'Support the Troops' or Condemn the War Criminals?

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WFPD
'Support the Troops' or Condemn the War Criminals?

It is a simple matter to lay all the blame for detainee abuse at the hands of Canada's political and military leadership. This overlooks the responsibility of individual soldiers to refuse unlawful orders.

Are individual Canadian soldiers criminally responsible for the transfer of detainees to Afghan forces for "interrogation", or does responsibility lie only with their political and military supervisors?

The Geneva Conventions, to which all Canadian soldiers are bound, require soldiers to refuse orders which are in contravention to the letter and spirit of international law. Knowingly transferring a detainee to a situation where they would likely face torture places the individual Canadian soldier in contravention of his or her obligations under international law. It seems that Canadians are allowing their troops to be absolved of their individual responsibilities because it is politically unpopular to include the lower ranks among those who are accused of participating in violations of international law in Afghanistan.

NDPP

That's because it's easier that way and  Canadians like to think they can suck and blow at the same time on this issue. You are right and ultimately the' boots on the ground' are as responsible and liable for their actions as the leaders. Nuremberg established 'just following orders' is no excuse. Don't support the troops' complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity or our 'representatives' that made it happen. As for enforcement though -  good luck finding a legal venue that isn't run or paid by the Criminals themselves.

WFPD

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

That's because it's easier that way and  Canadians like to think they can suck and blow at the same time on this issue. You are right and ultimately the' boots on the ground' are as responsible and liable for their actions as the leaders. Nuremberg established 'just following orders' is no excuse. Don't support the troops' complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity or our 'representatives' that made it happen. As for enforcement though -  good luck finding a legal venue that isn't run or paid by the Criminals themselves.

It's disturbing to see how Canadian society has been coopted into the US based Neoconservative agenda. Even the Canadian left is afraid to be seen publicly criticizing "our troops" as they provides security for the Government of Afghanistan which is corrupt and undemocratic.   

I wish somebody could explain what it is exactly that we should "support" in the actions of "our troops".

 

genstrike

I almost agree completely with this sentiment.

My one concern, though, is that a lot of people in the military either had a different conception of what the military is or joined up for economic reasons - for example, I have some pamphlets from campus where the recruiters openly brag that they are recruiting in impoverished aboroginal communities.  A lot of people were sucked in with the promise of a job and an education, and were lied to about their future employability with military experience.

Unless we're prepared to support and defend deserters, I'm not sure what sort of demands we can place on the rank and file soldiers who may be sympathetic or disillusioned.

Still, I cringe whenever I hear "support the troops, bring them home".  I don't want to support the troops, except for those that dissent, desert or mutiny.  I want to bring the war crimes in Afghanistan to an end, I don't care what "the troops" think, and I don't think we should "support" an occupying force through this kind of rhetoric which a good chunk of the left is also a slave too.  Also, the whole "support the troops" meme is little more than a convenient thought-terminating cliche, and we shouldn't be giving that slogan any credibility by repeating it and trying to twist it around.  We should simply think up our own slogans, and if that ever comes up, call it on the jingoist bullshit that it is.

SparkyOne
WFPD

 

 

I like this one.

 

http://www.questionwar.com/qwribbons.html

 

"Fuck The Troops" goes a little too far. It is appropriate for soldiers in Iraq. Afghanistan is not yet at the point that all operations there can be considered illegitimate, but it is getting there very quickly.

 

j.m.

As a start, I like the Question War slogan, too. As GenStrike says it moves away from twisting the "support our troops" meme and it is much less offputting to an already non-receptive public than "fuck the troops'.

If you are looking for more slogans to contest, take a look at these ones from the states; I have seen a number of them used by Canadian soldiers and their supporters, too:

http://www.sodahead.com/other/if-you-cant-or-wont-stand-behind-your-troo...

 

 

Frmrsldr

genstrike wrote:

Unless we're prepared to support and defend deserters, I'm not sure what sort of demands we can place on the rank and file soldiers who may be sympathetic or disillusioned.

Still, I cringe whenever I hear "support the troops, bring them home".  I don't want to support the troops, except for those that dissent, desert or mutiny.  I want to bring the war crimes in Afghanistan to an end, I don't care what "the troops" think, and I don't think we should "support" an occupying force through this kind of rhetoric which a good chunk of the left is also a slave too.  Also, the whole "support the troops" meme is little more than a convenient thought-terminating cliche, and we shouldn't be giving that slogan any credibility by repeating it and trying to twist it around.  We should simply think up our own slogans, and if that ever comes up, call it on the jingoist bullshit that it is.

If you want to end the war, the best way to do it is for the troops to openly condemn the war. If you haven't seen the documentary DVD Sir! No Sir!, by all means see it. It will be a real eye opener.

It hasn't yet been a year since I was last in the Army. I was in the Army for 14 years. I don't understand the mentality of the troops. The soldiers I knew were uncritical of the war. Of course none of us (at that time) had gone to Afghanistan. Yet when I voiced my criticisms of the war, they could see my points.

Of all the (Canadian) soldiers who have gone to Afghanistan, you cannot tell me there are none who are critical of the war, especially after all they have seen and experienced. I guess it's the military, the government and the media who supress coverage of those soldiers who are critical of the war. I think it is also the military who put the scare into our soldiers over the threat of a Court Martial if they exercise their right of freedom of speech. So far, it seems American soldiers are a lot braver when it comes to speaking out against the war.

Although "Fuck the Troops" is a catchy slogan, it is counterproductive to encouraging the troops to speak out. The troops are not our enemy. I think "Fuck the War", "Harper: War Criminal", "Hillier: War Criminal", "Fuck Hillier", "Fuck Don Cherry", "Walt Natynchyk: Speaking Truth to Power", "Walt Natynchyk for Prime Minister", "Richard Colvin: Speaking Truth to Power" and "Richard Colvin For Prime Minister" are much better bumper sticker slogans as they will get people to think, will not alienate the soldiers and may get soldiers to think and hopefully publically oppose the war.

If we can get soldiers to join us, they will be powerful antiwar allies indeed.

Frmrsldr

WFPD wrote:

 

Afghanistan is not yet at the point that all operations there can be considered illegitimate,...

This is falling into the mental trap of believing in the myth of Afghanistan as the "good" war. It is not. Look up the Geneva Conventions' definition of "Aggressive War". According to the Conventions, the Afghan war is just as illegal as the Iraq war.

NDPP

this from me for the slogan file

"Stephen Harper: the best Prime Minister America ever had"

Here's an example of something made for US troops

Military Resistance 8A4 ' Betrayed Again'

http://www.blogfrommiddleeast.com/?new=61804

'Occupation Isn't Liberation - All Troops Home Now'

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

WFPD wrote:

It is a simple matter to lay all the blame for detainee abuse at the hands of Canada's political and military leadership. This overlooks the responsibility of individual soldiers to refuse unlawful orders.

Are individual Canadian soldiers criminally responsible for the transfer of detainees to Afghan forces for "interrogation", or does responsibility lie only with their political and military supervisors?

The Geneva Conventions, to which all Canadian soldiers are bound, require soldiers to refuse orders which are in contravention to the letter and spirit of international law. Knowingly transferring a detainee to a situation where they would likely face torture places the individual Canadian soldier in contravention of his or her obligations under international law. It seems that Canadians are allowing their troops to be absolved of their individual responsibilities because it is politically unpopular to include the lower ranks among those who are accused of participating in violations of international law in Afghanistan.

Rubbish.  Please establish how it became common knowledge, or at very least, how it could have even become known amoungst our troops that "detainees" who were handed over to the Afghans ran a high risk of being tortured? They did not have the responsibility of monitoring afterwards.  Somewhere along the chain of command, the information that was supposed to be handed over to the Red Cross was delayed by up to 30+ days (and that's being kind). The British reported to the Red Cross within 24 hours, the Dutch reported immediately.  The Dutch army also routinely informed their parliament.

Contrast that with Canada.  We have a Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) that attempts to investigate the matter. The government refuses to release relevent information to the MPCC, then fails to renew the term of the commissioner.  They deny, deny, deny in the House of Commons, stack committees with generals who have had a chance to review pre-selected material (until that backfires). They prerelease selected redacted documents to favored media shills like Christine Blatchford (until that backfires).

Then the Harper government ignores a parliamentary majority vote to produce uncensored document for MP's who sit on parliamentary committees.  Then the CPC members refuse to show up for comittee meetings.

Then Harper prorogues parliament.

Harper thinks this is low on the radar now, because Canadians don't know and don't give a shit. He is finding out than when they do know, they do care.  There is also evidence now that some of our troops did exactly what they were supposed to do and reported their findings.  Which was also inconvenient for Harper.

Back to my original point. Given the efforts to hide the truth from Canadians, how are our troops supposed to know enough to refuse, until they know first hand, until their tour of duty is over?

Canadians are not absolving our troops of anything. They are simply holding those really responsible to account. You are twisting a Harper talking point, although more cleverly than Harper has done.

 

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep grinding away...

Support our troops, end the war, bring them home NOW!

The best way to end the war is to leave

We want democracy, not a HarperOcracy

NDPP

A Sign of Empire Pathology:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16916

"Here is a shocking statistic that you won't hear in most western news media:

More US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action.."

WFPD

Frmrsldr wrote:

WFPD wrote:

 

Afghanistan is not yet at the point that all operations there can be considered illegitimate,...

This is falling into the mental trap of believing in the myth of Afghanistan as the "good" war. It is not. Look up the Geneva Conventions' definition of "Aggressive War". According to the Conventions, the Afghan war is just as illegal as the Iraq war.

Unlike Iraq, the Taliban government of Afghanistan did allow Al Qaeda to use Afghanistan as a base for their attacks on innocent civilians in the United States. For this reason the United States and it's military allies are obligated to remove that government and the threat it poses(even though the US government is no less odious in it's constant use of violence against other people and their governments).

Now please do not think for a moment that I support military solutions to all "threats" to the United States. The USA has created it's own problems in the Middle East by consistently supporting undemocratic regimes throughout the region, not to mention the apartheid regime in Israel. It should not surprise anyone that a violent retaliation would eventually be directed against them. Nevertheless, the US and it's NATO allies are under an obligation to protect their own civilians from attack, even if the attack is largely a response to unjust policies in the Middle East. The other obligation incumbent upon NATO members is to change their Middle East policies, the ones that have contributed to the problem in the first place. Unfortunately this has not happened. 

In Afghanistan NATO had the luxury of being given a long time to show results for it's "nation building" exercise, due to the severe underdevelopment of the country. Eight years after the initial occupation, the "good war" is now just another serf serving occupation, complete with corrupt puppet government, narco-warlords, and a disaffected population. So much for the "good war". The effort has now devolved to the point that it is no longer worth supporting in it's present form. The corrupt regime of Hamid Karzai and his warlord allies will not bring peace or prosperity to Afghanistan. They will simply keep the Taliban insurgency suppressed so that it is unable to organize attacks against NATO members. That is the only objective that NATO is interested in. Since Afghanistan will not be any better off under this regime than under the Taliban, then the effort is simply a waste of our time and resources.

If our "nation building" exercise was serious there would be no warlords in Afghanistan. Our effort would be focussed on building infrastructure and civil institutions, not on conducting search and destroy missions against an elusive enemy.

 

 

WFPD

Diogenes wrote:

WFPD wrote:

It is a simple matter to lay all the blame for detainee abuse at the hands of Canada's political and military leadership. This overlooks the responsibility of individual soldiers to refuse unlawful orders.

Are individual Canadian soldiers criminally responsible for the transfer of detainees to Afghan forces for "interrogation", or does responsibility lie only with their political and military supervisors?

The Geneva Conventions, to which all Canadian soldiers are bound, require soldiers to refuse orders which are in contravention to the letter and spirit of international law. Knowingly transferring a detainee to a situation where they would likely face torture places the individual Canadian soldier in contravention of his or her obligations under international law. It seems that Canadians are allowing their troops to be absolved of their individual responsibilities because it is politically unpopular to include the lower ranks among those who are accused of participating in violations of international law in Afghanistan.

Rubbish.  Please establish how it became common knowledge, or at very least, how it could have even become known amoungst our troops that "detainees" who were handed over to the Afghans ran a high risk of being tortured? 

 

I find it difficult to believe that Canadian troops on the ground would not be aware of the treatment that detainees would receive. It is the troops themselves who were in direct contact with the Afghan security apparatus. They are also in contact with other organizations in Afghanistan such as the Red Cross. Information has a way of moving up and down the chain of command in any organization, whether it be through official channels or unofficial ones. Do you really think they had no idea that abuse was going on? Do you really think that all information contained in the memos and documents that Richard Colvin provided in his reports were not based at least in part on facts provided by Canadian troops?

PraetorianFour

WFPD wrote:

I find it difficult to believe that Canadian troops on the ground would not be aware of the treatment that detainees would receive.

I haven't been following that story. Are they saying that Canadian soldiers didn't know that detainees were at times being tortured or killed by the Afghan police??

If so who exactly is saying that??

PraetorianFour

First off don't put a fuck the Troops sticker on your car unless you want your window smashed.
I'm not talking about soldiers smashing them either. If anything with a soldiers sense of humor they will take pictures beside the sticker giving a thumbs up and post it on facebook. I'm talking about regular citizens who the stickers offend.

I don't agree with destroying private propriety but before anyone comments remember in the antipanhandling sign thread someone made a comment I'm surprised no one has vandalized these signs yet. How many of you would care if one of those "Don't give to panhandler's" sign's were destroyed? I doubt very many if we're being honest.
It's the same thing. [Mind you more agressive to knock out a window than spray paint a sign]

Fuck the troops stickers were popular for about 4 days in Ottawa a little while ago. People simply stopped putting them on their car because they couldn't afford to replace windows and tires. Wrong as it is people feel that strongly about it.

Quote:
It's disturbing to see how Canadian society has been coopted into the US based Neoconservative agenda. Even the Canadian left is afraid to be seen publicly criticizing "our troops" as they provides security for the Government of Afghanistan which is corrupt and undemocratic.

I wish somebody could explain what it is exactly that we should "support" in the actions of "our troops".

Support the troops started with good intentions I believe. I'm sure the government tries to use it for political shit but when I see an 80 year old woman come up to me and shake my hand and tell her shes proud of Canadian soldiers I don't see her as a NEOConservitive talking about glassing Afghanistan or beating up prisoners.
I see an old lady who's father maybe served in WW2, maybe he never came home. Or like one lady who's driveway I shovel the love of her live went over to Europe and never came home and she's missed him ever since. Shows me the little tattoo of his name she got much to the dismay of her parents.
I've met a few people who's newphews or Niece's were overseas and they were worried about them but proud of them. They feel by "supporting the troops" they are supporting their family member regardless of the politics.

Lots of people feel that supporting the troops is a way they can support Canadian soldiers without getting involved in the politics.

I know my opinion is probably worth dirt here but lots of Canadians are proud of their soldiers. Canada has very strong ties to it's military traditions and history.

And really, do we want a population who doesn't give a shit either way what their military is doing? The Liberals push the slogan that we are peacekeepers! Or what is it, peacekeepers not soldiers? When we were peacekeeping in the 90's Canada didn't give a shit. Soldiers would get blown away overseas and if it WAS mentioned at all it would be on page 5 next to the 1/2 off sale at the brick ad.
Look at what happened in Somalia. I'm playing devils advocate here but I wonder how inclined those soldiers would have been to torture that kid if the media was all over the place and they knew their family members were at home watching them on the news.

When I hear support the troops, personally, it makes me feel like a million eyes are on me and watching everything I do and there is a hell of a lot of pressure to be the best I can . Be professional don't embarass Canada or the people at home who have faith in me.

Moving on the question war slogan is a good one IMO. Why not a sticker Support the troops: bring them home? If those caught on they would send a hell of a good message if you ask me.

Frmrsldr

WFPD wrote:

Unlike Iraq, the Taliban government of Afghanistan did allow Al Qaeda to use Afghanistan as a base for their attacks on innocent civilians in the United States. For this reason the United States and it's military allies are obligated to remove that government and the threat it poses...

 

Wrong. Again, read the Geneva Conventions. The only just war is a war of defense. The Bush doctrine of "Strike First" pre-emptive war is illegal. Regime change is illegal. The majority of those convicted at the Nuremberg trials were found guilty of 'regime change' ie., waging aggressive war. It is illegal to militarize human rights and then use aggressive war to so called defend and protect those rights.

According to the Geneva Conventions and other international laws, an act of terrorism is not an act of war, it is a criminal act. To respond to a terrorist act by waging war against a country is inappropriate and illegal. The appropriate response is for international police, crime fighting and intelligence agencies to go after and bring to justice the criminals responsible for acts of terrorism.

The Taliban never has nor ever will commit terrorist acts against other countries. Research the history of the Taliban. The Taliban had nothing to do with the arming, supplying, funding and training of Al-Qaeda nor did the Taliban have anything to do with the planning and execution of 9/11 or any other terrorist attack since. The argument that the Taliban harbored (Al-Qaeda) terrorists is insufficient grounds to justify war against Afghanistan. The precedent was established by the International Court of Justice ruling in the 1986 Nicaragua vs U.S.A. case:

http://www.lawyersagainstthewar.org/legalarticles/mandel.html

NATO is a subordinate organization to the U.N.  International laws and the U.N. Charter take precedence over NATO's Charter and it's international agreements, etc.

NATO's Charter states, "An attack against one (NATO) member is to be considered an attack against all (NATO) members". Although the wording is vague, an "attack" must be considered a military attack. Such an interpretation would make the NATO Charter consistent with international law, the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Charter. Consider too that NATO, a military organization, was established in 1949 and its purpose was to defend by military means, Western Europe and North America against a military attack by the U.S.S.R. and its (Warsaw Pact, 1955) allies. It was never intended (and rightly so) for NATO to respond to (civil criminal) acts of terrorism.

Frmrsldr

PraetorianFour wrote:
WFPD wrote:

I find it difficult to believe that Canadian troops on the ground would not be aware of the treatment that detainees would receive.

I haven't been following that story. Are they saying that Canadian soldiers didn't know that detainees were at times being tortured or killed by the Afghan police?? If so who exactly is saying that??

This is the confusion that the government is intentionally creating. The 'smoking gun' letter that General Walter Natynchyk produced has a Sergeant, a section commander, state in his field report that he and his section troops were aware that Afghan authorities abuse prisoners. That is why the Sergeant and his troops later took it upon themselves - in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and in spite of a lack of directives from the government and higher military command - to check up on their transfered prisoner. The physical injuries he had sustained after being transfered was part of the proof.

The soldiers had taken photos of the prisoner when he was in their custody and they had taken photos after he had been in Afghan custody. The "before" photos were released. The government has refused to release the "after" photos. We only know about the nature of the "after" photos from the descriptions not redacted in the field report and from statements made by Natynchyk, Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day and any other MPs who have publicly commented on the photos.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

PraetorianFour wrote:
When we were peacekeeping in the 90's Canada didn't give a shit. Soldiers would get blown away overseas and if it WAS mentioned at all it would be on page 5 next to the 1/2 off sale at the brick ad.

Absolute bullshit. Canadians were incredibly proud of our peacekeepers, and mourned their loss as much as any soldier. I can only wonder: what is the purpose of this claim? To besmirch and diminish the memory of the peacekeepers?

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

WFPD wrote:

 

I find it difficult to believe that Canadian troops on the ground would not be aware of the treatment that detainees would receive. It is the troops themselves who were in direct contact with the Afghan security apparatus. They are also in contact with other organizations in Afghanistan such as the Red Cross. Information has a way of moving up and down the chain of command in any organization, whether it be through official channels or unofficial ones. Do you really think they had no idea that abuse was going on? Do you really think that all information contained in the memos and documents that Richard Colvin provided in his reports were not based at least in part on facts provided by Canadian troops?

Not at all, some of the information that was revealed was from our troops.

What is your point? It was a systemic failure. The real crime here is the cover-up, the character assassination, the censorship and the prorogue. You are focusing on flyshit and ignoring the big turd nearby.

Bacchus

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

PraetorianFour wrote:
When we were peacekeeping in the 90's Canada didn't give a shit. Soldiers would get blown away overseas and if it WAS mentioned at all it would be on page 5 next to the 1/2 off sale at the brick ad.

Absolute bullshit. Canadians were incredibly proud of our peacekeepers, and mourned their loss as much as any soldier. I can only wonder: what is the purpose of this claim? To besmirch and diminish the memory of the peacekeepers?

 

Not really. I remember reading and being proud about our peacekeepers and articles mentioning how we shine for doing it and taking our share. But I never really saw articles on actually what was happening to peacekeepers or even in general where they were. The exceptions being the Somalia incident which got Airborne disbanded and a book years later by Lewis Mackenzie called Peacekeeper. Usually around remembrance day there would be an article on Cyrpus maybe or Golan heights but Im not even sure about that. I devour such stories and to this day without doing research I have no idea where most of our peacekeepers ever served (except Cyrpus, Palestine and later on, Bosnia)

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I would agree that there was little corporate media focus upon the efforts of our peacekeepers. The only time they were considered newsworthy was when they died. But the reaction of Canadians to such news was always heartfelt, and the supposition that only the right respects and honours sacrifice is obnoxious, obscene and untrue.

PraetorianFour

Bacchus wrote:

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

PraetorianFour wrote:
When we were peacekeeping in the 90's Canada didn't give a shit. Soldiers would get blown away overseas and if it WAS mentioned at all it would be on page 5 next to the 1/2 off sale at the brick ad.

Absolute bullshit. Canadians were incredibly proud of our peacekeepers, and mourned their loss as much as any soldier. I can only wonder: what is the purpose of this claim? To besmirch and diminish the memory of the peacekeepers?

 

Not really. I remember reading and being proud about our peacekeepers and articles mentioning how we shine for doing it and taking our share. But I never really saw articles on actually what was happening to peacekeepers or even in general where they were. The exceptions being the Somalia incident which got Airborne disbanded and a book years later by Lewis Mackenzie called Peacekeeper. Usually around remembrance day there would be an article on Cyrpus maybe or Golan heights but Im not even sure about that. I devour such stories and to this day without doing research I have no idea where most of our peacekeepers ever served (except Cyrpus, Palestine and later on, Bosnia)

I never seen articles either. Never heard about it on TV or on the radio. Only seemed like early in 2000 did it our military start making an apperence in the media again.

PraetorianFour

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:
and the supposition that only the right respects and honours sacrifice is obnoxious, obscene and untrue.

I agree. I don't remember seeing anyone suggest this however.

Webgear

   

NDPP

We Dance to Harper's Tunes

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/749826--we-dance-to-stephen-harpe...

"According to Stephen Harper, we are untroubled by allegations that his government ignored repeated warnings that Canadian troops, unlike any of their NATO counterparts, were handing over prisoners to local authorities who subjected them to torture.

If these claims are true, Canada knowingly violated the 61 year old Geneva Convention which prevents signatories from torturing enemy combatants or from turning them over to regimes that use torture..."

Frmrsldr

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

We Dance to Harper's Tunes

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/749826--we-dance-to-stephen-harpe...

"According to Stephen Harper, we are untroubled by allegations that his government ignored repeated warnings that Canadian troops, unlike any of their NATO counterparts, were handing over prisoners to local authorities who subjected them to torture.

If these claims are true, Canada knowingly violated the 61 year old Geneva Convention which prevents signatories from torturing enemy combatants or from turning them over to regimes that use torture..."

Of course it's not true. This is the narrative Stephen Hitler comes out with to save his own worthless political hide.

remind remind's picture

hellooooooo

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

PraetorianFour wrote:
Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:
and the supposition that only the right respects and honours sacrifice is obnoxious, obscene and untrue.

 

I agree. I don't remember seeing anyone suggest this however.

What has been suggested elsewhere was implied here.

WFPD

Frmrsldr wrote:

WFPD wrote:

Unlike Iraq, the Taliban government of Afghanistan did allow Al Qaeda to use Afghanistan as a base for their attacks on innocent civilians in the United States. For this reason the United States and it's military allies are obligated to remove that government and the threat it poses...

 

Wrong. Again, read the Geneva Conventions. The only just war is a war of defense. The Bush doctrine of "Strike First" pre-emptive war is illegal. Regime change is illegal. The majority of those convicted at the Nuremberg trials were found guilty of 'regime change' ie., waging aggressive war. It is illegal to militarize human rights and then use aggressive war to so called defend and protect those rights.

According to the Geneva Conventions and other international laws, an act of terrorism is not an act of war, it is a criminal act. To respond to a terrorist act by waging war against a country is inappropriate and illegal. The appropriate response is for international police, crime fighting and intelligence agencies to go after and bring to justice the criminals responsible for acts of terrorism.

The Taliban never has nor ever will commit terrorist acts against other countries. Research the history of the Taliban. The Taliban had nothing to do with the arming, supplying, funding and training of Al-Qaeda nor did the Taliban have anything to do with the planning and execution of 9/11 or any other terrorist attack since. The argument that the Taliban harbored (Al-Qaeda) terrorists is insufficient grounds to justify war against Afghanistan. The precedent was established by the International Court of Justice ruling in the 1986 Nicaragua vs U.S.A. case:

http://www.lawyersagainstthewar.org/legalarticles/mandel.html

NATO is a subordinate organization to the U.N.  International laws and the U.N. Charter take precedence over NATO's Charter and it's international agreements, etc.

NATO's Charter states, "An attack against one (NATO) member is to be considered an attack against all (NATO) members". Although the wording is vague, an "attack" must be considered a military attack. Such an interpretation would make the NATO Charter consistent with international law, the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Charter. Consider too that NATO, a military organization, was established in 1949 and its purpose was to defend by military means, Western Europe and North America against a military attack by the U.S.S.R. and its (Warsaw Pact, 1955) allies. It was never intended (and rightly so) for NATO to respond to (civil criminal) acts of terrorism.

Don't think for one second that I support or defend the Bush Doctrine of pre emptive war. George Bush and his Secretaries of State and of Defense are war criminals of the worst order. They should be tried in the Hague. The same goes for the career officers and soldiers who willingly participated in the Iraq invasion and occupation. 

The attacks of September 11th were a criminal act, it is true. Those accused of carrying it out deserve a fair trial in a criminal court. Although technically criminal, they were of a scale commensurate with a military operation, and launched from a location that was beyond the reach of police. Do you really think that the Taliban would surrender the Al Qaeda leadership group to Interpol to stand trial? A military response was the only practical one. The Taliban harbored Al Qaeda, and did not surrender them after September 11th. What option did the United States have, sit back and wait for another attack? Even the most despicable and corrupt regimes(which the United States is) have an obligation to protect their citizens from attack on home soil.

 

 

 

 

 

Frmrsldr

WFPD wrote:

Do you really think that the Taliban would surrender the Al Qaeda leadership group to Interpol to stand trial? A military response was the only practical one. The Taliban harbored Al Qaeda, and did not surrender them after September 11th. What option did the United States have, sit back and wait for another attack? Even the most despicable and corrupt regimes(which the United States is) have an obligation to protect their citizens from attack on home soil.

That's how the official narrative goes. One, if not two, U.N. resolutions state that police, criminal investigation and intelligence agents can go to where the criminal terrorists responsible for 9/11 were to bring them to justice. No country was mentioned by name as a location, which means they (the authorities) could have gone wherever they needed to be.

Osama Bin Laden took advantage of Pashtun mamastia - hospitality granted to strangers upon request. After that, the Afghan Taliban government had no control or influence over Bin Laden or any knowledge of what he and his group was doing. Up until August 2001, the Bush administration was in talks with the Taliban government for their proposed TAP (Trans Afghan Pipeline). As such, Bin Laden wasn't going to risk a security leak by letting the Taliban in on what he was doing.

The CIA, MI-5/6, etc., could have gone into Afghanistan and captured or killed (if they refused to give up peacefully) Bin Laden et al without the Taliban government's knowledge or consent - they had the U.N. mandate(s) to do that, as mentioned above.

The Taliban (in fact) did offer to surrender Osama Bin Laden:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/14/afghansitan.terrorism5

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/bush-rejects-taliban-offer-...

Osama Bin Laden is not the leader of a country. He is not a military commander. He doesn't even have a conventional army. At best, all he has is a cohort or cadre of bodyguards. America's sending a large conventional army to meet Bin Laden's non existent large conventional army on Waterloo, Balaclava, the Somme, Paschendael or whatever named battlefield and destroy the evil Al-Qaeda terrorists for all time in one epic battle was the most expensive and impractical move America could have made. It was exactly what Bin Laden wanted America to do. The U.S.A. played right into his hands.

To take the civil criminal approach would have been much more efficient, effective and economical.

In order to predict how a nation will react under certain circumstances, you have to understand the psychology of the nation.

For example: On June 22 1941, the Soviet Union was attacked with extreme speed and violence and without provocation by Nazi Germany. Since then the Soviet Union vowed never to allow this to happen again.

That is why the formation of NATO caused fear, anger and apprehension in the Soviet Union. It was seen as part of a campaign to invade the Soviet Union.

Another example: On December 7 1941, Pearl Harbor was subjected to an unprovoked attack by Imperial Japan. Since then, the U.S.A. vowed never to allow this to happen.

If you want to cause fear and apprehension, if you want to piss Americans off - do another 'Pearl Harbor'. Bin Laden was not stupid. He knew exactly what he was doing.

People make their worst decisions when they are angry or otherwise emotionally traumatized. It is best to wait until the emotions have cooled down and then make rational and logical decisions.

A major contributing factor as to why 9/11 happened was because U.S. authorities were caught napping. Yes, government has a duty to protect its citizens. But we're not doing it by waging an illegal war and killing innocent Afghan civilians. Doing this in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and possibly Iran isn't making it less likely we will suffer terrorist attacks. It's making it more likely.

This "War on Terror" is not a conventional war. It is an intelligence war. To protect people at home, we need to improve our <non invasive> intelligence and criminal investigating and policing techniques with our citizens rather than against them.

In December 2001, ex U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Afghanistan and said, "For too long we have ignored Afghanistan. Afghanistan must not become a breeding ground for Terrorists."

We can turn countries around from becoming breeding grounds for terrorists if we stop exploiting them and help them to become equal members of the economic and political community of countries to which we all belong. That would be a start.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

That was well-said, and deserved to be read a second time. The third posting was somewhat redundant, though.

Wink

WFPD

Frmrsldr wrote:

Osama Bin Laden took advantage of Pashtun mamastia - hospitality granted to strangers upon request. After that, the Afghan Taliban government had no control or influence over Bin Laden or any knowledge of what he and his group was doing. Up until August 2001, the Bush administration was in talks with the Taliban government for their proposed TAP (Trans Afghan Pipeline). As such, Bin Laden wasn't going to risk a security leak by letting the Taliban in on what he was doing.

The CIA, MI-5/6, etc., could have gone into Afghanistan and captured or killed (if they refused to give up peacefully) Bin Laden et al without the Taliban government's knowledge or consent - they had the U.N. mandate(s) to do that, as mentioned above.

Are you suggesting that Mullah Omar and other senior Taliban militants had no idea what Osama Bin Laden was up to? Mullah Omar war married to Osama Bin Laden's daughter. They were not exactly strangers. Also, Al Qaeda was involved in other terrorist actions long before 9/11, including an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the World Trade Center with explosives in vehicles. The Taliban was complicit in 9/11. It is disingenuous or naive to suggest otherwise.

 

As for a non military solution, a NATO occupation force has not been able to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. A small covert team would be equally unsuccessful. If they could target him in this manner they would have already done so in Pakistan, where he now is.

 

WFPD

PraetorianFour wrote:
First off don't put a fuck the Troops sticker on your car unless you want your window smashed. I'm not talking about soldiers smashing them either. If anything with a soldiers sense of humor they will take pictures beside the sticker giving a thumbs up and post it on facebook. I'm talking about regular citizens who the stickers offend. I don't agree with destroying private propriety but before anyone comments remember in the antipanhandling sign thread someone made a comment I'm surprised no one has vandalized these signs yet. How many of you would care if one of those "Don't give to panhandler's" sign's were destroyed? I doubt very many if we're being honest. It's the same thing. [Mind you more agressive to knock out a window than spray paint a sign] Fuck the troops stickers were popular for about 4 days in Ottawa a little while ago. People simply stopped putting them on their car because they couldn't afford to replace windows and tires. Wrong as it is people feel that strongly about it.
Quote:
It's disturbing to see how Canadian society has been coopted into the US based Neoconservative agenda. Even the Canadian left is afraid to be seen publicly criticizing "our troops" as they provides security for the Government of Afghanistan which is corrupt and undemocratic. I wish somebody could explain what it is exactly that we should "support" in the actions of "our troops".
Support the troops started with good intentions I believe. I'm sure the government tries to use it for political shit but when I see an 80 year old woman come up to me and shake my hand and tell her shes proud of Canadian soldiers I don't see her as a NEOConservitive talking about glassing Afghanistan or beating up prisoners. I see an old lady who's father maybe served in WW2, maybe he never came home. Or like one lady who's driveway I shovel the love of her live went over to Europe and never came home and she's missed him ever since. Shows me the little tattoo of his name she got much to the dismay of her parents. I've met a few people who's newphews or Niece's were overseas and they were worried about them but proud of them. They feel by "supporting the troops" they are supporting their family member regardless of the politics. Lots of people feel that supporting the troops is a way they can support Canadian soldiers without getting involved in the politics. I know my opinion is probably worth dirt here but lots of Canadians are proud of their soldiers. Canada has very strong ties to it's military traditions and history. And really, do we want a population who doesn't give a shit either way what their military is doing? The Liberals push the slogan that we are peacekeepers! Or what is it, peacekeepers not soldiers? When we were peacekeeping in the 90's Canada didn't give a shit. Soldiers would get blown away overseas and if it WAS mentioned at all it would be on page 5 next to the 1/2 off sale at the brick ad. Look at what happened in Somalia. I'm playing devils advocate here but I wonder how inclined those soldiers would have been to torture that kid if the media was all over the place and they knew their family members were at home watching them on the news. When I hear support the troops, personally, it makes me feel like a million eyes are on me and watching everything I do and there is a hell of a lot of pressure to be the best I can . Be professional don't embarass Canada or the people at home who have faith in me. Moving on the question war slogan is a good one IMO. Why not a sticker Support the troops: bring them home? If those caught on they would send a hell of a good message if you ask me.

Many Canadians, myself included, are willing to "support the troops" when the troops do things that are worthy of support. The effort in Afghanistan was initially worthy of support. It no longer is. The government that has evolved there is not worthy of our sacrifice. The tactics of our American allies are often inhumane, and they taint us by association. The end result of our "nation building" effort will be a corrupt client regime with an internal support base of warlords who are essentially a criminal syndicate.

What is there to "support"? The fact that we have drilled wells and rebuilt schools? If alleviating human misery is what this effort is all about, let's reallocate our resources to where it will achieve the best result without sacrificing ourselves to implant a corrupt client regime for Anglo American petroleum interests. 

Either do it right or don't do it at all. I can't "support" setting up a pro Western dictatorship under the guise of 'liberation'. If this is what our troops are really doing then they are not worthy of our "support".

 

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

WFPD wrote:

What is there to "support"? The fact that we have drilled wells and rebuilt schools? If alleviating human misery is what this effort is all about, let's reallocate our resources to where it will achieve the best result without sacrificing ourselves to implant a corrupt client regime for Anglo American petroleum interests. 

Either do it right or don't do it at all. I can't "support" setting up a pro Western dictatorship under the guise of 'liberation'. If this is what our troops are really doing then they are not worthy of our "support".

But the troops, for the most part, have little to do with the political infrastructure of Afghanistan. They often are drilling wells, building schools, or generally policing - all of which is necessary and commendable. The problem is that it is necessary because of the conflict caused by western interests and interference.

The correct sentiment is not 'Fuck the Troops', it is 'Fuck Harper and his Oil Industry masters - Bring our troops home safely NOW!'

Frmrsldr

Strange. I edited this post a couple of times and it reposted it. Sorry.

Frmrsldr

.

Frmrsldr

WFPD wrote:

Are you suggesting that Mullah Omar and other senior Taliban militants had no idea what Osama Bin Laden was up to? Mullah Omar war married to Osama Bin Laden's daughter. They were not exactly strangers. Also, Al Qaeda was involved in other terrorist actions long before 9/11, including an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the World Trade Center with explosives in vehicles. The Taliban was complicit in 9/11. It is disingenuous or naive to suggest otherwise.

As for a non military solution, a NATO occupation force has not been able to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. A small covert team would be equally unsuccessful. If they could target him in this manner they would have already done so in Pakistan, where he now is.

Just like when George W. Bush demanded Osama Bin Laden be handed over, it was only asserted that he was responsible for 9/11. No proof was ever offered, either to the Taliban government or to the American people. Same with the 1995(?) WTC bombing. Same with the U.S. embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Same with the Juan Cole attack.

Afghans are xenophobic. They don't like any foreigners. They refer to Al-Qaeda as "those Arab fighters". O.K., so there's a family connection between the Mullah Mohammed Omar and Osama Bin Laden families. How many other wives does Omar have? Bin Laden's love for his cause was greater than his love for his family. His strict, harsh and spartan upbringing he imposed has alienated his family. What proof is there that Omar was allowed into Bin Laden's inner sanctum and was informed of what was going on? Curently, Omar has little or no connection with Al-Qaeda or Tariki-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP - Pakistan Taliban. At best, individual TTP groups may cross the border to Afghanistan to assist their Pashtun brothers - that's a decision made by the individual commanders.

NATO is an occupying force. NATO was never involved in the hunt for Bin Laden. That was a U.S. run operation. Again, sending an armada to capture one guy and his coterie of followers is an inefficient, ineffective and expensive way to go about it. Absolutely, using intelligence and a small elite team to do a surgical capture or hit on Bin Laden would have been much more effective.

Read former CIA field operative Gary Bernsten's "Operation Jawbreaker". Just like the December 25 2009 Panty Bomber incident, allowing Bin Laden to run around loose as a goose, current location unknown, was/is an intentional policy by the Pentagon, and Bush and Obama State Departments and White Houses: Bin Laden is much more useful alive than he is captured or dead. Bin Laden is needed to keep the fear and security hysteria alive. The Pentagon, U.S. military and arms industry need eternal war to keep their budgets and profits growing exponentially. People need to be convinced to sacrifice their liberty so that the invasive power of government can grow and expand.

Gonzaga

Great post Frmrsldr. I recall that the justification for the invasion of Afghanistan, as offered at the time, was to capture Bin Laden. The offer as made by the Afghan government (i.e., to hand him over to a neutral international tribunal) was refused because the U.S. insisted that the handover be unconditional (conditions imposed by the Taliban included neutrality of the tribunal and application of international law). Of course, there was always doubt about whether the Afghans would be able to hand over Bin Laden even if they wanted to. The regime-change mission was in any case an afterthought. Furthermore, UNICEF reported that the possible civilian death toll from an invasion could go into the millions. How high it did go is now unknown. There were reports of close to 4,000 civilians killed in the bombing, and uncounted refugees dying in camps in winter (hundreds every night, as I heard it on CBC). And none of this counts the number of Taliban fighters who were killed (I remember 400 prisoners in one incident alone). This kind of toll is the reason why "regime change" is a war crime in the first place.

PraetorianFour

Frmrsldr wrote:
Absolutely, using intelligence and a small elite team to do a surgical capture or hit on Bin Laden would have been much more effective>

I don't think this would have worked. Eliete teams still need a big support infrastructure. If they had super intelligence and knew that mr B would be at the the blue house at grid square 1234 5678 at 7pm they could do a surgical snatch and grab and get him. The minute they need to start looking around for someone it removes the surgical part.

Plus I wouldn't trust US Intelligence. Their right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. Actually that's not true. The right hand DOES know what the left is doing they just can't agree and both act independently. I wonder how many more attacks they will know about but not act on.

Frmrsldr

PraetorianFour wrote:
Their right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. Actually that's not true. The right hand DOES know what the left is doing they just can't agree and both act independently. I wonder how many more attacks they will know about but not act on.

Shortly before the Afghan war when the Bush administration was supporting the Afghan Taliban government, a famous warlord who the Taliban were never able to defeat was assassinated by a ward of the CIA - a suicide bomber who put explosives in a camcorder and posed as a friendly and sympathetic Afghan "reporter".

The Benazir Bhutto assassination was orchestrated by the Pentagon and ISI.

Abdullamatullab's father passed his concerns about his son to the CIA. The Pentagon intentionally kept that information away from other intelligence services because they did not want CIA Codename: OPERATION PANTY BOMBER interdicted by other intelligence agencies.

So you see, if the Pentagon wants to accomplish something - it will happen.

WFPD

The purpose of the Afghanistan mission is primarily to ensure that Afghanistan is not going to be used as a platform to launch attacks against NATO members. The demonstration effect of the initial attack and later invasion was sufficient to deter anyone from attempting another attack from Afghan soil, or from basing their organization in Afghan soil. The mission has been accomplshed as far as this objective is concerened. If the greater objective is to bring stability, prosperity and democracy to Afghanistan, then the mission is a failure. No amount of infrastructure improvements will compensate for the corrupt and illegitimate politicians which we have installed to ensure that the Taliban will not take over. There will be perpetual war until there is an accountable government which represents all sectors of Afghan society.

We do not seem to be actively pursuing this objective. We say that we are, but our actions and those of our allies contradict these stated intentions. If this course continues, then there is no reason whatsoever to "support the troops". 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
The demonstration effect of the initial attack and later invasion was sufficient to deter anyone from attempting another attack from Afghan soil...

"another attack"?

When was the first??

Frmrsldr

WFPD wrote:

We do not seem to be actively pursuing this objective. We say that we are, but our actions and those of our allies contradict these stated intentions. If this course continues, then there is no reason whatsoever to "support the troops". 

Looks to me like we are fighting war for the sake of war. A war we cannot win.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Did anyone notice that the latest date quoted for withdrawal was "after the end of 2011"? 

WTF?

Jingles

Quote:
The purpose of the Afghanistan mission is primarily to ensure that Afghanistan is not going to be used as a platform to launch attacks against NATO members. The demonstration effect of the initial attack and later invasion was sufficient to deter anyone from attempting another attack from Afghan soil, or from basing their organization in Afghan soil.

If we're all just gonna go around making up our own reasons for the Afghanistan "mission" (occupation), then I'll throw mine out there too: The purpose of the Afghanistan "mission" is primarily to ensure that Afghanistan is not going to sneak into Saskatchewan and steal all our fine, fine potash and canola oil to use for their own nefarious purposes. If you don't think it could happen, think again....

Does Saskatchewan still have potash? You betcha, and you can thank the troops for that.

Quote:
The Taliban (in fact) did offer to surrender Osama Bin Laden:

Three times.

Three times.

Three times.

They were ignored because the plan was already in place long before September.

Quote:
Unlike Iraq, the Taliban government of Afghanistan did allow Al Qaeda to use Afghanistan as a base for their attacks on innocent civilians in the United States

Actually, that was the US and Germany that trained the alleged hijackers, even according to the official story. Seems flight training is a bit hard to find in the mountains of Afghanistan. It's much better to be trained by the same flight schools that trained the Iran/Contra pilots. Afghanistan had nothing whatsoever to do with that trifling little reality show of 9/11.

When are they gonna bomb Florida and Hamburg? Thought so.

Frmrsldr

WFPD wrote:

The purpose of the Afghanistan mission is primarily to ensure that Afghanistan is not going to be used as a platform to launch attacks against NATO members.

That's the Bush Doctrine of "Strike First" pre-emptive war.

Again, the precedent was established in the 1986 International Court of Justice ruling in Nicaragua vs U.S.A. that making the case that a country is harboring terrorists is insufficient grounds to justify waging aggressive war against that country.

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

 

'Support the Troops' or Condemn the War Criminals?

 
Ok, I'm seriously about to lose my shit! Seriously!
 
WHY WHY WHY does this have to be an either/or question.
 
Why cannot we as Canadian citizens support "our" troops as they come back from whatever theatre of conflict with severe injuries or severe PTSD *AND* condemn war criminals.
 
"Canadians cannot have it both ways; a hero-honouring culture that does not honour its heroes. Neither can the anti-war movement rail against the treatment of civilians, foreign combatants and detainees -- the war overseas -- while ignoring the challenges facing soldiers and veterans who have brought the war home. All are casualties. This is where a new peace keeping effort must begin."


Soldiering on? The human cost of war
By Krystalline Kraus | October 29, 2009
http://www.rabble.ca/news/2009/10/soldiering-human-cost-war
 
Part II: Soldiering on? The invisible injuries of war
By Krystalline Kraus | November 6, 2009
http://www.rabble.ca/news/2009/11/part-ii-soldiering-invisible-injuries-war

WFPD

statica wrote:

 

'Support the Troops' or Condemn the War Criminals?

 
Ok, I'm seriously about to lose my shit! Seriously!
 
WHY WHY WHY does this have to be an either/or question.
 
Why cannot we as Canadian citizens support "our" troops as they come back from whatever theatre of conflict ...*AND* condemn war criminals.

The point of the thread is to discuss whether some of our troops are in fact war criminals themselves.

remind remind's picture

They certainly could be, and statica is absolutely correct.

 

It is not an either or, just as life is not an either or.

 

One can do both, as in reality it is not ALL the Canadian military pesons in Afghanistan handing prisoners over to be tortured, it would just be some, and out of those some who did, some reported what was going on and took action, while others did not.

 

Should those who did not report be charged with war crimes, when there is finally and investigation to get all this sorted out, just as the politicians who ignored this would be?

IMV yes.

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

Agreed, The left can be so righteous at times, painting all soldiers with the same blood red brush. You can still offer support to the troops in general without condoning acts that would constitute as war crimes.

 

For Canadian civilians the concepts of honour, duty and sacrifice act as a shield keeping people from recognizing that active duty, reserve and retired soldiers are also casualties of war.

For the anti-war community, it's a hatred of the whole military complex that clouds the eye.

Either way, it's the dead and walking wounded who suffer.

 

The formula the military uses to dehumanize the enemy blows back on its own recruits, and the first people really dehumanized are the soldiers themselves. If they don't come home in a box, they often come home broken. How the anti-war movement treats these men and women is a direct reflection on our ability to show concern for the 'other' who - for whatever reason -- chose to go to war.

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