The Shotgun Blog
Friday, November 25, 2005
Canada (not) to the rescue
Buried deep within this Edmonton Sun story about independent MP David Kilgour saying he will vote to bring down the government on the non-confidence motion next week is this:
"Last spring, Kilgour exploited his key position as an independent MP in a minority Parliament to pressure Martin into sending a military mission to the Sudanese region of Darfur.
Kilgour told media this month that, out of 100 Canadian advisers promised, only three have been sent to Darfur."
So, to be clear, Canada's response to genocide in Sudan was to send three people from the military. Three.
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Then let's hope Kilgour knows what's good for him and votes to bring down the Mafia.
Posted by: Scott | 2005-11-25 10:55:30 PM
That's incorrect, Canada has 61 CF members serving in Sudan:
Posted by: CharLeBois | 2005-11-26 1:17:43 AM
Not exactly - if you read further, 21 of those are in Senegal, servicing vehicles pending the transfer or those vehicles to the African Union. Another 40 or so are slated to serve at the UN mission headquarters as military observers - which barely counts as sending them to Darfur.
Posted by: Jared | 2005-11-26 8:37:33 AM
1845 out of about 75,000 equals 2.5 % on operations. Seems a tad low for an organization that says it doesn't have enough people. From here it looks like the CF be could be cut by 50% and still have more than enough people carry out double the current operations.
Posted by: michael shannon | 2005-11-26 8:49:15 AM
Does Canada even need a military anymore?
Posted by: Scott | 2005-11-26 9:08:10 AM
Well, it seems to me like Kilgour is splitting hairs here. Canada can't just send in troops without the OK from the GoS (Government of Sudan) and other players. As well, it's not like Canada has a very good reputation in those parts, so I don't have any problem believing our presence is probably less than appreciated in Western Sudan.
Posted by: CharLeBois | 2005-11-26 9:22:47 AM
All true, Charles, but beside the point when it comes to challenging Paul Martin over the impression he wants to give of addressing genocide in Sudan. The wisdom of sending in troops -- and for the record I'm in favour of doing so with or without Sudan's permission -- is quite beside the point of calling PM PM to task for his appearance of doing something when in fact very little is being done.
Posted by: Paul Tuns | 2005-11-26 9:33:48 AM
Kilgore should have known better than to accept the word of a scared liberal in the first place.As always they will say whatever it takes to remain in power, they have proven that over and over again.
Posted by: Rob | 2005-11-26 9:41:17 AM
The Darfur story so far.
In May Paul Martin, in his fruitless effort to buy David Kilgour's vote in the House, promised that Canada would send around 100 troops to Darfur as advisers to the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Sudan refused to let them in.
Then in June the government said it would try to send around 100 clapped-out surplus Grizzly armoured personnel carriers, which have been in storage for six years, to the AU forces in Sudan. It just didn't know how it would get them there. And since Sudan still refused to let Canadian troops in, the government suggested the Canadian Forces might train AU troops on the Grizzlies in third countries. Or maybe contracted civilians could provide the training. Or maybe the government would find APCs from other countries and somehow get those to Sudan.
Finally, on July 28, National Defence Minister Bill Graham announced the loan of the 105 armoured vehicles to African Union forces for use in Sudan. In September the vehicles arrived by ship in Senegal and 67 Canadian troops were sent to train African Union soldiers there on operating the vehicles. The training was completed in late September.
This is part of Canadian Forces' "Operation Augural".
We eventually learned on November 15 from the Globe and Mail's Washington correspondent that Sudanese government opposition had been keeping the Grizzlies in Senegal and that US government pressure was necessary to have the Sudanese government let the vehicles be sent.
Our government has given the Americans no public credit for this action, without which our effort to help militarily in Darfur might still be fruitless.
It was odd that our government never told the public about the reason for the delay, and that no journalist in Ottawa bothered to find out. It was also odd that the story came out through a reporter in Washington and that none of the sources was Canadian.
And of course it is a pity the Canadian Air Force has no transport aircraft available to move the Grizzlies from Senegal to Sudan. Rented IL-76s started tranporting them on Nov. 17 (at a cost to the federal government of $15.5 million).
Finally, this story from the Washington Post, Nov. 21: "Peace Force In Darfur Faces Major Challenges: African Troops Stymied By Shortages, Mission" (Picture of Canadian Grizzly but no mention of Canada in the story itself)
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-11-26 1:15:11 PM
Free Yankee advice to Paul Martin: If you want to save yourself - send in ah, I dunno, an invasion force into Darfur to make peace. Have Sandra Pupatello (a.k.a. "Lady Churchill") - no wussie - lead 'em in. Also offer Steven Harper command of the armored brigade and Jack Layton command of the reconstruction.
With my exemplar Pupatello in charge, things will get done. With Harper going into battle, he'll come home a Khaki hero and win the next election (a la Winston Churchill) and Harper out of harm's way... should take care of all your troubles, Canada.
This probably says enough to warrent mouth being closed for a while longer.
Posted by: Josef | 2005-11-26 3:12:18 PM
Ah, ---- I meant Layton and not just out of harm's way in Darfur but also from your national budget.
Posted by: Josef | 2005-11-26 3:51:25 PM
AdScam Martin : On War & Saddam, The Butcher of Baghdad >>>>
* "I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible." - (Paul Martin, North Bay Nugget, April 30, 2003).
* "I don't think there is any doubt, if there ever was... that [Saddam Hussein] does have weapons of mass destruction. ...he had lied and that he is continuing to lie." - (Paul Martin, Calgary Herald, March 7, 2003)
* "The problem is...we know well that there is proliferation of nuclear weapons and that many of the weapons that Saddam Hussein had, for example, we do not know where they are, so that means the terrorists have access to all that." - (Paul Martin, Globe and Mail, May 11, 2004)
* "Once the war in Iraq began, Canada was far from neutral." - (Paul Martin, CTV News, May 21, 2004)
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible." Get that? Paul Martin said that. Not Harper or Layton or Duceppe. Paul Martin. Get to war, and get to war fast. Said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, too.
On this Remembrance Day, it's useful to remember - as Paul Martin cravenly seeks to depict his opponent as pro-war - that, once upon a time, Paul Martin favoured George W. Bush's illegal war in Iraq, too. >>> Flashback by W. Kinsella
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-11-27 3:45:13 PM
Posted by: maz2 | 27-Nov-05 3:45:13 PM
Of course, he didn't deploy one soldier to help Iraq. Not one.
Talk is cheap. Leadership is not.
Posted by: Josef | 2005-11-28 5:54:44 PM
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