Tag Archives: Canada

Taliban Warns Canada-Get Out Or Get Killed!

The Taliban has sent a warning to the “Canadian people” saying it will kill Canadians unless they immediately leave Afghanistan. The “open letter” addressed to the “Canadian people” came just days after a Taliban ambush killed two Canadians, Shairly Case and Jaqueline Kirk in Logar province who were working for the International Rescue Committee. “Events such as Logar will happen again, because occupied Afghanistan looks at all actors that are established din the interest of americans with an eye of hostility. You have to convince your government to put an end to the occupation of Afghanistan so that the Afghans are not killed with your hands and so that you are not killed with the hands of the Afghans.” Naturally, the Taliban insist they are not going to Canada so why are Canadians in their land.

Violence in Afghanistan continues to escalate not merely due to lack of sufficient armed forces, but to the failure on the part of the Afghanistan government to end corruption and to initiate programs of economic and social reform. The Taliban are attempting to cast the coalition effort in Afghanistan as simply an arm of American foreign policy. Any nation with troops in Afghanistan is trapped in the failure of George Bush to present efforts in Afghanistan as representing the needs of the people of Afghanistan. The shadow of Bush failures is always present in that region of the world.

Afghanistan Strategy Is Not Working

Canadian journalist, Thomas Walkom, writing in the Toronto Star, states bluntly the strategy being used in Afghanistan, “put simply, it isn’t working.” He notes recent deaths of Canadian soldiers and aid workers clearly demonstrated the strategy of providing security for the Afghanistan government so it can develop a program of stability has failed. UN figures show Afghanistan has become LESS safe since 2006 despite the dispatch of thousands of coalition forces to the nation. Walkom points out the Canadian aid workers were murdered within fifty miles of Kabul while on a major highway, and a Canadian soldier was killed by a security guard working for “our side.”

The reporter interviewed former CARE Canada president John Watson who worked in Afghanistan while the Taliban were in power. Ironically, the CARE worker was able to accomplish more in providing assistance while the Taliban ruled and even built educational facilities for girls. Walkom also cites figures about the growth of Afghanistan’s economy which has nearly doubled in the past few years, but a considerable portion of that growth is linked to increased production of drugs.

The recent death of a Canadian soldier by someone working for a security firm and the recent death of a security firm member by Canadian soldiers forces Walkom to conclude: “Afghanistan remains a country where groups of armed men, many of whom are ostensibly on the same side, roam the country shooting at one another.”

The Canadian reporter’s remarks do not provide evidence there is need for return of the Taliban, but he is identifying an important need, creating a vibrant non-drug based economy and having a military strategy that can cope with the Taliban. Those simply are not in operation in Afghanistan.

RCMP Were Spying On Women Lib Groups In Seventies

Recently uncovered documents reveal during the 1970 members of the RCMP were actively engaged in spying on women who were active in the fight for female rights. The Mounties assumed anyone who fought for women’s rights was somehow working in conjunction with Soviet agents against the interests of the Canadian government. Rita MacNeil, a Cape Breton singer was shocked to learn her name was on the list of potential subversives. In the ealy 70s she was a married woman with two children who was just about to enter her singing career but somehow she did something to arouse Mountie suspicions.

The RCMP infiltrated the Toronto Women’s Caucus in the 1960 and developed detailed files on every female in the group. MacNeil says, “I don’t think they hadms. d a reason to be following what we were doing, unless they were on to something else I didn’t know about.” Ms. MacNeil said all they did was sit “around talking about issues and going on demonstrations.” One can only assume the Mounties feared the overthrow of the Canadian government by a handful of elderly women carrying some signs. Of course, Ms. macNeil did a lot of singing and one knows songs can become the spark that leads to revolution.

No Approval Needed Says Canadian Judge, Just Listen In

An Ontario Superior Court Judge ruled the Criminal Code emergency provision allowing police wiretapping without a judge’s authorization, while not perfect, is constitutionally valid. His ruling dealt with a major case currently underway in a Toronto court. The ruling comes at a time when Ontario Provincial Police are being attacked for using wiretaps without judicial approval. Mohawk activist, Shawn Brant, told a news conference this week, the OPP used emergency wiretaps to eavesdrop on four people, including Brant and his brother, who is a lawyer, because they knew they’d never get the interceptions approved by a judge. Section 184.4 of the Criminal Code permits a “peace officer” to intercept private communications in emergency situations– without prior judicial authorization–in order to prevent serious harm to persons or property in narrowly defined, exigent circumstances.

As always, if it is left to police authorities, the situation will always be “an emergency” and the threat to “persons” or “property” will always be imminent. Earlier this year, Justice Barry Davies found Section 184.4 to be unconstitutional. He expressed concern over the lack of “oversight and accountability” in making decisions when wiretapping was appropriate.

Omar Khadr Tape Reveals Frightened Boy

Defense lawyers for Omar Khadr have tried for years to arouse a sense of compassion among Canadians for what has happened to the young boy but, so far, have failed. The release of a tape which shows the 16 year old being questioned by Canadian interrogators reveals a frightened boy who is crying, rocking back and forth and mumbling to himself, “oh, my mother.” Reaction among Canadians so far is mixed with some having scant sympathy while others are genuinely shocked. Unfortunately, for Khadr, the Canadian government continues uttering its mantra that it will not interfere with the US justice system, a belief that implicitly supports the legality of the Guantanamo military court system.

At the time of Khadr’s interrogation the then Canadian government of Prime Minister Paul Martin insisted, “we have been given assurances by the Americans that he is being treated in a humane way and we take the Americans at their word.” Of course, President Bush has emphasized his administration does not engage in torture. A UN committee has denounced the trial of a boy who was sixteen at the time of the alleged incident and warned that America was establishing a dangerous precedent.

It is time to reject the idea a teenager should be regarded as an adult. Khadr’s family is most probably supporting the al-Qaeda movement which should be even more reason not to put on trial a child who was heavily influenced by his parents.

Canada Refuses To Accept Some Iraq Refugees

The government of Canada has long been known for its generosity in accepting refugees from throughout the world, but apparently some Canadian officials are ready to end this spirit of concern for oppressed people. Canadian citizen Azad Sarkissian’s sister and her family escaped the horror of Iraq to find some temporary respite in Jordan and then applied for a visa to join her brother in Canada. She was told to head for her ancestral home in Armenia. The Sarkissian’s great grandfather left Armenia a hundred years ago to settle in Iraq. Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Christians have been threatened, beaten, and killed by Muslim fanatics and half the original 800,000 Christians have fled for their lives. The Sarkissian family was among those who left in order to escape death.

The Iraq Christians are in a quandry. Many have lived in Iraq for over a hundred years and, in so doing, lost contact with any relatives from their original lands. Armenia is a poor nation and unable to absorb them so a Canadian official who says “head back home” is offering nothing. The only “home” right now is with the Sarkissians in Canada. Hopefully, the Canadian government will rethink this policy of indifference to the plight of Christian refugees from Iraq.

Omar Khadr Case Continues Upsetting Canada

Seven years have passed since American forces swept through Afghanistan and gathered up hundreds of prisoners who allegedly were members of the Taliban. The case of Omar Khadr continues haunting those who believe many innocent people were caught in the web of anger that surrounded the arrest of those individuals. Omar Khadr was a fifteen year-old boy who was encouraged by his al-Qaida loving father to fight in Afghanistan and since that time has been a prisoner in Guantanamo. Due to the brilliant work of his lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, the evidence is overwhelming that Khadr is innocent and the case against him lacks any substance. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision, many Canadian lawmakers are aking that Khadr be released. Members of parliament have even written Secretary of State Rice to gain her support for the young man’s release from prison.

His lawyer has developed a plan for the rehabilitation of Khadr since returning him to a family which supports al-Qaida would prove disastrous for his future life. Kuebler wants Omar to be placed into intensive counseling and to work with a local imam regarding his misconceptions about the Muslim religion. In a sense, the Khadr case may provide a model of how to release Guantanamo prison inmates by offering them emotional and religious support in the months following their entry into society.

There is no question some of those who were imprisoned were al-Qaida or Taliban supporters, but there are also dozens of innocent people caught in the anger of the moment who deserve an opportunity to lead productive lives. It all begins with fair trials in which evidence is presented to either prove the innocence or guilt of the accused.

McCain Goes North, Canada Wishes He’d Go South!

Senator John McCain is in Ottawa this weekend to give a speech before a conservative business group in which he undoubtedly will blast NAFTA and claim to be on the side of American workers. There will be no meeting with Prime Minister Harper who is not thrilled with having the American politician anywhere near him given the strong support for Barack Obama that polls reveal in Canada. Harper is still embarrassed over the leaked memo which supposedly claimed Obama was speaking out of both sides of his mouth about NAFTA. Senator McCain will give a presentation to Canadian businessmen who, most probably, do not agree with his views on Iraq or Afghanistan, but will politely listen.

John McCain insists he is against NAFTA although there is no record of his opposition to the idea when it was successfully passed a Republican controlled congress in the 1990s. He has strongly supported George Bush economic ideas such as reducing taxes for the wealthy, but the senator seeks to come across as a friend of the worker. McCain opposes national health insurance, extending unemployment benefits for the unemployed, additional aid for child care, but as far as the man from the west is concerned, supporting interests of the wealthy is what workers in America desire.

Prime Minister Harper would just like the Republican candidate to get out of his country and quit reminding Canadians that his government helped the Republicans this past spring. This is not a springime for McCain in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Apologizes To Aboriginals

Canadian history, like that of the United States or Australia, has a record of regarding aboriginal people as being inferior and in need of being educationally uplifted. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appeared before parliament to make clear the importance of his nation to apologize for this mistreatment. “Mr. Speaker, I stand fore you to offer an apology to former students for the Federal government’s program of residential schools and its sad legacy of abuse, assimilation and lasting pain. We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from their homes and we apologize for having done this.. We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from their rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, that it created a void in many lives and communities and we apologize for having done that.”

The schools endeavored to wipe out native cultures and languages by separating children not only from their families but from their culture and traditions.

Terroist Plot Or Summer Fantasies In Canada?

According to Canadian prosecutors a group known as the Toronto 18 were part of a terrorist gang that was prepared to institute bombng activity and were in posssession of bomb makig material. The prosecutor spoke on the first day of testimony in which a boy, three other young men and 14 adults are being charged with attending a jihadist training camp where they developed plans to engage in truck bombing activities. The defense attorney sharply denied the charges and insisted it was nothing more than a fantasy dreamed up by a meglomaniac who has a penchant for boasting. The prosecutor introduced into evidence a 9-mm pistol seized from a Toronto home and shell casings found at a camp where some of the accused attended. Defense attorney Mitchell Chernovsky insisted the men and boys talked but never implemented any of their stories into reality.

As the defense attorney notes, a major part of the prosecuting attorney’s argument is the discovery of a 9-mm pistol. He derided the lack of any concrete evidence the group had done anything other than sit around and tell stories about what they would like to do.

We live in times when youthful boasts become serious plots. So, what do boys talk about around summer time campfires?