Soldiers hello

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remind remind's picture

Thanks jerry!

Quote:
But there is an awful truth that we tend to avoid, a truth that must
be proclaimed if we are to end the killing on all sides of this bloody
conflict. The truth is that those 101 brave Canadians died for nothing.

Their lives were stolen from them, and from their loving
families and friends, because of a lie. Too many young children will
never see their fathers again, because of a lie. More accurately, they
died for a series of lies.

One lie is that Canada is
there to help the “democratic” Hamid Karzai. But the fact is that his
government was installed by the Bush regime, and that it is both
incompetent and riddled with corruption from the drug trade.

A
related lie is that this is a war for women’s rights. Since when has
Stephen Harper ever taken the lead in advancing the rights of women?
Indeed, one of the first things Harper did when he became prime
minister was to close 12 out of 16 Status of Women Canada regional
offices, while removing “equality” from SWC’s objectives.

Another
lie is that it is possible to win a military victory over the various
tribes and political factions fighting the occupiers. British and
American military officials are finally admitting that they are losing
ground, and the bloodshed will only increase as the war drags on.

The
biggest lie of all is that Canadians are being killed in the fight
against terrorism. The Taliban did not attack the United States on
September 11, and it is not the only group fighting against the
U.S.–led occupation. Moreover, even the U.S. Central Intelligence
Agency has concluded that Bush’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have
led to more anti-Americanism and more terrorism, not less. Every time
innocent civilians are killed or a wedding party is bombed, more people
take up arms against the U.S.–backed forces, or support those who do.

In
reality, Canadians are dying in Afghanistan in order to please the Bush
regime by aiding its attempt to dominate the Middle East for its own
geostrategic purposes, especially that of controlling the oil in the
region. In addition, there are some in the Canadian military who
despise our peacekeeping reputation and would rather that we adopted
the mindless war-fighting mentality of the American military.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

Unionist

Realigned wrote:

Any CFer here who has deployed will easily tell you the depths Afghans place on honour and revenge. It's perfectly acceptable here to strangle your wife to death if she commits adultry,because after all it's an insult against your honour.

How long do you think it will take to teach them our civilized ways? Does that come under "reconstruction" or "security"?

Quote:
I guess I am naive too, I had always thought that the US invaded Afghanistan to get Bin ladden thus preventing the planning and execution (atleast by him) of another 9/11 type attack.

Good God, man, you are naive. That's why they invaded Iraq.

Manitoba Girl

Someone should point out that Cuba has the death penalty, but that's OK because Cuba only kills the right rind of people, like terrorists who hijack aircraft.

martin dufresne

Realigned wrote:

(...)It's perfectly acceptable here to strangle your wife to death if she commits adultry,because after all it's an insult against your honour.

Men do that all the time here in Canada, for that reason or whatever other, and we don't see the Harper gov't pouring billions into prevention or support for the victims or significantly sanctioning those stalkers.

Unionist wrote: "Good God, man, you are naive. That's why they invaded Iraq."

... and why they are about to invade Pakistan. Bin Laden is quite the convenient employee: "place" him somewhere and you have an alibi for attacking the country.

Jingles

Quote:
It's perfectly acceptable here to strangle your wife to death if she commits adultry,because after all it's an insult against your honour.

Thank Baby Jesus that we here in the enlightened west are above and beyond that sort of thing. 

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Hi.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
I guess I am naive too, I had always thought that the US invaded Afghanistan to get Bin ladden thus preventing the planning and execution (atleast by him) of another 9/11 type attack.

Let's say they did, do you support invading another nation and killing tens of thousands and committing war crimes to ensure it doesn't happen again? Because if so, then the entire Islamic world would have every justification for killing any American and Briton they can their hands on after Iraq, wouldn't you agree? Or is that different?

And is it worse to kill for honor than pure greed, in your view? 

 

Realigned

Thanks for the link Jerry.

Jingles, it's because the baby jesus that we're so enlightened, wouldn't you agree? ;)

Thanks Ghislaine! I'd like to come back to Afghanistan as a part of maybe an OMLT team mentoring the Afghan army or Cimic-working with the locals to rebuild stuff. I really enjoyed building schools soccer fields and spending time with war orphans when I was peacekeeping. We actually used to sneak off base and sneak into the town we stationed in and brought the orphans snacks rented movies and watched them with them. We got caught but it would have looked bad punishing soldiers for cheering up orphans so all of a sudden it became official lol

 

Frustratd Mess, what a poorly (cleverly?) worded question- in the words of Admiral Ackbar, it's a trap! :)

This is where I say No I wouldn't support commiting war crimes- then everyone does a pile on and tells me that it's exactly what I am doing in Afghanistan right now committing war crimes killing tens of thousands of people. Right?

To give you a half assed answer being a soldier I would go where ever the government directs me to go, it's my job. (Bet that's gonna make me a lot of friends here huh ;) )  Firefighters can't choose wether or not they enter into a burning building and police officers can't just decide to not arest someone because they don't feel like it.  They have obligations. 

If you're caught with illegal drugs don't get pissed at the police officer arresting you for it. He's obligated to. If you REALLY feel so strongly about your right to consume drugs than petition the government to change the laws.

Yes I could choose not to go but assuming soldiers ARE going to go no matter what,
don't you think it's better to have professional soldiers on the ground
who WON'T commit war crimes, who WILL treat prisoners humanely, who
won't loot and terrorize locals and who hold themselves accountable to their
actions?

 

Here let me ask you an honest question in return Frustrated Mess. I respect the fact that you are concerned over Canada being involved in this war and the saftey of both Canadian citizens in Afghanistan and what's happening to the local people there.

What are you doing about your feelings regarding Canada being deployed to Afghanistan? What are you actively doing to prompt the Canadian government to withdraw soldiers from Afghanistan?

Le T, Slumberjack and Remind- I'll throw that question out to you too if you don't mind. What are you guys doing to get Canada out?  Are you guys organizing protesst or going into the public and trying to educate people or speaking with your local MPs??

 

Martin, when I wrote that about killing one's wife I was attempting to point out the huge culture differences between Canada and Afghanistan (bringing into question the difficulties in working with a drastically different culture). Yes I realize that it sadly happens here too however I think you'll agree that killing your wife isn't really an accepted behavior here. Ideally you get put in prison.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Realigned wrote:

This is where I say No I wouldn't support commiting war crimes

 

First: Question for you.  Me not being a military person ( despite the boots :-) I was wondering what education soldiers were given around war crimes.

Second: I understand that preventing war crimes starts on the individual level - if every soldier did what was right there would be no war crimes.  But this is not a perfect world and we know that some soldiers don't do what's right and it can lead to war crimes whether on an individual level or through them following orders from above. If a country were to commit war crimes or were to not follow through on punishing those within the ranks who did who would they be accountable to? 

I can't put it better than Chomsky-

Quote:
 

"International law is a method by which you might regulate the aggressive and destructive tendencies of the nation-state the trouble is, international law doesn't have a police force: there are no Martians around to enforce it. So international law will only work if the powers subjected to it are willing to accept it"

Understanding power The indispensable Chosky

This is a big concern of mine with war. I am wondering what your take is on it from within the system.

Realigned

Refuge wrote:

 

First: Question for you.  Me not being a military person ( despite the boots :-) I was wondering what education soldiers were given around war crimes.

Hard question to put into words effectively but I'll try.

As a part of pre-deploment training all soldiers must attend lecture/s on codes of conduct, the geeneva conventions (hague too), rules of engagement and war crimes. It's a bunch of things rolled into one and the lectures usually turn into a debate with questios and answers. They'll usually try to get a military lawyer to come in and explainthe rules. Once soldiers land overseas (and again half way through the tour, sometimes monthly) they will be given the lectures again.

For example (trying to remember off the top of my head);

soldiers get taught things like how to handle prisoners. You need to feed them, give them water. Give them warm clothing. Shelter. Males don't search females. It's impressed on soldiers not to abuse prisoners both for obvious ethical reasons but also for intelligence gathering.

Told not to alter our weapons to increase suffering.

Impressed to treat all civilians respectfully and to respect both civilian properity and cultural sites.

Provide medical care to both civilians and injured "enemies". Once someone is captured or wounded they become a non-combatent. We basically have to give civilians or prisoners the same level of care and support we give our own forces.

Acomplish your mission with as little damage to civilian properity as possible.

When you are allowed to use non-deadly and deadly force and when you can't.

It basically outlines what you are alowed and not allowed to do and how to treat people.Really geared towards individuals.

Lately they started teaching soldiers about the "stratigic soldier". Basically outlining how one single soldier who does something stupid can cause a world wide incident with national reprecussions.

 

 

Quote:

Second: ..If a country were to commit war crimes or were to not follow through on punishing those within the ranks who did who would they be accountable to?

 

Honestly I don't know? At one level it's almost like people just can't be held accountble.  Iraq is out of my lanes but just to touch on it breifly, the US invaded Iraq based on bullshit intelligence reports of WMDs and those hookey "intel reports" with grainy black and white maps of airfields with red circles on them indicating I don't know what and a bunch of analyists sitting around looking at itnddi their head in agreement. Like come on.. But who is being held accountable for that? Besides everyone dancing around because some guy threw a shoe at him, whats happening to Bush?

Nothing will happen to him.

 I've often wondered if Canada sent troops to Iraq would I vounteer to go or not. Anyhow sorry, Iraq out of my lanes like I said but it was the only example I could think of.  At a national level I just really don't know who would be held accountable. I'm sureif they sat everyone down and needed o come up with someone to put in jail they would be 90 years old before anything was done.

Quote:

This is a big concern of mine with war. I am wondering what your take is on it from within the system.

Mine too. 

Refuge Refuge's picture

Realigned wrote:

 But who is being held accountable for that? Besides everyone dancing around because some guy threw a shoe at him, whats happening to Bush?

Nothing will happen to him.  

Reminds me of a Richard Nixon quote now being made famous by Hollywood

Frost: "So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations........... where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal."

Nixon: "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal"

Slumberjack

Realigned wrote:
Le T, Slumberjack and Remind- I'll throw that question out to you too if you don't mind. What are you guys doing to get Canada out?  Are you guys organizing protesst or going into the public and trying to educate people or speaking with your local MPs??

For starters, I don't believe the group you posed your question to are all 'guys.'  With the way western corporate democracy works, it seems that individual or collective opinions and protests among the population are of little consequence.  The majority of Canadians, the people you represent, are against our military involvement in this war.  Low Public Support

Similarly, for some time now, US public opinion has been turned against the war in Iraq since the heady days of 'bring it on' leadership, and still they are there.  I suspect that each of us are inclined to do different things in our own way, including street level protests, communicating with MPs, talking to people, leaving the military, etc.  I can’t recall anyone that I’ve talked with during the past year or so that still supports our participation in the war.  For those that are on the fence, unsure one way or the other, I spare no effort in attempting to relieve them of their doubt.  Call it sedition or ‘rabble-rousing’ if you will.

Tommy_Paine

Personally, I've always been coflicted over this from day one.  Concerning the Afghan mission, there's a lot of angles to consider.

Since long before 9/11, I wished someone would take out the, for lack of a better term, "Taliban".   One less group of religious fanatics on the planet, the better. 

I'm not sure, however, that there was a "good" way of doing that, much less a "perfect" way.  Just a series of less bad ways.

Canada is in an alliance, like it or don't.   And one of our allies was attacked, and the attackers were being given support and shelter, both before and after the attack by the "Taliban".   I think we were bound by our alliance in Nato to be part of the response to that.  

I also think our duty to that end has been more than served, now.  And if one wanted to argue that Canada, as part of this alliance will never see Quid to our Pro Quo, you will not get any dissention from me on that point.  

If that means we should also be having a debate about being part of Nato, I'd agree.   It's about collective security, and I don't see the U.S., Britain, certainly Denmark or France coming to our aid like we have jumped to theirs.  Time and again.

 

We can call whoever is setting IED's and attacking Nato and Afghan national forces the "Taliban" all we like, but it's not the "Taliban" that existed on 9/11. Those guys are gone.  Well, not all.  Some are in the Afghan government now, where they get to threaten women representatives with rape if they dare to take part in parliamentary discussions.

If I can assume my "Dr. Strangelove" persona for a moment, there is the fact that if we are to have a military that is capable of acting in Canada's own best interests, it has to be experienced in combat from time to time.  And, "good wars" don't happen often enough to serve this purpose.  An ultimately immoral, but inexcapably utilitarian reason for Canada to be in Afghanistan.

Can we justify the Afghan mission as mission of reconstruction? On humanitarian grounds?   I would very much like to believe so.   And we must be most suspicious of those things we would very much like to believe.

The positive aspects of this mission, in my mind-- getting rid of murderous religious fanatics, reconstructing a region that surely needs it after all that's happened there since the 1980's is a worthy goal. 

But it's not the goal of Nato, of George W. Bush, or soon, Barak Obama.  Their goal is to keep a military force in close proximity to Iran, as a counter to Iranian hegemony in the region.   What happens to troops, to Afghan civilians is, at best, second to that consideration.  

If the so called "Taliban" surrendered en masse tomorrow, and all their arms were collected by Nato, surely we'd invent another enemy there to fight.

 I guess this post is yet another attempt, really, to figure out how I feel about it.  It seems I'm against it, on the whole. 

Today.

What would get me writting letters, take to the streets?  When I hear our troops saying "This is bullshit, get us the hell out of here."

 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Closing for length. If anyone starts a new thread, please start it somewhere other than introductions.

...........

Maysie, the babbler formerly known as bigcitygal.

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