Thursday, April 26, 2007

Afghanistan: Canada's Dirty Little War

There was an awesome memorial service at CFB Gagetown today. A fitting tribute to the eight soldiers killed in one bloody week in Afghanistan. And some comfort for those they left behind.

"They were deeply loved fathers and husbands, deeply loved sons and brothers. They were loyal friends and dedicated comrades. They were, and they remain, our truest heroes."

It was incredibly moving. But what made it even sadder for me was that even as we mourn the dead soldiers, we're also mourning for the honour of our army and our country.

Because let's not beat about the bush, or fudge the truth, or play cheap politics.

This is a national disgrace.

The Harper government knew from its own officials that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of torture, abuse and extrajudicial killing, The Globe and Mail has learned.

But the government has eradicated every single reference to torture and abuse in prison from a heavily blacked-out version of a report prepared by Canadian diplomats in Kabul.

They can run but they can't hide. If our government, and our top generals, and some of our soldiers in the field knew about the torturers in the Afghan security forces, and still handed prisoners over to them, they are guilty of war crimes.

And if they didn't know they are criminally incompetent. How soon they forget. Doesn't anyone remember the Somalia Affair... and the slow death of Shidane Arone?

If you hand a prisoner over knowing he will be tortured or killed, you are just as guilty as if you do the dirty work yourself.

You know how I feel about the Taliban. As a gay person I don't have to explain that. As far as I'm concerned the more of those savage religious fanatics we can smoke the better.

And you know how I feel about our dead heroes. Every last one of them.

Back then I thought it was a jolly good show. Now I think it's a tragedy.

Because Canadian soldiers don't treat prisoners they take like that....we don't hand them over to be tortured. Like the war criminals of the Bush regime do.

"Torture and abuse consisted of pulling out fingernails and toenails, burning with hot oil, beatings, sexual humiliation, and sodomy."

If they have, or have looked away, or pretended not to see or know, they have turned this doomed mission into something even worse. They have smeared the once proud reputation of our army, and shamed us in the eyes of the world.

Now it's our Dirty Little War.

I was sure that Afghanistan would be the downfall of the monstrous primped up yankee loving chickenhawk Stephen Harper. And that seems to be happening.

I knew our dead soldiers could never save Afghanistan from itself. But I hoped they might save Canada from the ReformCons. So their sacrifice wouldn't be completely wasted.

I just didn't realize the price would be so high.

Oh yeah....mourn first for our dead soldiers.

And then mourn for our country....


  1. When the weak kneed left libs learn the truth that war is hell and stop whining about everything that does not fit their false image of a utopian world, the sooner our forces can finish the job and get home.
    Waging a politically correct war is a new and foolish way to attempt to quiet the wimps and anti-war crowd in our society. By pretending we are somehow morally superior to the enemy, we prolong conflict adding more casualties to the list of dead.
    We must go mediaeval on their asses.

  2. Anonymous2:14 PM

    recent historical context for torture & other abuses in the region: participating in torture--either directly or via rendition--only solves the recruiting problems of groups like the Taliban & Hizbollah, etc.

    there's a movement afoot that hopefully will end up with Hillier & O'Connel being given their pink slips. I would like it if Harper was on the receiving end too.


  3. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Yes you should be very nice with the captured terorrists like the Taliban and Hizbollah, you should thank Allah for them they are great, they are noble.
    Wouldn't it be great if NATO troops left the region, or got charged with war crimes, then the Taliban could take over the area, or possibly the world, wouldn't that be great Jay?
    Another young idiot not having a clue about anything more serious than a latte.

  4. Anonymous11:51 PM

    "real jay", you are either a young or old assinine fool who has bought into a bullshit ideology that refuses to recognize how horribly wrong, inhumane and generally fucked up it is in spite of literally years of evidince that it simply, literally, does not work.


  5. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Hi Harbinger! I agree that war is hell, but I simply can't agree with you on the question of moral superiority. If the war was worth it and winnable, which this one is not, we don't need to torture anyone to win.If we don't show the world that we are morally superior to the Taliban, then what the fuck are we fighting for? Remember EVERYONE agrees that this is a counter insurgency op, and torturing sometimes innocent people is the sure way to lose..

    Hi Real Jay...don't take things to ridiculous extremes. I'm not suggesting that we treat the Taliban nicely...I just don't believe in torturing them or anyone. As for the Taliban taking over the world come on...only if you mailed them a map to show where Canada is...forty goats....and a canoe...

    Hi Jay!! I agree with you completely. Torturing Taliban and innocent civilians only results in more Taliban recruits. We should have learned that from the American experience in Iraq. How many more insurgents did Abu Ghraib create. I'll bet a lot. So I can't understand those who think that blood lust is the way to "win"
    a war like that. When it practically guarantees we will lose.
    Besides the whole idea of applying 20th Century occupation tactics to a counter insurgency one is absurd.
    These right-wing fellas sure must have hard heads...because all they are doing is banging their heads against a brick wall. If we want to counter the threat of Islamic extremism brute force alone won't do it. We have to be smart as well... Duh.. :)