Monday, February 04, 2008

Rosie and the Afghanistan Chickenhawk Brigade

When I read Rosie DiManno's "Apology for Torture in Afghanistan: A Short History of the Brutal Customs of the Afghan Wogs."

I couldn't help but scribble a few notes in the margins.

Afghanistan will not fast-forward from the 12th century to the 21st century in the blink of an eye and certainly not according to the agenda of Canadian sensibilities.

Duh. That one's OBVIOUS.

But how about this one?

If you want to see an Afghan beaten by a stick – or otherwise abused, by our standards – just walk out into the street in Kandahar city.

Wot ????? Say it ain't so Rosie. Not in Kandahar the town we OWN. WTF are we doing there? Can't we even call the Afghan police? The ones we're training. So they'll be more polite when they rob people at checkpoints....or kill or torture them.

Hmmm....I guess not.

But speaking of torture....

I have met Governor Asadullah Khalid many times, been in the palace where it is alleged that the young minister was directly involved in the torture of detainees held in private cells.....Khalid is as thoughtful and soft-spoken an Afghan male as you will ever meet.

Wow! What a great scene. Tea and Torture or "The Governor and I." I LOVE it!!!!! I want the rights.This could be BIGGER than the "King and I." Just hairier. And scarier.

Tell you what Rosie....If you send me a copy of that video I'll send you a copy of this sinister document. So the next time you have tea with Khalid you can ask him to fill in the blanks. And then SIGN IT. Just in case he has to be indicted in the Hague some day. Heaven forbid.

Now what I REALLY need to know is ....... did The Governor serve ear-shaped croissants with the tea... or just camel crumpets?

Although I should be fair..... the cannonading DiManno does point out Khalid's sultry soft-spoken dark side.

Still, Khalid is a man who, when a NATO operation resulted in the death of a top Taliban commander last May, gleefully put the corpse on display at his compound. This is reprehensible to us. It makes entire sense to Afghans.

And adds some fascinating historical insight.

Their long history is soaked in violence. They have barely emerged from three decades of civil war and are coping, as best they can, with a pitiless insurgency that targets the indigenous population even more than foreign troops, preying especially on women, children, teachers, aid workers and civil servants.

Except that't NATO kill more innocent civilians last year than the Taliban did? I thought so. It's sort of history..... just BACKWARDS.

But where Rosie "The Thumping Patriot" DiManno gets it real wrong is when she writes this:

Afghanistan is a sovereign nation. We cannot impose our values, our Charter of Rights and our international covenants on them. Canadians are there as a primary NATO element, in support of a United Nations mandate, at the invitation of a Kabul government struggling to assert its authority. If that government falls in the next election – Afghans infuriated by corruption and incompetence – that will be their choice. But it won't be because some suspected Taliban detainees have been maybe tortured.

First of all Rosie .... I must admit even though I know it's treasonous...that I couldn't give a damn about which gang of corrupt warlords or drug dealers buys the next election in Assghanistan.

But I really MUST point out that this torturous affair isn't about imposing OUR values on anyone. It's about respecting our OWN sworn values. Because handing over prisoners to people you know could torture them is a WAR CRIME.

Under the Geneva Convention.


And then there is this:

It is profoundly naïve and inexcusably paternalistic, however, to pretend that Canada can reinvent Afghan culture by exporting our precious ethics when that country is still very much under siege.

I on the other hand find it profoundly paternalistic not to hold the Afghans up to common standards of humanity and decency. Or make sweeping generalizations about them

.....Afghans lie as effortlessly as they breathe.

It reminds me of something my great grand dad wrote in his India diary.."that's the hindoos for you..." As in what do you expect from the WOGS? It's sooooo colonial it's embarrassing.

Almost as embarrassing as being inexcusably naive...

Further, the whole detainee scandal would never have arisen had not Ottawa winced at the optics of handing over prisoners to U.S. authorities.

Huh? Rosie...Rosie....stop day dreaming or waxing poetic about our musky manly soldiers .....and pay attention.

Don't you even know about this prison?

In a confidential memorandum last summer, the Red Cross said dozens of prisoners had been held incommunicado for weeks or even months in a previously undisclosed warren of isolation cells at Bagram, two American officials said. The Red Cross said the prisoners were kept from its inspectors and sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions, one of the officials said.

The other Guantanamo. Where the torturers can't be absolved because they're NOT wogs. But can't be punished either...because they're Americans.

You know Rosie some things can be forgiven, but some cannot. Like a good writer like you writing such SHITE.

Look I realize that Canadians have strong feelings about whether we should be in Afghanistan or not. And I admit that at this point I don't know WHAT to think.

But one thing is for sure. If we are going to have an informed debate about what to do.

We need a chickenhawk media brigade like we need a hole in the head....


P.S. The excellent Scott Tribe and his friends have more on all this.

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