with others as the US bails in favour destroying countries instead of rebuilding. This makes the Canadian role more difficult, but allows Canada to make a stronger committment to rebuilding
- Canada fully adopts the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine and advocates its mission in Afghanistan based on the equal responsibility to rebuild
- CIDA plays a more active role, as the military continues to train Afghans
- Canada begins to make a serious evaluation of what it is actually doing on the ground, and whether this is successful, including analysis of what Afghans actually think about the Canadian presence
- Canada puts these arguments to the Canadian public instead of refusing to debate, actually taking a leadership role and adovocating a firm belief in our foreign policy
- To be successful this committment will have to be continued past 2007, so if Canada will pull out in 2007 they might as well pull out now


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
billF
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posted 20 March 2006 10:48 AM      Profile for billF     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Unionist, sorry for not being clear as pointed out in your post of the 19th. I was referring to mutual defense treaties Canada has with the U.S. when I mentioned agreed to back them. As I understand it, that's why we ended up in Afghanistan. OBL arranged to have some buildings knocked down in New York, causing America to seek revenge under U.N. sanction (more or less anyway). I do have a tendency to rant … and yes, I feel the U.S. is sneaking away, leaving the rest of the coalition to deal with the situation. As Canada's troops were increased, the U.S. pulled 4000 guys and didn't replace them. They seem to have a history of that in Afghanistan.

Benjamin, some interesting thought. Duly noted to my suggestion box. I'm sure, as most here must be, the Afghan people are tired of war. However, the war lords and the Taliban (and other extremist types) have a tendency to be inflexible. Hunting extremists without bombing villages will lead to a higher casualty rate for our guys, but increase or chances of winning hearts and minds. The War Lords will be more difficult to bring around, stability would undermine opium production. They do seem more approachable, but again, money rears its ugly head. I feel a political solution can’t be found with these two groups maintaining a level violence on one hand and despair via starvation crops on the other.

Again, I thank you both for your valuable input.


From: Thunder Bay ON CAN. | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 24 March 2006 08:47 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The tragic shooting in Kandahar last week stands as a bleak reminder of the contradictions besetting Canada's new Afghan adventure. Whether Canadian troops issued the appropriate warnings before fatally wounding pot-maker Nasrat Ali is, in the broadest sense, almost irrelevant. The fact that the shooting happened at all underscores the flaw behind Western intervention in Afghanistan. Troops from Canada, the U.S. and other NATO countries are there to protect the local population. Yet, they do not, and cannot, trust the very people they are ostensibly there to help. Every pot-maker in a motorized rickshaw — every teenager with an axe — is a potential enemy.

Thomas Walkom


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 24 March 2006 08:50 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Welcome to the quagmire:

quote:
So now we have an incident a week in Afghanistan. Two weeks ago, an axe attack. This week, shooting the innocent passenger in a minicab. Two locals dead. One, 16; the other, 60. Sandwiched between, the PM's thumbs-up visit. We are rapidly constructing our own quagmire, built on the U.S model in Iraq, and miming their rhetoric.

Rick Salutin


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Michelle
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posted 24 March 2006 08:55 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Troops could die in vain in Afghanistan:

quote:
Is Canada at war? The federal government won't say. Most Canadians are probably confused. Technically, of course, we are not at war. We have not declared war on anyone. No country has declared war on us. So, if this is not war, what is it? But while Canada may not be at war, it certainly is in one. It does not promise to be either nice or easy. It may get even more vicious. We should be prepared for that if we choose to go on. We should also be prepared to lose, to have those who die in Afghanistan die in vain — just as the Americans killed in Vietnam died in vain.

Thomas Walkom


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 24 March 2006 08:55 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper insists the proper role for the public is to simply rally around the troops. This is a clear attempt to deny Canadians their legitimate role in shaping Canada's defence policy. Indeed, Harper has things backwards. The role of the military is to serve our interests, not the other way around.

Linda McQuaig


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Michelle
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posted 24 March 2006 08:56 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Looking for answers? Follow the money:

quote:
What are we doing in Afghanistan? That is a question that many Canadians don't have a good answer for. The government is resisting any attempt by Members of Parliament to have a debate on our Afghanistan policy. What are they afraid of? You would think in a democracy debate on important issues would be a good thing.

Jerry West


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 24 March 2006 09:03 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A bit of thread drift, but will post anyway. Some mention was made in one of these threads of Canadian Forces remaining in Afganistan for possibly ten years. That seemed like a rather long commitment, except CBC reports today that Canadian Forces are leaving the Golan Heights after being there for....32 years! Holy cow. I didn't know they were still there - I thought the CF left the Golan in the 1990's. Weren't the CF in a long commitment to Cyprus as well?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 March 2006 09:42 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is what I hope for. I hope that these Harperites really do understand certain things that they aren't revealing to the rest of us. I;m hoping for our guys sake over there that this is nothing more than a Beirut or Cyprus consolidation effort to secure peace and security. And I have a feeling that it's in Harper's interest to understand what in hell is going on over there for his own political good. I hope the chickenhawks are at least conferring with him for the sake of political hawkishness and Canadian safety.

Because if it's not true, and Harper and Hillier et al don't have a clue as to what they've dealt themselves into over there, then it's possible our guys could be in for a real bad time. I think it's possible that there are tens of thousands, and maybe far greater numbers of foreign mercenaries and proxies ready to pour into Afghanistan from Pakistan, Iran and other central and southern Asian republics at the drop of a dime. Some people think that Kabul has the potential to be this century's Sarajevo.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Staznie
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posted 24 March 2006 10:52 AM      Profile for Staznie        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Troops could die in vain in Afghanistan:

Thomas Walkom


The only way they would die in vain, were if we pulled out prematurely and watch all the good be undone.


From: No longer in Hamilton | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 10:59 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
I didn't know they were still there - I thought the CF left the Golan in the 1990's. Weren't the CF in a long commitment to Cyprus as well?

The reason you didn't know we were still in Golan is because we were not killing people and being killed by them, because it was a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

It's not the length of the mission in Afghanistan which matters. It's the fact that it is in aid of U.S. aggressors and Afghan warlords.

[ 24 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 11:00 AM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Staznie:
.. watch all the good be undone.[/QB]

And that would be?

I trust you're not including the trial of the man possibly facing death for becoming Chrisitian and who has just been threatened with murder in case he's not prosecuted?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3745427.html


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 11:03 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I hope that these Harperites really do understand certain things that they aren't revealing to the rest of us. I;m hoping for our guys sake over there that this is nothing more than a Beirut or Cyprus consolidation effort to secure peace and security.

Just to be clear on your statement: You do not support an immediate unconditional withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan?


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Grape
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posted 24 March 2006 07:07 PM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
The reason you didn't know we were still in Golan is because we were not killing people and being killed by them, because it was a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Read up on the Medak Pocket incident. Peacekeeping isn't as peaceful as it's made out to be and it's nowhere near as useful as touted.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 07:11 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:

Read up on the Medak Pocket incident. Peacekeeping isn't as peaceful as it's made out to be and it's nowhere near as useful as touted.


It may not be peaceful, and it may not be useful. But it's legal. Not like the criminal murderous adventure which you shamelessly support in Afghanistan.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grape
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posted 24 March 2006 07:19 PM      Profile for Grape     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
It may not be peaceful, and it may not be useful. But it's legal.


This is true - though apparently it serves as a great facilitator of illegal activity, given all the scandals surrounding peacekeeping troops that have been plaguing the UN lately.

If it's not useful, why the hell are we doing it?

quote:
Not like the criminal murderous adventure which you shamelessly support in Afghanistan.

Yes, you're right - the Afghanistan mission has little in common with the peacekeeping missions of the past. For one thing, it actually achieved something - if only the ousting of the Taliban and denial of resources to AQ.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
gunnar gunnarson
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posted 24 March 2006 07:25 PM      Profile for gunnar gunnarson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Yes, you're right - the Afghanistan mission has little in common with the peacekeeping missions of the past. For one thing, it actually achieved something - if only the ousting of the Taliban and denial of resources to AQ.

Riiiiiight. And things are so much better there now that the mean old Talibannies are gone, eh? No more warlords, no more ethnic and tribal divisions, no more violence, no more oppression of women and / or gays, no more religious intolerance ...

I hope we're part of many more success stories like this one.


From: audra's corner | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 07:28 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:

For one thing, it actually achieved something - if only the ousting of the Taliban and denial of resources to AQ.

I feel so much safer already. Wake up.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 07:32 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Grape:
Originally posted by unionist:
[Re peacekeeping in Golan] It may not be peaceful, and it may not be useful. But it's legal.

Grape: If it's not useful, why the hell are we doing it?


How should I know? I haven't researched this peacekeeping mission. If it does no harm, and the U.N. and the parties seemed to find it useful, great. But I never said it wasn't useful - I said I didn't care that much.

You are raising diversions.

Our country has troops engaged in combat in Afghanistan following an illegal invasion of that sovereign nation in 2001. It is the solemn duty of all Canadians to put an end to this criminal activity.

Those who remain silent, are complicit.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 March 2006 07:39 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Just to be clear on your statement: You do not support an immediate unconditional withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan?


Yes, I think we have no business being in Afghanistan. I think we're there to contribute to the propping up of CIA-backed dictatorial regimes there and in Iraq. The CIA betrayed Masood and people of Afghanistan. I think we have to refuse to pariticipate in their wrong doings. Everything they touch turns sour at some point.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 07:42 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

Yes, I think we have no business being in Afghanistan. I think we're there to contribute to the propping up of CIA-backed dictatorial regimes there and in Iraq. The CIA betrayed Masood and people of Afghanistan. I think we have to refuse to pariticipate in their wrong doings. Everything they touch turns sour at some point.


Thank you, Fidel. You have made me happy. I am now your comrade. We can disagree about the NDP or anything else. But if we agree that collaboration with U.S. imperialism and its lackeys is banned, then we are on the same side of the barricades.

[ 24 March 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


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Fidel
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posted 24 March 2006 07:52 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've got to go and buy a pizza from the Afghani guy down the street. I asked him once about what he thought, and he said that the problem with both superpower interventions at the time was that they were both, essentially, imperialists in opposition to each other. I'm pretty sure I know what he'll say about our business over there.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 08:13 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

Yes, I think we have no business being in Afghanistan. I think we're there to contribute to the propping up of CIA-backed dictatorial regimes there and in Iraq. The CIA betrayed Masood and people of Afghanistan. I think we have to refuse to pariticipate in their wrong doings. Everything they touch turns sour at some point.


unionist I think you owe me a comment and so does the other babbler, whose name slips my aging mind; (the other one I apologised for having been wrong).

My gut instinct, or maybe because I have read a lot of posts by Fidel told me right away that you had misinterpreted him and my first judgment proved to be right.

I often disagree with Fidel, or think he exaggerates by focuing in too much on a certain aspect of international affairs and politics.

Sometimes I think I have different facts at my disposal.

Most of the time I agree with him.

I also think you owe him an apology, but that's just between friends.

And that you are and Fidel.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 08:16 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
edited to add in a hurry:

I had not seen your last post unionist and my first reaction was to just erase the admonishing part. But somebody might have already seen it.

It's like Frasier.

Scrambled eggs.

Sorry my firend.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 08:20 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I'm pretty sure I know what he'll say about our business over there.

But please ask him just the same and let us know. He is just one man but every Afghani knows a lot more about what to do than all of us together.

Of course not every Afghani sees it his way but I want to know.

I still wish "mysteriously smiling guy" at my corner store had talked. He would have said something different from the shopkeeper. I know because the body language told me so.

And I keep wishing I knew what.

[ 24 March 2006: Message edited by: VanLuke ]


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 08:24 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by VanLuke:

My gut instinct, or maybe because I have read a lot of posts by Fidel told me right away that you had misinterpreted him and my first judgment proved to be right.
[...]

I also think you owe him an apology, but that's just between friends.

And that you are and Fidel.


Well, you're right, and I was wrong. I apologize to Fidel for misinterpreting his views and to you for doubting your understanding.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 08:28 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Grape said:

quote:
This is true - though apparently it serves as a great facilitator of illegal activity, given all the scandals surrounding peacekeeping troops that have been plaguing the UN lately.

Of course Canadian troups never did anything wrong anywhere, eh Grape? Or is it worse when some Bangladeshi soldier delegated to the UN does something wrong? You know after all he's just somebody working for a wage ('solde').

Was Somalia a UN mission or just another example of unilateral aggression by western countries?

And don't you remember the news images of some people in the former Yugoslavia expressing their feelings about Canada by abusing a young and confused looking man (to me, a kid really)

So get off your high horse and join the real world.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 08:29 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Well, you're right, and I was wrong. I apologize to Fidel for misinterpreting his views and to you for doubting your understanding.


I wish you hadn't made the apology. I thought it was clear from my apology.

This is getting too complicated, comrade.

[ 24 March 2006: Message edited by: VanLuke ]


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 24 March 2006 08:40 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Get a room!
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 24 March 2006 08:54 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can't afford one.

From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 24 March 2006 09:20 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Golan Heights (UNDOF) Facts and Figures

Contributors of Military Personnel

Austria, Canada, Japan, Nepal, Poland, Slovak Republic

23 Fatalities

41 military personnel*
1 international civilian staff
1 local staff

*7 soldiers killed were due to hostile fire.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 24 March 2006 09:31 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
Golan Heights (UNDOF) Facts and Figures

Contributors of Military Personnel

Austria, Canada, Japan, Nepal, Poland, Slovak Republic

23 Fatalities

41 military personnel*
1 international civilian staff
1 local staff

*7 soldiers killed were due to hostile fire.



A member of the Canadian contingent was interviewed on As It Happens this evening. She said the Indian military had arrived to replace the Canadians, and everyone was eating curry. She said it made a nice change. She spoke of how important their mission had been in keeping the peace all these years, and graphically portrayed the strategic significance of the Golan.

She said no shot has been fired in anger for 20 years now.

I say: Mission accomplished, so far. Well done, Canada, and well done our selfless military!


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 25 March 2006 07:19 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From peacekeepers to Taliban hunters
On May 16, 2005 in a committee room on Parliament Hill, Defence Minister Bill Graham was calmly informing the joint Defence and Foreign Affairs committee "that Canadian troops were about to be deployed on one of their most dangerous missions since the Korean War," according to the above article.

Also present at that meeting was Chief of Defence Staff Rick "scumbags" Hillier, who made brief remarks and "then told the committee he'd take 'perhaps an extra minute to talk a little bit about Afghanistan.'"

quote:
There was no mention of combat operations. And while Mr. Graham discussed the NATO mission in Afghanistan, he did not explain to MPs that Canada's new role in Kandahar was part of the U.S. military's controversial Operation Enduring Freedom, which had been in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.
....
There was no discussion of Canada's long-term goals for Afghanistan, although those details exist in a government strategy paper that remains secret to this day.

Minutes of the meeting reveal that none of the MPs seemed concerned about the new mission.
....
NDP defence critic Bill Blaikie asked what the government was going to do about the diversion of water from a North Dakota lake into the MP's home province of Manitoba.

In fact, during the two-hour meeting, Afghanistan was discussed for about five minutes -- and that includes the time Mr. Graham spent briefing the MPs. There were no detailed questions about the operation.
....
Nevertheless, blocks away at Defence headquarters, military officers were preparing not to "strengthen the security situation," as Mr. Graham was suggesting. They were planning for a war.


The article tags Gen. Hillier as the main force pushing for the expanded combat role in Afghanistan.
quote:
A combat mission in Kandahar fit into Gen. Hillier's vision for Canadian Forces. That future would involve direct military intervention if necessary to stabilize failed or failing states, such as Afghanistan, a radical break from traditional peacekeeping with which most Canadians felt comfortable, and indeed, identified.
....
Neither NATO nor the U.S. pressured the Martin government to take the highly dangerous Kandahar mission, according to federal officials. Canadian troops could have continued to patrol the relatively safe streets of Kabul, but the Defence department considered that a basic peace stabilization mission that other militaries could handle. Gen. Hillier pushed for the Kandahar assignment where Canada's highly skilled troops could take part in combat operations.
....
While the link to OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] was spelled out to the Martin government from the beginning, it was not widely picked up by the media or opposition politicians. At the same time, the Defence department did not go out of its way to highlight the OEF connection.
In fact, when Canadian casualties started to increase, Gen. Hillier sidestepped an interviewer who asked if the mission was part of OEF. The general called the operation "a Canadian mission with multinational partners, large numbers of them, supporting a UN mandate, helping Afghans."
....
And while NATO's peace stabilization operation had a direct mandate from the United Nations, OEF did not. What's more, U.S. officers would design the "campaign plan" for the Canadian-led force in Kandahar that would dictate what missions were needed and when.
The article is a detailed recounting of how the opposition and the media snoozed while the government, urged on by Rick "scumbags" Hillier, got our troops heavily into the US-led war on terra. It's well worth a careful read.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mullah Boykin
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posted 25 March 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for Mullah Boykin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow what a great thread - this is some old school babble. Must return later cyborg parts need rechar
From: worm hole | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 25 March 2006 08:36 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 25 March 2006 10:55 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Frustrated Mess

That is a classic cartoon. Where did you get that? Can you please link a website.

You have made my day.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 25 March 2006 11:22 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
cartoon source
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 25 March 2006 11:40 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
From peacekeepers to Taliban hunters

From the link:

quote:
Conservative defence critic Gordon O'Connor said the Liberals had failed to justify the shift to Kandahar. There was no exit strategy, he warned, no definition of what would constitute success in Afghanistan and no real idea of how long the mission would last.

"The government unwisely meandered into this commitment without having a clear idea of what was involved," alleged Mr. O'Connor.

Less than three months later, Mr. O'Connor would be the country's new defence minister, and the Afghanistan mission his most high-profile file. Perhaps, not surprisingly, his view on the operation would undergo a significant change.

Tomorrow: The effort to convince a conflicted nation that Canadians are playing a vital role in Kandahar.
© The Ottawa Citizen 2006


Very interesting and apparently part of a continuing series.

One question I have -- what is in this for Hillier? Certain immediate and obvious things suggest themselves but I am thinking perhaps larger -- perhaps a neo-con, PNAC connection. He certainly has not shown himself to be shy of politics.

The article clearly states that the operation in Kandahar is under Operation Enduring American Hegemony, er, Freedom. Also that all parties were asleep at the wheel on this issue. Hillier seems to have stepped into a void and simply started demanding that various things start happening.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 26 March 2006 07:22 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The second instalment of that Ottawa Citizen article was published Sunday. Here are some choice excerpts, but read the whole thing:
quote:
Certainly it came as news to those on the frontlines that O'Connor was telling Canadians that troops were not in Afghanistan to engage in combat missions. In fact, patrols were preparing to go into Taliban and al-Qaeda territory, an assignment Kandahar commander Brig.-Gen. David Fraser compared to entering the backyard of the enemy and "kicking them."

"People back home don't really understand: We are at war," Master Cpl. Andrew Forbes told CanWest News during an early February patrol with the Provincial Reconstruction Team.
....
At home the mission is a jumble of confusion in the minds of most Canadians. Some Conservative MPs talk about Canada's commitment to NATO's operation in Afghanistan. Yet the mission is clearly under the auspices of the Pentagon's Operation Enduring Freedom, the code name for America's war on terror.
....
Mixed messages have further confounded Canadians trying to make sense of the Kandahar mission. One day generals make dramatic statements about hunting and killing Taliban and al-Qaeda; the next they might complain media are preoccupied with combat operations and ignoring the mission's aid work.
....
As one aid worker explained at a meeting in Ottawa: "When the PRT comes, we leave." Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, a strong supporter of the Canadian Forces, also expresses concerns about the effectiveness of the delivery of aid in Afghanistan. "What's this 3-D business?" he asks. "We've got no aid people over there."



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grizzled Wolf
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posted 27 March 2006 12:40 AM      Profile for Grizzled Wolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:


One question I have -- what is in this for Hillier?


Doing his job??? Nah....


From: Wherever they send me - currently lovely Edmonton | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 27 March 2006 01:20 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Grizzled Wolf:
Doing his job??? Nah....

But it is much more than that, isn't it GW? He has created a new job description.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 27 March 2006 01:21 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

This image from the March issue of the Walrus caught my eye because the power-point slide it features seems to suggest our military planners see Canadian forces in Afghanistan at least until 2009, if I interpret the '05-09' at the top of the slide correctly.

The Walrus article is worth a read. Entitled, 'Soldiers, not Peacekeepers: We are at war. Will Canada admit it?' it offers some important insights into the shifting Afghan mission, and the changes in policy aims those shifts entail.

I found a couple of these changes troubling.

quote:
"One unique aspect of the new strategy is the way that development and humanitarian aid are being used specifically for the purpose of building loyalty toward coalition forces and democratic reforms. The American, British, and Canadian governments all have representatives from their international development and relief agencies stationed in Afghanistan the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) alone plans to spend $616 million there by 2009"
This marks a shift in CIDA policy, according to the article, because CIDA was not willing to work with a Canadian battle group in 2002 because it was 'engaged in war.'

Obviously, I don't oppose aid and relief to the Afghans, but I would question the politicization and militarization of that aid: are we interested in aiding needy people, or in rewarding 'loyalty' to our military forces and support for the aims of their political masters?

quote:
"By combining aid and military power, and by assuming a bigger role in Afghanistan, Ottawa also hopes to avoid repeating one of the harsh lessons of the Bosnian conflict. Even though the army spent years in Bosnia and Kosovo, when it came to decision-making Ottawa had very little to say because the Canadian presence wansn't large enough. 'You never got credit for it because it was a small contribution, relatively speaking, not enough to be above the radar,' says Hillier. 'So we never got a seat at the leadership table and we never got a chance to influence places like Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo in accordance with Canadian values and in accordance with our interest.
It's probably worth pointing out that the strongest defenders of Canada's participation in the Afghan war would have a hard time explaining its connection to peculiarly 'Canadian values' or 'our interest,' since, when pushed, they tend to fall back on George Bush's rhetoric and justifications to defend our presence there.

In other words, what use is a specifically Canadian 'seat at the table,' if you're going to use it as a place from which to echo whatever is coming out of Washington, which is more or less what most of the Afghan War's strongest defenders have been doing?

Furthermore, I certainly hope we're not sending Canadian soldiers into harm's way to gain (or re-gain) some kind of so-called 'credibility' in the halls of power.

I mention this because the article also includes comments from some of the usual suspects (e.g. Granatstein) to the effect that Canada's government felt a need to sign on to a stronger Afghan presence to make up for not fully participating in the Iraq War.

Granatstein is far from the only person to make this case, and it would be shameful indeed if the Canadian government--Liberal or Conservative--were making deployment decisions on that sort of basis.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 27 March 2006 12:46 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's the third installment of the Ottawa Citizen series: Afghan Endgame.

quote:
The Conservative government hasn't spelled out how long the country's troops will remain in Afghanistan, but if the details from a newly declassified military report are any indication, Canadians should prepare for a stay that will stretch for years, if not decades.

From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Randy
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posted 27 March 2006 02:16 PM      Profile for Randy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wonder what the makeup of this forum would look like if bin Laden and his zombies had targeted military targets instead of letting his hate get the best of him and going after targets that merely represented American power. Suppose that he had attacked really strategic targets that would spread the most destruction, like American nuclear power plants. Imagine the radioactive debris thrown into the air after a massive attack, debris that would be carried by the winds to Canada. Depending on which power plants were attacked, most of Canada west of western Ontario (and all of the northeast USA, the primary target) could be blanketed by radioactive rain or snow, or just a gentle, blue breeze. It would sure kick the shit out of our dairy industry. Now imagine Canadian soldiers pulled out of 'illegally' occupied Afghanistan and reassigned to keep the peace somewhere where there's no danger, like maybe Toronto. Oops, gangs shoot one another there, and the soldiers might have to shoot back to defend themselves. Toronto's out. Better decommision them and promote the forces to Adult Boy Scouts (ABS) and assign them to a safe zone and a peaceful occupation beyond argument, such as helping people to safely cross Portland Street in Dartmouth. Meanwhile, the Taliban return to power because , let's face it, when a gang of people bust into your schoolroom and cut off the head of your schoolteacher in front of you, or organize weekend killings of the democratically minded whilst quoting scripture for the amusement of patrons of the local soccer stadium, you aren't likely to get many chances to organize a protest peace march. Naturally,they allow their buddies al-Queda to set back up operations, because, after all, God is Great and Westerners are Soft and Sinful, and since they are monitoring this silly discussion, they by now have realized what a mistake they made with their first chance at the Yankees, and so begin to formulate plans to make the most productive and heavily populated area of North America unfit for little children to live. Now that may never happen. But my money is on the folks who get paid to ensure that doesn't happen. Sorry, but my security is threatened by terrorists who don't give a damn about me, you, or any of your friends or family. It doesn't matter if the fundementalist terrorists, or if you like, midddle east patriots, only hate the Americans; we live downwind of them. And sooner or later, if we give them enough time to set up, one of them will figure out how to really, really hurt us.
From: Halifax | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 27 March 2006 02:30 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Randy:
...

Dude -- I watch 24 too, but it's just a TV show, okay?


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 27 March 2006 02:32 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What the hell are you talking about? Your paranoid fantasies of hordes of scimitar-wielding jihadists ruining our infidel dairy industry notwithstanding, what does any of that have to do with Canada's obedient service to the pentagon in Afghanistan?

quote:
And sooner or later, if we give them enough time to set up, one of them will figure out how to really, really hurt us.

Are you talking about the Conservatives? 'Cause really, they are a serious threat to us all. Seriously dude, the Harpercons are a much more immediate, tangible, and dangerous threat to my security than any Afghanii put-put driver.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Grizzled Wolf
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posted 27 March 2006 03:57 PM      Profile for Grizzled Wolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:

But it is much more than that, isn't it GW? He has created a new job description.


Not so sure about that - he is, as all CDS's have been, charged with the admninistration of the Forces, on behalf of the Government. He is doing that in spades. Is he more vocal than previous CDS? Absolutely. Is he more skilled at using the media to get his message out to his soldiers and their families? Without a doubt. Is he more visible than any in recent memory? Yes - and I think that is what is causing so much discomfort, for so many.


From: Wherever they send me - currently lovely Edmonton | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 March 2006 06:00 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Grizzled Wolf:
Is he more visible than any in recent memory? Yes - and I think that is what is causing so much discomfort, for so many.
Um, I think what he's actually saying also has something to do with people's "discomfort".

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jerry West
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posted 27 March 2006 07:30 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

M. Spector
Um, I think what he's actually saying also has something to do with people's "discomfort".

Exactly, and also discomforting is that he is allowed to say it without having his leash snapped back. If he were a truely professional soldier instead of a politician he would shut up and do his job, only speaking out when ordered to do something against the law or unnecessarily destructive of those under his command.


From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Randy
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posted 28 March 2006 12:02 PM      Profile for Randy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Dude -- I watch 24 too, but it's just a TV show, okay?

24 –that must be a sci-fi show, eh? Haven’t seen it.
quote:
what does any of that have to do with Canada's obedient service to the pentagon in Afghanistan?

Paranoid fantasies notwithstanding, fiction becomes fact more often than is comfortable. I read a book in the late 1990’s , Lionheart, or something like that, that had a jihadist cell member hijacking jet liners by slitting the throats of the crew with his handy dandy box knife. Didn’t crash the plane, because it would have made a short novel, but certainly it shows that imagination, that quality which John Ralston Saul holds in high regard and but sadly not evident in many of these posts, can evolve from idea to action. Even bad ideas. What the hell did my previous post have to do with obedient Canadian service to the Pentagon? Obviously, that I think our presence in Afghanistan is not obsequiousness to American interests but common sense protection of our own interests. It’s not Afghani put-put drivers who are the threat, but international evil minded jihadists who set up shop in failed states. Ergo, the threat is failed states. Your argument ought to be not about American subservience, but instead whether or not Canada should be a UN and NATO member, since the majority of the member states of both of these international organizations have accepted the validity of sending forces to Afghanistan to oust a government that thumbed its nose at world opinion regardless of the consequences, and to re-construct it into a state that actually cared about its citizens beyond the length of their beards. Arguing about the legality of the military action at this point, long after the fact, is a little like arguing whether Brison and Stronach should have crossed the floor of the House of Commons. It’s history. Move on. If Canada was an American lackey, why then aren’t we signed into a Star Wars defence? Why don’t we treat Cuba the same as the Americans? Why didn’t we invade Iraq? Why are we arguing with them over softwood and water? You can sneer all you want, but it points to independent policy on many issues. If our interests coincide with theirs, so what? We do happen to share a continent, much history, and many future goals on a veritable host of issues. Their interests coincided with ours in both world wars, although their government had to overcome American public opinion first. You may not be much for history, but the Americans once had an isolationist policy. While the rest of the world fought in an increasingly global conflict, they stuck their heads in the sand and maintained that they had no business in ‘European conflicts’, and ‘Asian squabbles’. When Pearl Harbour kicked them where it hurt, it also woke them to the fact that while they live on this planet, they couldn’t and wouldn’t be exempt from conflicts half a world away. So you can argue for Canadian isolationism if you like, but you should know that Canada has been a supporter of UN actions traditionally, which is by definition not an isolationist organization. I don’t see any good reason to quit that at this time, regardless of how long it takes to settle things down there. We just quit the Golan Heights, after thirty years. We were in Cypress for thirty plus years. We could be in the Balkans that long as well. Conflicts are touchy and dangerous at the beginning, but history indicates that over enough time, they will settle down. If the foreign troops stick around to keep the locals from bombing or beheading one another, that is.

From: Halifax | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 28 March 2006 12:17 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You need a refresher course, Randy. The Pearl Harbor bit flies in history's face. Perhaps you could explain why Japan had a modern navy capable of carrying out the attack.
From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 28 March 2006 12:37 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow, you really are delusional, Randy. Here I was just being a smart ass, but it turns out to be true.

quote:
Obviously, that I think our presence in Afghanistan is not obsequiousness to American interests but common sense protection of our own interests. It’s not Afghani put-put drivers who are the threat, but international evil minded jihadists who set up shop in failed states. Ergo, the threat is failed states.

I thought international evil minded jihadists set up shop on Skull Island?

First of all, the existance of international evil minded jihadists is up for dispute. At most, they are like the Contras in Nicaragua: a bunch of thugs set up nice by foreign intelligence services to do the dirty work. Like all those Al Queda who happily worked for the US and NATO in Kosovo. Secondly, what exactly is a failed state? How does a state fail (hint: look at for whom their puppet leaders worked. I think you'll find a common denominator)? Thirdly, what about all those not-so-failed states that train, equip, and support all those international evil jihadists, like US ally Pakistan, US ally Saudi Arabia, US ally Israel, US ally...er..Florida.

quote:
sending forces to Afghanistan to oust a government that thumbed its nose at world opinion regardless of the consequences, and to re-construct it into a state that actually cared about its citizens beyond the length of their beards.

Whoooaaa! I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of this revisionist lie being repeated over and over again by Ameri-supremecists. Before you fall all the way down the memory hole, try and recall that the Taliban offered to turn Bin Laden over several times, but was rebuffed because the war plans were already in place. And if you actually believe the objective is to turn Afghanistan into a state that actually cared about its citizens, you are worse that delusional. After four years of occupation, carpet bombing, and sham elections, the only thing growing in Afghanistan are the poppies.

quote:
While the rest of the world fought in an increasingly global conflict, they stuck their heads in the sand and maintained that they had no business in ‘European conflicts’, and ‘Asian squabbles’. When Pearl Harbour kicked them where it hurt, it also woke them to the fact that while they live on this planet, they couldn’t and wouldn’t be exempt from conflicts half a world away
Bold mine.

No business. Sure, if you don't count General Motors, Ford, IBM, Prescott Bush, Standard Oil, US Steel, and myriad other American corporate involvement in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the US had no business whatsoever. Jesus, it's like the only history you've read is the Walt Disney history of WWII.

quote:
If the foreign troops stick around to keep the locals from bombing or beheading one another, that is.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Get out your pith helmets, here we get to the heart of the matter: those savage locals just can't manage with out the civilizing influence of the Great White Father.

It's like it is 1850 all over again.

[ 28 March 2006: Message edited by: Jingles ]


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
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posted 28 March 2006 12:45 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Randy:
I read a book in the late 1990’s , Lionheart, or something like that, that had a jihadist cell member hijacking jet liners by slitting the throats of the crew with his handy dandy box knife.

I trust you notified the authorities of this potential threat? I know Moussaoui didn't, and he's now facing some pretty steep penalty...


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5468

posted 28 March 2006 02:07 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In yesterday's Globe, Christie Blatchford mentioned a Canadian patrol coming upon a poppy field in Afghanistan:
quote:
There are no flies on Mr. Turner, however, so he asked Mr. Nabi to show us the existing irrigation system, and thus it was that we walked for about a mile, past fields bursting with poppies about a month away from blossoming, and under the officer's patient questioning, Mr. Nabi said the fields were worth $200 a kilo, and that there were 1,000 kilos' worth in one large field alone.

How to balance aiding a village in the deadly opium business, exerting pressure to make sure no Canadian-funded assistance is ever directed there, yet is still helping, is but one of the tricky bits of business facing the Canadians here.


A large percentage of the Afghan economy depends on opium production, and the US/Britain and other countries' governments often sound the alarm about the need for poppy eradication.

The Americans have backed off aerial fumigation of the type done in Colombia for now, but if the following article is correct, the foreign governments haven't been taking the creation of serious alternatives for Afghan farmers very seriously, and may, in fact, be making matters worse:

quote:
The British government has failed to honor its pledge to compensate Afghani farmers for eradicating poppy crops, causing widespread anger in the volatile south of the country and leading to increased support for Taliban insurgents, a new report by the Senlis Council think tank claims.

[snip]

The Senlis Council, a respected international security and development think tank with offices in Kabul, says Britain is to blame for pursuing counter-productive anti-drugs policies that have alienated local farmers and fueled support for Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents in the south of the country.

Based on interviews with farmers in the Helmand province, where 3,300 British troops will arrive over the coming months, the group claims that U.K. counter-narcotics officers promised local farmers $350 for every fifth of a hectare of poppies they destroyed.

"These farmers kept their side of the deal and eradicated their crops, but the British Government did not keep their word," said Mohammad Gull, a local representative from the Sharwali District in Helmand who was involved in the initial negotiations with the British representatives. "In our culture this is very dishonorable and we are very angry."

Gull told the Senlis Council he had over 400 checks in his possession which farmers had been unable to cash because of insufficient funds in the account. In total, the farmers allege they are owed $21 million and are planning to sue the British government for the money that was promised them.


Not to support the illegal drug trade, but you can't punish these people for growing the one crop that would let them feed their families (or the one crop they have to grow because someone is making them do it) without being willing to invest the serious dollars it would take to create a viable alternative for them: not only is that unjust, but it's also a recipe for disaster.

From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Randy
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posted 28 March 2006 02:58 PM      Profile for Randy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Perhaps you could explain why Japan had a modern navy capable of carrying out the attack.

Why, they were allowed to get to that point, partly by an absence of power on the region due to the waning of the British influence, and a reluctance by Americans to engage in confrontations. Something along the same lines that allowed the German navy to build up.
quote:
Whoooaaa! I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of this revisionist lie being repeated over and over again by Ameri-supremecists. Before you fall all the way down the memory hole, try and recall that the Taliban offered to turn Bin Laden over several times, but was rebuffed because the war plans were already in place.

Oh yeah, wasn't it some nice country like Iran? Not for American justice to have their say. If they were even serious in the first place. Delusional is anyone who thinks there won't be a war if a country that has the capability to project force is atcked the way teh Americans were in 9/11. You can test this theory on your own level. Just go up to the biggest, meanest bad ass downtown tonight and kick him where it hurts. Then see if he retaliates. For control purposes, go up to some wimpy kid and kick her and see if the reaction is the same. I'll bet the bad ass will project force, while the wimpy kid will not. Maybe you should pick on the kid first, though.
quote:
No business. Sure, if you don't count General Motors, Ford, IBM, Prescott Bush, Standard Oil, US Steel, and myriad other American corporate involvement in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the US had no business whatsoever. Jesus, it's like the only history you've read is the Walt Disney history of WWII.

Don't you just love to have your words parsed to pieces? Sure, that's what Catch 22 was all about, how Big Business started and operated the war for profit. By your thinking all Roosevelt had to do was call up the CEOs of the day and ask them to threaten to pull out investment and that would have squelched hostilities. What a simple view of the world you do have. It's almost charming. Of course what I meant was that the American public felt that they had no business in interfering in foreign politics and disputes, as opposed to today's public mindset of supporting every means at their disposal to reduce potential foreign threats. Not that I agree with all of their objectives and methods.
quote:
It's like it is 1850 all over again.


Ah, overstatement and exaggeration. What fun,especially if not one whit true.
quote:
I trust you notified the authorities of this potential threat? I know Moussaoui didn't, and he's now facing some pretty steep penalty...

Sure I did, but they said to keep it to myself as they had a masterplan to put in motion that would fix things once and for all. Something about taking a little sting to justify shock and awe. 'Course, I thought they were talking about shooting a movie.
Poor old Moussaoui. No wonder he hates Americans. Imagine not being in on the biggest day of 2001. What'd he do, sleep in? Or just get caught in a long line -up at the airport and missed his flight? What a travesty of injustice, to be part of the plot of the century, and not to get to take part in it. And then get dissed because you had orders to keep it a secret. Although he could be simply gulling us all to pad his resume with the folks back home. Personally, I would question why, if he was supposed to be a fifth bomber, and that shoe bomb dude was supposed to be an accomplice, why was the shoe bomber on a flight to America after the fact?

From: Halifax | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 March 2006 03:05 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Randy:

Why, they were allowed to get to that point, partly by an absence of power on the region due to the waning of the British influence, and a reluctance by Americans to engage in confrontations. Something along the same lines that allowed the German navy to build up.

Gee and I had awlays thought it was because they were on the allies side during WW1, something which resulted in them being given the German pacific Island at the Paris "Peace" (by divying up the spoils) conference.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jerry West
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posted 28 March 2006 03:42 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

sgm
In yesterday's Globe, Christie Blatchford mentioned a Canadian patrol coming upon a poppy field in Afghanistan:

And I recall seeing an article awhile back where Gen. Hillier was said to be speaking with a poppy field in the background.

Don't look for too much in the war on poppies, the Western economy is too heavily invested in drugs to dry up all of the supplies. Our troops are actually serving the interest of drug dealers.

A system hooked on drugs

quote:

Randy
Paranoid fantasies notwithstanding, fiction becomes fact more often than is comfortable.

You can say that again, and half truths abound, like in that long, run on and hard to read paragraph that you posted without breaking it up into more digestible parts.

Isolationism was only one facet of US policy, and it was selective. Study the development of the US Empire, its conquest of the Pacific and military adventures in Asia prior to WWII and its involvement in Latin America.

Look into Alfred Thayer Mahan and Manifest Destiny.

Notice that the US was attacking Japan via trade sanctions prior to Pearl Harbor. Notice all of the US troops in China prior to WWII.

Certainly the average American did not want to be involved in foreign adventures, just like today, and of course events had to be orchestrated to break that attitude, just like today. Same dynamic taking place in Canada now.

The majority of the Canadian people, according to a number of polls in the recent past, do not want to be entangled in American policies or involved in the American's imperial wars of conquest like Iraq and even Afghanistan. That our government often, at least until this one, found issues to stand up to the US on was more for domestic consumption than anything else. Underneath it all the corporate interests that control both countries continue on running the show and never rocking the boat enough to disrupt business over such petty concerns as morals and decent human behaviour.

quote:

Why, they were allowed to get to that point, partly by an absence of power on the region due to the waning of the British influence, and a reluctance by Americans to engage in confrontations.

Actually the Brits struck an alliance with Japan around 1900 inorder to have the Japanese Navy on call to look after British interests in the Far East. The Japanese in turn received a green light to trounce Russia.

The Japanese, Brits and Americans were all allies through WWI and participated together in operations in China.

After WWI the Japanese were confronted both by being forced into unequal naval treaties to their disadvantage, and by trade restrictions.

(What happened in Germany, by the way, was a travesty perpetrated by the Allies against an equally innocent or guilty party, however you want to view it.)

quote:

Delusional is anyone who thinks there won't be a war if a country that has the capability to project force is atcked the way teh Americans were in 9/11.

Delusional is anyone who thinks that 911 was anything more than a convenient cause celebre to fire up the public for wars that any rational thinking person would object to. History of course is now bearing this out.

quote:

Jingles
It's like it is 1850 all over again.

Naw, more like 1898 or maybe 1935 with the US playing the role of Italy, or Iraq as another Poland circa 1939.


From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
nister
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Babbler # 7709

posted 28 March 2006 04:40 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I want a footnote..Japan decided it must have a modern navy as the only practical defense against what happened to their neighbour, the Philippines, at the hands of the Americans. What was your comment about irony, again...
From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 March 2006 05:09 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, isn't it strange how we hear all about Japan's umprovoked attack against the poor British and Americans, but no one ever asks what the British and Americans were doing offering themselves as targets by having bases in the Philipens, Hong Kong and Singapore.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jerry West
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posted 28 March 2006 05:45 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

nister
I want a footnote..Japan decided it must have a modern navy as the only practical defense against what happened to their neighbour, the Philippines, at the hands of the Americans.

Yes, but also not quite. Japan's military buildup started in the 1860s when it decided it did not want to wind up like China which had been subjugated and exploited by a variety of Western powers.

The course of history over the next 70 years reinforced Japan's belief that to maintain their independence and industrial growth they would require a very strong military to guarantee access to resources in Asia.

When one looks at the bigger picture the roots of the Pacific War against Japan actually trace back all the way to the beginning of Western imperialism in East Asia during the 16th Century.


From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Red Albertan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9195

posted 28 March 2006 09:36 PM      Profile for Red Albertan        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Randy:
Obviously, that I think our presence in Afghanistan is not obsequiousness to American interests but common sense protection of our own interests.

The result is quite the opposite. Our government has endangered Canada by joining an imperialist undertaking that is to secure American economic and geostrategic interests.

quote:
It’s not Afghani put-put drivers who are the threat, but international evil minded jihadists who set up shop in failed states.

Beyond the usual rhetoric, what is a "failed state" in YOUR OWN words? I would like to challenge you on that definition, because it is easy to pick up meaningless Pentagon-talk.

To me, a failed state is one that makes trouble all over the world; one that regards the property of others as its own, and is willing to commit the robbery at gunpoint, to steal what doesn't belong to it. A failed state is on that trains and harbors Terrorists, and unleashes them on its opponents, and then cries foul when those same people it trained turn on it. A failed state is on that trains death squads that are meant to strike fear into the hearts of anyone opposing its illegal occupation, whether Iraq, Afghanistan or El Salvador. A failed state is one that treats other humans with disdain, and spits on international agreements meant to stabilize, set norms for human rights, and maintain peace. A failed state is one that uses torture to force confessions. A failed state is one that holds hundreds or thousands of common people who have committed no provable crime, without so much as a charge or trial. And every government supporting such a failed state and its fascist regime, is equally a failure. Resisting an invasion and occupation is not a crime. It is the duty of every man. A failed state is every country which supports such fascist Despotism.

quote:
Ergo, the threat is failed states.

The real threat is the #1 resource-glutton of the world, which robs the world and claims the worlds resources as its own. That country which is trying to build a "missile defense" system so that it can unleash a first-strike atomic war on the world.

quote:
Your argument ought to be not about American subservience, but instead whether or not Canada should be a UN and NATO member, since the majority of the member states of both of these international organizations have accepted the validity of sending forces to Afghanistan

Currently both of those bodies are pretty subservient to the US, and the UN is hardly a body with teeth, or else the entire world would have banded together to kick the US out of Iraq after it "liberated" Iraq like Hitler "liberated" Czechoslovakia and Poland.

quote:
to oust a government that thumbed its nose at world opinion regardless of the consequences,

You are a revisionist. The Taliban offered up Osama bin-Laden twice, but they demanded proof of the allegation. Instead of proof, they received an Invasion.

quote:
and to re-construct it into a state that actually cared about its citizens beyond the length of their beards.

Oh please. America and its NATO allies are propping up a puppet regime that includes such war criminals as Dostum, who is responsible for the Mazar-al-Sharif massacre. There is no interest in caring about Afghans. The interest is of purely economic and drug-related issue, because the CIA and Wall Street depend on the poppy crops.

quote:
Arguing about the legality of the military action at this point, long after the fact, is a little like arguing whether Brison and Stronach should have crossed the floor of the House of Commons. It’s history.

So you are saying that whatever Hitler did until 1942 was irrelevant in 1945? A crime is a crime is a crime. It shall never be white-washed.

quote:
If Canada was an American lackey, why then aren’t we signed into a Star Wars defence?

We're not officially, but don't worry. The back door is open.

quote:
Why didn’t we invade Iraq?

Canada provided naval support and protection to their ships in the Gulf, as well as military intelligence. Canada also relieved US troops from Afghanistan, so even though 'we' sent no troops on the ground, 'we' collaborated.

quote:
Why are we arguing with them over softwood and water?

Because we are not an equal. We are a US "Protectorate".

quote:
If our interests coincide with theirs, so what?

Yea, lets go kill some "brown guys" and steal their resources. So if someone has an interest in robbing your house, you think that is justified, as long as they're strong enough and can overwhelm you?

quote:
We do happen to share a continent, much history, and many future goals on a veritable host of issues.

Such as?

quote:
Their interests coincided with ours in both world wars, although their government had to overcome American public opinion first.

Not really. The New York bankers financed Hitler, and the Canadians got nothing out of that deal. Then, while Canada fought in Europe defending Britain, the US sat idly by for nearly 4 years before joining in the fight. And after the war the US financed most of the reconstruction and sold the weapons to build Europe back up militarily, and emerged as one of the worlds superpowers, dominating Europe and east Asia, and even the ex-empire Great Britain. It was a win-win for them.

quote:
You may not be much for history, but the Americans once had an isolationist policy. While the rest of the world fought in an increasingly global conflict, they stuck their heads in the sand and maintained that they had no business in ‘European conflicts’, and ‘Asian squabbles’.

That is not entirely true. They picked their battles, but they did have them, though they largely avoided the WW's.

quote:
When Pearl Harbour kicked them where it hurt, it also woke them to the fact that while they live on this planet, they couldn’t and wouldn’t be exempt from conflicts half a world away.

Just so you are aware, the US declared war on Japan before Pearl Harbour, by means of an Economic Embargo. Also, Pearl Harbour was not the surprise attack it has been made out to be. The approach of the Japanese Fleet was known more than an hour before the attack.

quote:
So you can argue for Canadian isolationism if you like, but you should know that Canada has been a supporter of UN actions traditionally,

Afghanistan was not a UN action.

quote:
which is by definition not an isolationist organization.

However, it is an organization controlled by the 5 biggest weapons dealers in the world. If you want to sell weapons, then what is the point of having an organization that ACTUALLY promotes peace, and solutions to ensure peace?

quote:
If the foreign troops stick around to keep the locals from bombing or beheading one another, that is.

The Death Squads are American. Most civilian victims in Iraq are victims of the 'Salvador Solution'.

[ 28 March 2006: Message edited by: Red Albertan ]


From: the world is my church, to do good is my religion | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 28 March 2006 09:48 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Randy:
If Canada was an American lackey, why then aren’t we signed into a Star Wars defence?

Oh but we have, our government just lied to us about it.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 30 March 2006 01:25 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
American lackeys? Us?

Subway posters tout Canadian military's role in Afghanistan

quote:
[H]uge signs and banners posted in seven strategic subway stations in the District of Columbia and suburban Virginia tout the Canadian contribution in Afghanistan, showing that the fight Stephen Harper calls "our war" is also meant to curry favour in Washington.

The poster features a Canadian soldier, weapon in hand, standing alongside Afghans, with the words, "Canadian Troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Boots On The Ground.

"U.S.-Canada Relations. Security is Our Business."

Lt.-Col. Jamie Robertson, the counsellor for military outreach at the Canadian embassy, says it is key to Canadian interests that there be an awareness Ottawa is involved in global security.

"In this town, there is a lot of competition for attention," he said. "This is the only way to raise the profile because, at the end of the day, it is all about tangible co-operation and it doesn't get any more tangible than this.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Randy
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posted 31 March 2006 02:42 PM      Profile for Randy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Red Albertan asked:
quote:
Beyond the usual rhetoric, what is a "failed state" in YOUR OWN words?

Lemme pull the plug from my neck first so's I can use my own thoughts.... there.
Ok, technically, Afghanistan functioned. Hate to live there personally, but I admit it was organized by the Taliban. But organized not for advancement of the nation, but instead to return it to a past that existed in the minds of its leaders. It was the author of its own demise, so it failed. I shed no tears for the Taliban. Do you?


From: Halifax | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Randy
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posted 31 March 2006 03:02 PM      Profile for Randy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Red Albertan wrote:
quote:
Not really. The New York bankers financed Hitler,... Then, while Canada fought in Europe defending Britain, the US sat idly by for nearly 4 years before joining in the fight. And after the war the US financed most of the reconstruction ...It was a win-win for them.

And I've been accused of being a revisionist. I am forced to agree, public schooling ain't what it used to be.
quote:
the US declared war on Japan before Pearl Harbour, by means of an Economic Embargo. Also, Pearl Harbour was not the surprise attack it has been made out to be. The approach of the Japanese Fleet was known more than an hour before the attack.

I suppose FDR ordered his navy commanders to shut up and take the hit for purely political reasons. After all, he did want to enter the war, as per usual for the war mongering Americans. I fail to see how any reasonable person could say that the carnage in Pearl Harbor after the attack was the result of a powerful force that was expecting the enemy. I would say that an hour's notice of a massive assault like that constituted a surprise. But then, I'm not much good at video games.


From: Halifax | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Jerry West
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posted 31 March 2006 03:45 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Randy:
I fail to see how any reasonable person could say that the carnage in Pearl Harbor after the attack was the result of a powerful force that was expecting the enemy. I would say that an hour's notice of a massive assault like that constituted a surprise. But then, I'm not much good at video games.

You may not be too good at history, either, since you appear to be unaware that this issue is very debatable, and not nearly as black and white as you seem to depict it.

quote:

Red Albertan:
That country which is trying to build a "missile defense" system so that it can unleash a first-strike atomic war on the world.

Actually, I think that the purpose of the missile defense folly is to create yet another cash cow for the defense industry to milk. There is little profit in an atomic war, but lots of it in preparing for one. If the military wasn't such a fat business for the corporations we would have a lot less instability and a lot more peace in the world.


From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
nister
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7709

posted 31 March 2006 04:15 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another angle on the BMD issue; a labor shortage. The Pentagon says that there are not enough scientists and engineers in the domestic pipeline, and they've begun to tap India for their best and brightest. Apparently they face decaying capability if they don't "outsource".
From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
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posted 31 March 2006 04:43 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Long thread.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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