Western Standard

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Let Iraq war resisters stay in Canada for Christmas and beyond: Green Party

During the recent federal election, in a packed room in the basement of the Parkdale United Church in Calgary, Dennis Young, a veteran of NATO operations in Bosnia and leader of the Libertarian Party, told U.S. Iraq war resister Chuck Wiley to ignore the critics who call him a coward: “What you have done takes courage,” said Young to a roar of applause.

Later in the election campaign, Liberal Member of Parliament and frustrated leadership prospect Bob Rae reaffirmed his party's support for allowing U.S. conscientious objectors of the Iraq war to take up permanent residence in Canada.

Today, the Green Party is urging Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration to stop the deportation proceedings against U.S. Iraq war resister Cliff Cornell whose proceedings have been moved to December 19th, and to implement the motion adopted by Parliament on June 3rd to allow all U.S. Iraq war resisters the right to apply for permanent resident status.

During the English-language election Leaders’ Debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged that the Iraq war "was absolutely an error.” In a surprising reversal, he went on to say “It's obviously clear the evaluation of weapons of mass destruction proved not to be correct. That's absolutely true and that's why we're not sending anybody to Iraq." Green Party Leader Elizabeth May thinks these statements by Harper on Iraq are relevant to the question of whether or not the Iraq war resisters seeking refuge in Canada should be allowed to stay.

“The Green Party demands that Canada adopts the United Nations Handbook on Refugees which clearly states that soldiers who refuse to take part in wars condemned by the international community must be considered refugees,” said May. [The international community may have condemned the war, but did Harper...really?]

“I find it despicable that this government had not only set Cliff’s deportation hearings for Christmas eve, but has now moved to expedite the process to this week,” decried Ben Hoffman, Peace and Security Shadow Cabinet member for the Greens, “It just shows the true nature of this government.”

"Both international refugee law and compassion dictate that Canada offer refuge to those who enlisted in an army based on a fraudulent contract. Cliff Cornell should be allowed to celebrate Christmas in Canada secure in the knowledge he is welcome to stay,” said May.

Did soldiers like Cornell really enlist on the basis of a "fraudulent contract," or did they just change their minds about the war? And what about Chuck Wiley, a 17-year veteran of the military? Wiley served proudly for years, and wasn't part of the so-called poverty draft. Was he tricked into service by the US government? Unlikely.

The issue of contract is central to this discussion, as May suggests, but libertarian scholar Walter Block thinks this is a case of what he calls “contract fetishism” that misses the bigger point: wars of aggression are morally wrong.

“There are things far more important than mere contracts for libertarians -- property rights and the non aggression axiom. If contracts are compatible with these two basic building blocks of libertarianism, then contracts are fine. If they are not, the contracts must be abrogated,” said Block. “...the recipients of all those US bombs never agreed to this ‘contract’," Block concludes.

Ivan Eland, Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty with the Independent Institute, thinks that if the Iraq war resisters in Canada are, in fact, deported they will not receive the relatively warm welcome home enjoyed by Vietnam-era draft resisters who also sought refuge in Canada:

“In Vietnam, people were shanghaied against their will to serve in a pointless war. The people today signed up freely, in one way or another, for military service. They will generate less sympathy because they either wanted a good military career, or in the case of reserve and National Guard personnel, wanted the extra cash, and then when war broke out they changed their minds.  They also knew in advance what would happen if they did change their minds about serving during a war.

It's true that the Iraq invasion was done under false pretences, but that is not the first time that's happened in US history.  Also, down deep, despite all the patriotic hoopla, people who volunteer for the US military know they are signing up less to defend the country than to police the empire.  The interventionist US foreign policy has been going on non-stop since 1947 and has been no secret. Bush is only carrying on a bipartisan tradition.”

While Eland rejects the “fraudulent contract” argument being advanced by the Green Party and other anti-war groups, he nevertheless thinks the Canadian government should demonstrate compassion by not deporting the Iraq war resisters: “I don't think Canada should deport them....people do make mistakes, and conflict over their fate in the US could be avoided if Canada doesn't deport them.”

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on December 19, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (25)

Monday, December 15, 2008

With the Taliban advancing, can the war in Afghanistan still be won by 2011?

What should be done about illegal poppy production in Afghanistan?

In a Western Standard column, "The problem with poppies,” Colby Cosh reports on an answer offered by the Senlis Council to this question :

The Senlis Council, a Canadian-led economic think tank with an office in Kabul, has recently offered a tempting way of solving the dilemma: if we're going to devote Afghan and NATO army resources to annihilating a cash crop, why not try policing it instead and allow legitimate international drug manufacturers to pay competitive prices for the poppies? The logistical difficulties are enormous, but years of U.S. "eradication" in Colombia has hardly taken cocaine out of the industrialized world's nightclub bathrooms.

The Senlis Council is now called the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), and the organization is making news again with its new report on the “Struggle for Kabul: The Taliban Advance.”

According to the report, the war in Afghanistan is being lost:

The Taliban now holds a permanent presence in 72% of Afghanistan, up from 54% a year ago. Taliban forces have advanced from their southern heartlands, where they are now the de facto governing power in a number of towns and villages, to Afghanistan’s western and north-western provinces, as well as provinces north of Kabul. Within a year, the Taliban's permanent presence in the country has increased by a startling 18%.

Three out of the four main highways into Kabul are now compromised by Taliban activity. The capital city has plummeted to minimum levels of control, with the Taliban and other criminal elements infiltrating the city at will.

Through its research platform in Afghanistan, ICOS determined the Taliban’s presence across the country using a combination of publicly recorded attacks and local perceptions of Taliban presence. One or more insurgent attacks per week in a province constitutes a “permanent Taliban presence” according to ICOS.

You can get the full report here.

Canada’s combat role in Afghanistan is scheduled to come to an end in 2011. Should Canadian troops stay longer with the Taliban advancing? Or should we heed the advice of those who say we should never have gotten involved in the first place?

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on December 15, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Civil liberties groups celebrate International Human Rights Day at the Supreme Court

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is getting old. It turned 60 today, a birthday celebrated every year with International Human Rights Day.

I wrote recently that:

The Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is using the occasion to promote its own efforts to “foster equality, promote fairness, and encourage the creation of inclusive workplaces and communities.”

The AHRC is in damage control mode these days, largely due to Ezra Levant’s campaign to “denormalize” the work of these commissions across Canada. Former Western Standard publisher, Levant successfully defended a human rights complaint against the magazine for our decision in 2006 to re-print cartoon images of the Muslim prophet Mohamed. He continues to fight to remove Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits so-called "hate speech" on the Internet.

But while the AHRC is up to no good, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is using International Human Rights Day to challenge the Canadian Forces’ practice of transferring detainees apprehended in Afghanistan into the custody of Afghan officials.

(We should put the BCCLA association in charge of Canada’s human rights commissions. While not perfect, the organization opposes Section 13 of the Canada Human Rights Act and intervened on behalf of the Western Standard when we faced our human rights complaint in 2006. Read the Western Standard interview with David Eby to get a better understanding of where these guys are coming from.)

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal today brought by Amnesty International and the BCCLA as part of the court challenge the two organizations launched in February 2007.

According to the BCCLA association, the appeal will address several issues:

How far do the human rights obligations of Canadian soldiers reach? Do they stop at the Canadian border? Or do those obligations extend to the actions of Canadian soldiers carrying out operations outside of Canada? Will Canadian courts step in and require Canadian troops abroad to obey the Charter, and through the Charter to comply with international human rights treaties ratified by Canada?

Amnesty International (AI) and the BCCLA turned to the courts out of concern that prisoners transferred into Afghan custody faced the risk of torture and other human rights violations, particularly at the hands of the country’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security (NDS). According to AI and the BCCLA, the use of torture in Afghan prisons has been documented by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the US Department of State, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Canadian government. The human rights groups want these prisoner transfers to stop until it is clear that transferred prisoners will not face a serious risk of being tortured.

In March 2008, Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish ruled that the court challenge could not go ahead because the Charter did not apply to the actions of Canadian soldiers outside Canada. AI and the BCCLA explain that they are pursuing this appeal for two reasons:

First, with the exception of a temporary suspension of transfers between November 2007 and February 2008, Canadian soldiers have been handing an undisclosed number of prisoners over to Afghan authorities for close to three years. Credible reports have emerged indicating that some of these prisoners have suffered torture and abuse.

Despite May 2007 improvements to the agreement governing the transfer of prisoners between Canada and Afghanistan, allowing greater levels of prison monitoring by Canadian officials, the risk of torture remains high, particularly in those instances where the NDS is involved. AI and the BCCLA have argued that handing prisoners over in the face of a serious risk of torture constitutes a clear violation of Canada’s international human rights obligations as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The organizations are looking to the Federal Court of Appeal to recognize that Canadian courts have the power to bring this practice to an end.

Second, the precedent set in Justice Mactavish’s ruling is a worrying one for human rights protection.  Canadian officials operate outside of Canada in a wide variety of contexts including offensive military operations, peacekeeping operations, law enforcement activities and national security investigations. These officials operate pursuant to Canadian law, further to policies and decisions of Canadian parliament, Cabinet ministers and senior officials.  When their operations directly or indirectly cause or contribute to human rights violations it is vital that there be accountability. As Canada’s supreme law and primary instrument for the protection of human rights, the Charter cannot be interpreted so as to allow Canadian officials to commit serious human rights violations on the territory of another state which they could not perpetrate within Canada’s borders.

Courts in other countries are also grappling with the question of how far their reach should extend in ensuring that military personnel and other officials acting abroad live up to national and international human rights obligations. In the context of a growing number of joint military and security operations in a number of parts of the world, it is increasingly important that courts play that enforcement role.  When national courts shirk this responsibility there is often no other effective means of ensuring human rights oversight.  The Federal Court of Appeal has a valuable opportunity to demonstrate leadership in this area.

It is not clear to me how these two reasons address Justice Anne Mactavish’s ruling that the Charter does not apply to the actions of Canadian soldiers outside Canada, although the second point has some merit: if we are going to send soldiers around the world in increasing numbers for “offensive military operations, peacekeeping operations, law enforcement activities and national security investigations” maybe they should be bound by Canadian law.

While torture is a repugnant practice that should be condemned by the Canadian government, the rights and values embodied in the Canadian Charter seem hopelessly out of place in the arena of war.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 10, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Three Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan bring the death toll to 100

Three Canadian soldiers were killed on Friday during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers in the Arghandab District. The incident occurred approximately 15 kilometres west of Kandahar City.

The deaths of soldiers Private Demetrios Diplaros, Corporal Mark Robert McLaren and an unnamed soldier brings the Canadian death toll in Afghanistan to 100.

Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan is scheduled to end in 2011.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 7, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cluster bombs don’t kill people; the government kills people. US refuses to sign Convention

Our bombs are getting smarter, but what about our politicians? Maybe.

Canada today became a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Ambassador Jillian Stirk, acting on behalf of Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, signed the Convention in Oslo, Norway.

“This convention is a significant achievement. Over time, it will save the lives of many thousands of people around the world and will help to end the use of a weapon that has devastating effects on civilians,” said Cannon.

“Canada looks forward to working closely with like-minded states, UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and civil society organizations to fully implement the Convention, rid the world of cluster munitions, and as far as possible repair the shattered lives of people who have suffered because of them,” added Cannon.

The Convention will prohibit the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. Signatory nations will be required to destroy their stockpiles, clear contaminated areas and help the victims of these weapons with rehabilitation. Canada will assist in this process primarily through its Global Peace and Security Fund.

Cluster munitions typically contain dozens to hundreds of small, explosive sub-munitions that can have a devastating and indiscriminate impact on civilians, who account for 98 percent of all recorded casualties associated with this weapon.

As for security concerns, it’s Canon’s position that this ban on cluster bombs “strikes an appropriate balance between humanitarian and security considerations.” The Bush administration, however, disagrees and has refused to join the 92 signatory nations.

National security expert with the US-based Independent Institute thinks the Bush administration is wrong to oppose the Convention and that the cluster bomb ban would not compromise US security interests. In an interview with the Western Standard, Ivan Eland said:

"The ban on cluster munitions is a start.  Even though the U.S. did not sign the convention, it would not have adversely affected the security of the U.S. to get rid of this weapon.  The US military is so vastly superior to any other military that it has many other less indiscriminate weapons that could be used instead.   

Even if the U.S. does sign the convention, however, such a development should not obviate the need to reduce US military interventions.  Even if you use discriminating, and even precision, weapons in a war that shouldn't have been fought, killing even adversarial soldiers is morally questionable--for example, in the invasion of Iraq.  That is to say, these soldiers were killed needlessly in an unnecessary war."

Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 3, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Friday, November 21, 2008

The libertarian case against the war in Afghanistan

In “The libertarian case against the war in Afghanistan,” David Henderson, a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and previously a senior economist with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, asked this question:

“Should Canada’s government remove its military presence from Afghanistan in 2011, remove it earlier, or keep it past 2011?”

By way of an answer, Henderson makes three arguments against the war:

1) The costs are too high, in terms of the loss of human life, to justify invading Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban refused to extradite Osama bin Laden. Besides, the US has refused to extradite a suspected terrorist to Venezuela to face prosecution for an airline bombing -- would an invasion be appropriate in this case? Also, Bush refused to comply with international law in providing evidence to the Taliban of bin Laden’s guilt.

2) It’s hard to keep an eye on government behaviour in a foreign war. Here Henderson relies on the public choice principle of “rational ignorance.” If voters don’t pay attention to their government’s behaviour at home, they are certainly less likely to pay attention to its behaviour abroad. This creates the conditions for the abuse of government power.

3) There will be “unintended consequences” for Canada’s part in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Here Henderson looks at US foreign policy missteps in the Middle East from the 1963 CIA-supported overthrow of the government of General Abdel-Karim Kassem in Iraq that put Saddam Hussein in power, to the 1980s US-supported Afghan resistance against Soviet invasion that brought bin Laden to prominence in the Muslim world.

Henderson concludes his column with another question:

“Wouldn’t it be better simply to regard the 9/11 attackers and those behind them as criminals and to mount a serious attempt to bring those criminals to justice?”

He left this question for Western Standard readers to answer.

(This article originally appeared on C2C: Canada's Journal of Ideas.)

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on November 21, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack

Monday, July 14, 2008

Iran may target Canadians

National Post newspaper reports that the Iranian medium range missiles could target Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Posted by Winston on July 14, 2008 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ric Dolphin Writes Again

Although loath to use another of those horrible words  concocted by the geeks  who, sadly, have inherited the world, there seems to be no avoiding it. I now have a "blog" which I shall endeavor to update at least every Monday and which you are invited to visit at, ricdolphin.com
Be aware that, unlike when I wrote for Western Standard magazine, I am not being  censored for language. I am also not specifically writing about politics, although the subject may be broached on occasion.  Be assured, however, that I shall never  use "blog" as  a verb.

Posted by Ric Dolphin on July 9, 2008 in Aboriginal Issues, American History, Books, Canadian Conservative Politics, Canadian History, Canadian Politics, Canadian Provincial Politics, Crime, Current Affairs, Film, Humour, International Affairs, International Politics, Media, Military, Municipal Politics, Religion, Science, Television, Trade, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Western Standard, WS Radio, WStv | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tribute to the Canadian soldiers

Support the troops.

These are trying times for the coalition forces, especially the Canadian military, in Afghanistan where Taliban has increased its brutality and insurgency recently. Let the Canadian troops know that they're supported...

Posted by Winston on June 24, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Monday, June 23, 2008

Amazing Grace

A great tribute to those fallen Coalition Forces' heroes who serve selflessly to further the cause of freedom and human dignity around the world! [+]

Posted by Winston on June 23, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Will Barack Obama pull the US out of Afghanistan?

After giving it careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that he will.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on June 19, 2008 in International Politics, Military | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Honouring fallen heroes; Differences in Canada and Britain

The British newspaper Daily Mail tells us how different Canada and Britain each honours their fallen soldiers.

See it for yourself


Posted by Winston on April 12, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

If Mr. Nicholls wants meaningful actions . . .

. . . and he's not willing to consider the propaganda bonanza that the Communists will reap from having the Western powers attend the Games, perhaps this Armed Forces Journal (US) story will get his attention:

China has launched more than 36 new submarines since 1995 — far outpacing U.S. intelligence estimates from a decade ago. Additionally, supersonic indigenous cruise missiles, rumored development of an anti-ship ballistic missile, dynamic mine warfare and amphibious warfare programs, invigorated aerial maritime strike capabilities, as well as a variety of new, sleek and modern surface combatants, suggest a broad front effort by the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

If Mr. Nicholls is willing to call for an increase in the Canadian Navy to help combat this threat (I've been asking the U.S. Navy to do this for years), then we can agree to disagree about the meaning of an Olympic boycott.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 9, 2008 in International Affairs, International Politics, Military | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Saturday, March 22, 2008

France sending more troops to Afghanistan

Seems a lot has changed since French president Sarkozy came to office last year and now 1000 more French troops will be deployed to Afghanistan to help increase the NATO presence in the country:

That's good news

Posted by Winston on March 22, 2008 in International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Friday, February 01, 2008

European allies can't be trusted?!?

Germany rejects US troops surge appeal and it doesn't sound good for Canada and the English speaking countries that are doing the most of the heavy-lifting in Afghanistan:

Unfortunately, many western European countries such as Germany can not be trusted when the security and freedom of the western world is at stake. And I wondered what if Germany had requested for assistance? Canada, US and UK would have rushed to their assistance quickly but when it comes to us asking them for a helping hand they simply refuse it. These so-called "allies" can not be trusted at all.

Posted by Winston on February 1, 2008 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Two Canadian soldiers from Quebec were killed Sunday when their armoured vehicle rolled over in rough terrain near Kandahar in Afghanistan, and in the meantime we're also hearing about the rejection of a major plan to send fighter Jets and attack helicopters to Afghanistan by General Hillier.

Let's not forget our brave troops who are fighting for our freedom so we can have debates and posts here on Shotgun. They deserve our support!

Posted by Winston on January 6, 2008 in Military | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Saturday, January 05, 2008

On the GOP race (and Ron Paul's ignorance of Canada)

As I was offering my thoughts on the state of the GOP race right now (here), I discovered that Dr. Ron Paul blithely assumes terrorists don't target Canada.

Take a look at what I mean (and how to contact Dr. Paul's campaign to set him straight) here.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 5, 2008 in Canadian Politics, Current Affairs, International Politics, Military | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bravery & Sacrifice

Our thoughts, sympathies and respect go to the family and friends of Jonathan Dion, a gunner from Val d'Or, Quebec, a brave soldier, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and our freedom when his light armored personnel carrier hit an IED 12 miles west of Kandahar, Afghanistan. PM Harper released the following statement regarding this incident:

RIP Soldier...

Posted by Winston on December 31, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Afghan Insurgency

Defense minister Peter MacKay says "Afghan insurgents are getting weapons from Iran" :

Posted by Winston on December 25, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Friday, December 21, 2007

Canada Praised

US President Bush and Secretary of State Rice both praised Canada's role in the ongoing struggle against terrorism in Afghanistan:

The Foreign Affairs ministry web site has more on that.

Posted by Winston on December 21, 2007 in International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas gifts for troops

Christmas is a week away and gifts are flooding the Canadian military bases in Afghanistan.

One thing that soldiers always love is to get a pack or a letter from the home front. Canada Post is now delivering packs and letters to the troops for free until January 11th, 2008. Why not sending our brave men and women in uniform some care packages? If you know one, please send him/her care packs or a suitable gift. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Posted by Winston on December 19, 2007 in Canadian Politics, Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Failed NATO Allies

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates is frustrated with lack of commitment from some European members of the NATO alliance in Afghanistan.

Most of the fighting against the Taliban has been carried out by the British, American, Canadian and Dutch forces and the rest of the members like Italy, Germany and France have done nothing or little when it comes to actual combat. It's indeed frustrating!

Posted by Winston on December 13, 2007 in International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Friday, November 30, 2007

Time To Bomb Iran

MacLeans magazine discusses the possibility of bombing the Iranian regime's nuclear facilities.

Posted by Winston on November 30, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Allies at work

A very interesting story for the military enthusiasts and defense observers:

Posted by Winston on November 28, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (62) | TrackBack

Monday, November 19, 2007

Clobberin' time

“Why Sangisar?”,  Major Moffet said.  “It was a node for the Taliban."

"Now it's ours.”

Posted by Neo Conservative on November 19, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Friday, November 16, 2007

France to step up Afghan commitment

France is going to increase its military commitments in Afghanistan.

France has around 2000 troops in Afghanistan but most of them are located in safer areas of the country near Kabul. Canada, US and UK should ask other NATO partners to agree to a rotation system through out Afghanistan.

Posted by Winston on November 16, 2007 in International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (74) | TrackBack

That's why they call it war...

And not... "Circle of Friends"

For all anyone knows, these guys are simply probing to see how close an actual bomber can get. Anybody who ignores the warnings and breaches a safety perimeter... they're dogmeat... and rightly so.

Posted by Neo Conservative on November 16, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SJS: Miami

Now, of course, we don't know much about the knife attack in Toronto today.  But, if you don't think that the media and authorities have a tendency to either suppress information or be willfully blind when it comes to outbreaks of Sudden Jihad Syndrome, I invite you to read this story.

In brief, a twenty-two year-old Moslem who had been placed on a terrorist watch list drove to a military base, got out, and attacked the guards with knives and crude homemade explosives.  Naturally, the authorities and media insist that it was not an act of terrorism.

Update: Never mind, I should add, the hillarious implication that somehow terrorism and suicidal tendencies are conflicting impluses.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on October 23, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Friday, October 05, 2007

Real Heroes

While Chrisopher Hitchens has an amazing story of a US soldier and his family, I'd like to think that Canada has its own heroes like Cpl. Nathan Hornburg who died a few days ago fighting the Taliban terrorists:

Posted by Winston on October 5, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Seeking more allies for the mission

Canadian and Dutch governments are asking other NATO members to step up to the plate and increase their activities in the volatile southern Afghanistan:

It's shameful that NATO countries such as Germany and France are not doing enough to help us in southern Afghanistan while most casualties are from Canada, US, UK and Netherlands. It makes me wonder if old European countries such as Germany and France care to help at all.

Posted by Winston on September 19, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quebec voters wanted to WHAT?!?!?

Leave it to Stephane Dion to say something so ridiculous as to bring me back from self-imposed blogging exile.

In his desperate attempt to stop the Iggy-Rae train from running him over, Dion came up with this inventive explanation for his party's meltdown in the Q - it was a protest vote against the Afghanistan mission (G&M): "Most people decided to support the NDP candidate. They thought maybe that it was a clear signal about their disagreement with the current government."


That explains why the only unequivocally pro-mission party (the Conservatives) won nearly 60% in Roberval and came within five points of winning in St. Hyacinthe.

By the way, in case anyone is curious, if the vote swing in the the francophone ridings were played out in a federal election, the Conservatives would win two dozen more seats in Quebec, pass the Bloc for the largest federal caucus in the Q, and come within half-a-dozen seats of a majority.

And that doesn't include the Ontario voters who went Liberal in 2006 because that was the only federal party with strength in Quebec (until, of course, they started counting the votes in the Q on election night).

Quebec voters sent the government a message alright - the message was "four more years."

Posted by D.J. McGuire on September 18, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Chinese weapons for Taliban

Chinese weapons are being used extensively against the coalition forces in southern Afghanistan:

Posted by Winston on September 4, 2007 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (66) | TrackBack

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

War Museum Controversy

War museum to re-word controversial WWII display:

Posted by Winston on August 28, 2007 in Canadian Politics, Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (84) | TrackBack

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Sad Day

Unfortunately two other Van-Doos troopers have been killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

Our thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of these selfless individuals who sacrificed their lives to make our world a better one.

Posted by Winston on August 22, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (104) | TrackBack

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sacrifice & Valor

Our thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of Quebec's Royal 22nd Regiment's Pte. Simon Longtin who was unfortunately killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb planted by Taliban.

And his comrades want the public to learn more about what they do in that corner of the world.

Posted by Winston on August 20, 2007 in Canadian Politics, Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (44) | TrackBack

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Why are we there?

"Why are we there?" is a great reminder posted by the DND about Canada's role and operations in Afghanistan:


Posted by Winston on August 18, 2007 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (70) | TrackBack

Thursday, August 09, 2007

An Alternative to Arms

An interesting piece by Walid Phares lays out some idealistic alternatives to the recent Mideast arms deal:

Posted by Winston on August 9, 2007 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (54) | TrackBack

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Canada's Mission in Afghanistan

I've been trying to allocate one post, at least, per week on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan and show gratitude to the troops serving overseas. They're actually trying to protect Canada's national interests and help Afghanis live a better and secure life. It's important to let them know they have our full support, regardless of our political affiliation.

Vandoos take over in Afghanistan while some of the servicemen expressed their disappointment over the anti-war sentiment of some in Quebec:

Shocking... And this is one of the many reasons that the rest of us must show overwhelming support and gratitude to the troops serving in Afghanistan. Let them know they have our support by writing a nice message. It's the least you could do, so plz do it!

Posted by Winston on August 4, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (247) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Support the troops

Thank goodness that Canadian top commander's convoy was left unscathed during the recent suicide attack in southern Afghanistan.

We owe all our brave troops a big 'Thank You' and every one of us, regardless of our political affiliation, can write them and thank them for their service. They're doing an awesome job over there and it is necessary to express our gratitude for their sacrifices.

Let them know they have our full support! They deserve all support and respect they can get from us here at home. Writing them is the least one can do though...

Posted by Winston on July 29, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Supporting the Troops?

My latest, at the Star.

Cross-posted at Wonkitties.

Posted by wonkitties on July 22, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (111) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gen. Petraeus on Iraq, the surge & war on terror

Is The Surge Working? An Interview With General Petraeus:

HH: Now stepping back a little bit from the day to day, General Petraeus, how would you explain to the civilians listening, and hundreds of thousands of them at this moment, the strategic interest of the United States at stake in Iraq?

DP: Well, I think just first of all, we have an enormous responsibility, because of course, we did liberate this country........  So there’s enormous potential implications for some of the courses of action that have been considered out there, and certainly, a precipitous withdrawal would have potentially serious implications for important interests that we have in Iraq, in the region.

Posted by Winston on July 18, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Canadian Troops Vs Insurgency

Our brave men and women are making progress in Afghanistan in many fronts: A) Battling the insurgency B) Training the Afghan military C) Aiding the civilians.

Posted by Winston on July 15, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (64) | TrackBack

Friday, July 13, 2007

President Bush press conference on Iraq

President Bush does what he is good at: Talking to press honestly

President Bush is right on the money. Unfortunately, leftists MSM and politicians can not bring themselves up to understand the stakes.

Oh, by the way, the same can be applied to us in Canada and to those who want to disengage in Afghanistan and do the infamous "cut & run" thing. Just replace the word Canada with America in the above paragraph.

Posted by Winston on July 13, 2007 in Current Affairs, Media, Military | Permalink | Comments (70) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Confronting Iran

Two articles have appeared on newspapers by Senator Lieberman and our own columnist to the world Mark Steyn regarding the threat posed to our world by the Iranian regime. Senator Joe Lieberman understands the threat posed by the Iranian regime, as always. He writes :

Senator Lieberman, unlike many leftists, is able to understand the grave danger of not responding to Iranian regime bullying us. Mark Steyn has the same opinion as well. That, showing weakness in the face of threat posed by the mullahs will bite us back in the near future. He has a valid point.

Let's be serious about the Iranian regime. The only language they're able to comprehend is "the language of force".

Posted by Winston on July 8, 2007 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (59) | TrackBack

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ChiComs are killing Canadians, too

As some of you may have noticed, I've gone into a blogging hiatus for a while.  There are several reasons, all of them personal, for the break I have taken.  However, my China e-Lobby partner Curry Kenworthy amplifies Kevin Steel's earlier point on Communist China arming terrorists (emphasis added):

According to a June 15 report by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, intelligence indicates that China is selling large quantities of small arms and weapons to Iran for use in the Iraq insurgency as well as for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Not only that, but China is even helping to deliver the weapons to ensure that they reach their destinations successfully.

In other words, Communist China is making damn sure their weapons kill Americans in Iraq, Americans in Afghanistan, and Canadians in Afghanistan.  I figured that point was worth mentioning.

Meanwhile, feel free to keep checking the China e-Lobby for more from Curry.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on June 19, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Taliban weaponry

Included among the weapons the Taliban uses against American, Canadian, and other forces of the free world are none other than NH-5 surface-to-air missiles built by Communist China.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on June 5, 2007 in International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Monday, May 21, 2007

PACOM: Spirit of Cooperation

As part of my PACOM series (other posts here and here), I'd like to introduce you to Major Paul Young, of the Canadian Air Force. That's right folks, there's a Canuck on Oahu, and he isn't just there to golf.

He stands apart from his American counterparts, with his darker green digitized uniform (apparently the basis for much teasing from his paler-green desk mates), soft-featured, friendly face and spectacles. Originally from the Maritimes, Major Young had been based in Winnipeg for the longest time before becoming part of the exchange program, moving his family to Oahu (there are worse postings to have to convince your wife of, I'm sure). There are currently 12 Canadians in various parts of the US Military machine (Canada offers just one spot for an American - currently vacant).

The exchange gives our Canadian soldiers an opportunity to work with bigger machines, better toys, and - in the case of Major Young, who works in Logistics - larger amounts of money and personnel. When I asked him, not totally understanding his role there, what he worked on, he said "American things. I work for the US Military. I don't sit at that desk working on anything Canadian." It's actually a very strange working relationship, since he will sit in his little cubicle, next to the Americans; together they will discuss various problems and solutions throughout the day, yet he is restricted from accessing certain areas of the very computer programs and databases he's meant to be working on. He is, after all, a foreign national.

Unfortunately I was only able to spend a few minutes with Major Young, but I could see he was happy with his role at PACOM. When I spoke with LTC Upson, who works with Major Young, he had only good things to say. Major Young is a well liked and respected colleague - one of their own.

Posted by RightGirl on May 21, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


US General: Afghan arms made in Iran

When 8 Canadian soldiers died in recent Afghan suicide attacks, I thought to myself that this could be a signal Islamic regime of Iran is sending to Canada, via its Afghan proxies, for the hard stance that Canada has taken on Iranian nuclear and human rights issues ever since PM Harper elected to office almost 15 months ago. Now it is highly likely that Iranian regime has also declared war against Canada and they will do whatever they can to hurt Canadian troops in Afghanistan the same way they are doing it to coalition forces in Iraq.

It might very well be a wild guess to say Iranian regime is doing this to, particularly, Canadian troops in that country but given the history of regime and things they have done so far, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Iranian gov't was/is behind these recent attacks on Canadian troops.

Posted by Winston on April 17, 2007 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (56) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Two more Canadians dead in Afghanistan

Two more Canadian soldiers have fallen in Afghanistan in what seemed to be another terrible IED attack by Taliban insurgents in Kandahar province.

Our thoughts and prayers with their families and those who are affected by this terrible loss of lives.

Posted by Winston on April 12, 2007 in Canadian Politics, Current Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Monday, April 09, 2007

Vimy victory's strategic impact

If you're curious about the impact of the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge on the First World War itself, and not on Canadian nationalism, a fine place to start is inside the covers of John Keegan's 1998 bestseller The First World War, a magnificent book that provides a battle-by-battle, campaign-by-campaign chronology of the Great War.

Here is the relevant passage, from page 326 of the Vintage Canada Edition, 2000:

The success of the Canadians was sensational. In a single bound the awful, bare, broken slopes of Vimy Ridge, on which the French had bled to death in thousands in 1915, was taken, the summit gained and, down the precipitous eastern reverse slope, the whole Douai plain, crammed with German artillery and reserves, laid open to the victors' gaze...

"...There appears to be nothing at all to prevent our breaking through," wrote a Canadian lieutenant, "nothing except the weather." In practice, it was not the weather but the usual inflexibilty of the plan that deterred progress. A predicated pause of two hours, after the objectives had been gained, prevented the leading troops from continuing the advance. When they did so, the day was shortening and the impetus ran out.

On 10 April the first German reserves began to appear to stop the gap and when, on 11 April, an attempt was made to widen the break-in by an attack on the right at Bullecourt, an Australian division found uncut wire which the handful of accompanying tanks could not break. An intermission was then ordered, to allow casualties to be replaced and the troops to recover. Losses by then totalled nearly 20,000, one-third of those suffered on the first day of the Somme, but the divisions engaged were exhausted.

When the battle was resumed on 23 April, the Germans had re-organized and reinforced and were ready to counter-attack on every sector. As a result, attrition set in, dragging on for a month, and bringing another 130,000 casualties for no appreciable gain of ground. The Germans suffered equally but, after the humiliation at Vimy, quickly rebult their positions and were in no danger of undergoing a further defeat on the Arras front."

Thus, through an all-too-typical lack of proper battlefield planning, Canada's "sensational" success at Vimy Ridge 90 years ago today was soon transformed into yet another bloody stalemate.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 9, 2007 in Military | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack