Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Karzai Bans Private Security Contractors

09/11/2010 Leave a comment

It took him long enough. He did it for the reason that “private security contractors undermine the integrity of the Afghan security forces”.

I’m not sure if I would do it for that reason. I’d ban private security contractors because a) there is a long and well-documented list of them using violent force against unarmed civilians in both Afghanistan and Iraq; b) there is no oversight whatsoever; and c) ethical issues – you have hired guns running around shooting at people.

But at least it’s finally been done.

Article found here.




Hold the Line

28/04/2010 Leave a comment

I’m going to start this post with a cheesy quote from a favourite TV show of mine.

Hold the line until the light,
Hold the line against the night.

-“The March of the High Guard”, from the show Andromeda

I will also say that I am a pacifist.

Within the context of this post, I interpret the quote as a call to “hold the line” against those who would strip people of their basic rights and freedoms. Freedoms and rights that we take for granted, like the right to an education (however reluctantly we accept it), or freedom of religion, or the right to a fair trial. It’s a call to fight for those freedoms until they are realized, and fight for those freedoms when they are threatened.

Specifically, I’m talking about Afghanistan. Simply put, we aren’t done there yet, and I believe the imminent recall of troops on active combat duty will prove disastrous for this war.

Perhaps I should qualify my previous statement – I’m a pacifist, but I also try to be practical in my beliefs. If we talked our problems out like rational creatures and lowered all our horrific ordinance for just a little bit, that would be a better world.

Unfortunately, violence is a useful tool. Some would rather take by force than compromise and negotiate. And on a world populated by human beings, an army is a necessity. Read more…

Um, Excuse Me?

19/04/2010 Leave a comment

I was relaxing in the sun by my bed in rez, reading Rick Mercer’s The Paperback Book (which is pissing funny, by the way), when I read this:

Basically, every member of Parliament in this country wants to go [to Afghanistan]. This is retail politics 101. You get off the plane, … you get your picture taken …, you come home, you get a bump in the polls.

It’s also why Stéphane Dion has been asking to go for a very long time. And this past week, the Tories finally said yes. So off Dion went. And boy did he make a balls of it.

The Tories, of course, loved [it], but while Dion might have put his foot in mouth, what the Tories did was far worse. When politicians visit Afghanistan, it’s always a secret. Those are the rules, written by the military. The military are very, very, touchy about this. they don’t want the Taliban to know when politicians are visiting because then they become a target. And shag the politicians; remember it’s the soldiers who are guarding the politicians you have to worry about.

So Dion, true to his word, never told a soul he was going. His staff didn’t even know he was going. [my emphasis] But the Tories, they said, “The hell with the military,” and they had a cabinet minister, Helena Guergis, release details of the visit. Sure, Canadian military lives were put at risk, but I guess that’s the price you have to pay when you’re facing re-election in Simcoe-Gray (Rick Mercer, The Paperback Book, 258-9).

(The rant is from 2005, in case you’re confused by the name “Dion”) I was really, really offended. The Conservatives took the low road here. They toyed with peoples’ lives for a stupid little political game. Not only that, they also sent a message that they’re completely fine with an opposition MP dieing because of them.

I’m sure even the Republicans wouldn’t pull a stunt like that. Not cool, Harper. Not cool at all.